Accessibility in the News—6/23/17.
Accessible entertainment is booming this summer, all the way from movie accessibility to a water park for those with special needs. A couple structured their home and gardens for everyone’s enjoyment, including those who use wheelchairs and walkers. Golfing fans who have Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, are welcomed with very intentional accommodations at the Travelers Championship.
AITN Quote of the Week
“When you have a disability, knowing that you are not defined by it is the sweetest feeling.”
— Anne Wafula Strike
National News (U.S.)
Retailers Selling Goods Through the Internet Face ‘Digital Access Barrier’ Litigation Under the ADA
June 8, 2017 | Source: Lexology | Digital Accessibility, Litigation, ADA, Government
Plaintiff class-action lawyers in Massachusetts have filed recent lawsuits in federal court under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA Title III) against retailers who sell goods through their websites. Out of state lawyers have also filed lawsuits against Massachusetts businesses on the same basis. The majority of these lawsuits do not attempt to certify a class action, but do seek to alter retailers’ practices, recover attorneys’ fees and costs, and potentially influence the Department of Justice to seek class-wide like relief against offending retailers.
These lawsuits allege that retailers’ websites do not comply with ADA Title III and certain related regulations (ADA Regulations). The lead plaintiffs in these Massachusetts actions are Access Now, Inc. and certain named members. Access Now asserts that it is a non-profit organization advocating for disabled individuals, including those who are blind…
Hays USD 489 schools struggle to meet ADA requirements
June 10, 2017 | Source: The Hays Post | Mobility, ADA, Education, Discrimination
Imagine being a small child. You are excited to go to your neighborhood school. But you can’t. Why? You can’t even get to the front door.
The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed 27 years ago, but the Hays school district has several schools that lack basic accommodations for students with disabilities. There are only two buildings in the district that are considered fully ADA compliant — the high school and middle school…
Workshop considers ways to improve accessibility to businesses, travel experiences for individuals with disabilities
June 10, 2017 | Source: Charlottesville Tomorrow | Travel, Nonprofit, Higher Education, Digital Accessibility | Virginia
A Charlottesville-based nonprofit is working to create conversations about accessibility and travel. The Blue Trunk Foundation recently held a workshop with the University of Virginia School of Architecture to reflect on what individuals with disabilities and their caregivers expect when they are traveling and what businesses can do to be more accessible.
Attendees also provided feedback to the Blue Trunk Foundation on mock-ups of its travel information website, which it is hoping to launch in the fall. The website will provide users with crowd-sourced accessibility-related information for businesses and feature curated content, such as blog posts…
Accessibility for disabilities: beneficial for all
June 13, 2017 | Source: The Aggie | Higher Education, Cognitive, Mobility, Inclusion
From top-of-the-line voice recognition software to tables that height-adjust depending on load weight, UC Davis’ accommodations for employees with occupational and cognitive disabilities are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. However, many issues still persist. Tim Kerbavas, the special event support technical director for UC Davis’ Academic Technology Services, was working at an event when he fell off a stage and sprained his ankle. Coming back an hour later in crutches, he started to consider the circumstances those with disabilities face daily.
“The aisles are too narrow and I can’t get past the chairs,” Kerbavaz said. “I came back with a temporary disability and realized I [couldn’t] get around this event that I’m running. It was this wake-up call, like, ‘I am contributing to all these events.’ I’m a part of the problem here.”…
Actiview aims to streamline movie accessibility for millions of hearing and vision impaired
June 13, 2017 | Source: TechCrunch | Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Blindness/Visual Impairment, Arts/Entertainment, Inclusion
Most people don’t have to think very hard about going to see the latest movie in the theater, but for millions of Americans, things aren’t that simple. If you’re hearing or vision impaired, getting the necessary apparatus to provide you with amplified sound or scene descriptions can be a real pain, if they’re even available. Actiview is a startup aiming to make accessibility in movie-going as simple as opening an app. And to kick-start the venture, it’s going to be available for the nation-wide debut of Cars 3.
The problem is simply that the technology used for accessibility hasn’t kept pace with the rest of the world. The custom hardware setups, from established cinema audio and infrastructure companies, are clunky and expensive; a theater may pay thousands to get enough gear to be in compliance with accessibility laws…
7 examples of accessibility design that developers should study
June 14, 2017 | Source: Gamasutra | Gaming, Inclusion, Accessible Design
Games are for everyone. And in recognizing this, ever-increasing numbers of developers are making a point to incorporate more accessibility features and options like remappable controls, configurable subtitles, resizable HUDs, and more. Even the console makers are getting involved — Microsoft recently added a text-to-speech API, live speech-to-text transcription, and a “co-pilot” mode to the Xbox.
