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Emotional Support Animals Could Soon Be Banned From Planes

The Department of Transportation is considering new rules that would restrict service animals on airplanes to specially trained dogs. By Nina Golgowski
01/23/2020

The Department of Transportation is considering overhauling current rules for service animals on planes, including allowing airlines to prohibit those used for emotional support.

The proposed changes announced on Wednesday include only allowing specially trained service dogs to qualify as service animals, which ride for free in a plane’s cabin. Any other animal used for emotional support or simply to make a passenger “feel better” would be considered a pet and airlines would not be required to allow them on board, the DOT said.

B.C. Ride-Hailing Services Won’t Be Accessible to All

In B.C., ride-hailing companies will not be required to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles Jennifer Saltman
Updated: January 20, 2020

Many people are eagerly looking forward to ride-hailing finally being available in Metro Vancouver, but Vince Miele is not one of them.

The Tsawwassen resident, who uses a wheelchair, said he and many others who have disabilities and use mobility aids will be left behind when services like Lyft and Uber begin operating, because they will be unusable by those who can’t get in and out of a standard vehicle.

I Was Very Ignorant. How Being Paralyzed Changed One Woman’s View of How the World Treats Disabled People

After an accident severed her spinal cord, Kristi Leer has been using a wheelchair CBC News
Posted: Jan 19, 2020

A wheelchair user from Fort Nelson in northeastern B.C. is pushing for better accessibility for all, based on her own experiences struggling with moving around.

Two years ago, Kristi Leer severed her spinal cord in a vehicle crash. Since then, Leer has used a wheelchair to get around.

Leer says the experience has been eye opening.

“You know when I got in this chair, I’m going to be very honest, my attitude toward persons with disabilities and wheelchairs was very ignorant, and when I say ignorant, I mean not knowing,” Leer told host Carolina de Ryk on Daybreak North.

Mayor Promises Disabled Londoners Free Travel for Companion

By Jessie Mathewson
Local Democracy Reporter – City Hall

The Mayor of London has today promised a free travel pass to help disabled people get around.

Carers and companions of disabled people would get free travel on all Transport for London (TfL) services, including the Tube, Overground and buses, under the new plans.

The pledge is Sadiq Khans first policy announcement ahead of the London mayoral election in May this year.

It came as rail fares rose by an average of 2.7 per cent nationally, meaning some commuters faced increases of more than £100 on annual travel cards.

Toyota Motor Europe Launches the Toyota Startup Awards to Find Most Innovative Solutions to Improve Mobility for All

The Toyota Startup Awards will take place at the 4YFN event in Barcelona, from 24 to 26 February 2020

Eight selected startups will participate in a pitching competition to try to win the main prize a fast track to the Toyota Accelerator Program, powered by ISDI Accelerator

Toyota is looking for the most innovative solutions in the fields of Inclusive Mobility, Accessibility and Disruptive Mobility to contribute to its goal of offering “Mobility for All”

The competition ties in with Toyota’s global call to “Start Your Impossible”, the belief that when people are free to move, anything is possible

CANADA: Transport Agency Asks for Public Input on Air Travel for Disabled People

Dec 5, 2019
By: Canadian Press

TORONTO Two separate federal agencies issued announcements Tuesday on life with a disability in Canada one seeking greater input on hot-button issues and the other urging society at large to challenge its preconceptions.

Statements from the Canadian Transportation Agency and Statistics Canada differed in scope and content, but both touched on issues that disabled Canadians have long said lacked adequate attention.

The CTA announced it was launching the next phase of its consultations on accessibility issues, saying it was looking to remove further barriers to travel across provincial or national borders.

City of Calgary Announces New Dispatch Service for Accessible Taxis

By Kaylen Small -Global News
Posted December 5, 2019

The City of Calgary announced a new service for accessible taxis on Wednesday.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Calgary,a centralized dispatch service for on-demand accessible taxis, aims to reduce wait times for people who use wheelchairs.

WAVC will have one point of contact for customers to request an accessible taxi and dispatch the closest available one while providing approximate wait times.

