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Toyota Develops WelWalk Robotic Brace to Aid in Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients

Anna Domanska , April 13, 2017

On Wednesday, Toyota launched a new robotic leg brace called the WelWalk WW-1000. The robotic exoframe is designed to help patients with partial paralysis walk again. The device is worn on the affected leg, with a large motor component at the knee joint that helps with functions such as supporting body weights and assisting with movements such as swinging the leg forward.

The WelWalk WW-1000 system will be made available to medical institutions in Japan later this year, with a rental model that charges a one-time fee of $9,000 and later $3,200 after that on a monthly basis.

MP Hardcastle Introduces Bill to Help Persons With Disabilities Access Programs

Tom Morrison
Our Windsor, Apr. 11, 2017

The MP for Windsor-Tecumseh’s first private members bill seeks to provide a “one-stop shop” for federal programs available to persons with disabilities.

NDP member Cheryl Hardcastle introduced Bill C-348An Act to Amend the Department of Employment and Social Development Act in the House of Commons Monday.

She said the issue is the federal government has several programs for which persons with disabilities can apply, but they have to prove their condition separately for every application.

“They have to respond to questions about diagnosis and their limitations and are required to provide the supporting documentation for each one of these,” she said “National groups have said this is not only burdensome, but it also can seem very punitive.”

Tokyo 2020 Publish Accessibility Guidelines

31.03.2017

The guidelines aim to provide an enhanced environment that will secure more opportunities for access to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By IPC

“The new Guidelines very much compliment the IPC’s own standards and hopefully can act as a blueprint for other Japanese organisations to further their accessibility too.”

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has published its Accessibility Guidelines which aim to ensure the Olympic and Paralympic Games in three years’ time are fully inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Developed by working closely with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), relevant government organisations, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, relevant municipal authorities and several disability groups, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has formulated its Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines.

Blind Windsor Woman Denied Help Filling Out Passport Docs

Windsor – CBC News
April 03, 2017

Rebecca Blaevoet, holds up ‘tactile vision’ labels for seeds being borrowed from Windsor Public Library. The Windsor woman said a recent experience at the passport office shows the need for better government accessibility in Canada.

An Ontario woman says the federal government is letting down residents with disabilities by forbidding staff at Passport Canada from helping applicants fill out their forms.

Rebecca Blaevoet of Windsor, Ont., says she learned of the policy last month when she went to have her passport renewed.

Blaevoet, who is completely blind, asked Passport Canada staff to fill out her form according to the responses she provided, but they refused, saying that would violate official guidelines.

UN Calls for Recognizing the Rights of People with Autism to Make Their Own Decisions

31 March 2017

Ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the United Nations today called for recognizing the rights of people with the spectrum neurological condition, which is believed to affect 70 million people around the world.

Let us ensure that we make available the necessary accommodations and support to persons with autism, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day.

With access to the support they need and choose, they will be empowered to face the key milestones in every person’s life, he added, making decisions such as where and with whom to live, what type of work to pursue and how to manage their personal finances.

Access Board Issues Guidance on the International Symbol of Accessibility

Published: 2017-03-29 – Contact: United States Access Board at access-board.gov

Synopsis: Guidance addresses questions on use of alternative disability accessibility symbols, and explains how use of symbols other than ISA impacts compliance with ADA.

Definition: International Organization for Standardization

(ISO)

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and as of March 2017 works in 162 countries.

Canada’s former chief electoral officers eager for successor, laud proposed electoral legislative changes

Jean-Pierre Kingsley says hes disappointed the government has yet to name new chief electoral officer, despite knowing since June that they would need one. By LAURA RYCKEWAERT

Hill Times March 23, 2017

Canadas former chief electoral officers Marc Mayrand and Jean-Pierre Kingsley are lauding changes proposed in new legislation, including moving the elections commissioner back under the authority of Elections Canada and removing restrictions on who can apply for the job of commissioner.

But they also say there are other issues to be addressed, and with only an acting chief electoral officer in place since Mr. Mayrand stepped down at the end of December, both say theyre eager to see a new permanent chief electoral officer of Canada named.