Accessibility is in vogue, and with good reason. The more accessible a game is, the larger its potential audience and the happier its players — all of whom benefit from better sound and graphic design and greater customizability. Game accessibility consultant, and advocate Ian Hamilton, one of the leading experts in the field, says that accessibility is now bigger than ever — with “big players in the industry kicking off initiatives such as internal awareness raising events” and key industry figures like Shuhei Yoshida, Shawn Layden, Phil Spencer, and Cliff Bleszinski are making public statements of support…
Water Park For Those With Special Needs Set To Open
Just in time for summer, a first-of-its-kind splash park designed from the ground up to accommodate people with various special needs will make its debut. Morgan’s Inspiration Island will open Saturday in San Antonio. The $17 million water park features five play areas with pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and other elements as well as a five-minute jungle-themed riverboat ride with twists and turns. The new park is located adjacent to Morgan’s Wonderland, a fully-accessible 25-acre theme park that opened in 2010.
“Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion,” said Gordon Hartman, the philanthropist behind the parks. “Both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.”…
New Accessibility App Makes Enjoying a Trip to the Movies Inclusive for All
June 15, 2017 | Source: Huffington Post | Inclusion, Arts/Entertainment, Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Disability Rights
For most young people, adolescence is a time filled with fashion and romantic concerns. For Alex Koren, his teen years were the beginning of a quest for equal access for the hearing impaired.
“When I was 13,” Koren shared, “I went to a camp that had a program for deaf kids as well. We shared bunks, activities, everything. Some of the counselors were deaf and we had interpreters on staff to help bridge the gap, but we were all encouraged to learn some sign and just truly be friends with no barriers.”…
Using the web to improve accessibility
June 15, 2017 | Source: CommonWealth | Web Design, Digital Accessibility, Transit/Transportation, Mobility
Transportation in cities is changing rapidly as new technology-enabled mobility options such as bike-sharing, car-sharing, and ride-sharing emerge. Our mission at TransitScreen is to make information about these proliferating public and private mobility choices accessible to everyone – regardless of their age, language, or social status – allowing them to save time and money while increasing the sustainability of our cities. And we have found that public information displays have a big impact on people’s choices.
How does public information work for people who can’t read information screens? In the US there are over 1.3 million legally blind people, many of whom have difficulty reading public screens, and over 100,000 totally blind people, who often depend on assistive technology such as screen readers (which read text on computers out loud). Naturally, public transportation plays a major role in many of their lives…
Top 5 takeaways from Perkins’ web accessibility workshop
June 16, 2017 | Source: Perkins School for the Blind | Digital Accessibility, Web Design, Blindness/Visual Impairment, Awareness
Are screen readers free? What fonts do people who are visually impaired prefer? Are transcripts of online videos legally mandatory?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to learn more about web accessibility. That’s the first step to making the content on your company or organization’s website navigable and usable for everyone – including people who are visually impaired or have other disabilities…
The Road from Princeton to Boston: The Princeton Braillists and an Enduring Legacy
June 16, 2017 | Source: National Braille Press | Blindness/Visual Impairment, Higher Education, Awareness
Four colossal bookcases. Seven thermoform machines, five binding machines, and two light projectors. Twenty boxes bursting with aluminum tactile graphics ranging from fungi to fish, electricity to elements, geomorphology to geometry, mitosis to moon phases. And the pièce de résistance: 40 volumes amounting to 2,177 pages of the most comprehensive maps available in a tactile format.
Four decades of thoughtful devotion have been poured into the compendium that is The Princeton Braillists’ collection. Beginning in 1965, armed with a background in Experimental Physics and a penchant for handicrafts, Nancy Amick created tactile images to accompany audio texts for Recording for the Blind in Princeton. Drawing on her childhood experience with copper embossing, Nancy generated textures, patterns and lines in sheets of flexible aluminum, designing hundreds of diagrams for math and science textbooks, and simultaneously developing novel techniques to become an expert in the field of tactile graphics…
A Lifetime of Gardening: North Street Couple Shares Accessible Gardens and Vistas
June 17, 2017 | Source: Greenwich Free Press | Leisure/Entertainment, Housing, Mobility, Inclusion | Connecticut
Marjorie and Guy Smith opened their North Street home and splendid gardens during the Sunday, June 4 Grandiflora Garden Tour 2017, a fundraiser for the Garden Education Center. Hundreds passed through their home at 352 North Street, affording the Smiths an opportunity to share their ideas about accessible gardens.
“I’m privileged to be a steward of this property,” Marjorie said. “I’m happy to be able to share, especially with people in assisted living.” “If you’re in a wheelchair or a walker, you can go into every room and enjoy the views,” Mrs. Smith said, adding that some visitors during the garden tour were walking with the assistance of canes…
Oregon’s electronic, accessible ballots may soon be available in other states
June 19, 2017 | Source: State Scoop | Voting/Elections, Blindness/Visual Impairment, Lawsuits/Litigation, Inclusion
States may soon have another option for accessible ballots as an HTML ballot provider for 36 counties in Oregon considers service in new states.
