Accessibility in the News- Knowledge is Power

National News (U.S.) 1.    Communication accessibility connects Deaf abuse survivors with support- April 26, 2024 Source: The Seattle Times Deaf women in […]

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National News (U.S.)

1.    Communication accessibility connects Deaf abuse survivors with support- April 26, 2024 Source: The Seattle Times

Deaf women in the United States experience rates of domestic and sexual violence one-and-a-half times higher than their hearing counterparts, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. Whenever a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault seeks help, they’re uncertain of the support they’ll find. When that survivor is a member of the Deaf community, that experience may be heightened. Often, survivors find services and systems unequipped to meet unique Deaf language and cultural needs…

2.    Trail Blazers pilot OneCourt’s device for fans with blindness or low vision- April 26, 2024 Source: Sports Business Journal

During their final home stand of the regular season, the Portland Trail Blazers held a pilot test with accessibility tech company OneCourt. OneCourt created a device for sports fans with blindness or low vision, allowing them to experience live gameplay through tracking data with haptics and tactile court/field outlines. The Blazers tested the devices with OneCourt in a suite for their game against the Pelicans, and then in the stands for matchups against the Warriors and Rockets…

3.    Hyatt outlines efforts to support neurodivergent guests- April 26, 2024 Source: Hotel Management

According to KultureCity, a nonprofit focused on sensory accessibility, one in every four individuals in the U.S. has a sensory need or an invisible disability, including those with autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia and attention-deficit disorder. With more than 90 percent of neurodivergent individuals and caregivers of neurodivergent individuals in the U.S. planning to travel at least one night this year, a new survey led by Hyatt found ways that hotels can make their travel journeys, from pre-arrival to check-out, more inclusive…

4.    Ramping up accessibility: A mission for mobility- April 26, 2024 Source: Spectrum News

Some Louisville residents are taking accessibility into their own hands and asking for the community’s help. T Gonzales has partnered with the Louisville Tool Library to raise $2,000 to purchase several mobility ramps that people can check out. “We can’t solve every problem in the world, but this seems like a tangible thing that we could do to make Louisville a little bit more accessible,” Gonzales said. They said they came up with this idea for the city after finding out something like this already exists at Chicago’s tool library…

5.    Young entrepreneur with sensory disorder makes accessible clothing line- April 27, 2024 Source: WGN-TV

A young entrepreneur with sensory processing disorder has a new clothing line that is functional and inspirational. Malachi Rucker said people would use autism as an insult and he was tired of it. I was thinking there’s a lot of people who are neurodivergent or have autism and I was thinking what if I make clothing for people like that?” Rucker said. Rucker founded Divergent Clothing Company, catered to people with sensory processing divergences with the full support of his parents.”…

6.    Students with disabilities shouldn’t be afterthought at Buncombe County schools- April 28, 2024 Source: Citizen Times

This spring, I have been anxiously shuffling from school tour to school tour trying to determine which school will best meet my child’s educational needs. On a recent tour of a public charter school in Buncombe County, I listened as the school representative explained the importance of outdoor play for all children as we walked by the playground. All of us parents nodded in agreement. I then pointed to the staircase leading up to the playground and asked, “Is that the only entrance?” Appearing caught off guard, the tour guide replied, “Yes.”…

7.    Accessibility Technology Ensures Everyone Gets a Day at the Beach- April 28, 2024 Source: Sierra Club

I first encountered a beach wheelchair the summer before middle school when my family was on our annual trip to Bethany Beach, Delaware. I didn’t know it yet, but Oma, my maternal grandmother, was dying. That summer she had been diagnosed with liver cancer, detected only after an unrelated bad fall had called for CT scans that ended up showing a mass on her liver. She was too frail to survive an operation to remove the tumor, so while chemo appointments were scheduled, the family beach trip persisted…

8.    Jury Trial Victory for Blind Business Owner- April 29, 2024 Source: TRE Legal Practice

In March of 2019, Lisamaria Martinez, a blind business owner and member of the National Federation of the Blind, visited the Alameda County’s Clerk-Recorder’s Office (CRO) in order to file a government form to help her start her new small business. She had tried to fill out the electronic PDF version in advance, but it was not accessible using her screen reader. She had to have her husband help her finish printing out the form so she could file the paper copy over the counter in the CRO’s Oakland location…

9.    Churches don’t have to be accessible. That’s a voting rights problem- April 29, 2024 Source: LGBTQ Nation

Eli. Underwood likes the experience of voting in person, but they now have to vote by mail. Underwood went to a Detroit church to cast a ballot in the 2022 general elections, but chronic health conditions meant the two flights of stairs to the basement taxed them badly; living with Long Covid as well, Underwood was frustrated by the unventilated space and unmasked poll workers. “It caused me great physical pain and anxiety, which made me angry and sad,” Underwood said. “It communicated to me that my vote doesn’t matter and I shouldn’t bother.”…