Deaf Community Under Stress as Canadian Hearing Society Strike Continues

CBC News, Mar. 23, 2017

For many in the Toronto’s Deaf community, workers with the Canadian Hearing Society provide essential support, from fixing hearing aids to interpreting at medical appointments, even helping to find employment. Since March, hundreds of CHS workers across the province have been on strike, and the effects are causing many clients to join staff on picket lines.

To understand the reason for the strike, and the toll it’s taking both clients and staff, Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway spoke with Stacey Connor. She is deaf and works as an employment consultant with CHS. She’s also the president of the union, CUPE Local 2073. Galloway also spoke with Gary Malkowski, the vice-president of stakeholder and employer relations at CHS. He is also deaf. Both guests spoke with Galloway through an interpreter. This is a transcript of their conversation.

UM Study Finds Longstanding Interpretation of Disability Data Incomplete

March 21, 2017

MISSOULA University of Montana researchers with the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities, or RTC:Rural, show that the standardized disability questions used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identify two distinct groups of people with disabilities: those with permanent disability and those with temporary disability.

Their findings were published today in the American Journal of Public Health and can be accessed online at http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303666.

The findings contradict the long-standing assumption by researchers and policymakers who use HHS disability data that it represents only people with long-term disabilities. The RTC:Rural study clarifies the survey collects information from two important subgroups: those with permanent disability, and those experiencing a temporary disability at the time of the survey.

Rights of People With Disabilities in Europe: A New Strategy Based on Ability Rather Than Disability

Mar 23, 2017

STRASBOURG: There are 80 million persons in Europe who live with a disability and many of them continue to be victims of discrimination or abuse. In response, the Council of Europe will be launching its new Disability Strategy 2017-2023 at a conference in Nicosia (Cyprus) on 27 and 28 March.

Our focus must be on ability, not disability. Lawmakers should devise laws and policies which offer persons with disabilities a maximum of autonomy, access to information, education and employment. Our new strategy shows the way forward, said Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, ahead of the conference.

CNIB Faces Legal Challenge by Ex-Kiosk Operator Accused of Mishandling Money

‘I got shafted and I’m being made to look bad…. I didn’t do anything,” says Mike Perry By Yvonne Colbert, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2017

Mike and Jane Perry say their lives have been turned upside down by CNIB, which claims Mike is responsible for $9,000 in missing funds.

CNIB, the national registered charity for the visually impaired, is again facing a legal fight with a former lottery kiosk operator who says he’s been wrongly terminated and accused of mismanaging funds.

Mike Perry is one of at least seven former kiosk operators to be targeted in connection with funds that have allegedly gone missing, but he said he’s been told the non-profit organization is writing off the shortfall.

Learning to Drive With a Disability

by Maggie Hammond

The thought of driving with a disability can be daunting, but with support and technological advancements, driving can be worthwhile and attainable for everyone. You could find a new lease of independence, as you no longer have to rely on other people to take you to the places that you need to go to.
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How the process works can vary depending on your personal circumstances. If you are returning to driving after a disability or illness then you must notify the driving agency, so they can assess whether your current licence can be continued. They may require you to attend an assessment. If you are not sure whether you need to notify the driving agency, you can check on their website for a list of medical conditions that you must inform them of. Failure to do so can result in a fine, so make sure you don’t neglect to inform the authorities.

Concern Over Access to Library Material for Visually Impaired People Raised With Minister

Posted on 16 March 2017

LACA, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance, has contacted the Minister responsible for intellectual property, Jo Johnson MP, with concerns that proposed changes to the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in Europe will hamper the ability of libraries to serve print disabled people and provide access to works.

LACA has identified that proposed changes will mean that libraries face increased costs and bureaucracy when seeking to provide accessible format copies of books and other printed materials to people who are blind or partially sighted.

CAPTCHA Be Gone from Accessible Apps Removes Another Barrier to Accessibility

Jamie Pauls

Technology continues to improve the way people who are blind interact with technology and make use of the Internet. In any major screen reader release, improvements to the way the product works on the Web are front and center in all “What’s New” documentation. Furthermore, modern software applications make use of, and behave like, webpages to such an extent that it can often be difficult to know where a desktop application ends and the Internet begins.

