Suspensions on the Rise for Special-needs Students

Public board report finds drop overall
By Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa CitizenDecember 16, 2009

Ottawa’s public schools are suspending a growing number of students with special needs from autism to learning disabilities, according to a newly released report obtained by the Citizen.

The report, which will be discussed tonight by the board of education’s Special Education Advisory Committee, shows that at the same time overall suspensions have dropped almost 38 per cent over the past five years.

But it is the increase related to the suspension of children with special needs that is raising concern.

Web Accessibility no Longer an Afterthought

Yahoo’s Victor Tsaran, blind since the age of five, is responsible for making
sure Yahoo developers design Web pages with accessibility in mind.

Yahoo’s Victor Tsaran knows how much time Web designers spend agonizing over
color and font-width choices when laying out an application. So when he started
Yahoo’s accessibility push two years ago, he had a tough time arousing sympathy
for engineers grousing about how much extra time was needed to create accessibility


Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (ATAA) – A contrast between American and Canadian efforts

This is a special guest blog post by our Executive Director, Alanna Hendren, on the Autism Treatment Acceleration Act and the differences between Canadian and American efforts in creating positive change for people with developmental disabilities.

The Healthcare debate in the U.S. is bringing forth legislative amendments and new bills that will strengthen the American medical/social safety net. Comprehensive autism legislation has also been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Winnipeg MPs Lead Push for Treaty on Disabled

Bipartisan effort would require steps to promote rights
By: Mia Rabson
14/12/2009 1:00 AM |

OTTAWA — The mood in the House of Commons last week was so frigid I half expected Olympic gold medallist Barbara Ann Scott would need to don her old figure skates to bring the Olympic torch into the chamber.

So it was with some surprise and satisfaction that I found out about NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Conservative MP and cabinet minister Steven Fletcher, joining forces to push Canada to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Chapter 1: Definitions of Digital Inclusion1Introduction

The society we live in today is dominated by technology and most of us accept the discourse of fast and ever-changing developments in technology which have transformed, or have the potential to transform, the way we live and relate to one another. This transformation may, however, not necessarily be a positive one. Technology can be a double-edged sword. Warschauer, Knobel & Stone (2004: p.563) for example, comment on how technology can either reduce divisions in society or amplify them:

Seniors with Disabilities do not Get Help on UN International Day

Prince Edward Island(PEI) refuses to extend coverage to seniors who need wheelchairs and hearing aids. December 3, 2009 is United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.Support from the government of PEI is less than people except.

PR Log (Press Release) – Dec 01, 2009 – Thursday is United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Canada has signed but not ratified the UN Convention on Disability.

Texas Child with Disabilities Given Timeout in Dark, Closed Restroom

Friday, December 11, 2009
From KBTX-TV in Bryan-College Station, Texas:

Kiersten Jordy is like most 7-year-olds, but in many ways she’s not. Doctors have diagnosed Kiersten with mental retardation and carries traits of autism and Down’s Syndrome. Doctors also say Kiersten may never have a classic diagnosis. Larry and Janet Jordy say their daughter can’t speak in full sentences and is only able to communicate a word or two. The Jordy’s say they were surprised to learn in late May 2009, that their daughter’s teacher, Sharon Figueron, put Kiersten in a dark, closed restroom as a form of timeout.

Reform to Disability Laws Touted

Followup on premier’s vowed new legislation
By: Kevin Rollason
4/12/2009 1:00 AM |

Manitobans with disabilities say the changes they want to provincial laws will also be important to the many others who could become disabled later in life.

As Americans Age, Public Transportation Provides Reliable Travel Option

Washington, DC Thursday, December 10, 2009 For Immediate Release

America’s aging population is growing at a faster rate than any other U.S. population group. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that by 2030, there will be 9.6 million people age 85 and older – an increase of 73 percent from today. As American’s age, they face challenges with mobility and the continued ability to drive safely.

NCTI Conference Shows How Educational Futures Can Be Powered by Technology

By John M. Williams

Washington, DC — The National Center for Technology 9th annual conference thoroughly achieved its goal of showing how the educational futures for students with disabilities can be powered and supercharged by a variety of assistive technologies. During a Tech Expo attendees participated in hands-on demonstrations of emerging and cutting edge technologies and research designed to support the diverse learning needs of students.