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Disabled Musicians are Being ‘Failed by Venues’

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter
9 May 2019

Last year, Ruth Patterson’s band Holy Moly and the Crackers tried to book a tour of the UK.

But one venue wrote back, refusing to host them because Patterson, who has arthritis and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, uses a wheelchair.

“They said they wouldn’t book us because I was a fire hazard,” she says. “That’s absolutely horrendous.”

The singer is not alone. A new survey suggests disabled musicians face significant barriers in UK venues.

Of the nearly 100 deaf and disabled performers surveyed by Attitude Is Everything, two-thirds said they had to “compromise their health or wellbeing” in order to play live.

Laws Alone Aren’t The Answer for Improving Disability Access, Expert at Ottawa Summit Says

Blair Crawford
Updated: May 9, 2019

When it comes to accessibility, casinos lead the way.

“Las Vegas figured out a long time ago that older people and seniors were the ones who sit at slot machines,” said Brad McCannell, vice-president of access and inclusion for the Rick Hansen Foundation.

“They started accommodation long before the ADA because they saw it’s the little things, McCannell said, referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The casinos replaced the standard slot machine stools with sturdier chairs with back rests and armrests that older people need to push off to stand up.

Feds Cutting Program That Employs Dozens with Developmental Disabilities

‘I don’t want to lose my job’
CTVNews.ca Staff, CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr
Published Monday, May 6, 2019

Workers with developmental disabilities say they are planning to protest on Parliament Hill if the government doesn’t reverse its plan to shut the federal program that employs them.

For nearly four decades, they have sorted and shredded papers for Library and Archives Canada. Now, they’ve learned — for the second time in four years — that the program is being cut.

Gladys Whincup has worked in the program for nearly four decades. She was brought to tears when asked Monday whether she was worried.

“We’ll have no jobs,” she said.

Media Release: Senate Committee Corrects Some Weaknesses in Bill C-81

May 4, 2019 | For Immediate Release

With the Accessible Canada Act, Bill C-81, the federal government introduced measures that will help bring Canada into compliance with the commitments that it made when it ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2010.

While the federal government made a good start with C-81, the community of persons with disabilities identified a number of weaknesses and proposed corrective action.

The disability community has been steadfast in its commitment to the principle of Nothing About Us Without Us at every step of the way for Bill C-81 and we are pleased with Senate’s proposed amendments, stated Jewelles Smith, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national organization of persons with disabilities working for an inclusive and accessible Canada.

Small Businesses Excused From Writing Down Accessibility Findings, Manitoba Government Decides

While province reduces administrative burden on employers, employment standards on accessibility introduced Ian Froese · CBC News · Posted: Apr 29, 2019

The Manitoba government is lowering the threshold for additional requirements placed on businesses from 20 to 50 employees for accessibility matters concerning customer service and employment. (Shutterstock)

The Manitoba government is exempting more business owners from documenting the steps they take to make their workplaces accessible.

The province is loosening the requirement on small business owners at the same time as it introduces new guidelines to remove employment barriers for people with disabilities.

IKEA Israel Makes Life Simpler for People With Disabilities

ThisAbles collaboration enables people with disabilities to 3D-print add-ons to regular IKEA furniture to make it more easily accessible for all. By Naama Barak | April 3, 2019

Everyone (well, almost) loves a good stroll through IKEA, and the people of Israel are certainly no different. Pronounced eek-eh-ah in Hebrew, the Scandinavian giant’s furniture decorates almost every home in country, making it the perfect place to roll out super-smart accessories that make life simper for all.

At IKEA Israel, 13 accessories designed for people with disabilities can now be scanned at no cost and printed out using 3D printers to add to the store’s furniture. The aim is to increase the products’ usability and raise awareness of inclusion and accessibility.

