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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.

Access Board Issues Guidance on the International Symbol of Accessibility

Published: 2017-03-29 – Contact: United States Access Board at access-board.gov

Synopsis: Guidance addresses questions on use of alternative disability accessibility symbols, and explains how use of symbols other than ISA impacts compliance with ADA.

Definition: International Organization for Standardization

(ISO)

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and as of March 2017 works in 162 countries.

Deaf Community Under Stress as Canadian Hearing Society Strike Continues

CBC News, Mar. 23, 2017

For many in the Toronto’s Deaf community, workers with the Canadian Hearing Society provide essential support, from fixing hearing aids to interpreting at medical appointments, even helping to find employment. Since March, hundreds of CHS workers across the province have been on strike, and the effects are causing many clients to join staff on picket lines.

To understand the reason for the strike, and the toll it’s taking both clients and staff, Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway spoke with Stacey Connor. She is deaf and works as an employment consultant with CHS. She’s also the president of the union, CUPE Local 2073. Galloway also spoke with Gary Malkowski, the vice-president of stakeholder and employer relations at CHS. He is also deaf. Both guests spoke with Galloway through an interpreter. This is a transcript of their conversation.

UM Study Finds Longstanding Interpretation of Disability Data Incomplete

March 21, 2017

MISSOULA University of Montana researchers with the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities, or RTC:Rural, show that the standardized disability questions used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identify two distinct groups of people with disabilities: those with permanent disability and those with temporary disability.

Their findings were published today in the American Journal of Public Health and can be accessed online at http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303666.

The findings contradict the long-standing assumption by researchers and policymakers who use HHS disability data that it represents only people with long-term disabilities. The RTC:Rural study clarifies the survey collects information from two important subgroups: those with permanent disability, and those experiencing a temporary disability at the time of the survey.

Rights of People With Disabilities in Europe: A New Strategy Based on Ability Rather Than Disability

Mar 23, 2017

STRASBOURG: There are 80 million persons in Europe who live with a disability and many of them continue to be victims of discrimination or abuse. In response, the Council of Europe will be launching its new Disability Strategy 2017-2023 at a conference in Nicosia (Cyprus) on 27 and 28 March.

Our focus must be on ability, not disability. Lawmakers should devise laws and policies which offer persons with disabilities a maximum of autonomy, access to information, education and employment. Our new strategy shows the way forward, said Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, ahead of the conference.

CNIB Faces Legal Challenge by Ex-Kiosk Operator Accused of Mishandling Money

‘I got shafted and I’m being made to look bad…. I didn’t do anything,” says Mike Perry By Yvonne Colbert, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2017

Mike and Jane Perry say their lives have been turned upside down by CNIB, which claims Mike is responsible for $9,000 in missing funds.

CNIB, the national registered charity for the visually impaired, is again facing a legal fight with a former lottery kiosk operator who says he’s been wrongly terminated and accused of mismanaging funds.

Mike Perry is one of at least seven former kiosk operators to be targeted in connection with funds that have allegedly gone missing, but he said he’s been told the non-profit organization is writing off the shortfall.

Learning to Drive With a Disability

by Maggie Hammond

The thought of driving with a disability can be daunting, but with support and technological advancements, driving can be worthwhile and attainable for everyone. You could find a new lease of independence, as you no longer have to rely on other people to take you to the places that you need to go to.
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How the process works can vary depending on your personal circumstances. If you are returning to driving after a disability or illness then you must notify the driving agency, so they can assess whether your current licence can be continued. They may require you to attend an assessment. If you are not sure whether you need to notify the driving agency, you can check on their website for a list of medical conditions that you must inform them of. Failure to do so can result in a fine, so make sure you don’t neglect to inform the authorities.

Ottawa’s Deaf Community ‘At a Loss’ Amid Canadian Hearing Society Strike

‘I really need the services,’ says Kimberley Blomquist, ‘and I needed it this week’ Elyse Skura
CBC News, Mar. 11, 2017

As hundreds of Canadian Hearing Society workers strike across the province, people who are deaf or hard of hearing are left without some of the counselling and audiology services they rely on.

Negotiations between management and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) broke down last Sunday and workers in Ottawa have been walking the picket line since early Monday.

“I feel kind of angry about it, kind of depressed about it,” said Kimberley Blomquist, through an American Sign Language interpreter. “I really need the services. And I needed it this week.”

Alliance Seeks Input From People With Disabilities, Families About Accessibility

SCOTT BRIGGS TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL

Picture

From left, Jeff Sparks (Muscular Dystrophy Canada), Kara Reid (occupational therapist), Alex Peeler (Muscular Dystrophy Canada) and Tracy Ryan (Muscular Dystrophy Canadas director of mission) took part in Thursdays discussions hosted by the Alliance for an Inclusive and Accessible Canada.

SAINT JOHN Alex Peeler recently started a petition that made its way to the House of Commons.

The 24-year-old man from Bridgewater, N.S., wants to help implement a national assistance program for Canadians with disabilities so they have access equipment and services needed to live independently. Peeler said the petition included 1,600 signatures and was sponsored by Bernadette Jordan, MP for Southshore-St. Margarets.

Disabled Woman Sues Seven Shops in Same Street After Complaints to 28 Businesses About Access

Wheelchair user Esther Leighton has submitted a string of legal claims after claiming the law is being “ignored” By RAYMOND BROWN,
2 MAR 2017

A disabled woman has filed a string of lawsuits against shops and restaurants in the same street over a row about access.

Wheelchair user Esther Leighton has taken action against seven businesses after she complained to 28 traders in Mill Road, Cambridge, two miles from where she lives.

Ms Leighton said she launched legal claims because the Equality Act was being “ignored”, the Cambridge News reported.

She claimed she has contacted traders about not being able to enter their shops since 2010 but has not received responses from some businesses.

Aids for Vision Loss, From Those Who’ve Been There

The New York Times
By JANE E. BRODY, February 27, 2017

Stanley F. Wainapel, clinical director of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, admitted that “adapting to vision loss is a major challenge.” But he disputed Mr. Hoagland’s allusion to “enforced passivity,” pointing out that many advances in technology – from
screen-reading software for computers to portable devices that read menus or printed letters with a delay of only seconds” – can keep productivity, creativity and pleasure very much alive for people who can no longer see.

Minister Qualtrough Reinforces the Government of Canada’s Commitment to Accessibility in an Official Visit to Australia

GATINEAU, QC, March 5, 2017 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, joined world leaders at the 2017 International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) Conference on March 2, 2017, to share their experiences, knowledge and perspectives on this year’s theme: Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities.

During her keynote address to the IIDL, Minister Qualtrough highlighted Canada’s commitment and ongoing work towards building a more accessible and inclusive society. The conference, attended by world leaders, policy makers and social service providers, along with people with disabilities and their families, provided an opportunity for collaboration and the development of international partnerships. Other participating countries included New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland and the United States.
Minister Qualtrough spoke about leading by experience and the calls to action that inspire leaders to work for the public good.

Running with Gaston at the NYC Marathon

By: Addie Lee, Michel Carriere, and Laurence Wright
Running Room magazine, January February 2017, page 15.

We did it. we ran and completed the New York City Marathon with 51,000 other runners on November 6, 2016.

It was an amazing experience guiding Gaston Bedard, a deaf-blind 64 year-old runner, through the biggest street party in the world.

Gaston is from Aylmer, Quebec and began planning this special NYC adventure with his son Marc over two years ago.

Our team ran in the marathon as members of Achilles International, based in New York City.