You are Browsing the Category Community

Changes to the Canada Elections Act may Increase Accessibility of Federal Elections

By Lila Refaie, Bilingual Intake Lawyer and Student Programs Lead

The Canada Elections Act (“Act”) governs the rules Elections Canada must follow when there is a federal election. The Act was amended by Bill C-76 in December 2018 and is now in force. The new rules will be implemented as soon as the next general election in October 2019.

Bill C-76 introduced a great number of changes to the Act. Of the many changes, some relate to the rights of electors with disabilities.

Elections Canada must ensure that any communications, public education or other materials available to the public are accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes information about the way someone can become a candidate or how an elector can vote during the election period.

City Opens Accessible Playground

By MATTHEW REITZ mreitz@palltimes.com
Jul 12, 2019

OSWEGO Port City officials celebrated the opening of the first accessible playground Friday morning at Hamilton Park as part of an ongoing effort to make Oswego a more inclusive community.

Designed to accommodate children with disabilities, the park includes an accessible swing and a variety of other equipment for children to enjoy. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, along with representatives from Arise, Inc. and a number of other local advocates, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.

UK.: Bikes to Give Disabled People More Freedom

Posted on Tuesday 2nd July 2019

A pilot project to introduce bicycles suitable for use by disabled youngsters and adults is being introduced into Tredegar Park, Newport.

The free initiative by Newport City Council will enhance the facilities at the popular park where an improved cycle route takes users around the park.

The specially adapted bikes will be provided by charitable organisation Pedal Power which runs a similar scheme from Bute Park in Cardiff.

Councillor Deb Harvey, cabinet member for culture and leisure, has chosen the project because it will help people of all abilities to enjoy recreation and leisure together.

Government Launches Consultation to Make New Homes More Accessible

26th June 2019 UK

Higher accessibility standards for new housing are to be introduced in the UK as part of a wider plan to make sure disabled people are not facing discrimination.

Prime Minister Theresa May said that it is widely recognising that too many disabled people still live in unsuitable homes and she announced a consultation on mandating higher accessibility standards for new homes.

The aim is to deliver up to 300,000 new accessible and adaptable homes every year and guidance will also be published to help councils meet current standards for accessible housing in England.

Nominations Open for 2019 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards

June 3, 2019

The Viscardi Center has opened a call for nominations for the 2019 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, an international award series honoring extraordinary men and women with disabilities.

The Henry Viscardi Achievements Awards commemorate the vision of The Viscardi Center’s founder, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who himself wore prosthetic legs. A premier disability advocate, Dr. Viscardi served as a disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents and implemented groundbreaking employment and education programs that continue to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Launched in 2013, the Awards are bestowed upon leaders in the global disability community who carry on Dr. Viscardi’s legacy through their professional accomplishments and advocacy efforts.

‘Super Power’ Artwork On Display at Heathrow Airport

Chief Assignment EditorJune 13, 2019

A canopy of brightly coloured umbrellas has appeared at Heathrow as part of an initiative to raise awareness of neuro-developmental disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia.

Devised by ADHD Foundation, the hugely popular ‘Umbrella Project’ has launched at arrivals in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 the first time this artwork has been available to view in London or at an airport. Celebrating the gifts, talents and employability of those with neuro-developmental disorders, the project name stems from the use of ADHD and autism as ‘umbrella terms’ for many neurological conditions and reframes them for children as unique ‘Super Powers’. The installation forms part of a wider education programme with participating local schools including Heathrow Primary, William Byrd and Harmondsworth Primary to raise awareness about ADHD and autism.

Canada: New Accessibility Standard For Employment

Last Updated: June 5 2019
Article by Melissa Beaumont
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) was created to achieve an accessible society for all Manitobans disabled by a barrier. Over time, a number of standards will be enacted under the AMA to create accessibility obligations for organizations in areas such as customer service, employment, information & communications, the built environment and transportation.

On May 1, 2019, the Accessible Employment Standard Regulation came into force. It creates a general obligation on all employers to implement policies and practices to reasonably accommodate employees who are disabled by a barrier in the workplace.

Japan Struggling to Ramp Up Accessibility Efforts Ahead of Paralympics

KYODO NEWS – Jun 2, 2019

TOKYO – A shortage of wheelchair-accessible hotel rooms remains an issue for Tokyo 2020 organizers who say they are committed to using the Paralympic Games to make Japan a more inclusive place.

As the clock ticks down to the Aug. 25, 2020, Paralympic opening ceremony, the Tokyo metropolitan government admits that by its own estimations it is still about 300 rooms short of the projected 850 accessible rooms needed each night during the two-week sporting festival.

“We’re nowhere near the number. There’s no denying that we’re behind schedule,” said a representative of a Japanese disability organization.

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.