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Guide Dog Users, Providers Say Proposed Rules Disregard Needs of Visually Impaired

Michelle McQuigge / The Canadian Press
July 7, 2017 08:50 AM

Yvonne Peters, who is visually impaired, spends time with her four year old service dog Mina at her home in Winnipeg, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Peters expects proposed standards to impact service dog teams in Canada.

TORONTO Providers and users of guide dogs for the visually impaired say new proposed federal standards for service dog teams disregard their current needs and could pose barriers to future access.

The Canadian General Standards Board issued draft guidelines meant to serve as best practices for a wide range of people with disabilities and their canine service partners.

Freeing our people: Updates From the Long Road to dIinstitutionalization

By: Natalie Spagnuolo, Kory Earle
The Monitor, July/August 2017
July 4, 2017

Imagine.

You are told when you will go to bed, when you will eat, and what you will eat.

You are denied a key to your own home, or to have visitors.

You are coerced or forced into sexual sterilization, for “your own protection.”

You’re informed the hours you spent shredding paper over 10 years are just a form of “training,” and that you don’t deserve even a minimum wage for this work.

You are told how to vote, or that someone else will vote in your place because you aren’t capable of making rational decisions.

Letter Calls on Minister to Include Education in Accessibility Legislation

CBC News Posted: Jul 03, 2017

A group of Manitobans wants to see schools become more accessible for people with disabilities.

Barrier Free Manitoba delivered a letter to Minister of Families Scott Fielding on Friday calling for an education standard to be included in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

The letter was signed by 1,100 Manitobans and 59 organizations.

Patrick Faulkner sits on the steering committee of Barrier Free Manitoba. He said although human rights law states that all children have the right to a quality education, in practice, there are many barriers.

“We know that half of parents report that they have real difficulty securing the kinds of supports (that they need),” he said.

The Federal Government Releases Report of Its Public Consultation on What the Promised Canadians with Disabilities Act Should Include Lots of Good Content But Some Areas Where The Federal Report Falls Short

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities http://www.aodaalliance.org aodafeedback@gmail.com Twitter: @aodaalliance

June 13, 2017

SUMMARY

On May 29, 2017, the Federal Government released a detailed 63-page report on what its promised Canadians with Disabilities Act should include, according to the feedback the Federal Government received during its public consultation. It held public forums and roundtables across Canada, and an online survey, from the 2016 summer through the 2017 winter. According to this report, the Federal Government heard from many people and organizations, including from many people with disabilities.

More Canadians Seeking Disability Benefits Have Denials Overturned on Appeal

Jordan Press,
The Canadian Press, June 4, 2017

OTTAWA Nearly half the Canadians who seek to have decisions denying them access to Canada Pension Plan disability benefits are successfully appealing the rulings a statistic that is giving experts cause for concern.

The figures illustrate what has happened in the year since Canada’s auditor general excoriated the government for its handling of CPP disability appeals, which provides stipends to Canadians who are unable to work due to disability.

Michael Ferguson’s February 2016 report on the $4-billion disability benefits system found that some one-third of applicants who were originally denied benefits were later found to be eligible, based on the initial evidence.

‘Fixing Society’ Involves Boosting Accessibility Laws

Four million Canadians have disabilities, advocate says
By: Kevin Rollason
Posted: 06/8/2017

The world would be a different place for people who have disabilities if Toronto lawyer David Lepofsky has his way.

Lepofsky said the biggest changes would happen if governments could be convinced to create better laws to guide accessibility.

“What we’re trying to do is fix society,” Lepofsky said on Thursday.

“The world has been designed as if the only people living in it successfully are people without disabilities. The buildings around us, public transit, stores, education systems, are all designed like people said, ‘Let’s design things so people with disabilities can’t use them.’

Creating New National Accessibility Legislation: What We Learned

Message from the Minister

As Canada’s first-ever Minister responsible for persons with disabilities, I had the honour of leading Canada’s largest and most accessible consultation on disability issues ever.

In the summer of 2016, I began asking Canadians all across the country, “What does an accessible Canada mean to you?” What we learned, summarized in this report, will help us create new federal accessibility legislation.

