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Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health Launches 2021 Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW)


OTTAWA-September 29, 2021-The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health is proud to launch the 2021 Mental Illness Awareness Week on October 3, 2021.

This annual national public education campaign is designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established by the Canadian Psychiatric Association in 1992, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.

Why Do We Still Have To Fight for Basic Accessibility?

New infrastructure funding should be tied to accessibility standards. Canada should be a leader in accessibility. September 28, 2021 by QUOI Media Group
By Luca Patuelli

People with disabilities have to fight for basic accessibility every day – and it’s exhausting! I live with a disability that requires me to use crutches to get around. I work as a dance educator with students that have various disabilities. I’ve learned first-hand that ‘accessibility’ is a word that is thrown around plenty but largely ignored in practice. It’s time this changed.

Voice Assistants Don’t Understand Us. They Should

By Char Adams
New York Times, Sept. 24, 2021

For people like me, the voice technology that is a part of so many people’s everyday lives can feel all but useless. Telling Alexa to play a song or asking Siri for directions can be almost impossible whenever prolonged (“Aaaaaaaaa-lexa”) or chopped (“Hey … Si … ri!”) sounds cause the devices to misunderstand my commands or stop listening altogether.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 7.5 million people in the United States also “have trouble using their voices” because of disorders like stuttering or speech-altering conditions caused by cerebral palsy.

Saskatoon Voter Frustrated Over Accessibility Issues at Polling Station

Carla Shynkaruk
Videojournalist CTV News Saskatoon
Published Tuesday, September 21, 2021

SASKATOON — Voting is a right every adult Canadian citizen has, but one Saskatoon man says his polling station wasn’t set up for him to enter in his wheelchair despite being led to believe it was accessible.

“The voter card said this site meets all 15 accessibility criteria for Roland Michener School,” Sikorski told CTV News.

The Elections Canada website outlines the criteria, which includes level access to the entrance.

However, when Sikorski arrived to vote on Monday, he quickly realized he couldn’t get into the school gym door because the threshold was about seven centimetres high.

Specialty Pharmacies Cater to the Blind and Those with Impaired Vision

The pandemic has exposed flaws in services for people who can’t easily access a drive-through window for Covid shots or testing or can’t read prescription labels. By Joshua Brockman
New York Times, Sept. 21, 2021

During the pandemic, Curtis Chong has avoided the 2-hour journey to his grocery store pharmacy – including a round-trip bus ride – to pick up his prescription.

Even though Mr. Chong, a retiree in Aurora, Colo., said he is readily identifiable as a blind person, because he uses a white cane for mobility, his pharmacist never suggested he could have his medications labeled in an accessible way.

We Need to Ditch Overlay Tools in Creating Truly Accessible Websites

The Drum NetworkTricks of the marketing trade
By Matt Gibson – September 20, 2021

Recently there was a backlash within the web development community against the Paralympics 2020 #wethe15 campaign when their website was found to have several basic accessibility issues, including missing alt tags. While some of the criticism was absolutely warranted, being a digital transformation agency ourselves, and being heavily involved in web accessibility, we also understand the human and technological challenges of building a great experience for diverse users.

Dalhousie Students Honoured for Device That Helps People With Disabilities

Students hope to commercialize device that placed third in Universities Canada competition Richard Woodbury , CBC News
Posted: Sep 19, 2021

Four Dalhousie University students were recently honoured in a national competition for their design of a device that helps shield wheelchair users from the elements as they get in and out of vehicles.

Kaitlyn Busson, Kerilyn Kennedy, Sammy Pham and Jesimiel Ugbebor placed third in Universities Canada’s Innovative Designs for Accessibility competition in the architectural/industrial design barriers category for the Swing Door Shelter.

The device attaches to a vehicle’s roof and is connected to the door. When the door is opened, a cover made of polyurethane laminate rolls out between the roof attachment and the door. When the door is closed, the cover retracts.

Remote Work Made Life Easier for Employees With Disabilities. Advocates Say the Option Should Stay

By Angela Yang Globe Correspondent,Updated September 9, 2021,

The pandemic upended corporate culture as workers traded office buildings for their kitchen tables. For most, the change was largely a matter of convenience. But for many people with disabilities, it was transformative – getting to and from a workplace was the most arduous part of their day.

From the city to the suburbs and beyond, getting from one point to the other in a timely fashion has always been complicated for them. Some Boston workers live in rural towns far from public transit stations and are either unable to drive to work or need support to do so.

Disabled Inmate Was Forced to Sleep On Cell Floor for 3 Weeks, Lawsuit Alleges

Correctional Services Canada declines to comment but has said facility has ‘accessible options’ for bathing John Chipman , CBC News
Posted: Sep 15, 2021

An Indigenous inmate in a federal women’s prison who uses a wheelchair is suing the attorney general of Canada for $10 million because she says she was forced to sleep on the bare floor of her cell when she couldn’t be moved from her wheelchair to her bed.

In the lawsuit, Kitten Keyes said she slept on the floor of her maximum security cell for 21 days straight in April at the Grand Valley Institution for Women (GVI) in Kitchener, Ont. She also said she was left to defecate on herself on the first night when no one came to help her get onto the toilet.

Survey: Accessibility Challenges Persist as Hybrid and Online Learning Continues

By Rhea Kelly09/09/21

With fully online or hybrid course formats still very much in play at colleges and universities around the world, accessibility issues remain a key challenge, according to a recent study.

To find out the state of accessibility in higher education, transcription and captioning company Verbit commissioned a survey of both higher ed professionals and students in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia about accessible materials and technologies in use on their campuses, their familiarity with students’ accessibility needs, and the pain points involved.

Respondents numbered 132 campus leaders and 100 students with a noted disability; responses were collected between April and May of this year.