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Class Action Takes Aim at Airfares for Persons With Disabilities

Claim filed by Paralympian and engineer alleges discriminatory pricing for seats on international flights August 20, 2021

Celebrated Paralympian Paul Gauthier and a Calgary engineer with quadriplegia are suing a group of Canadian airlines including Air Canada (TSX:AC) and WestJet, claiming in a class action that people with disabilities are subject to discriminatory air travel charges if they require more than one seat to accommodate their disabilities on international flights.

Gauthier and Christopher Reaume filed a notice of civil claim under the Class Proceedings Act in BC Supreme Court on August 3, naming Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge General Partner Inc., Chorus Aviation Inc., Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet as defendants.

New Resource Focuses on Accessibility, Universal Design for Learning

by Molly Mayhew | CTT.

What started with an innocent question from an instructor last year brought four university units together to create a new resource with information about accessibility and universal design for learning.

After McKinzie Sutter, an instructional designer at the Center for Transformative Teaching, assisted an instructor in finding a captioning service for YouTube videos, the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities reached out about the potential to share more tips with faculty in relation to accessibility.

Twitter is Redesigning Its Redesign After Users Complain of Headaches and Eyestrain

Not very Chirpy
By Rob Thubron August 17, 2021

Facepalm: Imagine a scenario in which you introduce a revamped design for your company’s product, something that millions use, only to find it’s giving customers headaches. That’s the situation Twitter finds itself in and must now redesign its redesign.

Twitter rolled out its updated app and website last week, introducing “higher color contrast of buttons, links, focus [and] easier reading with left-aligned text and more space between text.” It also added a custom-designed font called Chirp.

Twitter admitted that the change “might feel weird at first” but would allow easier reading and improve visual clutter. It didn’t count on the redesign causing eye strain, headaches, and migraines among many users.

People With a Disability Still Struggle to Find Work – Under Half are Employed

Melanie Carroll
Aug 18 2021

New Zealand’s “disability employment crisis” continues, with unemployment rising for people with disabilities, says the chief executive of Workbridge.

Unemployment remained high for people with a disability, with only 42.5 per cent of working age disabled people in work in the three months ended June, Stats NZ said on Wednesday.

That compared with the 78.9 per cent of non-disabled people aged 15 to 64 who were employed over the June quarter.

“I’m pretty despondent about it, to be honest, because there is a fractional increase,” said Jonathan Mosen, head of disability employment organisation Workbridge.

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.

Warning Job Applicants With Disabilities May Miss Out if Artificial Intelligence Used to Hire

Melanie Carroll
Aug 04 2021

How IBM Is Using Artificial Intelligence to Combat Bias in Advertising

IBM is trying to figure out how to use artificial intelligence to identify bias in advertising and mitigate it. Coming up with an equitable ad industry is better for both consumers and companies, said Sheri Bachstein, CEO of The Weather Compan…

New Zealand employers are crying out for skilled workers but may be ruling out potential talent without realising it.

Many large organisations use algorithms to assess performance in job interviews and about 40 per cent use artificial intelligence (AI) when screening potential candidates, according to a global report by business consultancy Accenture.

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.

Accessibility Changes are Coming to Halifax Patios This Summer

Nicola Seguin
CBC News, Aug. 11, 2021

For a blind person like Yvon Clement, obstacles are everywhere.

Everyday objects like sandwich boards, bike racks and sidewalk patios can pose a danger for those who use a cane to get around.

Patios that only have a rope-and-post barrier can pose an accessibility issue because the open space between the posts can’t be detected by cane.

“There’s nothing there to indicate that there’s something coming up,” said Clement, who has been blind since childhood.

“That’s how it’s dangerous to us, because we can trip over a table, fall over somebody, and there we go their food is on the ground.”

The PDF/UA Foundation Launches New PDF Accessibility Checker – PAC 2021

August 09, 2021
TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The PDF/UA Foundation is thrilled to announce the launch of the newest iteration of the compliance validation tool, the PAC (PDF Accessibility Checker) 2021.

“We will serve the community by ensuring that document accessibility tools are always free and available to end users. This will help us achieve our mission of striving for a barrier-free digital world” This latest free release is an important step forward in PDF accessibility. The design allows users to quickly identify the machine verifiable success criterion of ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA) and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

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.