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Unshoveled Sidewalks Isolate People With Disabilities, Accessibility Consultant says

Property owners are responsible for shoveling sidewalks along their perimeter Michelle Gomez, CBC News
Posted: Jan 06, 2022

The danger of navigating snowy sidewalks can confine people living with disabilities to their homes, says accessibility consultant Amy Amantea.

“We’re isolating people. We’re shutting them off. We’re closing them off getting to medical appointments, getting essential goods in their homes.”

Amantea, who is a resident of North Vancouver and sits on the North Shore advisory committee on disability issues, is partially sighted with two per cent vision. Walking around her community over the past few weeks has been a challenge.

David Roche has Built a Career Joking That His Face is a ‘Gift from God’ – but He’s Not Kidding

Roche was recently awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to the field of disability art CBC Radio
Posted: Jan 05, 2022

David Roche’s face was first bathed in a spotlight more than 30 years ago, when he stepped onto a San Francisco stage to deliver a comedy routine in front of a champagne-sipping crowd, but people have been staring at him his whole life.

Roche, 78, was born in Hammond, Ind., with a large face tumour. When surgeons removed and radiated it, it left the left quarter of his face mottled by burns, appearing to almost melt in a scribble of veins.

Newfoundland and Labrador Passes New Accessibility Legislation for Persons With Disabilities

New accessibility legislation received royal assent in November 2021 By Katrina EƱano
04 Jan 2022

The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly has passed new legislation which will improve accessibility by identifying, preventing and removing barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from full participation in the community, according to the Ministry for Children, Seniors and Social Development.

The announcement coincided with the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2021.

The new legislation, or the Accessibility Act, will authorize the establishment of accessibility standards to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities. It will also establish an advisory board which will be primarily responsible for advising and making recommendations to the minister responsible for the status of persons with disabilities regarding the establishment and content of accessibility standards and the time periods for implementation.

Remote Work Increases Accessibility, Widens Talent Pool

The shift to remote work has meant tools once pitched as “reasonable accommodations” for people with disabilities are now mainstream. That opens up a previously underutilized hiring group for state and local government.

One million people with disabilities lost their jobs as the pandemic took hold in 2020. That’s one of the major negative impacts that lockdowns and the general economic downturn had on the disabled community. For a sense of scale, there are 1.9 million individuals with disabilities of working age (18 to 64) in just the state of California alone.

But there’s much more to it.

Lack of PCR Tests Should Not Impact Long-Term Disability Benefits for Those with Long COVID

Some with long COVID struggle to access benefits, but PCR test should not affect the process Spencer Van Dyk, CBC News
Posted: Jan 03, 2022

As more people suffer from long COVID and attempt to access disability benefits, some are being asked to show proof they had the illness, but an Ottawa lawyer says it’s their ability to work, not the disease, that ultimately matters.

The Ontario government began restricting access to PCR testing last week as a surge in COVID-19 cases put pressure on the province’s testing capacity. That means many people who are experiencing COVID-related symptoms aren’t able to access a PCR test, while some have access to rapid antigen tests.

Opinion: The World Should Not Fall Into Its Old Ableist Habits as Covid Re-Openings Continue

Matt McCann says despite the challenges of Covid, some welcome changes have come for those with disabilities and those changes should not be lost. Matt McCann
TheJournal.ie (Ireland), November7, 2021

COVID-19 HAS CHANGED the way the world works in numerous and dramatic ways. Since taking to the world stage, this virus has asserted itself and created a universal social disability for everyone, individuals, businesses and nations alike. It has, invariably, changed us all.

One positive note that this global pandemic has revealed, however, is that nothing is impossible for humanity when given the proper amount of focus, intention and support.

Talking Labels Aid the Blind with Prescriptions

Other services also can help the visually impaired avoid life-threatening mistakes by Edward C. Baig,
AARP, December 22, 2021

As some people age, they may have trouble reading prescription labels, knowing what dose to take and identifying proper pills.

Mistakes can have life-threatening consequences. The challenge is exacerbated for folks who don’t see well or have a severe visual impairment though some blind people have learned to figure out which pill is which by feeling its shape or texture.

AudioEye’s Customer Sued By San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind for Web Accessibility Failures

David Thompson, Tech Times
27 December 2021

Despite working for a long time with AudioEye for website remediation, ADP, the human resources management software and resources giant, was sued due to consistent failures in AudioEye services and products to be used by blind people.

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in San Francisco, provides services like education, training, advocacy, etc for blind individuals in California and around the world.

How The Labor Market Has Changed For People With Disabilities

Paula MorganContributor

The Labor Market Has Changed for People with Disabilities PEXELS
Even during the best times, men and women with disabilities experience challenges finding and keeping jobs. These challenges can range from insufficient workplace accommodations to difficulty getting transportation and even negative attitudes from managers and coworkers regarding their disability.

Despite only representing about 3 percent of the labor force, the economic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected workers with disabilities. Prior to the pandemic, individuals with disabilities were being hired for jobs faster than their counterparts without disabilities, which was welcome news that seemed to suggest a closing of the long-standing employment gap. In the first year of the pandemic, however, workers with disabilities lost nearly a million jobs – that is a 20 percent decline, compared to only a 14 percent decline among workers without disabilities.

Canadian Company Builds a Better Box of Chocolates Using Braille

Braille box an example of more accessible packages for people with disabilities James Dunne, CBC News
Posted: Dec 25, 2021

A move by a Canadian chocolate maker to produce packaging for blind and partially sighted people is one of several campaigns this year by companies trying to make their products more accessible to people with disabilities (PWD).

Purdys Chcolatier created a holiday box of chocolates this Christmas with both a braille label and a braille legend for the chocolates inside.

“When it first launched online and in select shops, it sold out within a matter of hours,” Julia Cho, the brand’s marketing manager, said from its Vancouver factory.