Seeing companies make drastic changes to accommodate working remotely during the coronavirus outbreak is great ” but it’s also frustrating for those of us who could have used those accommodations much sooner. Amy Meng
Posted on March 13, 2020
The list of organizations and events migrating to online platforms multiplies daily. Moving these hubs of in-person interaction to a virtual space is a critical part of flattening the curve of coronavirus spread ” and although I’m sure these changes were not always simple to enact, the last few weeks have shown they are exceedingly possible.
The Coronavirus Response Shows How Crucial Accessibility Is full article
by Curtis Chong
Braille Monitor March 2020
From the Editor: Many of us have had an electronic partner that stays with us almost all the time. It is a smart phone. But many blind people have felt left out in this world of accessible phones, because they lack the interest or the dexterity to use a touchscreen. They want buttons, and they want menus they can hear and use to accomplish some of the tasks that their smart phone buddies using touch screens have.
Curtis Chong offers what may be a good solution. His credentials to evaluate and explain technology are well known to readers of the Braille Monitor, so let us go directly into his article:
The BlindShell: An Accessible Cell Phone with Real Buttons 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
By Kwabena Oduro -Global News
Posted February 18, 2020
Piero Gervasi, who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair, recently moved into a condo in Vaudreuil for more accessibility.
The interior of the condo has an open concept, with elevators and an exterior ramp, but Gervasi has been dealing with parking issues since he moved there in May.
The issues started with people parking in his spot, he said, adding things have gotten worse since winter began.
“I would like somebody to understand the accessibility for me to get in and out of my own place that I paid for that I cannot,” Gervasi said.
Vaudreuil Residents Struggle With Lack of Accessibility During Winter full article
Ruling affirms and holds NYPD accountable for broad inaccessibility of police precinct stations
Police department must include disability community as it works to eliminate barriers
NEW YORK A federal judge has issued a major ruling holding the New York City Police Department (NYPD) liable for discrimination against people with disabilities by shutting them out of police precincts.
“In the thirty years since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (‘ADA’) the City of New York and NYC Police Department (‘NYPD’) have made little progress eliminating physical barriers to access to NYPD’s police stations,” wrote U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of New York in her ruling yesterday. “Plaintiffs have now shown that those barriers are not merely theoretical or technicalthey have actually prevented individuals with mobility disabilities from accessing the benefits of services provided from stations.”
Judge Finds NYPD Liable, Must Provide People with Disabilities Access to Police Stations full article
Santa J. Ono was afraid to speak out about his mental illness; now he’s a champion for mental health on campus CBC Radio
Posted: Feb 14, 2020
University of British Columbia president Santa J. Ono understands the immense pressures students face, having dealt with his own mental health crisis as a student.
Eleanor Vannon was a student at Camosun College in Victoria when anxiety literally stopped her in her tracks.
Vannon had experienced anxiety in high school, but she had high expectations of herself, and felt she had to be “the strongest and the toughest.” At the same time, she was haunted by feelings of low-self worth, and questioned if she even deserved a post-secondary education.
‘You Just Spiral’: UBC President Who Overcame Mental Health Crisis Determined to Help Canadian Students full article
Working group collected ideas, concerns in series of meetings last fall Shaina Luck, CBC News
Posted: Feb 13, 2020
The restaurant industry and accessibility advocates alike are hoping to hear back from the Nova Scotia government in the next few months on a plan to make every restaurant washroom in the province accessible, a process that’s expected to cost tens of millions of dollars.
Late last year, a working group wrapped up a series of Justice Department meetings designed to gather input on the issue, said Gordon Stewart, the executive director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.
Advocates, Industry Await Plan to Make N.S. Restaurant Washrooms Accessible 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
By Dan Anderson
February 3, 2020
Accessibility-as-a-Service company eSSENTIAL Accessibility recently announced it closed $16 million in funding led by Lead Edge Capital. This round of funding will provide eSSENTIAL Accessibility with resources to expand its software platform and pursue rapid geographic expansion in order to meet escalating demand.
