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British Columbians With Disabilities Worry Reopening Will Undo Accessibility Gains

by Bailey Nicholson
Posted Jun 16, 2021

Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux says some things shouldn’t be reversed when BC returns to ‘normal’ after the pandemic

She says our old ‘normal’ was actually inaccessible for a large part of the population

She says we’ve made huge strides in allowing virtual health care, work from home options, and curbside pickup

The world has become a lot more accessible during the pandemic from virtual work and health care, to increased delivery services and at-home entertainment.

But Surrey South MLA and Opposition Critic for Accessibility & Inclusion, Stephanie Cadieux, says people have been asking for these options for years.

For Canadians With Disabilities, Supports are Often too Little, too Late

Inclusion and equity must be at the forefront of the design of government policies, not an afterthought Amelia M. Kiddle, for CBC Opinion
Posted: Jun 14, 2021

This column is an opinion from Amelia M. Kiddle, an associate professor of history at the University of Calgary. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

Last week I received a mysterious direct deposit of $600 from the government of Canada. I checked my CRA online account and searched my memory. Finally, it dawned on me. It was a federal COVID-19 disability payment for my son Albert Jucker-Kiddle, who died at the young age of seven on March 4, 2019.

Bills Threaten Disabled Voters: ‘We Don’t Have a Voice Any more’

By Maggie Astor
New York Times, June 15, 2021

Legislation across the country would restrict voting methods and accommodations that people with disabilities are disproportionately likely to rely on.

The experience was so demeaning that Susie Angel did not vote again for two decades.

It was 1991, she recalled, and she was a 21-year-old learning to live independently with cerebral palsy, which she has had since birth. She waited in line at her polling place in Austin, Texas, for hours. Then she waited for a poll worker who could help her complete her ballot. Finally, the worker refused to take her aside, making her name her preferred candidates in full view and earshot of other voters.

Judy Heumann, Pioneering Disability Rights Activist, Takes Spotlight in “Crip Camp”

She’s considered the mother of disability rights – and she’s a ‘badass’ By David A. Taylor
Washington Post, May 25, 2021

Judy Heumann’s pandemic year started off extremely well. In late January 2020, she attended a Sundance screening of “Crip Camp,” a documentary about disabled young people – including her – who, after meeting at a Catskills summer camp run by hippies in the 1970s, went on to shape the disability rights movement and change federal law. It was a surprise hit and became an Oscar nominee for best documentary.

The following month, she published a memoir called “Being Heumann.” (She hadn’t known when the film would be released, so the timing was a coincidence.) Publishers Weekly hailed the book as “thoughtful and illuminating.”

Health of Canadians With Disabilities Suffering During the Pandemic

June 2, 2021

The COVID-19 Disability Survey captured perspectives from Canadians with different types of disabilities and their family members.

Nearly 30 per cent of those polled are hesitant to get vaccinated

A new study led by UBC researchers and the Ontario-based Abilities Centre is sounding the alarm over the damaging effects of COVID-19 for Canadians with disabilities.

Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, director of the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, points to public health restrictions and lack of community resources as key contributors to heightened challenges facing those living with disabilities.

How People With Disabilities are Sticking Together During COVID-19

Rosemary Richings|June 1, 2021

I asked my mom about what happened when the doctors first told her about my disability.

“They gave me a pamphlet,” she said, one that was 15 years out of date, and offered no advice on what we were supposed to do next.

This was before social media and Google, yet despite the lack of support and resources, she still managed to find me accommodations and care.

I have since met people who share my diagnosis, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how these social connections can help overcome stigma, build friendships, and increase access to support services.

Will BC’s Landmark New Legislation Adequately Address Disability Rights?

Minister says the bill is a solid foundation, while critics identify where it falls short. Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee, May 20, 2021

BC’s new accessibility bill provides the province with -a way of identifying barriers, removing barriers and preferably preventing them from being established in the first place.’

MLA Stephanie Cadieux has mixed feelings about a British Columbia government bill aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

“I am happy that we’re moving legislation forward that will enable us to do the more detailed work,” said Cadieux, the MLA for Surrey South and the BC Liberal Party’s critic for gender equity, accessibility and inclusion.

Many With Disabilities Struggling in COVID Era; Pandemic Has Magnified Sense of Isolation

Emma Tranter
National Post, May 17, 2021

Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or spending time with friends, but since the start of the pandemic he’s mostly been at home.

The 16-year-old resident of Yellowknife, who has cerebral palsy and a chronic lung condition, was the first person in the Northwest Territories under 18 to get vaccinated when he got the shot earlier this month.

The N.W.T. prioritized residents with chronic conditions or at high risk for COVID-19 in its vaccine rollout, but Oldford wasn’t originally eligible because of his age.

On May 6, the territory started offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to youth between 12 and 17, a day after Health Canada approved its use.

Woman With Invisible Disability Left Shaken After Altercation Over Accessible Parking Spot

Nicole Sparks of Cole Harbour says parking spots, permits should reflect that not all disabilities are obvious Emma Smith , CBC News , Posted: May 14, 2021

Nicole Sparks, a mother of two from Cole Harbour, N.S., says she’s been harassed in parking lots and followed into stores on a near-weekly basis since getting her permit.

Every time Nicole Sparks pulls into an accessible parking spot, her heart starts racing and she asks herself, “Who’s going to yell at me today?”

It was no different last Saturday when Sparks, 28, parked her vehicle and started making her way into a pharmacy. The Cole Harbour, N.S., woman is missing her left arm and wears a prosthetic.

Disability Alliance B.C. Worried Pending Accessibility Legislation Lacks Teeth

Disability B.C. says proposed legislation missing implementation timelines and enforcement mechanisms CBC News, Posted: May 13, 2021

The B.C. government is putting the finishing touches on legislation it says will improve accessibility for those with disabilities but a provincial advocacy group says the bill is incomplete.

A bill aimed at improving the lives of British Columbians with disabilities is before lawmakers in Victoria this week but a provincial advocacy group is calling on the government to pause the process and consult some more with the individuals it will effect.