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Leaving No One Behind: Achieving Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Management

Report from World Bank
Published on 14 Sep 2017
BY CHARLOTTE MCCLAIN-NHLAPO

Natural hazard events can occur in any country, at any time. At present, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are dealing with the aftermath of some of the worst monsoon flooding in years, which has left more than 1,200 people dead and millions homeless. At the same time, North America and the Caribbean region are responding to some of the strongest hurricanes on record.

At such times of peril, individual and community resilience is at a premium, and we cannot afford to miss opportunities to bolster that resilience wherever possible. This is especially true with respect to certain groups such as persons with disabilities who have historically been disproportionately affected by natural hazards.

Disabled Accessibility Law Gathering Support

By John Gibb
Tuesday Sept. 12, 2017

Canadian disability advocate David Lepofsky believes there is growing political backing to pass “accessibility” legislation in this country.

“Accessibility legislation can only help, if it’s done right,” Mr Lepofsky said in Dunedin recently.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/disabled-accessibility-law-gathering-support/

Congress Wants to Change the Americans with Disabilities Act and Undermine the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities

Tyler Ray & Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel
ACLU Washington Legislative Office, September 6, 2017

The Americans with Disabilities Act is the most comprehensive and
foundational civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. Yet, 27 years after it was passed, people with disabilities still face enormous barriers.

People with mobility disabilities routinely
find themselves blocked from the simplest of social interactions. They are unable to go to the corner grocery store to pick up a quart of milk because there is a step at the door. They are unable to go to the local movie theatre with their friends because there is no accessible seating. They might be able to get into the door of the local restaurant, but are stymied
if they have to go to the bathroom while they are there, because it is the size of a postage stamp.

Justice System Failed Mentally Ill Indigenous Inmate, Lawyer Argues

Michael Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate who is mentally ill, spent much of his nearly six-year period of incarceration in solitary confinement. Patrick White
September 4, 2017

In 2016, Michael Nehass swallowed razor blades. To his delusional mind, it was a reasonable act built upon solid logic.

Mr. Nehass, a 33-year-old Indigenous inmate, believed that a technological device of some unspecified kind had been implanted in his stomach during his lengthy incarceration. Consuming the blades, he thought, would force hospital surgeons to open up his torso, whereupon they would see the implant and remove it.

UN Denounces British Government for Failing to Protect Disabled Peoples’ Rights

May Bulman
August 31, 2017

The Government has been criticised by the United Nations for failing to uphold the rights of disabled people through a string of austerity policies.

An inquiry into the UKs progress in fulfilling its commitments to a major UN convention found ministers have failed people with disabilities through a catalogue of policies in recent years, affecting a range of areas from access to healthcare to equality in education and work.

A rise in disabled pupils not in mainstream education and a “persistent” employment gap facing disabled adults were among a string of accusations outlined in the report, published this week by the UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, after it spent two days grilling Government officials in Geneva.

Three Day Event to Help Calgarians with Disabilities

CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

Not-for-profit organization creating specialized solutions for disabilities in 72 hour makeathon event

The Tikkun Olam Makers:Calgary run by Kadima Dynamics, is excited to announce their third makeathon event where local engineers and designers, termed ‘Makers’, work with people with a disability, or ‘Need-Knowers’, to create solutions for their everyday challenges.

15 teams of 4-6 individuals each, from communities across Alberta will work together for a continuous 72 hours, with access to fabrication equipment and materials. Participants will be given a budget, monitored, and guided through their projects.

World’s Blind Population to Triple by 2050 : study

Published: Thu, Aug 03 2017

The number of blind people across the world is set to triple from about 36 million to 115 million by 2050, due to a growing ageing population, says a study in ‘The Lancet’

The researchers estimate that crude prevalence of global blindness declined from 0.75% in 1990 to 0.48% in 2015, while the rate of moderate to severe vision impairment reduced from 3.83% to 2.90%.

London: The number of blind people across the world is set to triple from about 36 million to 115 million by 2050, due to a growing ageing population, a study warned on Thursday.

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.