Five Cedars Group, which creates downloadable HTML ballots for the blind and disabled, is undergoing certification in California and also considering expansion to Ohio, both of which have faced voting discrimination lawsuits related to accessibility. The move marks a pattern of states looking toward new technological capabilities to address compliance issues with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), a law passed following the 2000 presidential election that ensures all voters have the ability to cast secret ballots privately and independently…
Latest Website Accessibility Decision Further Marginalizes the Viability of Due Process and Primary Jurisdiction Defenses
June 19, 2017 | Source: National Law Review | Digital Accessibility, Web Design, Government
In the latest of an increasing number of recent website accessibility decisions, in Gorecki v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (Case No.: 2:17-cv-01131-JFW-SK), the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied Hobby Lobby’s motion to dismiss a website accessibility lawsuit on due process and primary jurisdiction grounds. In doing so, the Hobby Lobby decision further calls into question the precedential value of the Central District of California’s recent outlier holding in Robles v. Dominos Pizza LLC (Case No.: 2:16-cv-06599-SJO-FFM) which provided businesses with hope that the tide of recent decisions might turn in their favor…
When the School Building Itself Is a Barrier to Equal Education
June 20, 2017 | Source: WNYC | Mobility, Education, Accessible Design, Discrimination | New York
Emma Albert, 14, has never entered her school through the front door. The eighth grader has a vascular malformation on her left leg, which means that since the first grade she used a wheelchair though she could switch to crutches for short distances. And it means that she could access only the areas of her school that were wheelchair accessible. So, each morning she entered The Manhattan School for Children through a side entrance.
When it came time to apply to high school, she lamented that her search was driven more by accessibility than school offerings. “They don’t really care about, ‘What are your interests outside of school?’ It’s like, as long as it’s accessible, it’s a good school for you,” she said…
Civil Rights Lawyer Scott R. Dinin Wins Landmark Historic Ruling as Federal Judge Rules Winn-Dixie Stores Must Make their Website Accessible to the Disabled
June 20, 2017 | Source: PR Web | Lawsuits/Litigation, Digital Accessibility, Web Design, ADA | Florida
On July 12, 2016, Juan Carlos Gil, a visually impaired man, brought a lawsuit against the 5th largest supermarket chain Winn Dixie for violations of his civil rights under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) based upon the inability of Winn Dixie’s website to interface with Mr. Gil’s screen reader software in the case styled Gil v. Winn Dixie Civil Action No. 16 -23020-Civ-Scola
After a two-day trial earlier this month, United States District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. rendered a verdict in Mr. Gil’s favor and has ordered that Winn Dixie remedy its website by following the public Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to bring their offered website into the mainstream of corporate America. (see: 1:16-cv-23020-RNS Gil v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc._Verdict and Order)…
70 Percent of MDA Families Say They Have Experienced Problems with Accessibility When Traveling by Air
June 20, 2017 | Source: MDA | Travel, Discrimination, Accessible Design, Advocacy, Disability Rights
Air travel is essential to being able to live, work or go to school where you choose—and can determine whether someone can see a specialty provider or participate in a clinical trial that is far from home. MDA believes access to air travel is essential to living unlimited. That’s why we’re working with policy makers, federal agencies, industry, and other advocacy and disability rights organizations to help improve access to air travel for MDA families. Together we can make a difference…
Website offers guide to accessible bars, restaurants in Cincinnati
June 21, 2017 | Source: Cincinnati Business Courier | Web App, Awareness, Food Service, Building/Facilities Access | Ohio
Two Cincinnatians have created a website that provides accessibility information on restaurants and bars in the Queen City. Access Cincinnati, funded by philanthropic laboratory People’s Liberty, announced the launch of accesscincinnati.org, a crowdsourced mobile site that provides users with an interactive map of more than 150 restaurants and bars in Over-the-Rhine, downtown and the Banks.
Access Cincinnati was founded last year by businesswoman Kathleen Cail and architect Nestor Melnyk with the goal of providing individuals with mobility issues information about accessibility for establishments in and around the city. Cail and Melnyk each have a child with special needs..
Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program to Ensure Content Serves All Students Equally
Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, in conjunction with Dedicon, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Vision Australia, today announced Global Certified Accessible. The program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements set by K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.
Global Certified Accessible ensures students unable to read standard print due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability have equal access to the same content as their peers. The program has a global footprint in order to serve students around the world. Benetech developed the certification standards and serves as the lead certification provider for North America. Dedicon provides certification for mainland Europe, Royal National Institute of Blind People for the United Kingdom, and Vision Australia for Australasia…
How Wheelchair Accessibility Ramped Up
June 22, 2017 | Source: The Atlantic | Mobility, Accessible Design, Building/Facilities Access
Stephanie Woodward just wanted to meet her friends for a drink. It was a bar she’d never visited, and she was excited. But going anywhere new for Woodward requires a vetting process. She uses a wheelchair, so building access is always a worry. Research on Google Street View proved promising in this case: A ramp led up into the entryway. That evening, Woodward entered the front door without trouble. But once inside, a single step stood between her and the bar.