“Since these customers are paying the same metered rate as non-accessible users, we want to make sure they are getting the same level of service,” said Abdul Rafih, acting manager of compliance services, in a news release.

Recommendations for Transportation Accessibility Standard AEBC Winnipeg Nov 2019

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
L’Alliance pour l’égalité des personnes aveugles du Canada
Winnipeg Chapter
Janet Hunt, Chapter President
Email: jjvhunt@shaw.ca
November 2019

Response to Discussion Paper on AAC Recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard

The Winnipeg Chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is pleased to provide feedback and comments on the AAC recommendations for the Transportation Accessibility Standard.

AEBC is a national grassroots, peer support organization that is comprised of Canadians who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted and our supporters from the public at large.

U.S. House Committee Leaders Call for More Action to Prevent Airline Mishandling of Wheelchairs

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 14, 2019

U.S. House committee leaders this week called for airlines to do more to prevent mishandling of wheelchairs and scooters of passengers with disabilities, and sought more information on airlines’ policies and procedures.

In a letter to industry group Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and National Air Carriers Association president George Novak, the members of Congress wrote that “the U.S. airline industry must do more to prevent mishandling of mobility aids for passengers with disabilities.”

Nearly 57 million Americans have a disability, according to Census data release in 2012, and more than 30 million had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker.

Transit Plus Rider Wants Changes to ‘Absolutely Ludicrous’ Rule on Stop Locations

Winnipeg’s public transit for people with disabilities limits drop-offs to within 500 metres of bus stops CBC News · Posted: Oct 02, 2019

Maureen Anderson, a 76-year-old Winnipegger with fibromyalgia, is calling for changes to the city’s Transit Plus system after being told last week the transportation service could only drop her off at the nearest bus stop to her destination and that she would have to call a cab to get the rest of the way there.

“Close enough” isn’t a good enough approach when it comes to Winnipeg’s public transportation system for people with physical disabilities, says a Transit Plus user.

3D Printed Wheelchairs Project Brings Assistive Tech to Developing Countries

September 13 2019

UNITED KINGDOM: Run by charity Motivation in partnership with 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker, the project is called Motivation InnovATe. It designed to establish the technologies, infrastructure and skills within developing countries to enable custom 3D printed wheelchairs to produced where and when they are needed.

Initially starting in Kenya through local partner Bethany Kids, the project will see the establishment of a purpose-built assessment, fitting and 3D printing workshop, where wheelchair users will be measured using specialist tools, including a seating simulator, to determine the precise measurements of wheelchair they require.

Disabled Passengers Say New Canada Transportation Act Rules Increase Air Travel Barriers

By Christopher Reynolds The Canadian Press

Tracy Odell recalls with a mix of pride and pain the sunny spring day two years ago that her daughter got married in California.

Pride in the milestone. Pain at having to miss it.

Airlines, she said, effectively failed to accommodate her disability, a problem that thousands of Canadians continue to face despite new rules designed in theory to open the skies to disabled travellers.

As seating space shrank and cargo doors were often too small for customized wheelchairs, Odell cut back on the flights she once took routinely for her work with a non-profit.

Canadian Transportation Agency Launches a New Confidential Toll-Free Accessibility Help Line

News provided by
Canadian Transportation Agency

GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 20, 2019 /CNW/ – The disability community and persons with disabilities now have new tools available to help them exercise their right to an accessible transportation network.

In support of the implementation of the new Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has launched a new confidential toll-free Accessibility Help Line to provide information, and guidance about dispute resolution services relating to accessible travel.

Callers to the Accessibility Help Line can have access to a staff member if they have questions relating to accessible transportation, or if they wish to file a transportation-related accessibility complaint. This is a confidential service. Staff are available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time.

‘No No No No No No’: Wheelchair Users Say Even Accessible Taxis Will Refuse Rides in Vancouver

Industry association says drivers who discriminate against disabled passengers are held accountable Bethany Lindsay · CBC News · Posted: Aug 03, 2019

A Vancouver taxi driver uses the wheelchair ramp on his accessible vehicle to load luggage for cruise ship passengers.