I’m proud to say more than 6,000 Canadians participated in person and online. Throughout the consultation, I held 18 in-person public meetings across the country that were supported by local leaders from the disability community. These meetings were made fully accessible for a range of disabilities and included English and French real-time captioning, American Sign Language and Langue des signes québécoise, and intervenor services for participants who are deaf-blind. In northern Canada, Inuit sign language was also provided.

Manitoba Accessibility Awareness Week kicks off June 4

More than a dozen events will focus on ways to improve accessibility in the province, with guest speakers flying in from Denver and Toronto.
David Lepofsky, a Toronto-based advocate, will be in Winnipeg for three talks during Manitoba Accessibility Awareness Week. By: Jessica Botelho-Urbanski Metro Published on Mon Jun 05 2017

An important event, Manitoba Accessibility Awareness Week (MAAW), kicked off Sunday, though you might not have heard about it from the provincial government due to a media blackout.

Patrick Falconer, who works with Barrier-Free Manitoba, called it “very unfortunate” timing to have MAAW happening during the Point Douglas byelection and its consequent media blackout period. Unfortunately, the event was already scheduled for June 4-10 nearly a year earlier.

‘So many barriers’: Forum discusses jobs and accessibility

Alliance aims to have people noticed for their abilities rather than their disabilities By Nicole Williams
CBC, Jun 1, 2017

Islanders shared accessibility issues on P.E.I. and how they want the federal government to improve things at a public forum Wednesday.

The Alliance for an Inclusive and Accessible Canada hosted a public forum in Summerside in their latest round public consultations happening across the country to collect feedback on upcoming legislation regarding accessibility.

Mental health issues added to P.E.I. disability support program How can P.E.I. be more accessible for people with disabilities?

“We’re trying to create a more accessible Canada,” said Dave Carragher, communications manager for the alliance.

Expecting a Barrier Free Saskatchewan

29 May 2017 For Immediate Release

About Barrier Free Saskatchewan

Barrier Free Saskatchewan (BFSK) has developed fourteen principles to be the foundation of a Saskatchewan Disability and Inclusion Act.

We want the Province of Saskatchewan to pass an Accessibility Act with these principles intact so we can become a barrier free province.

A Barrier Free Saskatchewan is for everyone. Using these principles, BFSK is building a non-partisan coalition from the provincial community of individuals and organizations of and for persons with disabilities, Saskatchewan citizens, organizations, and companies who will endorse this worthwhile endeavor.

http://www.barrierfreesaskatchewan.org

Canada’s New Accessibility Laws Should Focus on Employment, Inclusive Buildings, Transport

By Michelle McQuigge The Canadian Press
Mon., May 29, 2017

Carla Qualtrough, the minister tasked with crafting laws to make Canada more accessible to people with disabilities, says employment will be a key focus of her efforts.

Public consultations on Canada’s first national law for disabled people have identified high unemployment rates, inaccessible buildings and barriers in transportation as some of the key issues that need to be addressed.

The priorities were laid out in a report, released by the federal government Monday, summarizing eight months of consultations held with Canadians from coast to coast.

Families Seeking Autism Service Dogs Face Years-Long Wait Lists

CTVNews.ca Staff, Sunday, May 28, 2017.

Concern is growing about a shortage of dogs that can make life easier for children with autism and their families. Avis Favaro explains.

There is a shortage of service dogs across Canada, and an Edmonton organization was forced to close their wait list due to a lack of funds.

Executive director, Dogs with Wings, Doreen Slessor explains the reason behind closing the wait list to families seeking autism dogs.

For kids with autism, a service dog can be just the friend they need, helping to calm them when they’re overwhelmed, keeping them safe, and giving parents a little bit of peace of mind.

14 Quotes That Celebrate a More Accessible World

Written by Courtney Seiter
Originally posted May 24, 2016

Accessibility isn’t a topic that just affects some of us. As no less of an innovator than Google puts it, “the accessibility problems of today are the mainstream breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

We at Buffer are delighted to have Neil Milliken (@neilmilliken), Debra Ruh (@debraruh), Antonio Santos (@akwyz) of AXSChat (@axschat) joining us on Bufferchat today to discuss Supporting Accessibility on Social Media.