It was one step, but for Woodward it may as well have been a wall. “I’m in the front lobby, but to get any sort of service, to even be seen, I had to call the staff,” she says. “I can’t visit this business independently. I’m a strong wheelchair user, but hopping steps is not an easy task.”…
ADA lawsuits spark concerns over job website accessibility
June 22, 2017 | Source: HR Drive | ADA, Lawsuits/Litigation, Digital Accessibility, Web Design
Recruiting for diversity is good for business. An Indeed survey earlier this year indicated that 77% of employees think it’s very or quite important for companies to be diverse. The Center for Talent Innovation recently reported that a diverse talent pool is vital for a competitive edge in any market. The more diverse an employee population is, the better people understand commonalities, which often translates to better relationships and added innovation.
But, what if despite all efforts to increase diversity when hiring, the career website of an organization backfires because a candidate with a disability is not able to complete an application?…
Why an Inclusive Workplace Is Good For Business
June 22, 2017 | Source: Ozy | Inclusion, Workforce/Employment, ADA, Disability Rights
For individuals with disabilities, job hunting can be particularly arduous. Never mind that few offices accommodate their needs — even though the Americans with Disabilities Act is meant to ensure that they do — landing a job is more difficult too.
The Bureau also found that when a disabled and nondisabled individual with the same level of education were both up for the same position, the candidate without a disability was far more likely to receive the offer. Part of the problem is that many employers have a misconception over what hiring someone with a disability entails, says Chetan Bakhru, the senior accessibility specialist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He notes that some employers worry about the effect hiring someone with a disability will have on the office culture, or on their budgets. The issue, he says, is a lack of understanding…
TDF’s National Open Captioning Initiative Announces New Sponsorships Across the U.S.
June 22, 2017 | Source: Broadway World | Performing Arts, Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Inclusion, Accessible Design
TDF’s National Open Captioning Initiative (NOCI), which offers two-year partnerships with regional theatres and performing arts centers across the United States to sponsor open captioned performances, has announced the theatres that will receive their first year of sponsorship to help expand their access objectives during the 2017-18 season.
The new theatres TDF will provide open captioning for are: Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio; Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA; Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, CT; Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach, CA; Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT; and Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA…
ALS patients enjoy accessibility at Travelers Championship
June 22, 2017 | Source: FOX 61 | Mobility, Sports/Entertainment, Accessible Design, Inclusion
According to 2016 Travelers’ Co-Chairman and ALS patient, Brian Savo, “this place is very easy, very accessible for someone with a handicap.” And that’s the way it should be. Diagnosed with ALS eight years ago, it left him in a wheelchair with limited muscle movement. “As an ALS patient, you don’t have too many opportunities to get out of the house,” said Savo.
It’s the same disease that cut short Travelers’ CEO Jay Fishman’s life last year. And that’s when things began to change at the tournament…
HOW ONE MOM IS ON A MISSION TO MAKE FASHION ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
June 22, 2017 | Source: Babble | Accessible Design, Arts/Entertainment, Inclusion
Have you ever thought about what it’s like to live with a disability? Have you really thought about it? People who live with disabilities have to find creative ways of performing everyday tasks, such as opening a door, pouring their own cereal, or putting on pants. The fact that these ordinary things are sometimes a struggle is something most of us never think about.
One of my kids was born with a hand deformity which, on the surface, doesn’t slow him down at all. But, he’s 7 now and as he gets older, I am noticing more and more how he has difficulty with things I would never perceive as being a challenge. Things like, using a pepper mill, gripping a really large hamburger, and buttoning a shirt. Seeing the world through his eyes has opened my eyes in countless ways, giving me insight to life with disabilities that an average person might not possess…
Retailers’ websites must comply with Americans with Disabilities Act, court rules
A court decision in Florida could have major consequences for retailers everywhere, forcing them to equip their websites with technology that makes them accessible to disabled individuals. Last week, a federal judge in Florida found that the website of Winn-Dixie — the second largest supermarket chain in the Southeast — violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because it was inaccessible to visually impaired individuals.
The decision is significant because retailers might be required to equip their websites with technology that is compatible with ADA standards, including refreshable Braille displays or devices that read website content aloud, said attorney Mark Knueve, a partner with Columbus-based Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease…
Jack Fact — According to AARP, 87% of adults over age 65 want to stay in the home and community as they age. This desire to “age in place” comes from a combination of factors, including comfort at home, familiarity with their surroundings and financial considerations.
