New National Partnership Focuses on Improving Accessibility on The Great Trail of Canada

Canadian Paralympians and Para athletes join AccessNow and Trans Canada Trail to provide valuable accessibility feedback on trails across Canada OTTAWA, ON and MONTREAL, Feb. 23, 2021 /CNW/

Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and AccessNow ” a Canadian social startup that works through mapping to facilitate accessibility in countries around the world ” are excited to announce a new partnership aimed at increasing accessibility on trails across the country.

By working together on initiatives that lead to information being shared via the AccessNow app, Canadians will be able to discover barrierfree routes as well as identify areas where barriers still exist so they can be addressed, resulting in increased accessibility along The Great Trail.

Online Learning Era Neglects Blind Students’ Needs

A year after many campuses transitioned to remote instruction, blind students continue to encounter barriers that undermine their learning. By Lindsay McKenzie
February 19, 2021

Blind students report challenges like materials arriving late after many colleges and universities transitioned to remote learning amid the pandemic.

The shift to remote learning has been extremely challenging for blind students, with some still facing unresolved accessibility issues.

The National Federation of the Blind and other organizations have warned for months that colleges are failing to provide blind students with the timely accommodations and support to which they are legally entitled.

Ice Now Open in Parkdale, at Alberta’s First Accessible Outdoor Rink

Wider bench doors, transparent boards included in first phase of construction Hannah Kost, CBC News
Posted: Feb 17, 2021

Phase 1 of construction has officially been completed on the Parkdale Community Rink & Hub, which means accessible and inclusive ice is now open for skaters and sledge hockey players.

The Parkdale Community Association said the outdoor rink in the northwest Calgary neighbourhood is the first of its kind in Alberta, and only the second in Canada.

The first phase of the project saw the rink completed with inclusivity in mind.

4 Reasons Why Hiring Disabled Workers Is Good for Business

The pandemic has hit the disabilities community particularly hard. This founder of a startup that makes software more accessible warns that’s a major loss for your innovation. By Cat Noone

Everyone has been struck by the pandemic, but the individuals who typically fail to be taken into account in society and business have felt some of the harshest blowback of all. Diverse employees have been facing greater challenges, work-related stress, and fear for their professional futures more than non-diverse workers.

Canada: University Professors Research on Barriers to Justice Faced by Persons with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

February 12 2021

CANADA: In collaboration with ARCH Disability Centre, TRU with the help of the University of Windsor will pursue a new research project on the effects of COVID-19.

TRU’s Dr. Ruby Dhand, a professor in the Faculty of Law, has partnered with Dr. Dipesh Prema, a TRU chemistry professor, and Dr. Tess Sheldon, a law professor from the University of Windsor are not focusing on traditional COVID-19 topics but is seeking to understand what barriers to justice those with severe disabilities in long-term care homes are facing due to the pandemic.

The research is being done in partnership with ARCH Disability Law Centre and is funded by the government of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Crowd Sourced Description – Call for Submissions!

Hey friends with sight loss!

I hope this email/post finds you all well!

A cool project is being embarked on…crown sourced description!
please help spread the word to all in the blind community, near and far. the draw can include anybody in any part of Canda, and the USA and possible beyond…

Here is how i hope you can help.

Is there an artwork you have always wanted to hear described, but never had the chance? VocalEye is seeking suggestions from the blind and partially sighted community for a described visual art tour. It could be anything from a famous masterpiece to a lesser-known work that you have a personal connection to. The suggestions we collect will form the basis of an Almost Live Zoom Virtual Tour later this year.

Legislators Who Want To Make Medically Assisted Dying Easier for Persons With Disabilities Don’t Know the Lived Realities of Disability

February 10, 2021 QUOI Media Group
By Sarah Jama

Amidst a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, poor and disabled communities, we’ve barely heard a word about disability issues from our federal government – except, that is, their intention to expand access to death for persons with disabilities through new legislation.

Over the next few weeks, Canadian Senators will engage in lengthy discussions around Bill C-7, which would amend the criminal code to remove the ‘reasonably foreseeable death’ requirement in Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) legislation. This legislation, if successful, would allow for a Canadian who has a chronic illness or a disability that fits the category of ‘irremediable’ and whose condition has irreversibly declined to apply for a medically assisted death.

U of T Study Highlights Health-Care Barriers Women With Disabilities Face During Pregnancy

Women with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to experience life-threatening pregnancy complications or maternal death compared to their peers, a study by University of Toronto researchers has found.

The finding, published recently in the journal JAMA Network Open, is the result of the largest study of maternal outcomes for women with disabilities in Canadian history, highlighting the need for better access to medical care in this population of women.

“We need to make health care more accessible, but this also raises awareness that women with disabilities have a right to quality health care and good pregnancy outcomes,” says lead author Hilary Brown, an assistant professor in the department of health and society at U of T Scarborough and an adjunct scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

‘It’s Devastating’ Disabled People Not Prioritized in Vaccine Rollout, Advocates Say

Jeremiah Rodriguez CTVNews.ca Writer
Published Monday, February 8, 2021

TORONTO — Disabled people outside of congregant care aren’t being prioritized in Canada’s vaccine rollout, and advocates say it’s just one more way their community isn’t being protected.

“People with disabilities are just an afterthought, if we’re thought of in any way regarding this pandemic. And vaccines are no different,” said Jewelles Smith, the government relations co-ordinator for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. “It’s distressing.”

Smith, who prefers the term “disabled woman” for herself, said governments are only focused on those in congregant care, or older Canadians who may be disabled.

Disability Rights Report Highlights Challenges Under Lockdown

Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Press Release: Office of the Ombudsman

A new report from New Zealand’s Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) highlights the realities and challenges disabled people faced during the COVID-19 emergency.

The report, Making Disability Rights Real in a Pandemic, Te Whakatinana i ng Tika Hautanga i te wo te Urut, examines New Zealand’s adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disability Convention) during the COVID-19 emergency from late March to mid-June 2020. New Zealand’s IMM partners are the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Coalition, the Ombudsman, and the Human Rights Commission (HRC).