AXSChat is an open online community dedicated to creating an inclusive world with the belief that accessibility is for everyone. The community works to spread knowledge through weekly video interviews and Twitter chats about the work people are doing to enable greater access and inclusion.

Environmental and Personal Factors Still Create Barriers for People With Disabilities, Despite Assistive Tech

May 10, 2017

Assistive products and technologies such as wheelchairs, upper-limb prostheses, and hearing and speech devices hold promise for partially or fully mitigating the effects of impairments and enabling people with disabilities to work, but in some cases environmental and personal factors create additional barriers to employment, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Moreover, a mismatch sometimes exists between the products that are covered by Medicare and other insurers and those that would best meet the needs of users, the report says. New assistive devices and technologies are advancing faster than reimbursement systems and clinician education, which may limit access to these devices and training in their use.

Minister Qualtrough Announces National AccessAbility Week

Promoting accessibility every day, everywhere in Canada

GATINEAU, QC, May 11, 2017 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, today issued the following statement:

“As Canada’s first Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities, I believe that our country’s diversity is our strength and when we include people with disabilities, we create a stronger Canada for everyone.

It is my pleasure to announce an annual national week devoted to inclusion and accessibility.

From May 28 to June 3 2017, National AccessAbility Week will celebrate, highlight and promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces across the country.

Report Finds Adults With Disabilities Remain Outside the Economic Mainstream

New report highlights the banking status and financial behavior of people with disabilities Washington, D.C.,
April 25, 2017
GLOBE NEWSWIRE

Today, National Disability Institute (NDI) released a new report titled Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. The report finds that, in the 27 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, ensuring all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve “economic self-sufficiency,” this population still faces numerous financial hurdles and roadblocks to financial inclusion.

Products and Services to Be Made More Accessible for Disabled Persons in the EU

April 25, 2017
Key products and services, like phones, e-book readers, operating systems and payment terminals, will have to be made more accessible to people with disabilities, under draft EU rules amended in committee on Tuesday.

The Internal Market Committee amended and approved the rules, which would apply only to products and services placed on the EU market after the directive takes effect, by 20 votes in favour, none against and 17 abstentions.

Toyota Develops WelWalk Robotic Brace to Aid in Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients

Anna Domanska , April 13, 2017

On Wednesday, Toyota launched a new robotic leg brace called the WelWalk WW-1000. The robotic exoframe is designed to help patients with partial paralysis walk again. The device is worn on the affected leg, with a large motor component at the knee joint that helps with functions such as supporting body weights and assisting with movements such as swinging the leg forward.

The WelWalk WW-1000 system will be made available to medical institutions in Japan later this year, with a rental model that charges a one-time fee of $9,000 and later $3,200 after that on a monthly basis.

MP Hardcastle Introduces Bill to Help Persons With Disabilities Access Programs

Tom Morrison
Our Windsor, Apr. 11, 2017

The MP for Windsor-Tecumseh’s first private members bill seeks to provide a “one-stop shop” for federal programs available to persons with disabilities.

NDP member Cheryl Hardcastle introduced Bill C-348An Act to Amend the Department of Employment and Social Development Act in the House of Commons Monday.

She said the issue is the federal government has several programs for which persons with disabilities can apply, but they have to prove their condition separately for every application.

“They have to respond to questions about diagnosis and their limitations and are required to provide the supporting documentation for each one of these,” she said “National groups have said this is not only burdensome, but it also can seem very punitive.”

Tokyo 2020 Publish Accessibility Guidelines

31.03.2017

The guidelines aim to provide an enhanced environment that will secure more opportunities for access to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By IPC

“The new Guidelines very much compliment the IPC’s own standards and hopefully can act as a blueprint for other Japanese organisations to further their accessibility too.”

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has published its Accessibility Guidelines which aim to ensure the Olympic and Paralympic Games in three years’ time are fully inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Developed by working closely with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), relevant government organisations, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, relevant municipal authorities and several disability groups, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has formulated its Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines.