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Guest column: Canada Disability Benefit will Hopefully Finally Achieve Disability Equality

Published Jan 27, 2023
By Tom Jackman

Bill C-22, the proposed federal Canada Disability Benefit (CDB), passed its second reading before the New Year to much fanfare.

But it was clear it was too soon to celebrate. Canadians with disabilities desperately need the bill to pass third reading and move through the Senate quickly in 2023 so it can become law.

Too many disabled Canadians are financially struggling for this to drag out any longer.

McDonald’s Fired Man Who Worked There 37 Years In Violation Of ADA, Lawsuit Says

by Julia Marnin, McClatchy News/TNS | January 27, 2023

A man who received awards and accolades for his work as a McDonald’s grill cook was fired after 37 years of working for the fast food giant, federal officials said.

Two months after a different franchisee became the new owner of the McDonald’s in Deptford, N.J., it fired him because he has autism, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

But firing the grill cook violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal agency said.

Now the McDonald’s franchisee, JDKD Enterprises, L.P., has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the disability discrimination lawsuit, the EEOC announced.

Residents Living with Disabilities Share Accessibility Concerns During Sask. Accessibility Challenge

By Kabi Moulitharan Global News
Posted January 22, 2023

Some Saskatoon residents feel the snow removal efforts in the city are enough for most people to get by, but for those with mobility issues have extra hurdles to jump over.

Karthik Babumenon was born with diplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that affects muscle control and coordination mostly in the legs.

He uses a walker and a scooter to get around Saskatoon. It becomes challenging in the winter.

“It was very difficult for me to get from point A to point B. Multiply it with a lot of snow,” he explained. “There are instances where I got stuck in the snow and my friends had to come and help me out.”

Universities ‘Illegally Hitting Disabled Students with Extra Housing Costs’

Exclusive: Students told openDemocracy of receiving unfair charges for adapted rooms or for carers’ accommodation Francesca Hughes
Originally posted 9 November 2022

Students with disabilities say they are being illegally charged extra for necessary adaptations to their accommodation or allocated unsuitable rooms miles from campuses, openDemocracy can reveal.

Students told of the “stress and exhaustion” they have suffered as a result of universities’ failures to provide accommodation that is suitable for their needs at no extra cost.

openDemocracy spoke to a deaf student who says she was asked to pay for a specialist fire alarm, a wheelchair user who claims they were offered unsuitable accommodation more than two miles from campus, and a student who was initially charged extra for a room for an essential personal assistant.

Alberta Woman Filing Human Rights Complaint After Saying Taxi Denied Ride to Her and Service Dog

By Phil Heidenreich Global News
Posted January 6, 2023

A woman says she is filing a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission against a taxi company, saying its drivers denied multiple rides to her and her service dog in Leduc, Alta., last month.

“It feels like I’m being discriminated against because I have a disability and I have a service dog,” Karen Almond told Global News on Friday. “It feels like a slap in the face.

“It feels awful. It feels like you’re no longer a human being.”

Air Canada Lost Her Stepdad’s Custom Wheelchair. One Advocate Says It’s ‘Not a One-Off’

Airline provided $300 and loaner wheelchair, but family says transferring man in and out of chair not safe Tyler Cheese, CBC News
Posted: Jan 18, 2023

A Brantford, Ont., man has been stranded in Chile without his custom wheelchair after his stepdaughter says Air Canada lost it.

Jim Hamilton and his wife Kathie embarked on a trip to Santiago, the Chilean capital, with Air Canada on Sunday. It’s the first trip they’ve taken since Hamilton, 63, suffered a stroke that left him using a wheelchair in 2021.

But when they arrived, they say they were told the wheelchair hadn’t made the trip with them.

Australia Misses 20-Year Public Transport Accessibility Target as Many Train and Tram Networks Fail People With Disabilities

By Alison Xiao
Posted Jan. 16, 2023
All of Australia’s train and tram stations should have been fully compliant with accessibility standards by the end of 2022
Only 50 per cent of the country’s network is accessible, according to Sterling Infrastructure’s Susie Pascoe

Sarah-Jane Staszak’s public transport experience is filled with small tricks and workarounds.

One trick is using the footplates of her wheelchair to prop open train doors – a strategy she now always employs, after a guard forgot to help her get off the train a few years ago.

“When you have a disability, you get quite creative and you come up with your own little workarounds,” Ms Staszak told 7.30.

TransLink Testing App-Based Accessibility Tool for Individuals with Sight Loss

Kenneth Chan
Jan 9 2023

Metro Vancouver’s public transit authority is looking to further improve the accessibility and usability of the network for people with sight loss.

TransLink is set to test the new use of NaviLens, a smartphone app-based tool, for providing passengers with navigational audio and sensory cues to identify their bus stop and the exact point of pick-up. As well, the app provides real-time bus arrival times and service alerts and identifies relevant facilities at a location, such as elevators.

NaviLens is a proven accessibility tool used on other public transit systems in various capacities, such as in New York City, Liverpool, and Madrid.

Tom Jackman: People With Disabilities in Canada Kept in a Cycle of Poverty

‘It’s a Catch-22: If they earn ‘too much’ or work ‘too many hours,’ they can become ineligible for benefits’ The Province | Posted: Jan 6, 2023

Bill C-22, the proposed federal Canada Disability Benefit, passed its second reading before the New Year to much fanfare. But it became clear it was too soon to celebrate. Canadians with disabilities desperately need the bill to pass third reading and move through the Senate quickly in 2023 so it can become law.

Too many disabled Canadians are financially struggling for this to drag out any longer.

Bell Faces Human Rights Complaint Over Allegations of Inaccessibility for Blind Customers

By Nicole Thompson The Canadian Press
Posted December 26, 2022

Bell Communications Inc. is facing a human rights complaint over allegations that it’s failing to provide full service to its blind customers.

The company’s set-top boxes don’t include the screen-reading technology that enables blind people to navigate through menus, use applications or discern what channel they’re on, Toronto lawyer David Lepofsky alleges in submissions to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

In the initial submission filed in mid-2021, Lepofsky, who is blind, said he’s not able to access the television services he pays for on his TV without the help of a sighted person.