Province Lays Out New Goals to Get to Full Accessibility by 2030

Advocates say there is still enormous amount of work to be done to keep the province on track Shaina Luck · CBC News · Posted: Apr 01, 2019

Clayton Dauphinee is on a personal mission to document accessibility problems in public washrooms in Nova Scotia. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

As Nova Scotia strikes two committees to develop the first provincial accessibility standards, some advocates say there is still an enormous amount of work to be done to keep the province on track toward its goal of becoming fully accessible by 2030.

On Thursday, the province released the names of 20 people who are tasked with coming up with standards for making education more accessible, and 19 people who will concentrate on making buildings and public spaces more accessible.

Adaptive Sports Equipment Enables Outdoor Recreation for All

March 18 2019

Stephen was 14 when he lost all use of his legs and the full mobility of his arms in a traffic accident. Three years after the crash, the Braddock youth, who asked that his last name not be used, said he sorely missed getting outside with family and friends.

Gal Pinto, nine years old, pedals her bike with assistance by physical therapist Kirsten Raether around the gym at the western Pa. School for the Deaf , Tuesday, March 12 2019 in Edgewood.

Hanging out in the park, fishing just doing anything outdoors its really hard when you cant get around, he said in 2018 during a fishing program organized by the state Fish and Boat Commission.

Canada: Federal Accessibility Legislation One Step Closer To Law

Last Updated: March 11 2019
Article by Jackie VanDerMeulen and Megan Beal
Fasken

The Accessible Canada Act (Act), first introduced in June 2018 in Bill C-81, is now being considered by the Senate, and could soon be law.

The purpose of the Act is to make Canada’s federal sector barrier-free. If enacted, it will apply to federally-regulated entities like banks, telecommunication companies, transportation companies, and the Government of Canada. It will not apply to certain businesses in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut.

It will apply to the areas of:

  • employment,
  • the built environment,
  • information and communication technologies (e.g. websites),

NS Decision Finds Blatant Discrimination Against Three Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6th, 2019

HALIFAX, NS – Chairman John Walter Thompson, Q.C. found in Monday’s Human Rights Commission Board of Inquiry decision that the Province of Nova Scotia violated the rights of Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone, and Joseph Delaney under the Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Act.

The decision is a win for MacLean, Livingstone, and Delaney as individuals, and is an important victory in ensuring full recognition of the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community and access community-based services throughout the province.

This Is How To Create The Biggest Changes for Women With Disabilities In Years

Denise Brodey

Each year when Women’s History Month comes around, there’s an explosion of content online about women. This year, there are plenty of signs that corporate America is poised to create change for women with disabilities the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. Here’s my thinking: The fight for equal pay and the #metoo movement have jumpstarted awareness of the huge challenges women face in the workplace.

For the first time, the topic of inclusion took center stage at the World Economic Forum 2019. And then there’s renewed attention to the issue of web accessibility, which plays a part in general disability awareness. The dismal employment numbers for women with disabilities give also impart a sense of urgency.

Non-Profits, MPs Lead Disability Mission to Israel

By Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod, Israel Correspondent
February 21, 2019

Canadian Ambassador to Israel Deb Lyons welcomed leaders from three of Canadas largest organizations in the disability field to her official residence in Tel Aviv on Feb. 12, to kick off the first Canada-Israel Inclusion Mission. She spoke about the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise, in order to remove barriers for people with disabilities, an area in which she said both Israel and Canada have made impressive strides.

Lyons pointed out that 15 per cent of the global population experiences some form of disability, a number thats expected to increase to 25 per cent by 2050. That 25 per cent, she said, represents a vast potential for innovation, social contribution and economic opportunity, and both countries are leading the way.

What It’s Like to Be Blind in a World of People Distracted By Cellphones

18/02/2019

I was born with optic atrophy, so I have a very narrow field of vision. I basically just see out of one corner of my left eye.
I use a white cane, and when you’re born with this condition, it’s just natural that you learn to walk with a cane and travel quite confidently.

But I’m relying on people to see me. And it doesn’t always happen that way.

