VIA Rail Canada Inc. last week announced additional steps toward ensuring universal accessibility in order to meet requirements set out by the Canadian Transportation Agency.
To increase accessibility, VIA Rail is proposing:
telephone reservations for riders with disabilities or functional limitations unable to make reservations on the website;
curbside assistance from select station entrances to the platform, which includes wheelchair assistance, guiding assistance and assistance carrying baggage; relief areas for service animals at 80 stations;
an improved digital strategy to make information more accessible; and
on-demand availability of menus and safety cards in braille or large print on board trains.
VIA Rail Pledges to Improve Rail Accessibility full article
Michelle McQuigge / The Canadian Press
June 25, 2020
New rules aimed at making travel within Canada safer and more accessible for people with disabilities mark a welcome step forward but don’t yet go far enough to removing long-standing barriers, advocates said Thursday as the new regulations officially came into effect.
The reforms drafted by the Canadian Transportation Agency spell out rules governing most travel between provinces by air, rail, bus or boat. They do not apply to municipal or intraprovincial travel, which do not fall under the agency’s jurisdiction.
New Transport Rules for Disabled Travellers a Step Forward but Not Enough: Advocates full article
By Lyle Attfield
June 22, 2020
I was denied access to the bus identified above because the driver refused to let me board citing COVID 19 related safety concerns.
I, an individual who requires a scooter for mobility, assured the driver that I was physically capable of securing myself without the driver’s assistance after the driver indicated that they were not comfortable securing my scooter due to the proximity and associated COVID 19 risks. The driver still refused to allow me to board the bus.
BC Transit is Using COVID Safety Precautions as An Excuse to Infringe the human Rights of Disabled People full article
New proposals for handicapped-accessible airline lavatories would only apply to new aircraft not the 5,600 planes already flying today. Jayme Fraser, USA TODAY Network
Mar. 2, 2020
Federal officials want to make airplane bathrooms easier to use for people with disabilities and aging travelers with reduced mobility. But it could be decades before planes with those features dominate the air.
In January, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed its first update to lavatory design rules since 1990, when the Air Carrier Access Act barred discriminating against passengers with disabilities. The airline industry is exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act that sets accessibility standards for most businesses.
Flying While Disabled: Air Travelers Must Wait Decades for Handicap-Accessible Bathrooms full article
Published: Feb. 11, 2020
“Accessibility in Canada is about creating communities, workplaces and services that enable everyone to participate fully in society without barriers.” That’s the first paragraph one finds when searching the Accessible Canada Act on the federal government’s website.
Progressive as those words may appear, none of those things seemed to occur for P.E.I. resident Paul Cudmore when his accessible van recently broke down in Charlottetown.
In Cudmore’s case, he was protected by the friends who came to his aid, not the legislation that was supposed to support him.
That is not acceptable.
Charlottetown Failing Those With Disabilities full article
B.C. considers adding new incentives from fees it collects from Uber, Lyft CBC News
Originally Posted: Jan 30, 2020
The Vancouver Taxi Association says it will no longer subsidize drivers who operate accessible vehicles, claiming sudden competition from ride-hailing means taxi companies can no longer afford it.
Without the subsidies, the association said, drivers are less likely to choose an accessible van because it will cost them more out of pocket.
“I want to make it crystal clear “we have not stopped trying to service these trips. We’re doing our best to try and service these trips,” said Kalwant Sahota, speaking Wednesday for the Vancouver Taxi Association.
Vancouver Taxi Companies Stop Subsidizing Drivers of Accessible Vehicles, Cite Ride-Hailing Competition full article
The Department of Transportation is considering new rules that would restrict service animals on airplanes to specially trained dogs. By Nina Golgowski
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.
Emotional Support Animals Could Soon Be Banned From Planes full article
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.
B.C. Ride-Hailing Services Won’t Be Accessible to All full article
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.
I Was Very Ignorant. How Being Paralyzed Changed One Woman’s View of How the World Treats Disabled People full article
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.
Mayor Promises Disabled Londoners Free Travel for Companion full article
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
Toyota Motor Europe Launches the Toyota Startup Awards to Find Most Innovative Solutions to Improve Mobility for All full article
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.
CANADA: Transport Agency Asks for Public Input on Air Travel for Disabled People full article
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.
City of Calgary Announces New Dispatch Service for Accessible Taxis full article
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
L’Alliance pour l’égalité des personnes aveugles du Canada
Janet Hunt, Chapter President
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.
Recommendations for Transportation Accessibility Standard AEBC Winnipeg Nov 2019 full article
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.
U.S. House Committee Leaders Call for More Action to Prevent Airline Mishandling of Wheelchairs full article
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.
Transit Plus Rider Wants Changes to ‘Absolutely Ludicrous’ Rule on Stop Locations full article
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.
3D Printed Wheelchairs Project Brings Assistive Tech to Developing Countries full article
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.
Disabled Passengers Say New Canada Transportation Act Rules Increase Air Travel Barriers full article
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.
Canadian Transportation Agency Launches a New Confidential Toll-Free Accessibility Help Line full article
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.
‘No No No No No No’: Wheelchair Users Say Even Accessible Taxis Will Refuse Rides in Vancouver full article