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Federal Appeals Court: Civil Rights Claims Against Uber Must Be Heard in Court

Originally Posted March 22, 2021

Pittsburgh, PA – Plaintiffs suing Uber for failing to provide transportation accessible to people with disabilities cannot be forced out of court and into arbitration, a federal court of appeals ruled on Wednesday. Read the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion at the link below.

The plaintiffs are people with disabilities who cannot use Uber’s on-demand transportation service in Pittsburgh because there are no wheelchair accessible vehicles available through Uber’s app.

The lawsuit, filed in 2019, seeks modifications to Uber’s policies and practices to ensure that the company makes wheelchair-accessible vehicles readily available to Pittsburgh riders who need them. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages.

Accessibility Advocates Raise Serious Concerns With New Policy Allowing Dogs on Nova Scotia Patios

By Elizabeth McSheffrey , Global News
Posted March 31, 2021

This week, Nova Scotia announced a new policy giving restaurant and bar owners the option to allow dogs on outdoor patios. Its a decision meant to include pet owners, but as Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, accessibility advocates are concerned it could end up excluding service dog users.

One day after the Nova Scotia government announced a new policy allowing dogs on outdoor patios, some accessibility advocates and guide dog users are raising concerns that the presence of pets could compromise their safety.

While service animals are well-trained, any barking or play from dogs at other tables may still distract them, interfering with their ability to keep their owner safe, said guide dog user Shelley Adams.

Walking While Blind in Manhattan During the Pandemic

by Peter Slatin
Braille Monitor March 2021

Crowded sidewalks and roadways have a few benefits to the blind: motion provides clues to what is happening. Before the pandemic, when I approached a corner I could hear whether other pedestrians were walking in the same direction, stopping, slowing or hurrying. I could hear cars traveling in the same direction and zooming past me on a parallel track through the intersection. I could hear other cars idling perpendicular to me, waiting for a light to change, or driving directly in front of me. These were all signals that it was okay to crossor not.

Disabled Canadians Face Uphill Struggle for Regular Care as COVID-19 Drains Resources

Emily Fagan
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published March 22, 2021

There’s a lot Heather Morgan has figured out on her own to ensure her family’s well-being. She spends 10 to 30 hours a week as a caregiver for her Ontario-based family of four, helping manage their multiple disabilities in addition to looking after her own health.

Her husband is autistic, while she and her two young adult children have an undiagnosed muscular condition that requires them to use power wheelchairs.

With what little time remains, she’s pursuing her master’s degree. It’s an uphill battle.

Blind Fans Outraged By Decision to Simulcast Blue Jays Games This Season!

For Immediate Release, March 8, 2021

A number of long-time blind baseball fans are outraged over the recent announcement that Toronto Blue Jays games will be simulcast this season, a move they say represents nothing more than a “callous, cost-cutting move that will make both radio and TV fans very unsatisfied and that will have impact on their enjoyment of their favourite team’s games.”

While the Blue Jays have great announcers, the needs and expectations of radio listeners and TV viewers are very different.

Restoring Funding for Accessible Books: We Need Your Help!

Sustained funding that we can rely on is crucial to our ability to plan and maintain the services we provide to our users. In its Fall Economic Statement, the federal government has indicated that its funding for CELA and NNELS will be reduced by 25% per year in the coming 4 years, down to no federal funding by the year 2024-25.

Kids With Physical Disabilities Struggling Through the Pandemic

News provided by
Easter Seals Ontario
Mar 01, 2021

TORONTO, March 1, 2021 /CNW/ – Easter Seals Ontario, now in its 99th year of operation, kicks off its annual campaign, March is Easter Seals Month, with a goal of bringing heightened awareness of the increased challenges faced by children and youth with physical disabilities and their families particularly during the pandemic.

“It has been almost a year that children with physical disabilities and their families have been without services like therapy, personal care and respite support, and it’s taking its toll,” says Kevin Collins, President and CEO, Easter Seals Ontario. “The kids have been isolated at home with very little social interaction, and many parents have had to quit their jobs to provide around the clock care. They are emotionally and physically exhausted.”

Advocacy Group for Visually Impaired Canadians Says Ottawa’s Funding Application was Inaccessible

By KRISTY KIRKUP
Globe and Mail, Mar. 3, 2021

OTTAWA – An advocacy group for blind Canadians is accusing the federal government of negligence after the organization applied for a funding program to support people living with disabilities through an online process it says was not accessible to those with visual impairments.

The Alliance for Equality for Blind Canadians (AEBC), a national charitable organization that advocates for the inclusion of individuals who are blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted, tried to apply for funding to help build capacity for their organization, Ottawa-based lawyer Anne Levesque said.

COVID-19 Vaccine Websites Violate Disability Laws, Create Inequity for the Blind

By Lauren Weber, Hannah Recht
Feb. 25, 2021

Many COVID vaccination registration and information websites at the federal, state and local levels violate disability rights laws, hindering the ability of blind people to sign up for a potentially lifesaving vaccine, a Kaiser Health News investigation has found.

Across the country, people who use special software to make the web accessible have been unable to sign up for the vaccines or obtain vital information about COVID”19 because many government websites lack required accessibility features. At least 7.6 million people in the U.S. over age 16 have a visual disability.

New National Partnership Focuses on Improving Accessibility on The Great Trail of Canada

Canadian Paralympians and Para athletes join AccessNow and Trans Canada Trail to provide valuable accessibility feedback on trails across Canada OTTAWA, ON and MONTREAL, Feb. 23, 2021 /CNW/

Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and AccessNow ” a Canadian social startup that works through mapping to facilitate accessibility in countries around the world ” are excited to announce a new partnership aimed at increasing accessibility on trails across the country.

By working together on initiatives that lead to information being shared via the AccessNow app, Canadians will be able to discover barrierfree routes as well as identify areas where barriers still exist so they can be addressed, resulting in increased accessibility along The Great Trail.