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Nova Scotia Election Candidates Need to Step Up and Make Province More Accessible

By Paul Vienneau , Special to Global News
Posted August 12, 2021

In 2013, the incumbent Nova Scotia government committed to a ten-year plan for equality, making the province fully accessible for all persons living with disabilities by 2023. But Disability Rights Coalition is doubtful about that promise.

In Nova Scotia, we are famous for dragging our feet. Change comes, but only after so much wasted time and lives sacrificed while waiting to embrace it.

I would like to offer a couple of thoughts on how I would like the deaf and disabled communities to be treated by the provincial government.

Canada and Prince Edward Island Fund New Facility for Adults With Intellectual Disabilities in Charlottetown

PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE, Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW/ – The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island continue to invest in local infrastructure during this unprecedented time to meet the needs of communities across the province, enhance quality of life, and support economic recovery from COVID-19.

Today, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable James Aylward, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Joel Dennis, Tremploy Inc. Executive Director, announced funding for a new facility to provide vocational training and support services to adults with intellectual disabilities in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Record Canada Heat Harms Older People and People with Disabilities

Climate Crisis Requires Inclusive Heat Action, Planning, and Response

Ellen Spannagel
Social Connectedness Fellow 2021, Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness

Recent climate change-exacerbated heat waves in the western Canadian province of British Columbia have left hundreds dead. According to British Columbia’s chief coroner, of the 719 sudden deaths between June 25 and July 1, many were “older individuals living alone in private residences with minimal ventilation.” Many people waited hours for emergency medical assistance.

Studies show that excessive heat disproportionately harms people belonging to marginalized groups, including older people and people with disabilities.

How Accessibility at the Summer’s Gaming Events Stack Up

While a number of recent announcements highlighted accessibility in games, or offered great options for viewers, there’s more work to be done.

Before the game reveals at Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest last month, the host took to Twitter to announce several accessibility initiatives for his event. Not only would disabled viewers have access to an ASL costream led by Chris “DeafGamersTV” Robinson, they also had the opportunity to tune into a completely audio-described version on Brandon “Superblindman” Cole’s Twitch channel. And the Summer Game Fest was not the only E3 press conference to consider disabled audience members. Amid the exciting game reveals, disabled individuals found an industry event that not only acknowledged but welcomed their presence in a substantial way.

How Accessibility at the Summer’s Gaming Events Stack Up

While a number of recent announcements highlighted accessibility in games, or offered great options for viewers, there’s more work to be done.

Before the game reveals at Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest last month, the host took to Twitter to announce several accessibility initiatives for his event. Not only would disabled viewers have access to an ASL costream led by Chris “DeafGamersTV” Robinson, they also had the opportunity to tune into a completely audio-described version on Brandon “Superblindman” Cole’s Twitch channel. And the Summer Game Fest was not the only E3 press conference to consider disabled audience members. Amid the exciting game reveals, disabled individuals found an industry event that not only acknowledged but welcomed their presence in a substantial way.

Masks are Helping Control COVID-19, but They are Creating Problems for People With Disabilities

By Patrick Martin
Posted August 1, 2021

While masks are a vital barrier against the spread of COVID-19, they have also added a layer of complexity to even the most simple of tasks for people with a disability.

Key points:

Masks have been mandatory or “strongly” recommended in many settings across Australia
For people with disabilities, an unintended consequence has been social exclusion

Some are now calling for a permit system to prove they are entitled to exemptions

Masks are currently required in all indoor public spaces in South Australia and, since the state emerged from its week-long lockdown on Wednesday, have been “strongly” recommended in workplaces.

This Deaf-Blind Paralympian was Told to Navigate Tokyo Alone. So She Quit Team USA.

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post, July 19, 2021

TIMONIUM, Md. – Five years ago, Becca Meyers was on the floor of her room in the Olympic Village at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, balled up and sobbing, frustrated and terrified. She had stopped eating because she couldn’t find the athletes’ dining area. Even after her parents rescued her and pumped her full of calories and confidence in time for her to win three gold medals and a silver for Team USA, she made a promise to herself:

She would never put herself through such a nightmare again.

Report: Nova Scotia Failing to Meet Its Commitment to De-Institutionalize People With Disabilities

July 20, 2021
By Jennifer Henderson

A report issued yesterday by the Disability Rights Coalition says there remains “a mismatch” between government rhetoric on providing services to disabled adults and the frustrating reality faced by many families.

Back in 2013, in response to Canada’s ratification of the United Nations Convention respecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a government-community task force produced a report known as the Roadmap to bring Nova Scotia into compliance with the UN Convention. The McNeil government accepted recommendations to end the warehousing of disabled people in large institutions and commit to developing small options homes for four to six people in their home communities.

Woman With Disabilities Wants Change to Province’s Household Income Policy

Saint John woman says she’d lose her disability benefits if she married long-time partner Vanessa Balintec , CBC News
Posted: Jul 19, 2021

Saint John resident Kaitlyn Layden has been advocating for the revision of Social Development’s household income policy for years. She says the policy forces her to choose between getting married and moving in with her fiance or having financial stability with the department’s support.

Kaitlyn Layden remembers the intense joy she felt after getting engaged to her fiance Lucas Massey in 2017. After over four years together, she was ready for the next step – getting married, moving in together and maybe adopting a few pets.

People With Learning Disabilities ‘Extremely Vulnerable’ to the Effects of COVID-19

They must be prioritised and protected, say researchers
BMJ
Research News

People with learning disabilities with covid-19 are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital and eight times more likely to die compared with the general population of England, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Risks were particularly high for those with severe to profound learning disability, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy.

The researchers say prompt access to covid-19 testing and healthcare is warranted for this group, and prioritisation for covid-19 vaccination and other targeted preventive measures should be considered.