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How LED Lighting Can Help Those With Visual Impairments Navigate The City

July 13 2018

CANADA: Vision loss will increase by 30 percent within the next 10 years in Canada. People with visual impairments risk social isolation as well as less community participation, which is why it’s so important for cities to be more accessible to them. This can be alleviated with the use of LED lighting.

LED lighting is growing in popularity. In Canada alone, the phasing out of incandescent bulbs has resulted in other, more accessible lighting options. One of these is LEDs. Since they last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights, use less energy, and work well in all weather conditions, they provide a valuable lighting system for both public and private spaces. They can also help to light the way for people with vision problems who rely on well-lit public areas in order to get around with greater ease. Here are other benefits of LEDs for those with visual impairments.

Court Orders CRA to Stop Setting Political Limits on Charities’ Activities

National Post
Canadian Press, July 17, 2018

OTTAWA – An Ontario Superior Court judge is telling federal tax authorities they can’t set limits on how much a charity devotes to political activity in a new ruling that grants a win to a national anti-poverty group.

Justice Ed Morgan said in the decision Tuesday that the Canada Revenue Agency could not justify a restriction on charities that they spend no more than 10 per cent of their time on political advocacy, calling it an unconstitutional limit on freedom of expression.

Morgan’s ruling – which begins with the philosophical question, what is political? – says all political activities are charitable activities so long as groups advocate “in pursuit of the overall charitable purpose.”

Proposed San Francisco Straw Ban May Limit Accessibility for People With Disabilities

by Kate Larsen
Sunday, July 15, 2018

Cities around the country have anti-plastic straw legislation in the works, including San Francisco. While reducing plastic waste is positive for the environment, it’s concerning for some people with disabilities.

“Anything that attempts to limit the amount of plastic waste in our environment today, is very positive,” says Nina McCullaugh, who is visiting her daughter in San Francisco from Los Angeles County, where Malibu is also working to ban plastic straws. Three years ago, video of a plastic straw stuck in a sea turtle’s nose went viral. Now, people around the world are ditching their single-use plastic straws in favor of biodegradable paper and reusable straws.

B.C. Residents With Disabilities Demand a Say on Proposed Accessibility Law

Nick Eagland
Updated: July 13, 2018
From left, Amanda Reaume, Kent Loftsgard, Jessica Leung, and Vivian Ly are people living with varying disabilities who say they have to be involved in drafting any new accessibility legislation.

For Amanda Reaume, acquiring a disability meant awakening to a civil rights movement in a way made possible only through lived experience.

Last year, the 33-year-old writer suffered a brain injury that left her with balance problems and having to relearn how to walk and talk at the same time. She returned to work in Vancouver six months later but with a new, invisible disability.

Left In The Dark: Canadians With Disabilities Deserve Better From CRA

My colleagues and I learned that both of Canada’s Disability Tax Credit programs are failing our most vulnerable people. Sen. Jim Munson

Canadians with physical disabilities and serious mental health issues are being denied crucial tax credits due to a change in eligibility criteria.

One Ontario mother who cares for her 16-year-old son who has ADHD and a learning disability told CBC News she had been informed by the Canada Revenue Agency she was no longer eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. As a caregiver for her son, she had relied on the tax benefit for years until she was suddenly denied last year. No explanation was given.

‘I’m Just Amazed’: Inverness Beach Becomes Accessibility Leader

Organizers hope to make beach the most inclusive in Atlantic Canada Kayla Hounsell · CBC News
Posted: Jul 02, 2018

The Inverness Development Association and the Inverness County Accessibility Committee partnered to purchase two of the beach-friendly wheelchairs, mats that make it easier to walk on the sand and two floating chairs that allow people to go in the water.

Christine Hannigan’s delight is evident as she sits at the water’s edge watching the waves crash on Inverness Beach in Cape Breton.

“You never thought you’d ever do this?” says the woman pushing her along the sand in what looks like a lawn chair with large rubber wheels and a Velcro strap for safety.

