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Feds Propose New Canada Disability Benefit

Benefit would supplement existing federal, provincial/territorial supports

Roughly one-fifth of working-age Canadians with disabilities live in poverty, according to the government. By Jim Wilson
Jun 23, 2021

The federal government has introduced legislation to establish the framework for a new Canada Disability Benefit for working-age Canadians with disabilities.

The benefit would supplement, not replace, existing federal and provincial-territorial supports with a goal of lifting hundreds of thousands of persons with disabilities out of poverty.

Nearly 850,000 (21 per cent) working-age Canadians with disabilities live in poverty, according to the government.

Calgary Councillor Asks for Improved Accessibility Around Popular Pop-Up Patios

Ina Sidhu CTV News Calgary Video Journalist
Published Wednesday, June 16, 2021

CALGARY –Calgarians with or without mobility issues are taking to social media to point out flaws with some of the temporary sidewalk setups around pop-up patios.

“They’re not leaving enough room to give the wheelchair a chance to turn on the end of the ramp,” said Athena Cooper, who uses a motorized wheelchair.

Cooper came across a ramp on Kensington Road N.W. at the end of May which wasn’t easy to access and tweeted her concern.

“My concern when I posted it was that are people aware that you know this is an issue. You can’t just lay a ramp down and say, “Okay we’re now accessible.”

Advocates Calling on the City to Enforce Accessibility Policies in Construction Zones

Mike Arsenault Video Journalist
Published Saturday, June 19, 2021

Advocates are calling on the city to enforce its accessibility policies at construction locations.

WINNIPEG –Summer in Winnipeg is often paired with plenty of construction work, but some sites in the city are making it difficult for people with mobility challenges.

Barricades and broken concrete are blocking a portion of the sidewalk along Portage Avenue in the St. James area. For Allen Mankewich, who uses a wheelchair, the barricades are nearly impossible to get around.

British Columbians With Disabilities Worry Reopening Will Undo Accessibility Gains

by Bailey Nicholson
Posted Jun 16, 2021

Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux says some things shouldn’t be reversed when BC returns to ‘normal’ after the pandemic

She says our old ‘normal’ was actually inaccessible for a large part of the population

She says we’ve made huge strides in allowing virtual health care, work from home options, and curbside pickup

The world has become a lot more accessible during the pandemic from virtual work and health care, to increased delivery services and at-home entertainment.

But Surrey South MLA and Opposition Critic for Accessibility & Inclusion, Stephanie Cadieux, says people have been asking for these options for years.

For Canadians With Disabilities, Supports are Often too Little, too Late

Inclusion and equity must be at the forefront of the design of government policies, not an afterthought Amelia M. Kiddle, for CBC Opinion
Posted: Jun 14, 2021

This column is an opinion from Amelia M. Kiddle, an associate professor of history at the University of Calgary. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

Last week I received a mysterious direct deposit of $600 from the government of Canada. I checked my CRA online account and searched my memory. Finally, it dawned on me. It was a federal COVID-19 disability payment for my son Albert Jucker-Kiddle, who died at the young age of seven on March 4, 2019.

Bills Threaten Disabled Voters: ‘We Don’t Have a Voice Any more’

By Maggie Astor
New York Times, June 15, 2021

Legislation across the country would restrict voting methods and accommodations that people with disabilities are disproportionately likely to rely on.

The experience was so demeaning that Susie Angel did not vote again for two decades.

It was 1991, she recalled, and she was a 21-year-old learning to live independently with cerebral palsy, which she has had since birth. She waited in line at her polling place in Austin, Texas, for hours. Then she waited for a poll worker who could help her complete her ballot. Finally, the worker refused to take her aside, making her name her preferred candidates in full view and earshot of other voters.

Curbside Pickup Boosts Accessibility for People With ADHD and Autism

It’s more than a COVID prevention measure. Curbside pickup means I never have to drag myself through a store with a long list again. Laura Hautala
June 3, 2021

Grocery stores exhaust me. Before the pandemic, I would grind through a shopping list on my iPhone’s Notes app, checking it over and over as I reminded myself where items were in a store I’d shopped at for years. Why did I feel so tormented by shopping?

Judy Heumann, Pioneering Disability Rights Activist, Takes Spotlight in “Crip Camp”

She’s considered the mother of disability rights – and she’s a ‘badass’ By David A. Taylor
Washington Post, May 25, 2021

Judy Heumann’s pandemic year started off extremely well. In late January 2020, she attended a Sundance screening of “Crip Camp,” a documentary about disabled young people – including her – who, after meeting at a Catskills summer camp run by hippies in the 1970s, went on to shape the disability rights movement and change federal law. It was a surprise hit and became an Oscar nominee for best documentary.

The following month, she published a memoir called “Being Heumann.” (She hadn’t known when the film would be released, so the timing was a coincidence.) Publishers Weekly hailed the book as “thoughtful and illuminating.”

Health of Canadians With Disabilities Suffering During the Pandemic

June 2, 2021

The COVID-19 Disability Survey captured perspectives from Canadians with different types of disabilities and their family members.

Nearly 30 per cent of those polled are hesitant to get vaccinated

A new study led by UBC researchers and the Ontario-based Abilities Centre is sounding the alarm over the damaging effects of COVID-19 for Canadians with disabilities.

Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, director of the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, points to public health restrictions and lack of community resources as key contributors to heightened challenges facing those living with disabilities.

How People With Disabilities are Sticking Together During COVID-19

Rosemary Richings|June 1, 2021

I asked my mom about what happened when the doctors first told her about my disability.

“They gave me a pamphlet,” she said, one that was 15 years out of date, and offered no advice on what we were supposed to do next.

This was before social media and Google, yet despite the lack of support and resources, she still managed to find me accommodations and care.

I have since met people who share my diagnosis, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how these social connections can help overcome stigma, build friendships, and increase access to support services.