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‘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.

Whyte Ridge Community Centre Opens New Accessible Fitness Park

By Connor Chan Digital Journalist Global News

A new way for people with accessibility issues to get active in Winnipeg has opened at the Whyte Ridge Community Centre.

The new Whyte Ridge Accessible Fitness Park was officially opened on Saturday.

“We have all ages and we want folks of all ages to enjoy this,” said Coun. Janice Lukes.

The park was first discussed in 2015, received funding last year and was built in just a few weeks.

All the exercises are performed primarily with your own body weight. The park has been built specifically for people with accessibility issues.

A chart of different exercises at the fitness park.

Stonehenge Gets Rated for ‘Accessibility’ as an Attraction

Published by Mike Draper
29th July 2019.

A national charity, that organises holidays for disabled people and their carers, has been assessing visitor attractions.

The Revitalise Accessible Tourism Report, first conducted in 2014, was carried out for a second time to see if visitor attractions have actively made any positive changes in accessibility for 2019.
The report identified Stonehenge as the number one attraction in Wiltshire for 2019

Revitalise creates holidays for disabled adults and their carers, but when it comes to accessibility, every family deserves to have access to Britain’s cultural attractions.

It’s a sunny day and we’re looking at the stone circle at Stonehenge.
The Revitalise report identified Stonehenge as the number one attraction in Wiltshire for 2019.

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.

Caught Out: How CAPTCHA Patterns Trip Up People With Disabilities

22 July, 2019

Ariel Bogle* says people with disabilities face encoded inhospitality and numerous other barriers as they try to access the internet.

Dr Scott Hollier logged into an online portal recently, and was immediately faced with a familiar yet irritating internet question: How many of these pictures include buses?

CAPTCHA security tests, or the Completely Automated Public Turing Test, to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, are not always accessible to people with disabilities sometimes putting them, ridiculously, in the robot category.

I had two choices, said Dr Hollier, a digital access specialist who is legally blind.

Blind Man with Guide Dog Denied Service, Arrested at Kamloops Gas Station

CTV News
Blind man arrested over guide dog dispute”, “A blind man is speaking out after a gas station pit stop turned ugly. “, Angela Jung, Reporter / Web Journalist
Thursday, July 18, 2019

A man who’s blind was told his guide dog wasn’t allowed inside a Kamloops gas station, and when RCMP arrived, he thought they would defend his rights, but instead, the officers put him in handcuffs.

“I was very shocked and appalled,” said Ben Fulton. “I was just really surprised at how quickly it spiraled out of control.”

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;

Changes to the Canada Elections Act may Increase Accessibility of Federal Elections

By Lila Refaie, Bilingual Intake Lawyer and Student Programs Lead

The Canada Elections Act (“Act”) governs the rules Elections Canada must follow when there is a federal election. The Act was amended by Bill C-76 in December 2018 and is now in force. The new rules will be implemented as soon as the next general election in October 2019.

Bill C-76 introduced a great number of changes to the Act. Of the many changes, some relate to the rights of electors with disabilities.

Elections Canada must ensure that any communications, public education or other materials available to the public are accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes information about the way someone can become a candidate or how an elector can vote during the election period.

City Opens Accessible Playground

By MATTHEW REITZ mreitz@palltimes.com
Jul 12, 2019

OSWEGO Port City officials celebrated the opening of the first accessible playground Friday morning at Hamilton Park as part of an ongoing effort to make Oswego a more inclusive community.

Designed to accommodate children with disabilities, the park includes an accessible swing and a variety of other equipment for children to enjoy. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, along with representatives from Arise, Inc. and a number of other local advocates, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.

Why Do We Fix AI Bias But Ignore Accessibility Bias?

Kalev Leetaru Contributor
AI & Big Data
I write about the broad intersection of data and society.

“As the Web has become increasingly visual, with pages of text replaced by rich high-resolution imagery and video, it has become increasingly inaccessible to those with differing physical abilities who rely on accessibility software like screen readers.”

Silicon Valley has become obsessed with addressing AI bias. As deep learning algorithms have graduated from the academic research lab into the real world, there has become a growing awareness of the implications of their innate biases as their limited Western training data has collided spectacularly with a globalized digital world.

UK.: Bikes to Give Disabled People More Freedom

Posted on Tuesday 2nd July 2019

A pilot project to introduce bicycles suitable for use by disabled youngsters and adults is being introduced into Tredegar Park, Newport.