Augmenting ability: Microsoft using AI, smart glass tech to aid differently-abled
June 12, 2017 | Source: Financial Express- India | Blindness/Visual Impairment, Innovation, Accessible Design | India
Microsoft Research Asia in collaboration with Chinese Science Academy and Peiching Union University has developed a prototype which translates sign language into spoken language and spoken language into sign language in real-time. This revolutionary technique will enable hearing-impaired individuals to communicate effectively by simply using sign language. Similarly, Microsoft Seeing AI is aimed at helping people who are visually-impaired to understand more about who and what is around them. A research project, Seeing AI, combines image recognition and natural language processing to describe a person’s surroundings, read text, answer questions and even identify emotions on people’s faces. Seeing AI can be used through smartphone app or smart glass app and can help people to achieve more…
Strong calls for UK digital & tech sectors to ‘improve inclusion and accessibility’
June 13, 2017 | Source: Digital Arts Online- UK | Inclusion, Web Design, Digital Accessibility | United Kingdom
Global user experience (UX) agency Sigma has called for UK digital and technology sectors to improve the inclusion and accessibility of its products and services, saying it’s a “moral and commercial imperative”.
Sigma has been hosting the Camp Digital conference in Manchester, and will host a workshop tomorrow for London Tech Week on the necessity of creating digital products – such as websites, mobile apps and software – accessible to all users, and users who are often left out of the design process. This can include partially sighted people, people with neuro-diversity (such as dyslexia or the autistic spectrum), hearing loss, elderly people who suffer impairments, those with mobility or cognitive impairment (such as epilepsy), manual dexterity problems and those with learning disabilities…
Government called on to increase numbers getting disability allowance
June 13, 2017 | Source: Cyprus Mail- Cyprus | Government, Lawsuits/Litigation, Discrimination | Cyprus
Lawmakers on Tuesday called on the government to comply fully with a Supreme Court ruling on granting disabled people severe motor disability allowance. In January 2016 the Supreme Court ruled on a case brought before it by a disabled person aged over 65.
The individual took their case to the Supreme Court, challenging a prior refusal by the labour ministry’s department for social inclusion to grant the severe motor disability allowance. Under current policy, only people aged 12 to 65 are eligible…
Minister Qualtrough reinforces Canada’s commitment to accessibility at United Nations
June 15, 2017 | Source: CNW Group- Canada | Legislation/Policy, Government, Awards/Recognition | Canada
From June 13 to 15, 2017, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, represented Canada at the 10th session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York.
In her opening remarks, Minister Qualtrough signaled Canada’s commitment to people with disabilities, shared an update on the development of new federal accessibility legislation, and reinforced Canada’s commitments under the Convention.
Minister Qualtrough also announced Canada’s endorsement of the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. The Charter aims to significantly improve living conditions of people with disabilities during emergencies. The announcement was made on behalf of Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie…
SpecialEffect Are Trying to Make Video Games Accessible to Everyone
June 16, 2017 Source- n3rdabl3- UK | Gaming, Accessible Design, Mobility, Inclusion | United Kingdom
Recently, while walking around this year’s MCM Comic Con in London I came across the SpecialEffect booth which was there as part of the Machinima SBOC Experience. The team were giving demos of an eye-tracking technology called Stargaze. Becky Frost, who is a member of the SpecialEffect team explained to me that the software could aid those individuals who are unable to move their body, only their eyes. This technology is being used to allow people a chance to engage in that oh-so-special of pass times, video games.
This technology is one in a number of ways SpecialEffect are striving towards a more accessible and inclusive gaming eco-system. The team cater their approach to each individual, crafting and modifying controllers to suit different needs. The website is full of amazing case studies on particular solutions for people’s needs. One study involves a little girl called Ceyda who suffers from cerebral palsy. Her condition makes it extremely difficult to control her hands so the team at SpecialEffect got to work on a solution. In the video below you can see that by using switches and large buttons, Ceyda is able to play Disney Infinity with ease. Ceyda’s Mother, Kerry, explains the effect that the tech has had on her Daughter saying that “Now she can play with her friends and not be excluded“…
Cast your vote for inclusivity and accessibility on the Peninsula
June 16, 2017 | Source: Peninsula News Review- Canada | Inclusion, Mobility, Cognitive, Awareness | Canada
All Nicholas Willows wanted was to be able to join his friends outside; and his friends wanted the same. Nicholas is a bubbly three-year-old with a contagious smile and has a laugh that could melt anyone’s heart. His mom and dad says he makes friends everywhere he goes and his preschool program leader says he has an amazing sense of humour.