Accessibility is a business mandate that has arrived with tremendous force and the consequences of not offering accessible experiences are costly and brand debilitating.
This funding builds on a major year for eSSENTIAL Accessibility which saw a rapidly growing list of clients, key executive appointments, and market momentum in the areas of accessibility and inclusion.
eSSENTIAL Accessibility To Expand Software Platform With New Funding Round full article
People with disabilities will have to travel farther and cross a city street to get health care Anjuli Patil
Posted: Jan 31, 2020
A Halifax disability advocate says the proposed location for a new hospital parkade will create a barrier to health care.
“It’s going to make it more difficult to access our human right of health care. And that’s my concern. It’s going to create dangerous conditions with the weather in the crosswalk and the cars,” Paul Vienneau told CBC News in an interview on Thursday.
The province plans to build an 800-space parking garage on land partially owned by the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Accessibility Advocate Pans Proposed QEII Parkade Location 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
January 21, 2020
Remember all those gift cards you sold for the holidays? Little did you know that gift cards what was once thought of as the gift that keeps on giving, could soon be the gift that bites back.
Recently, a wave of lawsuits were filed against restaurants and retailers located in New York for their failure to sell gift cards that contain braille. These lawsuits allege violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. New York hospitality employers who sell gift cards should be aware of this new and novel concept, and consider preparing proactively to avoid being faced with similar lawsuits.
Feeling The Accessibility Of Gift Cards 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
January 16, 2020
Column by Ralph Yaniz.
My experiences writing this column over the past year have been fabulous. But it was daunting at first to put pen to paper to capture what so many people feel.
My first column talked about starting something new and the excitement this brings. But the reality is that the muscular dystrophy community is diverse. And the broader disability community is as wide and beautiful as the universe. Trying to capture the entirety of these communities has been a learning experience.
Entering 2020, I find myself 24 columns ” with over 10,000 views ” into this experience. I continue to receive more and more responses from readers, both on the website and social media platforms. This has helped me to grow.
Society Is Missing the True Definition of Inclusion full article
Renewed Funding Agreement Focuses on Outreach: Stefanson
January 15, 2020
The Manitoba government is investing $120,800 with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) to provide educational and outreach work that will help ensure organizations understand and comply with the accessible employment standard, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“Accessibility is important to all Manitobans and a priority for our government,” said Stefanson. “We are pleased to support this work with the MLPD. This funding will help them deliver workshops, share tools and resources, and provide advice and expertise to organizations to promote the development and implementation of accessible employment practices.”
MANITOBA SUPPORTS EDUCATION ON EMPLOYMENT ACCESSIBILITY full article
January 15, 2020
Lead Edge Capital spearheads the round to accelerate, scale and meet escalating demand for Accessibility-as-a-Service
TORONTO – eSSENTIAL Accessibility, the pioneering provider of Accessibility-as-a-Service, today announced the close of a $16 million USD investment round led by Lead Edge Capital.
Accessibility is a business mandate that has arrived with tremendous force. The consequences of not offering accessible experiences are costly and brand debilitating. This new financing will provide eSSENTIAL Accessibility with resources to expand its software platform and pursue rapid geographic expansion to meet escalating demand. It builds on an exceptional year for eSSENTIAL Accessibility which saw a rapidly growing roster of clients, key executive appointments, and market momentum in the white-hot areas of accessibility and inclusion.
eSSENTIAL Accessibility Secures $16 Million in Growth Funding 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
January 2, 2020
TOKYO – Japan is speeding up its efforts to make accommodation and transport facilities more accessible ahead of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, but some people with disabilities have questioned whether enough is being done.
While the games are touted as a chance to create a more inclusive society, a Kyodo News survey showed 66 percent of respondents did not see any improvement in accessibility or understanding of disabilities since 2013, when Tokyo was awarded hosting rights. In comparison, 34 percent said they had noticed progress.
Japan Speeds up Barrier-Free Initiatives Ahead of Paralympics full article