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People With Disabilities Face Additional Barriers at Tax Time

Accountant advises learning what health expenses can and cannot be claimed John Loeppky, CBC News
Posted: Mar 26, 2024

Spring brings fresh flowers, melting snow and, like it or not, a looming tax deadline. Navigating taxes can be difficult at the best of times, but for disabled people, there can be added complexity.

According to the Government of Canada’s most recent data, more than 1.4 million disability tax credit (DTC) certificates had been issued by the end of 2022. The DTC is one of the main tools the Canadian system uses to administer disability support programs, with the actual number of disabled people in the country being much higher – eight million people aged 15 or above at last count.

‘Systemic Issue’: Class-Action Filed Against Uber, Lyft Alleges Lack of Accessibility in B.C.

By Isabella Zavarise
CTV News Vancouver Journalist
Published March 21, 2024

A B.C. law firm has launched a class action lawsuit against Uber and Lyft alleging people with physical disabilities who require wheelchairs or similar devices, have been unable to access the ridesharing services.

The class action was filed at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and names David Sheldon as the complainant. According to the filing, Sheldon is an incomplete tetraplegic who is dependent on a motorized wheelchair for movement. Around December, 2023, he tried to access Uber and was prevented from using their services because they were not wheelchair accessible, as per the filing.

Therapy Dogs to Be More Accessible in Nanaimo-Ladysmith schools

Access to therapy dogs will be possible in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools following an update to an administrative procedure. By Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Gabriola Sounder Sunday, March 24, 2024

NLPS has updated its administrative procedure (AP) on animals in school settings to allow more general use of service dogs, Acting Superintendent Laura Tait told the education committee at their March 6 meeting. Previously the AP had a narrower focus, limiting service animals to individual circumstances such as visual guide dogs.

“What we have been seeing and welcoming the notion around animal support is a little bit of a universal nature,” Tait said. “That could be an animal that supports more generally in a classroom or in a counselling area” for circumstances such as alleviating stress and anxiety, for example.

Employers Should Focus on Proactive Steps on Mental Health, Not Just Legal Requirements: Lawyer

‘Legal issues tend to arise when something spirals,’ says Eduard Matei BY Aidan Macnab 18 Mar 2024

Employers should take proactive measures, even if they are not legally required, to prevent mental health issues from igniting legal liability in the workplace, says employment lawyer Eduard Matei.

According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 70 percent of Canadian workers are “concerned about the psychological health and safety of their workplace,” and 14 percent believe their workplace is neither healthy nor safe. The commission predicts mental illness costs the Canadian economy $50 billion annually.

Accessibility is the Housing Crisis That No One is Talking About

Advocates call for adoption of universal design principles to ensure easy conversion of residential units for people with disabilities Author of the article:Rachel Kwok, Special to Financial Post Published Mar 14, 2024

For Kate Chung, Canada’s shortage of accessible housing hits close to home. When she and her husband were recovering from knee and hip replacement surgeries and began using mobility aids long-term, their apartment was no longer accessible to them. Not wanting to enter long-term care, the two realized that the only choice was to renovate.

They took out the bathtub to make room for a shower, which would take up less space, purchased a stackable washer and dryer to give them more room, and took out the linen closet. The grand total? More than $15,000.

Air Canada CEO, Special Needs Advocates Clash on Passenger Accessibility

‘To be able to say you’re doing a good job and these are the numbers is to be shockingly out of touch with our experience’ Author of the article:The Canadian Press
Christopher Reynolds
Published Mar 19, 2024

Advocates and Air Canada’s CEO served up opposing views of on-board accessibility for passengers on Tuesday, though both sides agree that consistency remains a problem.

Michael Rousseau, who heads Canada’s largest airline, told a House of Commons transport committee an overwhelming majority of the 1.3 million passengers who requested special assistance last year had a positive experience. About 1,950 – or 0.15 per cent – filed complaints.

Feds Announce Air Accessibility Summit to Confront ‘Unacceptable’ Barriers

OTTAWA – The federal government says it will host a summit on air accessibility in May amid what it calls “completely unacceptable” barriers to Canadians living with disabilities. Monday, March 18, 2024
OTTAWA – The federal government says it will host a summit on air accessibility in May amid what it calls “completely unacceptable” barriers to Canadians living with disabilities.

Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez says airlines have failed to meet the treatment standards that passengers with disabilities deserve, calling for more responsibility from the aviation sector.

Multiple incidents have surfaced at Canadian airlines over the past year, including when a B.C. man with spastic cerebral palsy was forced to drag himself off of an Air Canada plane in Las Vegas.

How an Edmonton Man is Helping Businesses Become More Accessible

Author of the article:Cindy Tran
Published Mar 10, 2024

Brad Bartko, was born with Cerebral Palsy and has spent his entire life using a wheelchair.

Twelve years ago, he went to the washroom at a bar which he describes a “glorified storage closet.” Wet floor signs, tables, chair and mops all littered within what was supposed to be the restroom. At the back, hidden behind all the storage, was the toilet.

Bartko went to the staff manager and asked him how he was expected to get into the washroom with his wheelchair due to all the clutter, and secondly, how he was supposed to safely get on and off the toilet since there was no bar.

Canada Revenue Agency’s Disability Advisory Committee Submits 26 Recommendations in Its Fourth Annual Report

From: Canada Revenue Agency
News release
March 8, 2024 Ottawa, Ontario

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) released its 2023 annual report today. The report provides a progress update on past recommendations and proposes 26 new recommendations on how the Agency can improve the way it administers and interprets tax measures for Canadians with disabilities.

Based on recommendations from previous DAC reports, the CRA has taken concrete action to improve its services for persons with disabilities. This progress is highlighted in the 2023 report and includes:

Disability Advocates Say NYC Failing to Meet Settlement Agreement on Accessible Taxis

By Ben Brachfeld
Posted on February 25, 2024

A group of disability advocates told a federal judge last week that New York City is failing to comply with a settlement reached a decade ago that called for half of yellow taxis to be accessible for people with disabilities.

More than a decade ago, in 2013, the city settled a class-action lawsuit and, in doing so, agreed that at least half of all yellow cabs on city streets would comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act by 2020. Less than 2% of taxis were accessible at the time.