Ottawa’s Deaf Community ‘At a Loss’ Amid Canadian Hearing Society Strike

‘I really need the services,’ says Kimberley Blomquist, ‘and I needed it this week’ Elyse Skura
CBC News, Mar. 11, 2017

As hundreds of Canadian Hearing Society workers strike across the province, people who are deaf or hard of hearing are left without some of the counselling and audiology services they rely on.

Negotiations between management and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) broke down last Sunday and workers in Ottawa have been walking the picket line since early Monday.

“I feel kind of angry about it, kind of depressed about it,” said Kimberley Blomquist, through an American Sign Language interpreter. “I really need the services. And I needed it this week.”

Alliance Seeks Input From People With Disabilities, Families About Accessibility

SCOTT BRIGGS TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL

Picture

From left, Jeff Sparks (Muscular Dystrophy Canada), Kara Reid (occupational therapist), Alex Peeler (Muscular Dystrophy Canada) and Tracy Ryan (Muscular Dystrophy Canadas director of mission) took part in Thursdays discussions hosted by the Alliance for an Inclusive and Accessible Canada.

SAINT JOHN Alex Peeler recently started a petition that made its way to the House of Commons.

The 24-year-old man from Bridgewater, N.S., wants to help implement a national assistance program for Canadians with disabilities so they have access equipment and services needed to live independently. Peeler said the petition included 1,600 signatures and was sponsored by Bernadette Jordan, MP for Southshore-St. Margarets.

Disabled Woman Sues Seven Shops in Same Street After Complaints to 28 Businesses About Access

Wheelchair user Esther Leighton has submitted a string of legal claims after claiming the law is being “ignored” By RAYMOND BROWN,
2 MAR 2017

A disabled woman has filed a string of lawsuits against shops and restaurants in the same street over a row about access.

Wheelchair user Esther Leighton has taken action against seven businesses after she complained to 28 traders in Mill Road, Cambridge, two miles from where she lives.

Ms Leighton said she launched legal claims because the Equality Act was being “ignored”, the Cambridge News reported.

She claimed she has contacted traders about not being able to enter their shops since 2010 but has not received responses from some businesses.

Aids for Vision Loss, From Those Who’ve Been There

The New York Times
By JANE E. BRODY, February 27, 2017

Stanley F. Wainapel, clinical director of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, admitted that “adapting to vision loss is a major challenge.” But he disputed Mr. Hoagland’s allusion to “enforced passivity,” pointing out that many advances in technology – from
screen-reading software for computers to portable devices that read menus or printed letters with a delay of only seconds” – can keep productivity, creativity and pleasure very much alive for people who can no longer see.

Minister Qualtrough Reinforces the Government of Canada’s Commitment to Accessibility in an Official Visit to Australia

GATINEAU, QC, March 5, 2017 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, joined world leaders at the 2017 International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) Conference on March 2, 2017, to share their experiences, knowledge and perspectives on this year’s theme: Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities.

During her keynote address to the IIDL, Minister Qualtrough highlighted Canada’s commitment and ongoing work towards building a more accessible and inclusive society. The conference, attended by world leaders, policy makers and social service providers, along with people with disabilities and their families, provided an opportunity for collaboration and the development of international partnerships. Other participating countries included New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland and the United States.
Minister Qualtrough spoke about leading by experience and the calls to action that inspire leaders to work for the public good.

Running with Gaston at the NYC Marathon

By: Addie Lee, Michel Carriere, and Laurence Wright
Running Room magazine, January February 2017, page 15.

We did it. we ran and completed the New York City Marathon with 51,000 other runners on November 6, 2016.

It was an amazing experience guiding Gaston Bedard, a deaf-blind 64 year-old runner, through the biggest street party in the world.

Gaston is from Aylmer, Quebec and began planning this special NYC adventure with his son Marc over two years ago.

Our team ran in the marathon as members of Achilles International, based in New York City.