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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.

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.

Halifax Disability Rights Advocate Wants Stiffer Fines, Better Signage for Accessible Parking

By Skye Bryden-Blom Global News
Posted January 4, 2023

A Halifax disability rights advocate wants drivers who abuse accessible parking spaces to face steeper fines and for the signs showing they’re reserved to be more clear.

Paul Vienneau says accessible parking in his neighbourhood around Spring Garden Road is already limited. But now he often sees delivery drivers pulling into them to carry out their orders.

He explains just stopping in an accessible parking spot for a few minutes can have a big impact on the people who rely on them.

The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Impossible to Navigate for Canadians With Disabilities

Experts say weak accessibility regulations and lack of government enforcement are contributing to the digital divide, and the solutions are often simple Author of the article:Jessica Mundie
Published Dec 31, 2022

Being connected to the internet is more important now than it ever has been. Canadians need a reliable, high-speed connection for school, work and just about everything to do with their daily lives. But, as Canadians come to enjoy ever faster upload and download speeds, many still don’t have access to even the most basic internet service. From rural and Indigenous Canadians suffering from a lack of infrastructure and low-income people struggling to afford high prices, to digital illiteracy and people with disabilities unable to navigate an inaccessible internet, Jessica Mundie reports on the Canadians who have been Left Behind.

The Latest Android Update Is Bad News for Accessibility Users

Change prompts a ‘devastated’ columnist to search the internet for workarounds by Brianna Albers | December 19, 2022

I could tell it was going to be a bad day.

I woke up to an overdraft notice from my bank, which is never a good sign. Then I realized something was wrong with my phone. I’d updated it the day before, but hadn’t used it since then, so the changes took me by surprise.

Years ago, when I first switched from Apple to Android, my reasoning was simple: Android offered accessibility features that Apple did not. For almost a decade, I’d made do with the “assistive touch” feature available on the iPhone, but as my SMA progressed, I found myself needing things that Apple didn’t offer.

2022 Hearing Aid Survey – Aging In

Originally Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Written by:
Alex Bass

Today’s hearing aids are more discreet and technologically advanced than ever, especially considering the original hearing aid was the ear trumpet, a horn held to the ear for people to speak into.

Despite these advancements in style and function, people needing hearing aids may still be reluctant to get them.

Untreated hearing loss can lead to communication problems that cause older adults to socially withdraw and be perceived as confused. Lack of social engagement is thought to increase older adults’ risk of dementia and hasten physical decline. Hearing aids not only compensate for hearing loss but also keep older adults connected to their families and communities for healthier aging.

When Deaf Couple Comes For Dinner, Restaurant Proves “Accessibility Is Hospitality”

Beverly L. Jenkins
Posted: December 10, 2022

When you live with a physical difference like hearing loss, you become used to making your own accommodations ahead of time to ensure a good experience.

Melissa Keomoungkhoun and her husband Victor Montiel of Salt Lake City, Utah are both deaf. They recently scored a dinner reservation at a trendy sushi restaurant in Dallas, Texas, where Melissa’s sister works as a food critic. The foodies were excited to try Tatsu Dallas, so they emailed the restaurant before their visit to let them know about their hearing loss.

Medical Bills Remain Inaccessible for Many Visually Impaired Americans

December 1, 2022

A Missouri man who is deaf and blind said a medical bill he didn’t know existed was sent to debt collections, triggering an 11% rise in his home insurance premiums.

In a different case, from California, an insurer has suspended a blind woman’s coverage every year since 2010 after mailing printed “verification of benefits” forms to her home that she cannot read, she said. The problems continued even after she got a lawyer involved.

And still another insurer kept sending a visually impaired Indiana woman bills she said she could not read, even after her complaint to the Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights led to corrective actions.

If You Have Vision Problems, These Phone Accessibility Settings Can Help

Bigger text, zoom features, voice typing, and screen readers for Android phones and iPhones can make life easier, even if you don’t have serious visual impairments By Melanie Pinola
November 12, 2022

“I’ve never looked through normal eyes,” says John-Ross Rizzo, MD, who was born with a retinal dystrophy, a progressive eye disease that currently has no cure, and is legally blind.

As an associate professor at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Rizzo works on tech initiatives to improve the lives of people with blindness and low vision. His projects include everything from wearable technology to help people navigate cities during a commute, to an app repository (or app store) for the visually impaired.

Rogers Gives Away Blind Woman’s Phone Service for 9 Days

By Sean O’Shea Global News
Posted November 10, 2022

Rogers Communications is apologizing to a legally-blind Richmond Hill woman after she was left without phone service for nine days in October.

“They really throw you to the wolves, don’t they?” said Joan Connolly, who says she’s been a Rogers customer for about 45 years.

The 81-year-old had no access to 911 service for more than a week during which time she could not place or receive any calls because her phone line was shifted to another carrier, without her consent.

Connolly received a phone call from a Rogers customer representative on October 21 asking her to confirm a request to move her phone service to another carrier, a process known as porting.