Nicholas also has Cerebral Palsy, Joubert Syndrome, Polymicrogyria and Epilepsy. As a result of these rare brain malformations he is bound by a mobility chair and his communication is limited to mostly non-verbal cues. “Imagine a U.S. highway interchange system that’s all fine and good,” says Nicholas’ mother Jennifer Carson. “Now imagine there’s a bunch of construction and you have to take a bunch of detours and back roads. That’s basically what’s going on in his brain.”…
Global Voices: Accessibility should be more than afterthought
June 18, 2017 | Source: Times Colonist- Canada | Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Awareness, Inclusion | Canada
Chris Pratt knew he’d made a mistake. The Guardians of the Galaxy star shared a video on social media, asking his followers to ignore the subtitles and turn up the volume. He didn’t realize how insulting that was for the nearly 400 million people around the world who have hearing loss and rely on those subtitles — until some of them lambasted him on Twitter. To his credit, Pratt immediately apologized (using sign language) and thanked his fans for the learning opportunity. Then, he challenged Instagram to make its app more inclusive with automatic captioning for all videos.
“I wish we could bottle that learning moment, and share it a million times,” says Rich Donovan, CEO of Return on Disability. The consulting firm helps companies prioritize inclusion to attract customers and employees, advancing innovative tactics on an issue that’s usually seen narrowly as ramps and braille…
Rock Garden to go disabled-friendly
June 18, 2017 | Source: Tribune News Service- India | Mobility, Inclusion, Universal Design, Awareness | India
Aims at providing an inclusive society in which equal opportunities and access is provided for the growth and development of persons with physical disability to lead productive, safe and dignified lives. The nation-wide campaign seeks to achieve universal accessibility for all citizens by enabling a barrier-free environment. The campaign targets at enhancing the accessibility of built environment, transport system and Information and communicationeco-system. It focuses on creating awareness, providing technology solutions and generating resources through public-private partnership…
Centre notifies changes to empower the differently-abled
The Centre will make a multitude of changes to provide greater accessibility to the differently-abled. The changes are part of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017.
The changes include publishing government documents in electronic publication (ePUB) or optical character reader (OCR) pdf formats on websites, rebuilding public buildings, buses and public transport systems in order to make them disabled-friendly…
Canadian Transportation Agency Chair and CEO shares his vision for accessible transportation in Canada
June 19, 2017 | Source: Newswire- Canada | Transportation, Inclusion, Accessible Design | Canada
Scott Streiner, the Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency, today shared his vision of a national transportation system that is the most accessible in the world. He outlined this vision in a speech to representatives from disability rights associations and industry. Since 1988, the Agency has been protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to an accessible transportation network. It does so by making and administering regulations and standards, resolving complaints about accessibility, and undertaking proactive education efforts and audits of transportation service providers.
Last year the Agency launched its Regulatory Modernization Initiative – the most ambitious regulatory review in its history, with the goal of bringing all its regulations in line with current business models, user expectations and best practices in the regulatory field. To date, as part of the consultation phase dedicated to accessible transportation, the Agency has conducted 30 face-to-face meetings and received over 200 submissions from disability rights organizations, industry, and other interested Canadians…
Toronto needs new plan to be barrier free as accessibility becomes law, says advocate
June 19, 2017 | Source: CBC- Canada | Lawsuits/Litigation, Advocacy, Building/Facilities Access | Canada
As the city seeks to renew its accessibility plan, those who want to eliminate barriers say some Toronto small businesses are putting them up instead of tearing them down. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessibility of restaurants and stores, recently found out that a place where she used to buy shawarma on Spadina Avenue is no longer barrier free.
She says she was shocked to find that the entrance to the Paramount Fine Foods, on the corner of Spadina Avenue and Richmond Street West, suddenly has a step. “There used to be another Middle Eastern restaurant there and in renovating they built over an existing ramp and created a step,” said Ziv. “They went in the wrong way in terms of accessibility.”…
Disability Advocates Celebrate the End of Australia’s ‘Book Famine’
June 19, 2017 | Source: Pro Bono- Australia | Advocacy, Government, Accessible Design, Inclusion | Australia
On Thursday, the senate passed the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill removing the final barrier to implementing the Marrakesh Treaty. Australia signed the treaty, an international agreement that will help an estimated 285 million people worldwide have greater access to books published in accessible formats, in June 2014.
In a move described as “one of the biggest shakeups [of] Australian copyright law”, the bill will remove restrictions on the ability of Australians to import legally-produced audio and braille books without the specific permission of the publishers.
It will also allow local organisations and carers to make their own accessible copies of copyrighted books…
New global platform VERCIDA.com changes diversity recruitment across the world
June 19, 2017 | Source: Response Source- UK | Workforce/Employment, Inclusion, Awareness | United Kingdom
New global diversity and inclusion recruitment website VERCIDA.com has now launched to offer recruiters and jobseekers the chance to change the lack of diversity in the workplace. The new tech platform is aimed at jobseekers looking to work for employers that place inclusion and staff wellbeing high on the agenda.