Two weeks ago, Gabrielle Peters spent a rare day out in Vancouver with friends. They took in a cultural festival in the afternoon, then headed for dinner at a restaurant Peters had always wanted to try.

“As soon as we sat down, my anxiety started. In the back of my mind was, ‘I’m going to have to call a taxi,’ and that’s likely to be not a good experience,” she remembered.

Navigating the NYC Subway in a Wheelchair Is Hell

By Valerie Kipnis Jul 29, 2019

NEW YORK Sometimes it takes Sasha Blair-Goldensohn three times longer to get to work than it used to, and sometimes he’s stuck on a subway platform with no easy way to get up to street level.

The 43-year-old software engineer, who’s been using a wheelchair since 2009, is one of about a million differently-abled people facing daily struggles as they navigate New York City’s aging subway system.

“You can get almost all the way to work, and that last elevator that’s supposed to take you from the mezzanine section up to the pavement is out of service, and suddenly, it’s 40 minutes from home, and you’re a block away from work in the subway station, but there’s no way out,” Blair-Goldensohn says.

Canadian Transportation Agency Announces Plans to Enhance Accessibility of Canada’s National Transportation System

Jul 19, 2019

GATINEAU, QC: Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, which received Royal Assent, will provide the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) with new tools to help advance the accessibility of the national transportation system.

Once in force, this legislation will provide the CTA with

  • own motion powers to initiate investigations, upon approval of the Minister of Transport, regardless of whether a formal complaint has been made;
  • new power to award compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and willful or reckless practice when an adjudication finds that there was an undue barrier to the mobility of persons with disabilities. This power to award compensation aligns with that of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal;

Accessible Air Travel Survey

Share Your Accessible (Or Not) Air Travel Stories

Large North American airline seeking feedback from people with disabilities that have had good and bad accommodation experiences on any airline. The survey results will be used in the development of an online training program for airline staff supporting travelers with disabilities. Please click the link below to participate. Thank you for your time and consideration. https://tinyurl.com/AccessibleAirTravelSurvey

TRISH ROBICHAUD
trish@changingpaces.com

Canadian Transportation Agency Announces Plans to Enhance Accessibility of Canada’s National Transportation System

PR NewswireJune 21, 2019

GATINEAU, QC, June 21, 2019 /CNW/ – Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act , which received Royal Assent today, will provide the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) with new tools to help advance the accessibility of the national transportation system.

Once in force, this legislation will provide the CTA with:

  • own motion powers to initiate investigations, upon approval of the Minister of Transport, regardless of whether a formal complaint has been made;
  • new power to award compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and willful or reckless practice when an adjudication finds that there was an undue barrier to the mobility of persons with disabilities. This power to award compensation aligns with that of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal;

Global Apex Body of Airline Operators Passes Key Resolutions to Make Travel More Accessible

Originally posted June 4 2019

Improving airline infrastructure and facilities for people with disabilities, global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking and facilitating implementation of biometrics based One ID process were some of the key resolutions passed on Sunday at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global apex body of airline operators, in Seoul.

The resolution means that global airlines and airports will work together to ensure that wheelchair assistance to passengers increases. Airlines will also work with passenger associations, airports, ground handlers, and regulators to ensure that there is no damage to the mobility aids of passengers who travel with their own aids.

Province in British Columbia, Canada to Develop Online Tool to Track Accessible Parking Spaces

May 28, 2019

An online tool to track accessible parking spaces is being developed by Richmond Centre for Disability (RCD), thanks to a $28,000 provincial grant they received last year.

The province is once again calling for grant proposals for community projects that improve accessibility for the second year running, the province is giving out a total of $500,000 in grants.

“Every day, people with disabilities overcome barriers that could otherwise impact their lives,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, in a press release. “Organizations across B.C. are working to embrace diversity, create equal opportunities and improve social inclusion.”