How Learning Disabled Can Make College a Reality

By Kim Clark, U.S. News & World Report
1:10 p.m. CST, December 28, 2010

Most of the 3 percent or so of teens who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities struggle so much in high school that they give up on hopes of college, setting back their job and career prospects, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

But there are reasons for hope for anyone with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia or other common learning challenges. College admissions officers and
learning disability counselors recommend these steps:

Car Sound Bill Approved

House OKs deadline for hybrid, electric levels to warn blind

David Shepardson
Detroit News, Dec. 17, 2010

Washington— The House voted 379-30 Thursday to give federal safety regulators 18 months to set minimum sound levels from quiet electric and hybrid vehicles to warn blind pedestrians.

The legislation cleared the Senate last week on a unanimous vote. It’s the first piece of auto safety legislation expected to become law since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Several other safety bills proposed in the wake of Toyota Motor Corp.’s sudden acceleration recalls have been stalled.

Workshops for Disabled ‘Antiquated,’ Says Advocate

By David Hutton, Postmedia News December 23, 2010

A national advocate for the disabled on Thursday called for an end to sheltered workshops after it was revealed that a Saskatchewan non-profit group pays a stipend of $150 a month for work on a recycling sorting line.

SASKATOON — A national advocacy organization is calling on Saskatchewan to move away from sheltered workshops for people with disabilities, saying the practice has “outlived its usefulness.”

But local organizations defend the workshops — sometimes grouped alongside activity centres or rehabilitation centres — saying despite the lofty goals of
integration, the developmentally disabled would be left behind and would struggle to find meaningful work in a competitive workforce if the non-profits
ever closed.

BSI Accessibility Documentary Endorsed on United Nations Website

Posted to site December 23, 2010

The UN has long been a proponent of human rights worldwide. This includes the rights of disabled persons, as integral members of society often overlooked in public service sectors. In an article recognising the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, the UN endorsed BSI’s documentary “Overview: Way to Accessibility in Buildings and on the Web” as a way to encourage companies to make their services indiscriminately applicable to all consumers.

The need for organisations to make services more accessible is an international priority. From web development, to modes of transportation and general building facilities, companies and designers are responsible to ensure that their services answer the needs of consumers – regardless of circumstance or capability.

Chirping Crosswalk Changes Its Tune; Safety Matters

Jeanne Armstrong
National Post , Dec. 23, 2010

Canadian municipalities are finding themselves on opposite sides of an odd debate: whether to change the sound used to help the visually impaired
safely cross the street.

The reason for the proposed change? The chirping sound that has become commonplace at crosswalks from coast to coast sounds too much like the
northern cardinal.

A report by the Transportation Association of Canada recommends that cities replace the high-pitched bird chirp signal because it was causing visually
impaired pedestrians to stray from the crosswalk path.

BMO Survey: Canadians With Disabilities Not Taking Advantage of RDSPs

  • Only five per cent of Canadians with disabilities hold RDSP accounts
  • A mere one in 10 of those impacted claim to be knowledgeable about the program
  • Almost half have never heard of RDSPs

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Dec. 21, 2010) – BMO Financial Group today announced the results of a survey revealing that only one in ten (10 per cent) Canadians with a disability, or those with a family member with a disability, are knowledgeable about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) and its benefits, with 44 per cent having never heard of it. BMO, on the second anniversary of becoming the first bank to offer the RDSP account, reiterated its commitment as the market leader to continue to educate and raise awareness of this product.

Disabled Nortel Employees Face a Bleak Future

Published On Sun Dec 19 2010
Richard J. Brennan Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA—Earlier this month, forty-seven Conservative Senators killed proposed legislation designed to protect employees on long-term disability — then promptly headed off for an evening of Christmas cheer.

The irony was not lost on the roughly 400 employees of bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp., who have very little to celebrate this holiday season.

That’s because their disability benefits run out on Dec. 31, leaving them scraping to get by on a $12,000 annual federal disability pension — or just about
their average drug costs.

The Process of Civic Engagement

By John Rae
December 18, 2010

John Rae is 1st Vice President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, and a member of CCD’s National Council. The following are notes
for a presentation at ARCH Disability Law Centre’s 30th Anniversary Symposium, Toronto, December 13, 2010.

Pursuing civic engagement in a democracy can take many forms, from organizing our own groups, writing letters to the appropriate officials or
the editor of one’s local newspaper, monitoring and making presentations to
Parliamentary committees, filing legal challenges, pickets and demonstrations, to today’s increasing emphasis on participating in the electoral process by voting, as campaign workers or even as candidates hoping to get elected to office.

CI Recognized for Web Site Accessibility for the Blind

Written By: Vardaan

CAMARILLO, Calif., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a recent review of 183 university Web sites published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, CSU Channel Islands (CI) placed sixth overall in Web site accessibility for the blind and placed first for accessibility of online applications, with 98.2%
of applications usable by the blind. Four of the top ten Web sites were from the CSU system.

New Coalition Calls for Completely Accessible Broadcasting System

Dec 16, 2010 7:34 AM

Access 2020, a newly formed coalition of Canada’s largest accessibility organizations, will be asking the CRTC to adopt a new approach to accessibility
in its May 2011 policy hearing on vertical integration.  

“While current regulatory trends mean that sight- and hearing-impaired Canadians will only obtain complete access to television in thirty years, Access
2020’s goal is to achieve fully captioned and described television content within the next decade,” said Beverley Milligan, on behalf of Media Access Canada which is leading the Coalition. 

“We will be inviting the CRTC to empower Canada’s accessibility organizations to research, test, develop and monitor the implementation of modern, multi-platform digital accessibility standards.”