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‘It’s Discriminatory’: Regina Advocacy Group Challenges Government on Disability Program in Court

Angela Stewart
Video Journalist – CTV News Regina
Published Feb. 10, 2024

A Regina advocacy group says the provincial government is being discriminatory when it comes to those on the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program.

The Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry is claiming the government is forcing those who are on the program to take out their Canada Pension Plan money at age 60.

“It’s discriminatory because people who are forced to take out their CPP early due to disability then have to deal with the long range consequences of poverty because they were forced,” said Peter Gilmer, an advocate with the group.

The Census Bureau Halts Changing How it Asks About Disabilities Following a Backlash

By Mike Schneider, The Associated Press
Posted February 6, 2024

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday halted plans to change how it asks people about disabilities after facing a growing backlash.

Advocates for disabled people had argued that proposed changes to disability questions on the bureau’s American Community Survey would artificially reduce their numbers by more than 40%, limiting the ability of some to get vital resources for housing, schools or program benefits. They also argued that they weren’t properly consulted on such a major overhaul.

“Good news. Good news. Good news,” said Scott Landes, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University, who is visually impaired. “They got the message that we need to engage.”

The Music Teacher Who Just Won a Grammy Says It Belongs to Her Students

FEBRUARY 7, 2024
By Rachel Treisman

Grammy Awards don’t only go to the people who produce and perform songs. For just over a decade, they’ve also been given out to those who teach others how to make music.

The Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, recognizes those who have made a “significant contribution and demonstrate a commitment to music education.”

This year it went to Annie Ray, the performing arts department chair and orchestra director at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was honored for her efforts to make music accessible to all students, particularly those with disabilities.

Canadian Paralympic Athletes Will Receive Financial Recognition for Podium Performances

Canadian Paralympic Committee (Sponsorships)
Jan 24, 2024

GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 24, 2024 /CNW/ – The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) today announced a new program that will recognize Canadian Paralympians for podium performances, providing a financial reward for medals won at the Paralympic Games.

The new “Paralympic Performance Recognition” program will reward Paralympians $20,000 for winning a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal, and $10,000 for bronze at the Paralympic Games. It will be in place for the Games in Paris this summer and each edition thereafter, and is equal to the amount Olympic athletes receive for the same achievements.

Despite Legislative Progress, Accessible Cities Remain Elusive

Published: January 22, 2024
Author Ron Buliung
Professor, Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto

Amid a complex web of disability civil rights legislation in Canada and the United States, one could easily be lulled into thinking that the work is done. Some of this legislation is now several decades old; more recent additions include accessible design standards and guidelines and barrier-free elements of building codes.

But if only this were true. Watching Toronto and other cities in North America work on accessibility feels a bit like watching a snail moving through molasses: the best route is unclear, progress is slow and they often become stuck.

Six Flags Faces Lawsuit Over Disability Policies

December 28, 2023,

A California resident is suing Six Flags over its disability access policy. The plaintiff in the case, which has been filed in federal court, is seeking class action status for the case, which ultimately could affect how people with disabilities are accommodated not just at Six Flags but also at Universal and other theme parks that use the same system.

The case, I.L. v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. and Magic Mountain LLC [1:23-at-01058], was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The unnamed plaintiff claims to be a disabled veteran who was denied access to rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain on multiple occasions, despite completing an online application for an IBCCES Accessibility Card, as required now by Six Flags.

Patients Benefit When Medical Schools Remove Barriers for Students With Disabilities, Study Says

Study isn’t just about fairness but shows ‘these students actually have strengths,’ Canadian researcher says Bobby Hristova, CBC News
Posted: Jan 21, 2024

She had the highest grade point average (GPA) at the University of Ottawa and a perfect score on her medical exams, but Shira Gertsman had little chance of getting into numerous medical schools across Canada – because of a disability.

“When I was in my undergrad, I went to a career counsellor and they looked at my transcript … they saw some of [my course load] was part-time and told me not to bother applying because there wouldn’t be hope for me,” said Gertsman, who lives with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

The New Year Should Bring in a New Focus on Accessibility

By Spencer van Vloten | Opinion | January 19th 2024

Accessibility has become an increasingly prominent topic over the last few years.

It is one of the leading issues in community design, and cities, provinces and organizations tout their accessibility strategies as evidence of their commitments to inclusion.

But despite this attention, there are still several areas where accessibility gaps are overlooked, two of which I discuss below.

On the surface, these deficits affect people very differently, but common to each is that continuing to neglect them will lead to a host of consequences felt beyond those immediately impacted.

Volt Hockey is Now in Winnipeg, Giving Kids Living With Disabilities a Chance to Play

Devon McKendrick Digital Editorial Producer
Published Jan. 13, 2024

Kids who wouldn’t be able to play hockey are getting the chance to do so thanks to a new program in Winnipeg.

Volt Hockey is starting up in Winnipeg and gives kids living with disabilities the chance to try the sport that so many Canadians love.

It is played three-on-three in a gymnasium using motorized chairs that can go up to 14 kilometres an hour. The chairs have a blade on the end and the sport uses a whiffle ball.

More Than 1/3 of New Brunswickers Have a Disability: StatsCan

Advocate calls for ‘drastic change’ as N.B.’s disability rate rises 8.6 % in 5 years Clare MacKenzie, CBC News
Posted: Jan 16, 2024

More than a third of New Brunswickers are living with a disability, according to the latest Statistics Canada data. At 35.3 per cent, it’s the second highest rate in Canada. The national average is 27 per cent.

New Brunswick’s disability rate is also increasing faster than anywhere else in the country – rising by 8.6 percentage points between 2017 and 2022.

Haley Flaro is the executive director of Ability New Brunswick, a non-profit organization that advocates for people living with a mobility disability.