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Starbucks is Updating Its Cafes to Be More Accessible With New Inclusive Designs

Restaurant design changes include a point of sales system that’s accessible for the visually impaired, power-operated doors, and wider pedestrian paths Joanna Fantozzi | Feb 16, 2024

Starbucks announced Friday the rollout of a new inclusive cafe layout, designed with accessibility in mind. The new Inclusive Spaces Framework, which creates more accessible spaces for both employees and customers with visual and audible impairment, wheelchair users, and more, is part of the company’s updated commitment to inclusivity.

Eventually, all Starbucks stores will be either built or renovated to incorporate this framework. Additionally, a Starbucks representative confirmed that the framework design will be open sourced and continuously developed for use across the retail industry.

‘It’s Discriminatory’: Regina Advocacy Group Challenges Government on Disability Program in Court

Angela Stewart
Video Journalist – CTV News Regina
Published Feb. 10, 2024

A Regina advocacy group says the provincial government is being discriminatory when it comes to those on the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program.

The Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry is claiming the government is forcing those who are on the program to take out their Canada Pension Plan money at age 60.

“It’s discriminatory because people who are forced to take out their CPP early due to disability then have to deal with the long range consequences of poverty because they were forced,” said Peter Gilmer, an advocate with the group.

The Census Bureau Halts Changing How it Asks About Disabilities Following a Backlash

By Mike Schneider, The Associated Press
Posted February 6, 2024

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday halted plans to change how it asks people about disabilities after facing a growing backlash.

Advocates for disabled people had argued that proposed changes to disability questions on the bureau’s American Community Survey would artificially reduce their numbers by more than 40%, limiting the ability of some to get vital resources for housing, schools or program benefits. They also argued that they weren’t properly consulted on such a major overhaul.

“Good news. Good news. Good news,” said Scott Landes, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University, who is visually impaired. “They got the message that we need to engage.”

The Music Teacher Who Just Won a Grammy Says It Belongs to Her Students

FEBRUARY 7, 2024
By Rachel Treisman

Grammy Awards don’t only go to the people who produce and perform songs. For just over a decade, they’ve also been given out to those who teach others how to make music.

The Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, recognizes those who have made a “significant contribution and demonstrate a commitment to music education.”

This year it went to Annie Ray, the performing arts department chair and orchestra director at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was honored for her efforts to make music accessible to all students, particularly those with disabilities.

‘Shocking’: Air Canada CEO Blasted Over Accessibility Services at House Committee

A number of Canadians with disabilities have reported mistreatment by Air Canada staff in the past year Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
Posted: Feb 05, 2024

Lawmakers took Air Canada’s CEO to task on Monday over “shocking” and “scandalous” failures to accommodate passengers living with disabilities.

At a House of Commons committee hearing on services for Canadians with disabilities, chief executive Michael Rousseau faced a barrage of questions over reports of passenger mistreatment during the past year.

Vice-chair Tracy Gray cited several “shocking” incidents from 2023: “An Air Canada passenger had a lift fall on her head and her ventilator was disconnected; Air Canada leaving Canada’s own chief accessibility officer’s wheelchair behind on a cross-Canada flight … and a man was dropped and injured when Air Canada staff didn’t use a lift as requested.”

Disability Advocates Say Air Travel Accessibility is Not Happening Fast Enough

By: Kristin Krauss
Posted Feb 05, 2024

Navigating an airport and airplane looks different for Dave Stevens. He was born without legs and uses a skateboard to get through the narrow aisles to his seat.

He’s found a way to adapt but wants airlines and the federal government to do more to make air travel accessible for everyone – especially for the more than 60 million Americans with disabilities.

“There’s no consistency with what happens when you go to the airport. Everybody has their own way of handling things. And the problem for people with disabilities is they take our equipment, they ruin it, they destroy it. I personally have had 15 wheelchairs destroyed.”

Accessibility Advocate Calls on Winnipeg to Prioritize Sidewalk Snow-Clearing

Councillor says motion would have cost city about $60M a year Arturo Chang, CBC News
Posted: Jan 31, 2024

At least one Winnipegger is taking issue with a recent comment by a city councillor suggesting residents have been “spoiled” by sidewalk snow-clearing.

On Tuesday, the city’s standing committee on public works voted against recommending a motion put forward by Coun. Matt Allard that would have required clearing of sidewalks and active transportation pathways in the city at the same priority as roads.

Some councillors on the committee voiced concerns about how the city would pay for that work. Coun. Janice Lukes, the committee’s chair, said the bottom line is everything “comes with a price.”

Passenger Denied Boarding Porter Flight from Calgary to Toronto Due to Wheelchair

By Adam MacVicar Global News
Posted January 22, 2024

A Toronto man’s trip home from Calgary on a Porter Airlines flight was quickly derailed Sunday after he was denied access to the plane because of his power wheelchair, even after he cleared the issue with the airline before his flight.

Ken Harrower was set to board the flight at the Calgary International Airport when he was approached by the pilot, who insisted he couldn’t board the flight with his wheelchair due to the batteries it uses.

“The pilot decided to not let me board because I cannot disconnect the batteries on my chair,” Harrower told Global News.

Air Canada Rolls Out Measures for Travellers With Hidden Disabilities

The move falls under airline’s three-year accessibility plan, and comes after numerous reports of passenger mistreatment last year. Author of the article:The Canadian Press
Published Jan 30, 2024

MONTREAL – Air Canada has adopted measures to help travellers living with non-visible disabilities, as the carrier looks to improve accessibility after reports of poor treatment last year.

The effort, an international initiative known as the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program, allows customers to wear a sunflower lanyard that indicates to staff they may need assistance or have specific needs.

Canadian Paralympic Athletes Will Receive Financial Recognition for Podium Performances

Canadian Paralympic Committee (Sponsorships)
Jan 24, 2024

GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 24, 2024 /CNW/ – The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) today announced a new program that will recognize Canadian Paralympians for podium performances, providing a financial reward for medals won at the Paralympic Games.

The new “Paralympic Performance Recognition” program will reward Paralympians $20,000 for winning a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal, and $10,000 for bronze at the Paralympic Games. It will be in place for the Games in Paris this summer and each edition thereafter, and is equal to the amount Olympic athletes receive for the same achievements.