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Supreme Court of Canada Hears Case That Could Revise the Test for Public Interest Standing

Decision will determine who can sue on behalf of marginalized, disadvantaged Canadians: lawyer By Aidan Macnab
Canadian Lawyer Magazine, Jan. 18, 2022

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada heard a case that could revise the test for public interest standing.

On Jan. 12 and 13, the court heard Attorney General of British Columbia v. Council of Canadians with Disabilities.The dispute concerns whether the CCD, a human rights organization which advocates for accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities, has legal standing to challenge provisions in British Columbia’s mental-health-related legislation. The CCD filed a claim that the laws violated ss. 7 and 15 of the Charter and Part 1 of the Constitution Act, by allowing doctors to administer psychiatric medications, without consent, to people detained in mental health facilities. The Attorney General of British Columbia argued the CCD could not bring the action on its own and applied for an order to dismiss the action for its lack of standing.

Why Disability Bias is A Particularly Stubborn Problem

As part of her research, Tessa Charlesworth challenged the longstanding assumption that implicit biases are so ingrained that they cannot be changed.

Researcher says addressing it likely will take some kind of social reckoning Nikki Rojas
Harvard Gazette, January 10, 2022

Our most negative societal prejudices can fade, but what sparks that change, and what does it mean when those views haven’t budged in years? Tessa Charlesworth, a postdoc in the Department of Psychology, has dedicated her research in recent years to these questions, and some of her newest analysis has turned up a troubling trend involving implicit biases toward disabilities.

Accessible Hiring Practices to Solve for The Great Resignation

January 19, 2022
Meagan Taylor

Meagan Taylor, a project manager at Deque Systems, is passionate about dismantling systemic barriers to capital and opportunity, including on the web.

Employees across industries are quitting their jobs. One recent study reported that one in four people quit their job this year. Whether we want to chalk it up to career moves that were delayed due to the uncertain pandemic economy, a reevaluation of work environments, or a revolt against unsatisfactory employers, one thing is certain: It’s a job seeker’s market, with more than 10 million job openings as of November.

Select Committee on Accessibility Not Very Accessible, Advocates Say

New Brunswick committee’s requirements made it hard for people with disabilities to take part, advocates say Lauren Bird, CBC News
Posted: Jan 14, 2022

A call for submissions to the legislature’s select committee on accessibility in New Brunswick wasn’t very friendly to people with disabilities, according to advocates.

The committee asked for submissions about accessibility, but disabilities advocate Abby BourqueCoyle said time was limited to get the submissions in, and the committee required them to be in writing, making it difficult for some people with disabilities.

Accepting written briefs only – and in either French or English – left many people out, she said.

Renter on Disability Pension Given 61% Rent Increase and Told to Shovel Own Snow

Ontario company moves to raise rent 8 days after buying building Robert Jones, CBC News
Posted: Jan 11, 2022

A Saint John renter on a disability pension and his wife are hunting for a new place to live after receiving notice of a 61 per cent rent increase from their new landlord and instructions to begin shovelling snow from the entranceway to their apartment themselves.

Sixty-four-year-old Douglas London and his wife Anne have lived at 123 City Line for four years. The building was sold in early December to a numbered Ontario company.

Within days, notices of a $380 rent increase and the termination of snow removal around the building were placed in their mailbox.

German Court Orders Protection of People with Disabilities in Triage Decisions

Lawmakers Should Prevent Discrimination in Life-Saving Treatment Jonas Bull
Assistant Researcher, Disability Rights Division

In a December 2021 ruling, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ordered lawmakers to protect people with disabilities against discrimination during medical triage decisions.

Nine people with disabilities had filed a complaint with the court in June 2020 alleging that the absence of federal guidance on triage decisions left people with disabilities at risk of discrimination. The complaint related specifically to intensive care treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Triage involves the evaluation of who should be prioritized for medical treatment in situations where resources are scarce. During the pandemic, many hospitals in Germany have faced severe overcrowding.

Canadians With Disabilities Fell Through the Cracks in the Pandemic Response

Here’s what needs to change to support these groups as Omicron surges Angelyn Francis Equity and Inequality Reporter
Toronto Star, Jan. 10, 2022

As the COVID-19 case count in Canada surges due to the Omicron variant, the number of people dealing with long-term symptoms – an expansive list that can include brain fog, fatigue, muscle aches – will grow.

Palliative care physician Dr. Amit Arya sees this easily snowballing to be a “mass disabling event.”

The GTA physician is one of several health-care professionals who have been speaking out about how ineffective government action will likely increase the number of people living with disabilities. And more than that, how leaders have overlooked the existing disabled community altogether.

Doctors Know Little About Their Obligations To People With Disabilities, Study Finds

by Michelle Diament | January 11, 2022

Three decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act took effect, new research finds that many physicians remain unaware of their obligations under the law when caring for people with disabilities.

More than a third of doctors surveyed had little or no knowledge about their legal requirements under the ADA and 71% did not know who determines reasonable accommodations.

The findings come from a survey of 714 doctors in outpatient practices across the nation that was published this month in the journal Health Affairs.

Covid Tests ‘Still Not Accessible’ for Blind People Two Years Into the Pandemic

Sian Elvin
Sunday 9 Jan 2022

For most of us, we can quickly do a Covid-19 test without a second thought – we just use the swab, measure out the sample then read the result. But what if your eyesight isn’t strong enough to see the test in the first place?

That’s the reality for the two million people in the UK with sight loss – including 360,000 who are registered blind or partially sighted – who need to be able to do a test independently without putting others at risk of catching the virus.

Lucy Edwards, a blind YouTuber and TikToker who campaigns for awareness, told Metro.co.uk about her difficulties taking coronavirus tests, calling ‘the whole process completely inaccessible’.

Big Investments Fuel Record Growth in Home Accessibility Market

If you build it, they will come
by Jim Greatorex
Friday, January 7, 2022

In Iowa-where VGM Live at Home is based-there are two sayings from the iconic movie “Field of Dreams” that are reiterated often. They are, “If you build it, they will come;” and “Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.” I can’t help but think of these two phrases as I report on the current state of the home accessibility market.