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Viral Clip of Airline Passenger’s Wheelchair Falling to Tarmac Will Be Investigated: Buttigieg

BY LAUREN IRWIN – 11/2/2023

A viral video showing baggage handlers at Miami International Airport sending a wheelchair tumbling down to the tarmac prompted a promise from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg that his department will investigate the incident.

The clip, initially posted to TikTok and reuploaded elsewhere, shows a baggage handler for American Airlines pushing the wheelchair down a baggage chute. It slides down the track, slams into a gate meant to stop suitcases, flips over it and topples to the ground.

“This is totally unacceptable. We will be investigating,” Buttigieg said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This is exactly why we are taking action to protect passengers who use wheelchairs. Everyone deserves to travel safely and with dignity.”

Chippewa Park Enhances Accessibility in Cabins Ahead of 2024 Season

Visitors with mobility challenges will be better able to enjoy the great outdoors Justin Hardy
November 26, 2023

THUNDER BAY – Chippewa Park Campground has taken an essential step towards improving accessibility for wheelchair users.

Starting from the 2024 camping season, visitors with mobility challenges will be better able to enjoy the great outdoors, with the added convenience and safety of new lift tracks in two of its accessible cabins.

Both cabins have been equipped with a ceiling track system over one of the beds, which ensures that individuals who require a lift to transfer from their wheelchairs to the bed can do so with ease and safety.

Diving for All: A New Wave in Resort Accessibility

By Nina Enfield – 26 November 2023

It’s never been easy for people with disabilities to learn to dive. But the tide is turning, and there’s a splash of good news: the UK boasts three dive resorts certified to offer adaptive services. But hey, why stop there? More resorts can dive into action and revamp their spaces to welcome divers of all abilities, from designing user-friendly facilities to rolling out services for a diverse clientele.

This High-Tech Shirt Helps Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Patrons Feel Music

Guests at Chicago’s Lyric Opera can now immerse themselves in performances through the SoundShirt’s vibrations Julia Binswanger
November 22, 2023

Chicago’s Lyric Opera is aiming to make its performances more accessible via the SoundShirt, a garment that vibrates to match the music.

In October, the Lyric became the first opera company to offer the shirts to audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing. The device comes from a London-based wearable tech brand called CuteCircuit. Each shirt costs about $1,900, but interested guests can reserve one for special performances at $20 a ticket, according to Axios’ Carrie Shepherd.

Jury Orders Amazon To Pay Ex-Employee With Asperger’s $1.2 Million

by Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times/TNS | November 14, 2023

A former Amazon employee with Asperger’s syndrome claimed he was bullied and abused by co-workers at a warehouse in San Bernardino, Calif. and the company did nothing when he spoke up.

Co-workers called him “retard,” “a waste of life,” and one person asked why he was working there “if you can’t do the job?” according to a lawsuit filed in court.

A jury awarded the worker, Michael Kopp, $1.2 million earlier this month after finding that Amazon intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the former employee when its human resources department failed to stop the harassment.

Coles Nationwide Expands Quiet Hour for Enhanced Accessibility

Coles has expanded its low-sensory shopping experience – Quiet Hour –
to five days a week, at a time that better suits many customers and working parents. Coles supermarkets nationwide are now offering customers a Quiet Hour experience from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, Monday to Friday ensuring customers who find high sensory environments challenging are offered more convenient and accessible time in the evening to enjoy their grocery shop.

The changes customers will notice during these times include Coles Radio turned down to the lowest volume, reduced register and scanner volume and team members refraining from using the PA system, except for in emergencies.

Canadians invited to help design the new Canada Disability Benefit

NEWS PROVIDED BY Employment and Social Development Canada
15 Nov, 2023

GATINEAU, QC , Nov. 15, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, Kamal Khera, announced the launch of the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations Online Engagement Tool. This accessible platform will collect insight and feedback from Canadians to help inform the design of the regulations for the new benefit.

In the true spirit of “Nothing About Us, Without Us”, all Canadians, especially individuals with disabilities, their caregivers and family members, as well as stakeholders and organizations dedicated to working with persons with disabilities, are invited to participate and share their views.

‘Really far Behind’: Alberta Should Emulate Other Provinces’ Accessibility Legislation, Advocates Say

Accessibility advocates say Alberta is one of the last provinces without provincial accessibility legislation. They’re calling on the province to take action to address barriers faced by those living with disabilities. By Adrienne South
Posted November 14, 2023

Edmonton accessibility advocate Marla Smith is one of many Albertans advocating for better rights for the disability community across the province.

Smith says something that should be as simple as going to pick up food at a restaurant or sandwich shop can be nearly impossible when businesses don’t have to consider accessibility. It’s just one of many barriers she says she faces daily.

“People have a tendency to not recognize barriers,” Smith said.

Report Finds Disabilities ‘Severely Underrepresented’ On TV

by Shaun Heasley | November 14, 2023

Despite playing significant roles in some of the most popular shows, people with disabilities remain nonexistent in most television series.

A report analyzing representation in 521 live-action, scripted television shows that aired during the 2021-2022 season finds that there were just 40 leads with known disabilities.

Even as people with disabilities account for 26% of the population, they represented just 12.2% of leads on broadcast shows. On cable, that figure dropped to 9.9% and it fell to 5.6% for shows on digital platforms like Netflix and Disney+.

Investigation Reveals Ride-Share Rejections and Transit System Dangers for People With Disabilities

Marketplace documented service refusals, missing accessibility features Jenny Cowley, Jeremy McDonald, Travis Dhanraj , CBC News
Posted: Nov 10, 2023

Michelle Weger relies on her service dog, Quinn, to get her through the day.

The Ottawa resident has narcolepsy, and the Great Dane can sense when Weger is tired, bracing against her or warning her when she’s about to experience cataplexy, a temporary muscle paralysis that can cause her to fall. That early warning gives Weger the time to get to a safe space.

For Weger, Quinn is an absolute necessity, but can become an issue when she tries to get an Uber, Lyft or taxi. She says there’s been “friction” with drivers and cancelled rides with rideshares.