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Brandon Needs to Improve ‘Awful’ Accessibility, Says Wheelchair User

With election coming, advocacy groups say more needs to be done to implement Manitoba’s Accessibility Act Chelsea Kemp , CBC News
Posted: Sep 17, 2023

When Phillip Emmerson travels on the sidewalks in southwestern Manitoba’s biggest city, it takes constant vigilance to ensure his wheelchair doesn’t catch on any obstacles.

His journeys in Brandon are full of impediments.

At one point he wheels over an uneven railway line before hitting a piece of raised sidewalk. He speeds up before the crossing to ensure he has the momentum to cross it – but he risks crashing if his front tires catch where the street joins the sidewalk.

Popular Montreal BreakDancer With Disability Calls Out Trudeau Airport for Accessibility Fail

Luca ‘Lazylegz’ Patuelli says elevator, escalator were out of order – and no staff knew what to do CBC News
Posted: Aug 29, 2023

Luca Patuelli, a dancer known as Lazylegz, says he’s used to navigating a world that isn’t always designed with accessibility in mind.

Born with arthrogryposis, a muscle disorder that affects his legs and requires him to use crutches and a wheelchair, the world-renowned b-boy and motivational entertainer is known for his perseverance and his philosophy of “No Excuses. No Limits.”

But he says an especially frustrating experience Sunday evening at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport has prompted him to speak out.

One Year Before Paralympics, Paris Trying to Make City More Accessible to Those With Disabilities

Author of the article:The Associated Press
Youcef Bounab
Published Aug 28, 2023

PARIS (AP) – With one year to go before Paris hosts the Paralympic Games for the first time, the French capital is faced with a significant challenge: the accessibility of its public transit.

With only one subway line totally accessible out of 16, the city is under pressure to find solutions before the Paralympics start on Aug. 28, 2024.

And both the Games’ organizers and wheelchair users such as tennis gold medalist Michael Jeremiasz see the Paris Paralympics as an opportunity to bring about durable change.

Disabled Fans Decry No-Show Accessible Festival Toilets

Published August 26, 2023
Faith Martin

What’s on your UK summer festival season checklist? Probably a mix of top bands, warm hazy days with friends and answered prayers for at least a little sun (as well as a sturdy tent).

But for many disabled festival-goers, simply knowing whether they’ll be able to access the toilet can often top the bill before any headline act.

Festivals have long included accessible portaloos by disabled viewing platforms as part of “reasonable adjustment” provisions under equality law.

However, disabled people say the cubicles provided are often too small to fit a wheelchair inside – let alone a personal assistant if needed.

Paralympian Sophie Christiansen Hits Out at Retailers Over Access

Published August 16, 2023

A gold-medal winning Paralympian has criticised retail businesses after experiencing difficulties accessing shops in her wheelchair.

Sophie Christiansen, who has cerebral palsy, said “nothing has changed” since she recorded a video of her trying enter shops in Farnborough, Hampshire, in 2021.

She has called for proper enforcement of the Equality Act.

The government is currently consulting on its new Disability Action Plan.

Ms Christiansen posted a video on Instagram, recorded two years ago, showing her trying to enter a convenience store but stopped by a small step.

How Accessible Playgrounds Foster Independence for Kids With Disabilities

By Ulaa Kuziez
Published August 4, 2023

When Natalie Mackay’s son Zachary Blakemore was 3 years old, typical playgrounds were challenging for him to navigate in his wheelchair. Often, they were places of burden.

“It would emphasize his limitations. He would start to ask questions why he couldn’t play,” she told St. Louis on the Air. “And I wanted to fix that problem.”

Inspired by her son’s experience, Mackay founded Unlimited Play nearly 20 years ago. Her first project was Zachary’s Playground in Lake St. Louis, an accessible playground honoring him.

We Can’t Afford To Not Make Our Cities More Accessible For People With Disabilities

Op-ed: ADA compliance and design for inclusion are an economic engine. Instead of trying to dismantle or ignore it, let’s recognize its potential to enrich our cities and their residents. STEVE WRIGHT | STRONG TOWNS OP-ED JULY 27, 2023

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 33 on July 26. For a third of a century, this landmark civil rights legislation has made it possible for people with disabilities to access public spaces and participate in their communities, in ways they couldn’t in the past. This has had a marked effect on our built environment and the way cities operate-in ways that benefit both people with disabilities and the general public, as a whole.

Disabled Music Fans Say Their Accessible Seats at Rock the Park Were So Far Away They Couldn’t See

Disability expert says concerts want to offer better service, but often don’t know how Michael Lacasse, CBC News
Posted: Jul 18, 2023

Disabled music fans at Rock the Park say the accessible seating area of the popular four-day summer concert series in Harris Park was too small and so far away from the stage they could barely see.

The concert wrapped up over the weekend with shows from some of the biggest names in music, including Mumford and Sons, Cypress Hill, Ja Rule, Billy Talent and Alexisonfire.

“I was just thrilled to be there … but my experience as a disabled person was disappointing,” said Valerie Hembruff, who attended the concert on Friday, where ticket prices range from $107.35 for general admission and up to $178.54 for VIP.

Calgary Stampede Has Become More Accessible, but Individual Planning Still Required

Bill Macfarlane
CTV News Calgary Video Journalist
Published July 11, 2023

The Calgary Stampede has made considerable efforts over the years to make sure it is welcoming and inclusive to everyone.

Though work has gone into improving accessibility for those with mobility issues, one visitor warns some planning is required before you head to the grounds.

Stampede Park has very few curbs, and paved pathways and ramps that assist wheelchair access to all buildings.

“One hundred per cent, it’s a good time, we just have to be strategic on how to do it, and know where we’re going and work through it that way,” said Darby Young, owner of a successful accessibility consulting firm, Level Playing Field, and a seasonal worker at Stampede since she was 14.

As Canadian Cities Make Pandemic Patios Permanent, Experts Call for Clear Standards

The Canadian Press
Rosa Saba
Published Jul 09, 2023

At the height of social distancing and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadian cities rolled out temporary patio policies, loosening rules and waiving fees for bars and restaurants looking to seat more customers outdoors.

These programs brought a glimmer of hope and revenue to businesses that had been forced to shut their doors, allowing them to offer more outdoor dining to citizens eager to leave their houses.

Now, as cities transition into their new normal post-pandemic, experts say patios need better across-the-board standardization to make them more accessible, as well as more predictable for the businesses still trying to make up for lost sales.