And the site lets employers attract diverse talent in a pro-active way by demonstrating the benefits and initiatives they offer to employees. CEO Morgan Lobb says “Diversity in the jobs market is extremely competitive and has gathered immense pace…
‘I continue to be an advocate,’ says activist tapped to implement Accessibility Act
June 20, 2017 | Source: CBC- Canada | Advocacy, Litigation, Awareness, Inclusion | Canada
A disability rights advocate who once criticized the province and helped push it to overhaul its first attempt at the Accessibility Act is now in charge of the directorate responsible for implementing the new law. Gerry Post was named the head of Nova Scotia’s newly created Accessibility Directorate last week, an appointment announced by Justice Minister Mark Furey.
“I continue to be an advocate. Now I’m inside the tent,” Post said in an interview. “I look forward to the challenge.” The Accessibility Act, which became law this spring, seeks to create accessibility standards that could effect everything from building construction to education to public transportation…
Vienna shows local solutions can improve public transport accessibility
June 21, 2017 | Source: Euractiv- Austria | Transit/Transportation, Blindness/Visual Impairment, Awareness | Austria
Improving the accessibilty of public transport is also about taking due account of efficient local solutions, write Wiener Linien and the Austrian Association in Support of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Wiener Linien is the public transport operator for the Austrian capital, Vienna, and the Austrian Association in Support of the Blind and Visually Impaired is also known by its German name, Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehnschwachen Oesterreichs.
The Austrian Association in Support of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Wiener Linien started working together to improve the accessibility of the network for blind and visually impaired people some 20 years ago. This cooperation has led to an increased awareness for the needs people with restricted mobility, and for the practical, financial and technical possibilities that the public transport operator can offer. As a result, the efficiency of the joint work grew significantly.
UN chief appoints new envoys on youth; accessibility; and for Haiti
June 21, 2017 | Source: India Blooms News Service- Haiti | Disability Rights, Accessible Design, Inclusion, Awareness | Haiti
The senior appointments include Josette Sheeran of the United States, who shall serve as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti and will guide full implementation of the Organization’s new approach to reduce the impact of cholera in the country and support national efforts on sustainable development.
Similarly, María Soledad Cisternas Reyes of Chile has been appointed the UN chief’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, a role in which she will promote the rights of persons with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on accessibility for all…
Montreal sets aside $128360 for 13 accessibility projects
June 21, 2017 | Source: Montreal Gazette- Canada | Building/Facilities Access, Accessible Design, Government, Inclusion | Canada
Funding for several accessibility projects was approved by Montreal’s executive committee Wednesday. The 13 projects from four organizations will share $128,360. They focus on a variety of issues, from improving physical and digital infrastructure to evaluating the conditions of city-owned buildings. Recreational areas will be getting some special attention. A team will use a portion of the money to improve conditions at Montreal’s pools by developing specialized programs and providing information about accessibility.
They will also be working on the city’s new beach projects by ensuring that specialized equipment and materials are used during construction so the beaches are fully accessible. Parks and fields will also be given a once-over, with accessibility-focused team members sitting on the appropriate committees and visiting sites with workers…
City’s Staff Accessibility Resource Team Recognized with Municipal Accessibility Award
June 21, 2017 | Source: City of Mississauga- Canada | Awards/Recognition, Awareness, Government | Canada
The City of Mississauga’s Staff Accessibility Resource Team (StART) has won the Municipal Accessibility Award from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA). The award recognizes individuals or groups who have shown great leadership in helping to improve accessibility in their city. This includes raising accessibility awareness through activities and programs.
“The Staff Accessibility Resource Team is an integral part of the City’s success in upholding accessibility,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This award validates their ongoing work and support in enabling accessible and inclusive communities in Mississauga.” StART was created in 2003 and includes City staff from various service areas where accessibility plays an important role in their work, like Facilities and Property Management.
Big Interview: Tokyo 2020’s Yoshiro Mori
June 21, 2017 | Source: International Paralympic Committee- Japan | Sports/Athletics, Paralympics, Inclusion, Awareness | Japan
It may be less than 12 months since the Paralympic flag was handed from Rio to Tokyo, but preparations for the next Summer Games in Japan are already well underway. The man in charge of trying to top Rio 2016 is Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori. He has been speaking about the challenges and rewards of planning the biggest event in Para sport.
Paralympic.org: Tokyo 2020 has been proactive in ensuring the Paralympics are promoted just as much as the Olympics. Why is that important for you?…
Two New Appointments on Provincial Boards
June 21, 2017 | Source: Virden Empire-Advance- Canada | Government, Awareness, Inclusion | Canada
The Manitoba government has made new appointments to two boards within the Department of Families, Families Minister Scott Fielding announced today. “The Vulnerable Persons Hearing Panel and the Accessibility Advisory Council provide valuable support and representation to Manitobans,” said Fielding. “The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act ensures Manitobans in need have a voice. The Accessibility for Manitobans Act sets out standards to identify, remove and prevent barriers.”