‘Handicapped’ Removed From P.E.I. Legislation, Thanks to Hannah MacLellan

Island also teen inspired changes in 2016 around accessible parking Nancy Russell
CBC News, June 25, 2018

The P.E.I. government has removed the word handicapped from five major pieces of legislation, as a result of lobbying by former Easter Seals ambassador, Hannah MacLellan.

“I was so grateful that our provincial government saw the need to amend the acts to include up to date terminology,” said MacLellan, 19. “Language is very important ? to not have negative terminology. It’s really great to see these changes.”

‘Pretty exciting’

The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (Persons with Disabilities) changes the wording in five major pieces of legislation: the Employment Standards Act, the Engineering Profession Act, the Labour Act, the Mental Health Act and the Public Health Act.

Minister Duncan Introduces the Proposed Accessible Canada Act

From: Employment and Social Development Canada
News release

Most significant progress for people with disabilities in over 30 years
June 20, 2018 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, following the most inclusive and accessible consultation with Canadians with disabilities and with the disability community, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, introduced the proposed Accessible Canada Act to Parliament. This historic legislation would enable the Government of Canada to take a proactive approach to end systemic discrimination of people with disabilities.

Canada’s First National Accessibility Law Tabled in Ottawa

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Canadians with disabilities felt a surge of tempered optimism on Wednesday as they watched Canada table its first piece of federal legislation aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

Disabled residents and advocacy organizations said the introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion and contained several critical points community members had named as priorities during a lengthy cross-country consultation process that helped shape the new bill.

But they also raised concerns about provisions the draft bill appears to lack, such as measures to ensure new accessibility barriers do not work their way into future government laws.

American Foundation for the Blind Launches the First Fully Accessible Digital Archive of the Helen Keller Collection

More than 160,000 artifacts can now be viewed in a groundbreaking, fully accessible online archive thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and American Express

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 12, 2018)The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the launch of the Helen Keller Archive, the world’s first fully accessible digital archive collection, comprising more than 160,000 artifacts, dedicated to the fascinating life of Helen Keller.

The Helen Keller Archive is the largest repository of historical content about Helen Keller, whose iconic name is known in every corner of the globe for her groundbreaking work as an author, political activist, and humanitarian who played a critical role in changing public perceptions about people with disabilities.

The IDeA Competition Deadline May 31, 2018

CANADA: The Innovative Design for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition aims to inspire students to use their creativity to develop innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related issues resulting in communities that are more accessible for persons with disabilities.

The objectives of the program are:

  • to contribute to the creation of a culture of accessibility in Canada
  • to motivate students to think about accessibility issues and to include accessibility in their creation of social and technological innovations now and in the future
  • to develop cost-effective, practical and innovative concepts, programs, initiatives or designs that address everyday accessibility issue

National AccessAbility Week

May 21 2018

CANADA: May 27 to June 2, 2018, is National AccessAbility Week. This is a time for Canadians to promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities and workplaces, and celebrate the contributions of Canadians with disabilities.

It is also a time to recognize the efforts of individuals, communities and workplaces who are actively removing barriers to give Canadians of all abilities a better chance to succeed.

We need to change the way we think, talk and act about barriers to participation and accessibility, and we need to do it right from the start, not as an afterthought. An inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed in their workplaces and communities.

Saskatoon Woman Demands Change for Provincial Wheelchair Accessibility

A woman’s struggle with wheelchair accessibility has sparked her to make a change. Stephanie Villella explains. CTV Saskatoon
Published Saturday, May 19, 2018

A woman in a wheelchair in Saskatoon is demanding change for wheelchair accessibility in the city and across the province.

For Debbie Windsor, getting around isnt easy. Shes been in a wheelchair since she was four-years-old and has a rare condition called Osteogenesis imperfecta.

Windsor said her disability has been preventing her from going to certain places like the Saskatoon Business College to start her career.

I started looking into that school and where it was and all of that And it wasn’t accessible, Windsor said.

2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism – Destinations for All 2018

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: The second edition of the World Summit Destinations for All will take place in Brussels, October 1-2, 2018, under the auspices of Kéroul and CAWaB.

