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Carleton University Creates Video Library Focusing on People With Disabilities

The project aims to raise awareness of the importance of societal changes for the disabled. October 20, 2019
By: Mideline Bony

In an effort to include people with disabilities which are often excluded from historical records, Carleton University is making a special addition to its library.

The Accessible Canada Act C-81, an act that focuses on creating inclusive and accessibility-friendly communities, workplaces and services, received royal assent on July 21, 2019. That same day, a film crew interviewed several key people, including the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Senator Jim Munson, James van Raalte, Sinead Tuite, Bill Adair and Frank Folino.

‘It’s a Basic Human Right:’ High School Should Prioritize Accessibility, Saanich Mother Says

Maya Bosdet, 14, uses a wheelchair and wants to attend the same high school her father did Adam van der Zwan · CBC News · Posted: Aug 29, 2019

Maya Bosdet and her mother Lisa say they were disappointed to find Claremont Secondary, the school near Maya’s home, is not accessible for the 14-year-old, who uses a wheelchair.

Maya Bosdet says she’s excited for the beginning of classes next week because it means continuing a family tradition of attending high school at Claremont Secondary, in Saanich, B.C.

But a tour of the school this week has her concerned the building won’t be accessible enough to meet her needs as a wheelchair user.

Publishers, Universities Struggle to Provide Timely Access to Accessible Textbooks

For visually impaired students, a lack of accessible learning materials creates enormous barriers to success. By MATTHEW HALLIDAY | AUG 27 2019

When Alycia Pottie was a teenager, she lost most of her sight to a combination of glaucoma and uveitis, a form of ocular inflammation. Shes been legally blind ever since, and for the past four years, as a psychology student at Mount Saint Vincent University, shes relied on the accommodations that many visually impaired Canadian students use: large-print course materials, extra time on exams and, critically, accessible electronic textbooks.

Carleton to Lead Canadian Accessibility Network

The new network of regional centers of excellence comes on the heels of Canada’s first national accessibility law. By SPARROW MCGOWAN | AUG 20 2019

Carleton University aims to draw on the power of partnerships to advance accessibility for people with disabilities through the recently announced Canadian Accessibility Network.

“We are pursuing to establish Carleton as a centre of excellence in accessibility,” said Dr. Boris Vukovic, director of Carleton’s READ (Research, Education, Accessibility and Design) Initiative, where the network will be headquartered. Dr. Vukovic said they plan to create a network of regional centers of excellence across the country, drawing on “Carleton’s history of collaborating with partners within and outside of Carleton, locally, nationally and even internationally on accessibility related projects.”

FAU’s Online College Ranked One of the ‘Best’ Online Schools for Students With Disabilities

FAU’s Online College Ranked One of the ‘Best’ Online Schools for Students With Disabilities
SR Education Group, who has been helping students find online colleges since 2004, found the Florida Atlantic University[FAU] to be suitable for students with audio, visual, and learning disabilities. Kimberly Swan, Contributing Writer
July 1, 2019

FAU’s online college was rated among the top colleges in the nation for accommodating students with disabilities, according to a recent ranking.

SR Education Group, which has helped students find online colleges since 2004, released their 2019 Best Online Colleges for Student with Disabilities list last month. The organization split the rankings into best online colleges for students with audio, visual, and learning disabilities.

Federal Budget 2019 Contains Good News for Post-Secondary Students With Disabilities

(Ottawa, April 23, 2019)

The Federal Budget delivered in March included a number of very important measures for college and university students with disabilities that enhance the Canada Student Loans and Grants programs and will be available for disabled students starting in the upcoming fall school year.

Announcements in the budget specific to students with disabilities include a significant increase on the cap on the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities from $8,000 to $20,000 per year. This grant can go towards exceptional education-related services or equipment for eligible students with a permanent disability.

eSchool News: 3 Steps to a More Accessible Classroom

By Danise Olague
Originally posted February 22nd, 2018

“Turn on the subtitles, Ms. Olague!”
I clicked on the “CC” button underneath the YouTube video, and the closed-captioning appeared at the bottom of the screen. Suddenly, all my students were looking at the screen with wide eyes, eager to watch the video.

In my first-grade classroom, a third of my students were learning English as a second language. Though my English learners were the initial reason I starting using closed-captioning on videos, I soon realized that students with special needs also benefited. As a public school teacher, I had to constantly evaluate how my teaching practices and materials could better include and empower the vast diversity in my classroom.

eSchool News: 5 Steps to Ensure Accessibility

By Stacey Pusey
April 11th, 2019

Rockville, MD: If we want to help every child reach his or her potential, we need to take the appropriate steps

While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was last reauthorized in 2004, with amendments in 2015, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) updated back in 2008, the demand for accessibility and equality in education continues to grow. Administrators and teachers, who want to help every child reach their potential, can’t afford to wait for new laws and policies. To ensure accessibility, educators need to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of accessibility initiatives, advocate for resources for their students, and anticipate where they need to go next.

Universities: Stop Evicting Students With Mental Health Issues

The Fulcrum
2019/02/07

The U of A is the most recent among universities making headlines for evicting a student with mental illness.

Last week, while #BellLetsTalk flooded social media, allowing institutions to do the bare minimum in relaying their support for mental health initiatives, another story made CBC headlines — in 2016 a University of Alberta student was kicked out of residence after a suicide attempt.

