Discrimination lawsuit highlights legal risk for brokerages that don’t comply with Americans with Disabilities Act by Teke Wiggin Staff Writer
Compass is being sued for allegedly failing to make its website fully accessible to blind people, raising the specter that real estate brokerages remain exposed to a legal risk about which the National Association of Realtors had previously warned members.
The suit, which is seeking class-action status and was filed on Dec. 12 in a New York district court, accuses Compass of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for “its failure to design, construct, maintain, and operate its website to be fully accessible to and independently usable by Plaintiff and other blind or visually-impaired people.”
Compass Slapped With Lawsuit Over Website Access for the Blind full article
Maureen Feighan, The Detroit News
Published Dec. 20, 2018
Aging baby boomers who’d like to stay in their homes as they grow older are making accessibility a big part of their bathroom renovations plans, making them bigger and adding features like grab bars, according to Houzz.com’s new 2018 U.S. Bathroom Trends Study.
The survey of 1,100 homeowners, released in mid November, found that one-third of Baby Boomers are addressing current aging needs, while nearly a quarter are planning ahead for future needs as they renovate a master bathroom.
The survey also found 47 percent change the bathroom layout and 34 percent remove the bathtub.
Welcome Mat: Study Finds Accessibility Key in Bathroom Reno Designs full article
by Scott Loftesness
Berkeley, CA (July 16, 2018) Three more students have joined a precedent-setting class action brought by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) against Stanford University for violating the rights of students with mental health disabilities.
The lawsuit alleges that Stanford routinely responds to student mental health crises by barring students from campus and evicting them from on-campus housing, violating disability laws.
DRA, a national nonprofit legal center, today files an Amended Complaint and Class Certification Motion on behalf of this growing coalition to end the university’s discriminatory policies and practices.
More Students Join Class Action by Mental Health Coalition against Stanford University full article
The Canadian Press
Updated: December 19, 2018
The cautious optimism that prevailed in Canada’s disabled community when the federal government tabled historic accessibility legislation earlier this year has given way to widespread concern that the law won’t lead to meaningful change.
Major disability organizations, grassroots advocacy groups and disabled individuals said they’ve raised numerous concerns about the power and scope of the Accessible Canada Act, which the Liberal government first introduced in June.
They said the government has largely ignored those concerns as the bill worked its way through debate in the House of Commons and are now calling on the Senate to introduce amendments that they say would make the bill more effective.
Advocates Say Accessible Canada Act is too Weak to Be Effective full article
From: Employment and Social Development Canada
December 3, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario
The Government of Canada is working to create a truly accessible Canada. Today, as part of these efforts, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, along with the ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Canadian Heritage, announced that, with the support of all provinces and territories, Canada has acceded to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Accession to the Optional Protocol means that Canadians will have additional recourse to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated.
Canada Accedes to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities full article
Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or deafblind will soon have access to faster, better message relay services By Sameer Chhabra
Dec 14, 2018
Canada’s telecommunications watchdog has issued a decision mandating standards for message relay services.
According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) December 14th, 2018 decision, groups that provide text-based message relay services (MRS) like teletypewriter relay (TTY) and internet protocol relay (IP relay) will be required to implement quality of service standards, as well as a standard for call answer time and typing speed.
As per the CRTC’s latest telecom decision, 80 percent of all calls each months will need to be responded to by a live MRS operator within 20 seconds.
CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services full article
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), 3 December 2018 full article
New features include “alternative text” to provide descriptions for pics. by Gordon Gottsegen
November 28, 2018
On Wednesday, Instagram announced new features intended to provide a better experience for people with vision impairments.
Instagram is introducing automatic alternative text, which lets you hear descriptions of pictures when using Instagram with a screen reader. The automatic alternative text uses object recognition tech to generate a list of things that may appear in the photo, helping people know what they’re looking at.
Instagram also lets you create your own alternative text. When posting a photo, you’ll be able to go into the Advanced Settings and add your own alt text, which can be heard when using a screen reader.
Instagram Improving Accessibility for Users with Visual Impairments full article
By Henry St Leger
November 20, 2018
Subtitles go poof
The arrival of Spyro Reignited Trilogy should be an occasion of joy for players, either those coming to the beloved PlayStation platformer for the first time or those seeing one of their childhood gaming icons lovingly remastered in a modern engine.
The trilogy revisits the first three Spyro games developed by Insomniac Games from 1998 to 2000, all of which were made for the PS1. When the trilogy launched last week, however, there was a notable omission: subtitles.
While Activision incorporates subtitles in the general gameplay of the remastered game as you run around, chase sheep, breathe fire, save the world, and so on animated cut-scenes don’t have them.
Activision Ignites Rage Over Spyro’s Accessibility Failure full article
It’s aiming to keep wait times down to 15 minutes or less
Mallory Locklear, @mallorylocklear
November 20, 2018
Uber has found itself in hot water multiple times over its lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs), and now it’s teaming up with another company in order to better serve passengers with disabilities. It’s partnering with MV Transportation, a company that provides paratransit services across the US and Canada, and is bringing MV Transportation’s WAV fleet to eight cities.
Uber enlists outside help to improve wheelchair-accessible rides full article