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Winnipeg Transit Considering Priority Seating for People With Disabilities

City says current first come, first served option doesn’t line up with provincial rules around accessibility CBC News
Posted: Aug 18, 2020

The City of Winnipeg is asking the public to weigh in on whether it should create designated priority seating areas on conventional buses.

The city is doing a review of its transit system and is specifically looking at the needs of riders with disabilities, the city said in a release Tuesday.

It’s launched an online survey and discussion forum to get the public’s opinions. It takes 10 minutes to complete and will be available until Sept. 15 visit https://engage.winnipeg.ca/priorityseating?tool=survey_tool#tool_tab.

City’s Amphibious Wheelchairs Put the Beach Within Reach

Specially designed chairs can traverse soft sand, go into the water CBC News, July 13, 2020

All her life, whenever Delaney Dunlop’s friends asked her to go to the beach, she’d decline.

The 30-year-old’s battery-powered wheelchair just wasn’t built to traverse the sand.

“It took like six people to get it out of the sand,” Dunlop said of one earlier attempt.

And what was she supposed to do once she reached the water?

“Getting in and out of the water isn’t always safe for people who need assistance,” Dunlop told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning.

VIA Rail Pledges to Improve Rail Accessibility

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.

New Transport Rules for Disabled Travellers a Step Forward but Not Enough: Advocates

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.

BC Transit is Using COVID Safety Precautions as An Excuse to Infringe the human Rights of Disabled People

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.

Flying While Disabled: Air Travelers Must Wait Decades for Handicap-Accessible Bathrooms

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.

Charlottetown Failing Those With Disabilities

The Guardian
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.

Vancouver Taxi Companies Stop Subsidizing Drivers of Accessible Vehicles, Cite Ride-Hailing Competition

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.

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.