Year after year headlines emerge detailing another student losing their home, being forcibly removed from their school, regardless of academic standing, owing to the fact that they have a mental health problem.

More Students Join Class Action by Mental Health Coalition against Stanford University

by Scott Loftesness

Berkeley, CA (July 16, 2018) Three more students have joined a precedent-setting class action brought by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) against Stanford University for violating the rights of students with mental health disabilities.

The lawsuit alleges that Stanford routinely responds to student mental health crises by barring students from campus and evicting them from on-campus housing, violating disability laws.

DRA, a national nonprofit legal center, today files an Amended Complaint and Class Certification Motion on behalf of this growing coalition to end the university’s discriminatory policies and practices.

Feds Prod Universities to Address Website Accessibility

Universities are under legal pressure to make their websites fully accessible to people with disabilities, but is “fully” even possible? By Lindsay McKenzie
November 6, 2018

Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country are currently under investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for failing to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.

Universities that receive federal financial aid are required by law to make reasonable accommodations to ensure their web content is accessible to everyone, including, but not limited to, people who are blind, deaf or have limited mobility.

PEAT and Teach Access Identify Large Skills Gap in the Tech Sector

Post date: Jul 26, 2018

(WASHINGTON)One in five Americans has a disability, and in today’s digital age it’s more important than ever that people with disabilities are able to use technology, from websites to mobile phones to emerging smart devices.

Twenty-eight years after the seminal passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, leading tech companies agree that building and buying products that everyone can use is an imperative, not an afterthought. But a new national study shows that a major barrier many tech companies encounter is that they can’t find job candidates with the accessible tech skills the companies needand 57% report that, as a result, achieving accessibility in their products and services takes increasingly more time and resources.

The High Cost of Special-Needs Programming

Anna Sharratt
Globe and Mail, August 16, 2018

Afshan Tafler has left no stone unturned in a bid to get help for her son, who has pervasive developmental disorder and who also shows signs of giftedness. The Toronto-based whole-life coach enrolled him in a private school with smaller class sizes and an on-site occupational therapist. She also pays an additional $10,000 a year above the school’s $23,000 tuition for an even smaller, personalized program within the school that tailors the curriculum to his learning style.

Robot ‘Double’ Allows Sick Students to Attend School, See Friends

Jilly DeStephanos robot is guided out of social studies class and into the hallway by her friend at Octorara Intermediate School in Atglen, Pa. by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer @Kathy_Boccella | kboccella@phillynews.com Published: February 27, 2018

Jilly, I like your hair, said Melanie, admiring her neat brunette pigtails, which Jilly flicked in response. Suddenly, their teacher Melissa Fanelli showed up.

Jilly, did you get the classwork I emailed you?

Got it, answered Jilly, who was actually a couple of miles away, sitting at her dining-room table at home in Christiana, just past the edge of Philadelphia in Lancaster County.

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.

Blackboard and ReadSpeaker Partner to Enhance Accessibility of Digital Course Content

ReadSpeakers leading text-to-speech technology integrated into Blackboard Ally, helping instructors worldwide create more accessible content for learners

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2018 Blackboard and ReadSpeaker are furthering their partnership to help instructors worldwide improve the accessibility of course content for their students.

Currently, ReadSpeaker is Blackboards exclusive text-to-speech provider that is fully integrated within Blackboards learning management systems, supporting Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Now, as part of this extended collaboration, ReadSpeakers text-to-speech technology will also be integrated within Blackboard Ally as an offline audio alternative for course content. This allows students to automatically access an MP3 version of content added by the instructor into the LMS.

The 2018 AEBC/T-Base Scholarship Program is Accepting Applications

Each year, the AEBC offers scholarships to recognize outstanding blind, deafblind, and partially sighted post-secondary students. This year, we are pleased to offer six awards in total.

Read more at
http://www.blindcanadians.ca/programs/scholarship

Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students

Washington, November 7, 2017

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that visual and hearing-impaired students receive the best possible education.

The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act will improve the effectiveness and personalization of education and services for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.

The legislation would improve reporting and evaluation measures of special education in each state, increase training for teachers and other special education professionals, and reaffirm the Department of Education’s mission and responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all students.

Letter Calls on Minister to Include Education in Accessibility Legislation

CBC News Posted: Jul 03, 2017

A group of Manitobans wants to see schools become more accessible for people with disabilities.

Barrier Free Manitoba delivered a letter to Minister of Families Scott Fielding on Friday calling for an education standard to be included in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

The letter was signed by 1,100 Manitobans and 59 organizations.

Patrick Faulkner sits on the steering committee of Barrier Free Manitoba. He said although human rights law states that all children have the right to a quality education, in practice, there are many barriers.

“We know that half of parents report that they have real difficulty securing the kinds of supports (that they need),” he said.

Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program to Ensure Content Serves All Students Equally

By Sara Gebhardt
Originally Posted June 22, 2017

Ingram Content Groups VitalSource® and CoreSource® to incorporate the results of Benetechs Global Certified Accessible program into their service offerings

Early supporters of Global Certified Accessible include Elsevier, HarperCollins Publishers, Harvard Business Publishing, Macmillan Learning, Penguin Random House, Amnet Systems, Apex CoVantage

Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, in conjunction with Dedicon, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Vision Australia, today announced Global Certified Accessible. The program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements set by K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Todays announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.