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Ontario Tech Hosting Virtual Speaker Series to Advance Disability Rights Around the World

MONTHLY SESSIONS RUN FROM SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER
August 22, 2022

To position persons with disability as agents in their narratives and experts of their own experiences, event organizers commissioned professional artist Anne K Abbott to create promotional materials for the speaker series. Learn more about Abbott at https://annekabbott.com/.

Approximately 12 per cent of individuals worldwide live with a disability. As the global population nears eight billion, that means about one billion people have a disability. Many live in developing countries or in places of conflict, where there are barriers to education, health care and other basic services. Many face violence and discrimination, and are deprived of their right to live independently.

This Technology Makes Data Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired People

August 19, 2022
Heard on All Things Considered

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with Mona Minkara, a professor of bioengineering at Northeastern University who is also blind, about a new way to present science data to blind and sighted people alike.

To hear the audio visit the link below.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

When Mona Minkara was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with macular degeneration and cone-rod dystrophy. That’s a diagnosis that meant she would eventually lose her sight. One specialist told her mother it was not worth spending a penny on her education. Mom did not listen. Minkara went on to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and is now a professor of bioengineering at Northeastern University in Boston. And this week, she and her colleagues announced a new way to make scientific data easier to interpret for the blind and visually impaired. Professor Mona Minkara joins me now. Welcome.

Video Game is Prescribed by Doctors to Treat ADHD

Abhishek Pratap
Published July21, 2022

In 2020, the EndeavorRXby Akili Interactive, is the first game to receive authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a resource in the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children.

Although, currently, it is only possible to have access to the respective treatment through prescription in the USA, this moment is revolutionary for the digital games industry and definitively changes what society understands as treatment and medication. After all, medicine no longer has to mean just pills or injections. So, check out more information about the treatment for ADHD with video game!

For Blind Internet Users, the Fix can Be Worse Than the Flaws

Accessibility experts, however, would prefer that companies not use automated accessibility overlays. Ideally, they say, organizations would hire and train full-time employees to oversee these efforts. But doing so can be difficult. By: New York Times |
July 18, 2022
Written by Amanda Morris

Patrick Perdue, a radio enthusiast who is blind, regularly shopped for equipment through the website of Ham Radio Outlet. The website’s code allowed him to easily move through the sections of each page with his keyboard, his screen reader speaking the text.

Misuse of Twitter’s Alt Text Feature Draws Criticism From Accessibility Advocates

Twitter is testing pop-ups that remind users to add appropriate image descriptions as misuse of the alt text feature prevails THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
By Katie DeightonFollow
July 15, 2022

When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration uploaded the first photo of the early universe from its James Webb telescope to Twitter, it included a highly detailed description of the deep-field snapshot.

“Most stars appear blue, and are sometimes as large as more distant galaxies that appear next to them,” read one portion of the 126-word description posted by NASA on Monday. “A very bright star is just above and left of center. It has eight bright blue, long diffraction spikes.”

Web Accessibility Is the Future of B2B Marketing

July 5, 2022

If you operate a business-to-business (B2B) website, you might not prioritize web accessibility. After all, your target audience isn’t end users; you’re writing content for business leaders and decision makers. While inclusive web design might be helpful, it’s not truly essential – is it?

The quick answer: Yes, accessibility needs to be a fundamental priority. Of course, you’d expect the Bureau of Internet Accessibility to take that position, but we’ve seen how B2B organizations benefit from an inclusive approach.

Below, we’ll explain exactly why the best practices of accessible design are crucial for B2B success.

New Accessibility App for St. John’s Pedestrian Mall Excludes Some With Vision Loss, Advocate Says

The BlindSquare app is only available for Apple devices, limiting who can use it Alex Kennedy, CBC News
Posted: Jul 07, 2022

The City of St. John’s has launched a pilot project to make the downtown pedestrian mall inclusive for people who are blind or partly blind – but a disability justice advocate says the way the city has implemented the project excludes her and many others.

The city has partnered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and Frontier Accessibility to launch BlindSquare, a navigation app that allows people with low vision or blindness to navigate the mall safely.

What It’s Like to Be a Deaf Teenager During a Pandemic

Alicia Mbesha and Kaï Haché talk about challenges and importance of community Anchal Sharma , CBC News
Posted: Jun 20, 2022

What’s it like being deaf or hard of hearing in a pandemic? CBC Ottawa reached out to two teenagers at a school in Ottawa to understand their experience.

Consortium Centre Jules-Léger teaches students from kindergarten to high school who are deaf, blind, deafblind, as well as those with learning disabilities. Because it is the only school in Canada outside Quebec that teaches students in French and using Quebec Sign Language (LSQ), many students live on campus.

DOJ Fails to Report on Making Federal Websites Accessible to Disabled People

NPR
By Shruti Rajkumar
Published June 30, 2022

About a quarter of Americans live with a disability, but nearly a third of the most popular federal websites are difficult for disabled people to access.

It has been 10 years since the Department of Justice filed a biennial report on the federal government’s compliance with accessibility standards for information technology, a bipartisan group of concerned senators say. The reports are required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

On Thursday, a group of seven senators sent a letter to the department asking for the DOJ to once again issue these reports, and the lawmakers want to know why the agency hasn’t filed them. The letter not only has bipartisan support, but also the support of chairs and ranking members of three Senate committees.

Blind Canadians Say New Rules to Put Sound on EVs Don’t Go Far Enough

Proposal would help protect blind pedestrians, but sound isn’t standardized Michelle Allan, CBC News
Posted: Jun 13, 2022

Some blind Canadians say Transport Canada’s proposed requirement that electric vehicles (EVs) emit pedestrian warning noise is a good start – but they think the sound should be standardized.

Unlike the U.S. and Europe, Canada doesn’t currently require electric vehicles and their quieter motors to generate sound when travelling at low speeds.

In April 2021, Transport Canada proposed a requirement that all hybrid and electric cars have sound emitters when travelling at low speeds. This regulation is scheduled to take effect in 2023, but allows manufacturers to pick their own sounds.