The free initiative by Newport City Council will enhance the facilities at the popular park where an improved cycle route takes users around the park.

The specially adapted bikes will be provided by charitable organisation Pedal Power which runs a similar scheme from Bute Park in Cardiff.

Councillor Deb Harvey, cabinet member for culture and leisure, has chosen the project because it will help people of all abilities to enjoy recreation and leisure together.

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.

Bad Braille Plagues Buildings Across U.S., CBS News Radio Investigation Finds

By Steve Dorsey
June 28, 2019

The federal government, corporations, cities and even medical facilities across the country are looking past the needs of blind Americans by failing to address problems with braille signage.

CBS News has uncovered complaints to the Justice Department’s Disability Rights section about missing or incorrect braille at a number of public facilities, including Albuquerque’s bus system, restaurants in Kansas and Pennsylvania, and hospital and medical buildings in Chicago, among other locations. The records, spanning two years, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Forty-one-year-old Vencer Cotton, who’s been blind since birth, often encounters bad braille in Washington, D.C. Cotton says he once entered the wrong restroom because of it.

Haptic-Feedback Clothing Designed to Guide Persons With Disabilities

Garment that communicates via vibrations
Imagine not seeing anything nor hearing anything. Such communication obstacles affect all aspects of life. Many people with deafblindness communicate via tactile signing and also haptic signals (touch and movement) on the body. Now, researchers are working to digitise and integrate this into a garment.

Haptic signing means that a person interprets the environment for the person with deafblindness by touching their back and other parts of the body. Halfway through the EU project “SUITCEYES,” researchers have developed several prototypes of garments that can simulate these movements.

“SUITCEYES” stands for: Smart, User-friendly, Interactive, Tactual, Cognition-Enhancer that Yields Extended Sensosphere.

Government Launches Consultation to Make New Homes More Accessible

26th June 2019 UK

Higher accessibility standards for new housing are to be introduced in the UK as part of a wider plan to make sure disabled people are not facing discrimination.

Prime Minister Theresa May said that it is widely recognising that too many disabled people still live in unsuitable homes and she announced a consultation on mandating higher accessibility standards for new homes.

The aim is to deliver up to 300,000 new accessible and adaptable homes every year and guidance will also be published to help councils meet current standards for accessible housing in England.

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;

How Charities Can Meet the New Digital Accessibility Standards

Charities are legally responsible for meeting accessibility standards online, but most don’t. Digital accessibility expert Carlos Eriksson of Studio 24 explains what they can do to fix it, starting now. Guest Writer | 20th Jun 19

Carlos Eriksson is Accessibility Lead Developer at Studio 24. Eriksson was named ‘Champion of Change’ in the 2019 BIMA 100 which recognises the top 100 digital movers and shakers, thanks to his decade-long work making the web better for everyone.

In the past couple of years, accessibility has gone from being an afterthought at best, to an often spoken about subject at conferences and water coolers alike.

Digital Accessibility Improving, but People with Disabilities Still Seek More Inclusive Access

Published on June 18, 2019 in Broadband’s Impact/Digital Inclusion/FCC/Innovation by Masha Abarinova

ARLINGTON, Virginia – June 18, 2019 Comprehensive legislation addressing accessibility is necessary to ensure that information technology is available to a wider group of people, particularly to people with disabilities, said panelists speaking at the M-Enabling Summit here on Tuesday.

Innovations involving wireless 5G technologies, for example, use multiple bandwidths including mid-band and low-band, which are more available in rural areas. But some of 5G’s functions will be more available than others, as the gaps in rural coverage present a “real problem” for which a “massive funding effort will be necessary,” said Paul Schroeder, vice president of public policy at Aira. The company offers wearable smart glasses and an integrated mobile app helping people with limited visibility.

Nominations Open for 2019 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards

June 3, 2019

The Viscardi Center has opened a call for nominations for the 2019 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, an international award series honoring extraordinary men and women with disabilities.

The Henry Viscardi Achievements Awards commemorate the vision of The Viscardi Center’s founder, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who himself wore prosthetic legs. A premier disability advocate, Dr. Viscardi served as a disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents and implemented groundbreaking employment and education programs that continue to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Launched in 2013, the Awards are bestowed upon leaders in the global disability community who carry on Dr. Viscardi’s legacy through their professional accomplishments and advocacy efforts.