We think of distracted drivers, but we don’t think of distracted pedestrians – and they can be just as dangerous.

Qualtrough Named Person of the Year by Canadian Council of the Blind

Ian Jacques / Delta Optimist
February 10, 2019

The Canadian Council of the Blind has awarded Delta MP Carla Qualtrough with its CCB Person of the Year.

Qualtrough, the federal minister of public services and procurement and accessibility, received the award at a special presentation Feb. 6 in Ottawa.

“I feel truly honoured to receive this award,” said Qualtrough. “The unwavering engagement of organization such at the Canadian Council of the Blind has been one of the building blocks of my determination to create a Canada where everyone is included and can contribute to society.”

Opinion: Canada’s Pending Accessibility Law Comes Off As the Liberals Just Fulfilling An Election Promise

Unlike similar legislation in the U.S., the ACA’s scope will be limited to federal agencies and programs Gabrielle Peters · for CBC News · Posted: Feb 07, 2019

We are getting sunny words about equal participation, opportunity and dignity, written around legislation that is too broad to actually achieve it.

Canada is finally on the verge of passing federal disability legislation. So why aren’t I, a disabled woman, celebrating?

Because Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act is not the legislation many disabled Canadians asked for or need.

Accessibility: A Source of Future Anxiety and a Significant Consideration for Canadian Consumers today

Seven-in-ten Canadians say universal accessibility should be the goal for newly constructed buildings January 22, 2019

As Canada’s population grows older, millions of Canadians find themselves worrying about decreased mobility, vision and hearing and the impact it may have on their own lives or the lives of loved ones.

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute, conducted in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation, finds more than two-thirds of Canadians expressing concern that someone in their lives will face such challenges over the next decade or so.

Currently, approximately three-in-ten say that accessibility is a consideration for them when they’re thinking about which places they will go to and which they will avoid within their communities.

Valuing the Voice of People Living with Disabilities in Manitoba

By Carlos Sosa
Policy Alternatives, Jan. 17, 2019

Recently the Manitoba Government made a decision to reject a core funding application from the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) for the 2018-19 fiscal year. It can be very difficult for an organization to function without core funding which diminishes its capacity.

The organization (formally known as the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped) has existed since 1974 as a consumer-based organization of people living with disabilities. MLPD emerged in the era of the civil rights movement in which people with disabilities were often left out of policy decisions affecting their lives.

Age-Friendly Community Committee aims to increase accessibility

By Evan Jones
January 17, 2019

Many East Lansing residents go through doorways and live in apartments without realizing the barriers common designs present to older members of the community.

Through the Age-Friendly Community Committee, citizens and government leaders are working to improve accessibility and bridge the generational gap.

The City of East Lansing created the committee in 2017 to continue working toward an Age-Friendly Community designation, which the World Health Organization, or WHO, describes in a 76-page guide(opens in new tab/window). While the problem is described by the WHO through a global lens, they aim to inspire communities to improve access for their own aging populations.

Things You Should Know Before Getting A Service Dog

December 31 2018

USA: In the United States there are around 500,000 service dogs that assist people for various reasons, from vision impairments and seizures to diabetes and disabilities. People are dependent on their service dogs and their lives wouldn’t be the same without them, but for people who are about to get a service dog it can be difficult to know what to expect and what you need to do to get the best results.

Tokyo Paralympics Aim to Leave Legacy of Accessibility

Kyodo
Dec 31, 2018

Japan hopes to use the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics as an opportunity to become a more inclusive and accessible society, and in 2018 games organizers made some strides towards making it a reality.

When hosting a major sporting event, people usually talk about what kind of legacies, tangible or intangible, will remain, while the event’s success is often determined by factors such as spectator numbers or cost, as well as the volume and nature of media coverage which is generated.

The Paralympics are no exception, but experts point to one aspect that makes the para-sport spectacle stand out from the rest its potential to bring societal change.