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New Patented Wearable Technology Provides Support

Canine Companions is proud to introduce our groundbreaking CanineAlert Device, a patented wearable technology designed to provide essential support. Developed in-house, this innovative technology represents a significant advancement in assisting people with disabilities.

How It Works:

The CanineAlert Device monitors the wearer’s heart rate, leveraging cutting-edge technology to wirelessly communicate with the dog’s collar device. Upon detecting irregularities in the wearer’s heart rate, the device triggers a gentle vibration, prompting the service dog to intervene; the service dog is trained to perform a specific task, based on the needs of the wearer, for example to awaken them from a nightmare and aid in their recovery.

‘Overwhelming Support’ for Disability Benefit Complicated by Slow Implementation, Survey Finds

Mitchell Consky
CTVNews.ca Journalist
Published April 8, 2024

As Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland prepares to deliver the federal government’s budget next week, new data suggests overwhelming support for the Canada Disability Benefit, a form of financial support for people living with disabilities signed into law last June.

According to a survey from the Angus Reid Institute, 91 per cent of respondents claim to support the proposed Canada Disability Benefit.

Such support spans the political spectrum, the research suggests, with 83 per cent of past Conservative voters and 98 per cent of past Liberal voters in favour of the benefit. Up to 99 per cent of past NDP voters and 98 per cent of Bloc QuebAcois voters also share support for disability resources being factored into the federal budget, according to the survey.

Local State Parks Receive All-Terrain Wheelchairs to Increase Accessibility

By LAKEN GREENE lgreene@sixriversmedia.com
April 5, 2024

Currently, 13 Tennessee state parks have all-terrain wheelchairs available, increasing the parks’ accessibility for those with mobile issues.

As part of a statewide initiative to increase park accessibility, Warriors’ Path and Rocky Fork state parks each received an all-terrain wheelchair to offer to park guests free of charge.

The introduction of all-terrain wheelchairs to various state parks is funded by the $1.2 million appropriated by Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General
Assembly and supported by the additional $1.6 million appropriated to making improvements on trail accessibility.

Advocacy Groups Decry Federal Government’s Shutdown of Mental Health Website, App

Nicole Ireland
The Canadian Press
Published April 3, 2024

Mental health and addictions experts are slamming the federal government’s decision to shut down an online service where people could find free counselling and peer support over the last four years.

Health Canada announced in February that it would stop funding the Wellness Together Canada website and PocketWell app on April 3.

Despite a public plea from an alliance of 18 mental health and addictions organizations for the government to reconsider, the service ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

Vancouver Schools Lag on Playground Accessibility, Parents Say

While some Lower Mainland school districts have publicly released accessibility plans, Vancouver’s is still in “formative stage” 18 months past legislated deadline. Author of the article:Dan Fumano
Published Mar 30, 2024

Parents of children with disabilities say new playgrounds at Vancouver elementary schools are inaccessible for their kids.

Wheelchair users are finding the thick, slippery artificial turf surface recently installed at some schools difficult or impossible to navigate, parents say.

It has been frustrating Laura Van Doormaal, who has a son at Dickens Elementary in east Vancouver and a daughter, who uses a wheelchair, expecting to go there next year. Van Doormaal hopes that by the time her daughter starts kindergarten, the inaccessible play surface installed in December will have been replaced.

Halifax Student Disappointed at Delay in Work to Improve School’s Accessibility

Stairlift to basement classroom now expected to be in place by end of May, HRCE says Gareth Hampshire, CBC News
Posted: Mar 28, 2024

A Halifax student who launched a petition calling for a stairlift to a basement classroom in her school is frustrated the installation has been delayed.

“It’s disappointing that they didn’t get it done, but it’s not surprising,” said Lux Melanson, who is in Grade 9 at Fairview Junior High School. “There was absolutely no work done on the stairs throughout this entire month.”

Melanson started the petition in February, because she was upset that some students are unable to access the school’s technology-education classroom.

New Hiking Trail Set to Revolutionize Outdoor Accessibility in Green River

Erick Pauley March 24, 2024

GREEN RIVER – Outdoor enthusiasts and those with mobility challenges alike will soon have a new trail to use when the Skyline Trail Project prepares to break ground in April. Boosters of the trail promise a unique hiking experience with accessibility features for wheelchair-bound individuals. The project is an extension of the Green Belt Trail System.

Spanning four miles and with a width of five feet, the Skyline Trail will wind its way from Upland Way, ascending South Hill, tracing the ridge line, and descending behind Western Wyoming Community College. Unlike traditional concrete or asphalt paths, this trail will feature a soft surface, providing a more natural and immersive experience for visitors.

People With Disabilities Face Additional Barriers at Tax Time

Accountant advises learning what health expenses can and cannot be claimed John Loeppky, CBC News
Posted: Mar 26, 2024

Spring brings fresh flowers, melting snow and, like it or not, a looming tax deadline. Navigating taxes can be difficult at the best of times, but for disabled people, there can be added complexity.

According to the Government of Canada’s most recent data, more than 1.4 million disability tax credit (DTC) certificates had been issued by the end of 2022. The DTC is one of the main tools the Canadian system uses to administer disability support programs, with the actual number of disabled people in the country being much higher – eight million people aged 15 or above at last count.

‘Systemic Issue’: Class-Action Filed Against Uber, Lyft Alleges Lack of Accessibility in B.C.

By Isabella Zavarise
CTV News Vancouver Journalist
Published March 21, 2024

A B.C. law firm has launched a class action lawsuit against Uber and Lyft alleging people with physical disabilities who require wheelchairs or similar devices, have been unable to access the ridesharing services.

The class action was filed at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and names David Sheldon as the complainant. According to the filing, Sheldon is an incomplete tetraplegic who is dependent on a motorized wheelchair for movement. Around December, 2023, he tried to access Uber and was prevented from using their services because they were not wheelchair accessible, as per the filing.

Therapy Dogs to Be More Accessible in Nanaimo-Ladysmith schools

Access to therapy dogs will be possible in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools following an update to an administrative procedure. By Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Gabriola Sounder Sunday, March 24, 2024

NLPS has updated its administrative procedure (AP) on animals in school settings to allow more general use of service dogs, Acting Superintendent Laura Tait told the education committee at their March 6 meeting. Previously the AP had a narrower focus, limiting service animals to individual circumstances such as visual guide dogs.

“What we have been seeing and welcoming the notion around animal support is a little bit of a universal nature,” Tait said. “That could be an animal that supports more generally in a classroom or in a counselling area” for circumstances such as alleviating stress and anxiety, for example.