The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act requires a three-person panel to hear all requests for a substitute decision maker to act on behalf of vulnerable Manitobans. The act requires at least 20 people be appointed to the Vulnerable Persons Hearing Panel roster and that membership be comprised of relatives of vulnerable people, lawyers and community members from all regions of Manitoba…
Accessibility Blogs & Information
- Call For Proposals- The 2017 ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium: Automated & Manual Testing, WCAG 2.1, and Beyond
- 52 Usability Studies in a CSUN booth – Hear about Starbucks experience of running 52 fast accessibility user tests in 3 days at a conference- Video
- Disability Advocates Protest Senate Leader Over Cuts to Medicaid for Elderly and Disabled Americans
- Ivana Kirola v. City & County Of San Francisco- PDF
- The European Accessibility Act
- This is for everyone: accessibility and digital
- Why Developers Should Focus on Accessibility
- Gaming Group Seeks Volunteers To Create Accessibility Guidelines For Tabletop Games
- Website Accessibility Tax Credits
- Latest Website Accessibility Decision Further Marginalizes the Viability of Due Process and Primary Jurisdiction Defenses
- 160: Color Accessibility Workflows with Geri Coady- Podcast
- The Continuing Stream of Website Accessibility Claims: A Trial Victory for a Plaintiff and a Dismissal for a Company
- Federal Court Finds Website Subject to Title III of the ADA
- How a Miami Court Ruling Could Affect ADA Compliance Nationwide
- Accessibility and DocViewer
- Colour Contrast Analyser is a versatile accessibility checker
- Accessible Moodle Wishlist
- Using Style Guides for Accessibility
- Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
- ESU Padova
- Carleton University
- Grand Prairie ISD
- ProQuest- Accessibility Directory & Accessibility Statement: ProQuest Congressional and ProQuest Government Periodicals Index
- University of Southern Mississippi
- Jerome Foundation
- Public Interest Law Alliance
- Iowa City Public Library
- Gilroy Gardens
- Carlos Albizu University
- Pharr-San Juan Alamo Independent School District
- Eurowings launches accessible new website
- United Community Bank
- RELX Group
- German American Bank
Accessibility Announcements & Products
- FCC: MVPDs Must Comply With Second Screen Accessibility by July 10
- STEM Accessibility Survey – Univ. of Pittsburgh
- Survey: Help improve accessibility in Ontario
- Winners announced for ACI Europe Best Airport Awards 2017
- Accessible design in public places
- Managed Care Programs Must Have Digital Information Comply With Modern Accessibility Standards
- Windows 10 Build 16215 brings significant accessibility improvements including colour filters for the colourblind
- Crawford Technologies Introduces Automated Tagging Capability for Creating ADA and Section 508 Compliant Documents
- Microsoft makes Windows more accessible in new preview build
- iOS 11 Gets New Accessibility Controls, Support New Photo and Video Formats to Save Storage
- One Drop Expands Features and Subscription Programs to Provide More Accessible Care to People With Diabetes Worldwide
- IBM and West Virginia University’s Center for Disability Inclusion Unveil Mobile Workplace Accommodation Case Management App
- Adobe Continues to Improve on Making PDFs Accessible
- Chairman Honors Innovators in Accessibility Communications Technology
- Image enhancing technology announced- new generation technology for colour blind viewers
- Demand for Accessible Design Grows as Housing Square Footage Shrinks
- Microsoft, others spearheading a ‘smart cities’ initiative for everyone
- Blind gamer is trying to make gaming accessible to all- Video
- Assistive Technologies for Visual Impairment Market Outlook 2017
- Accessibility at Canatara Beach
Accessibility Q&A & Tips
- Microsoft Accessibility Feedback
- Appropriate Use of Colour
- How do I activate JAWS?
- Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessibility features
- The Accessibility Help Alt+F1 should have an ARIA live region
- Microsoft Conformance Statements (Revised Section 508)
- Is there a QuickBooks Online Accessibility roadmap? Any future features coming for people with disabilities?
- Accessibility according to actual people with disabilities
- Accessibility FAQ
- Android O Intros Separate Accessibility & Media Volume
- Microsoft Stream hot keys and accessibility
- ProQuest Ebook Central- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Checklist
- Zoom icon – accessibility
- JAWS/NVDA Screen Reader Accessibility problem
- Reporting Screen Reader Accessibility Issues
Additional Accessibility Information
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Microassist Accessibility Services
Outlining a host of accessibility-related services, Microassist Accessibility Services: Barrier-Free Digital Development, provides background on Microassist expertise and the various offerings available for digital content and platforms. Services cover accessible elearning, website, and application development, audit and remediation services, and accessibility testing across various formats.
Please contact us for any questions you have about our accessibility services and how we might support your organization.