Holiday Sales Plummet for Blind Recording Artists: Access for Blind Net

Surfers Blocked by CDBaby
Donna W. Hill November 18, 2009

When Mary Sten-Clanton of Dorchester, Massachusetts booted up her computer
in early September, she intended to visit the online music store CDBaby and
purchase “Unconditional” by easy jazz/easy pop vocalist Lisa Ostrow. Mary
had used the site many times to sample and purchase new releases from the
independent recording artists who pay CDBaby to sell their music. Once she
arrived at Lisa’s page, however, she noticed a problem. She could no longer
listen to samples of the songs. Mary, who is legally blind, uses a “screen
reader” (text-to-speech software) to navigate the internet. CDBaby was
always accessible to her before. She decided that she would buy the CD
anyway, since she was familiar with Lisa’s music. She couldn’t do that

I Need a Job to be a Man, Says Physically-Challenged Olawonyin .

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 00:00
Moses Kadiri

HE exudes the confidence of a man who has just won millions of naira in a raffle draw. Boisterous and ever cheerful, Ahmed Olawonyin, physically-challenged and graduate of Business Education at the Oyo State College of Education (Special), Ibadan, wears a broad smile on his cherubic face. Wheeled into the living room by his father, Mr Wahab Olawonyin, the first attraction is his cheerfulness.

Climate Change and Disability: a burning issue

23rd October 2009

Known for his work in the Disability Studies field, academic Dr Tom Shakespeare is also interested in the environment. This month he has come across recently written papers on where the two areas collide.

I’ve just spent 30 minutes on the phone, arranging wheelchair assistance for one of my frequent visits to Geneva. This time it was more complicated, because I am travelling by train, and my meagre French was tested to the limit trying to book help on French and Swiss railways. But minimising extra flights seems the least I can do to contribute to avoiding global warming.

Guest Commentary: Victor’s New Year’s Resolutions regarding the Ontario Government and people with disabilities:

December 29, 2009

Victor Schwartzman is a former human rights officer with The Manitoba Human Rights Commission. His human rights complaint against the MHRC for failing to accommodate him has been supported by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which in December, 2009 voted to reaffirm its decision of a year earlier to direct mediation on the complaint.
(Please note: unfortunately, all recommendations for Ontario also appear to apply to other Provinces).

Flat World Knowledge Partners with Bookshare to Make Free College Textbooks Accessible to People with Print Disabilities

By Paul Biba
December 14, 2009

This is pretty exciting stuff, so I reprint the press release in full. The release actually contains a lot in interesting information about textbooks and disabilities.

Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of expert-authored, open content college textbooks, today became the first dedicated college textbook publisher to supply its digital textbooks to Bookshare, the world’s largest online accessible library for people with print disabilities.

Blind Skier’s Olympic Push

Calgarian In Line For Berth At Vancouver Games; Triumph shows anything possible
By Vicki Hall,
Calgary HeraldDecember 23, 2009

Brian McKeever hopes Canadians look at the Paralympics through new eyes this morning upon reading of his latest brush with history in the Rocky Mountains.

With only 10 per cent vision, the legally blind Calgary native roared across a finish line he could not see Tuesday to win a 50-kilometre Nor-Am race on his home course at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Buying Holiday Toys for Children with Disabilities

By John M. Williams

Elizabeth Johnson wrote, “I have a seven-year-old child with two disabilities. She is speech challenged and not very well physically coordinated. What would you recommend for me to buy her for Christmas?”

Bad Wheelchair Ramps no Good for City Transit

Many disabled passengers are being left out in the cold
DAVE STEWART, The Guardian

Defective wheelchair ramps are causing headaches for Charlottetown’s transit system and the disabled community.
Bobby Dunn, general manager of Charlottetown Transit, says the problem with the wheelchair ramps has been affecting the entire service the past year.

Obama Sides With Blind in Copyright-Treaty Debate

By David Kravets December 15, 2009

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it supports loosening international copyright protections to enable cross-border distribution of special-format reading materials for the blind, a move that puts it at odds with nearly all of U.S. industry.

Province Claws Back $6M From Agencies Helping Disabled

Some groups consider closing doors
Darcy Henton, Edmonton Journal
Published: 1:31 am, December 17, 2009

Agencies that provide services to those with disabilities say the government is trying to climb out of its deficit on the backs of the province’s most vulnerable people.

The organizations that help people with disabilities live independently in the community are balking at a move by the Stelmach government to claw back more than $6 million from them over the next three months.