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Toronto Man Wins Disability Accommodation Fight Against Air Canada

Community applauds decision, but says ultimate goal is to be able to fly in their wheelchairs Lane Harrison, CBC News
Posted: Sep 09, 2023

Seven years after Tim Rose was denied access to an Air Canada flight because of the size of his power wheelchair, the Canadian Transportation Agency ruled the country’s largest airline needs to do more to accommodate passengers with mobility devices.

Rose, who lives in Toronto, was planning a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, in 2016 to give a presentation on disability awareness and big business. When he tried to book his flight over the phone, Air Canada said his wheelchair – a device custom designed for his body that provides him with his independence – was like a piece of oversized luggage: if it didn’t fit, it didn’t fit. As a result, he had to drive.

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.

Montreal’s REM Train Network Not as Accessible as Promised,Advocates Say

By Elizabeth Zogalis Global News
Posted August 21, 2023

Some public transit users with reduced mobility are disappointed with the lack of access at the newly-built REM train stations.

CDPQ Infra, which owns and operates the Réseau express métropolitain, claims their stations are fully accessible, but those who lobby for universal accessibility say that’s only partially true.

It’s a simple elevator ride up to the tracks at the newly-built REM stations, but if the elevator isn’t working, those with mobility issues are out of luck.

“The REM launched on July 31 and starting on Aug. 6, the Gare Central elevator just broke down – it was never fixed,” said Julien Gascon-Samson, who uses an electric wheelchair to get around.

The Wheelie Peeps: Disability Advocates Protest Illegal Use of Accessible Parking

By Destiny Meilleur Global News
Posted August 22, 2023

The Wheelie Peeps, disability advocates who were featured in the docuseries PUSH, hosted a peaceful protest in Edmonton on Tuesday to bring awareness and call for municipal authorities to do more when it comes to enforcing who is allowed to park in accessible parking spots.

“We believe that imposing fines of $500 on these perpetrators is a necessary step towards establishing respect for the law and ensuring that accessible stalls are available for those who genuinely require them,” said Bean Gill, a prominent disability advocate supporting the protest and a member of Wheels of Change.

Coquitlam Mayor Steps In After Elderly Man in Wheelchair Waits Hours for Taxi

Shannon Paterson
Multi-skilled Journalist, CTV News Vancouver
Published Aug. 8, 2023

COQUITLAM, B.C. – The mayor of Coquitlam got a phone call Monday night from an elderly neighbour who had scheduled a Bel Air Taxi wheelchair van to pick him up from a restaurant. The man had been waiting for over two hours.
“Despite booking it, and despite promises, the cab never showed up. And it’s simply a reality we deal with all too often with this taxi company,” said Mayor Richard Stewart, who has gotten involved in the past when Bel Air didn’t pick up passengers in wheelchairs.

This time, he got through to a woman in dispatch.

United Airlines Pioneers Accessibility with Braille Introduction in Aircraft Interiors

27 July 2023

United Airlines has made a significant stride in enhancing the accessibility of air travel for passengers with visual disabilities, becoming the first U.S. airline to incorporate Braille into its aircraft interiors. This initiative aims to help millions of visually impaired travelers navigate the cabin independently.

The Department of Transportation reported that approximately 27 million individuals with disabilities used air travel in 2019. Recognizing the need for improved accessibility, United has already equipped a dozen aircraft with Braille markings for individual rows and seat numbers, as well as lavatory interiors and exteriors. The airline anticipates outfitting its entire mainline fleet with Braille by the end of 2026.

Transportation Department Announces New Airplane Bathroom Accessibility Rule

by Donald Wood
Thu July 27, 2023

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new rule that requires airline bathrooms to be more accessible.

As part of the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the DOT now requires airlines to make lavatories on new single-aisle aircraft large enough to permit a passenger with a disability and attendant, both equivalent in size to a 95th percentile male.

The bathrooms must allow the two people to approach, enter and maneuver within as necessary.

Transportation Apps Can Help People With Disabilities Navigate Public Transit but Accessibility Lags Behind

Mahtot Gebresselassie, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Urban Change, York University, Canada Wed, July 12, 2023

Smartphone apps have become commonplace tools for travel and navigation. As technology becomes more integrated into transport networks, apps will continue to be indispensable. But many of those apps remain inaccessible to those with various disabilities.

Many people with disabilities rely on public transit as many do not have a driver’s licence. Planning trips, getting to and from transit stops successfully and navigating transit systems is important.

My research has shown that smartphone app technology can encourage inclusion by helping people with disabilities better navigate transport systems.

Wheelchair Users Fight for Easier Air Travel

Alex Fitzpatrick

Accessibility advocates are fighting for new rules that would ease air travel for passengers needing extra assistance – especially those requiring wheelchairs, who currently aren’t allowed to sit in their own chair during flights.

Why it matters: While airlines are banned from discriminating against disabled travelers, the reality for many involves broken wheelchairs, degrading treatment and ruined plans.

Airlines mishandled 871 wheelchairs and scooters in January 2023 alone, per Department of Transportation data – or 1.6 for every 100 with which they were entrusted.
If passengers could sit in their own wheelchairs on flights, the thinking goes, the devices would be less likely to be damaged during travel.

Govia Thameslink Trials App to Help Blind and Visually Impaired Passengers

Published June 20, 2023
Paul Day, who has used Stevenage station for 40 years, said being guided remotely was “actually quite useful” By Kate Bradbrook
BBC News, Hertfordshire

An app to help blind or partially sighted rail passengers is being trialled at Stevenage station.

The Aira wayfinding app guides passengers via a remote operator who looks through their smartphone camera.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which is trialling the third party app at four stations, believes it is the first train company in the UK to do so.

The company said it was “always looking for innovative ways of enabling everyone to travel”.