The aim of the event is to give concrete expression to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Recommendations on Accessible Tourism.

For more information: https://www.destinationsforall2018.eu/

The first edition of the Summit was held in Montréal in October 2014 and wrapped up with the adoption of the A World for Everyone declaration.

Available in 10 languages, this declaration features 40 specific measures for implementing the UNWTO Recommendations on Accessible Tourism globally and locally. It is a veritable plan for action on the local, national and international scales to promote the accessibility of infrastructure, buildings, tourist services as well as transportation services.

Travel With Ease: How Singapore Is Catering to Visitors with Special Accessibility Needs

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA: With an aging population, Singapore has been tackling accessibility needs head-on with a series of changes to the city’s infrastructure. Today, it’s one of the most travel-friendly cities in the world for those with accessibility needs, so if you’re looking for delicious Asian food and a cultural adventure, Singapore makes a great vacation destination. New York travel company AllTheRooms has the lowdown on how Singapore has become a top, accessible vacation destination.

Increasing Access to Financial Support Programs for People With Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Would Lead to Economic and Social Benefits

News provided by Conference Board of Canada

OTTAWA, May 2, 2018 /CNW/ – Improving financial support programs for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) would increase their labour force participation and boost economic activity. A new Conference Board of Canada report released during MS Awareness Month finds that expanding the employment insurance (EI) sickness benefit program and making the disability tax credit (DTC) refundable would allow approximately 11,400 people to remain in or re-enter the workforce and boost economic activity by an estimated $1.1 billion annually.

With 2.6 Million Followers and Counting, Disabled Chinese Woman Inspires Social Change

By NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
Staff

Let’s shake hands,” Yang Li says, getting up from the couch to greet a visitor. She lifts her right foot above her waist, curls it around and gives a slight squeeze to an outstretched hand.
It’s the kind of unexpected everyday gesture that has won the young office worker a huge and growing following in China.

Ms. Yang’s loss of her arms in a childhood accident both were completely amputated, leaving no possibility
of prosthetics – and no-nonsense mien have made her the subject of national interest and an icon for disabled people.

Ms. Yang, 28, uploaded her first two videos to Kuaishou, a short-video platform in China, last July.

Calgary, Edmonton Expos Less Accessible After Policy Change, Say Fans With Mobility Concerns

Fan Expo HQ says policy complies with all necessary regulations Sarah Rieger · CBC News
Posted: Apr 26, 2018

Cosplayer Laura Taylor incorporates her wheelchair into her Princess Peach costume. She says Fan Expo HQ’s policy change makes it harder for her to attend the Calgary and Edmonton fan conventions.

Some visitors to the Calgary and Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expos are disappointed with what they say are “unfair” changes to the fan conventions’ accessibility policies.

The changes came after the expos joined the North American pop culture exhibition group Fan Expo HQ.

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Launches The Access Lounge

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) has launched an accessible study and community building space available for students with disabilities/disabled students to access.

The lounge has accessible study spaces and supports community building within the disabled community.

The center shows the reprioritization of resources to support grassroots disability activism. The center also is home to UWSAccess, a Disability Justice group run for and by students with disabilities.

The Access Lounge is a space on campus dedicated to students who are disabled by barriers. This space is for those students to study, hang out or complete course work.

Location: Mezzanine Level, Bulman Student Centre
Email: accesslounge@theuwsa.ca
Hours: 10 a.m. 4 p.m.

Disability Network Sponsoring Accessible Services at Dow Diamond

Midland Daily News
Published April 6, 2018

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan will be the presenting sponsor of accessible services at Dow Diamond for the 2018 baseball season.

This agreement continues a long-standing partnership that has existed between DNMM, the Great Lakes Loons and the Michigan Baseball Foundation since 2006.

With Dow Diamond’s groundbreaking, the Loons, the MBF and DNMM worked to create a world class stadium that was accessible to all fans. DNMM aided the Loons in meeting and exceeding stadium requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act and continues to be a key community partner in making Dow Diamond a model of accessibility.