10. Universal design’ builds in accessibility for disabled people on the front end- April 30, 2024 Source: Youth Today

A two-story, holiday-decorated house with a line of people winding through room after seating-less room turned what should have been a fun-filled visit with Santa into something that the Rayne family of suburban Chicago suffered through. Instead of a cheery chat about Christmas wish lists, Rohan Rayne got a few seconds and a couple of quick photos with the bearded guy. After that, the 11-year-old, who has a rare seizure disorder and problems handling crowds and noise, had to be rushed out of the house so he could find calm…

11. Why Riders With Disabilities Have To Sue For Accessible Transit Stops- April 30, 2024 Source: Streetsblog USA

People with disabilities have forced the San Francisco bay area to make key transit stations more accessible — a win that, hopefully, will provide a model for other agencies to act before lawyers get involved. A coalition of people with mobility challenges and their advocates recently settled a lawsuit with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, which “systemically failed to ensure full and equal access to its stations and services, in violation of … the Americans with Disabilities Act,” a release from the group’s legal counsel said…

12. Is this the best option for travelers with mobility devices?- April 30, 2024 Source: USA Today

Chris Ricci can walk only short distances at a time, but he has traveled the world on his scooter. The 57-year-old U.S. Army veteran has limited mobility stemming from a foot injury he sustained in the 1980s and related complications has found cruises an accessible way to explore destinations like Alaska or the Caribbean. Just this month, he, his wife and friends took a week-long Royal Caribbean International cruise to Belize, Honduras and Mexico…

13. A Mercer County group is helping make food pantries more accessible to people with disabilities- April 30, 2024 Source: WHYY

Trenton Health Team has launched an initiative to help individuals with disabilities in Mercer County access food pantries. Matthew Broad, director of programs at Trenton Health Team, said his organization is working closely with Mercer Street Friends and dozens of partner agencies to identify and clarify which food pantries are accessible to those with disabilities. The organization has expanded a free food-finder online directory, which provides critically important information for people with disabilities…

14. Vestavia mayor, daughter advocate for new disability symbol- April 29, 2024 Source: Vestavia Voice

Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry and his daughter, Anna Gualano, are behind an effort to update the traditional handicap symbol with a new emblem for the state of Alabama. Called the Dynamic Accessibility Symbol, the new design is an update of the classic handicap symbol released in 1969. The new mark is designed to show a person with a disability actively engaged in their own movement, rather than the static position portrayed in the current symbol….

15. Prioritizing Accessibility And Inclusion In AI Development- April 30, 2024 Source: Forbes

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be more prolific in our society, its potential to either perpetuate or mitigate social inequities comes sharply into focus. This understanding raises a pressing question posed by Lawrence Weru, a Biomedical Informatics Associate at Harvard Medical School: “If we’re creating tools that are fed with information that can bias against certain groups, and we integrate those into very crucial aspects of our lives, what’s going to be the impact of that?”…

16. These New Home Features Are Accessible And Aesthetically Pleasing- April 30, 2024 Source: Forbes & Standard Accessibility Reporting

No matter how old or how many people are in your household, accessibility should be an aspect of your homeownership. After attending the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) earlier this year, our editorial team recognized that many modern home innovations continue strengthening their focus on inclusivity and accessibility. From designer features to smart faucets, the home is becoming not only smarter but more accommodating to each person’s individual needs…

17. She had Parkinson’s and didn’t want to live. Then she got this surgery- April 30, 2024 Source: USA TODAY

Pam Peters couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t bring a fork to her mouth to feed herself. Couldn’t tie her shoes. Write her name. Put pillows in her pillowcases. “I didn’t want to live with the symptoms I was having,” the 64-year-old says, grieving her life before. “It just seemed impossible.” The Port Huron, Michigan, resident was initially diagnosed with essential tremor – a nervous system condition that leads to rhythmic and involuntary shaking, according to the Mayo Clinic…

18. Tony-Award Winner Ali Stroker on How She Lives Boldly- May 1, 2024 Source: Good Housekeeping

Being in a wheelchair has helped me develop a level of patience, creativity and resilience that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Sure, it has also tested and challenged me. I’ve doubted myself along the way. But it certainly hasn’t prevented me from chasing my dreams. One hundred years ago, my dreams wouldn’t have been possible — as someone in a wheelchair, I wouldn’t have been allowed to attend school, much less perform on Broadway. Still, it’s hard to believe the Americans with Disabilities Act, a long overdue law that protects people with disabilities in many areas of public life, was passed only three decades ago…

19. Critter Barn first in the world to earn new distinction for accessibility- May 2, 2024 Source: WOODTV

When you walk into the bathroom at the Critter Barn, you should notice how space’s size and the width of the sidewalks. But the less obvious details at the attraction are what earned it Silver Certification from the Universal Design Commission, the first farm in the world to have the designation. Mary Rottchaffer, the Director and Founder of the Critter Barn, said “for a farm to be uniquely equipped like this, which allows people to come and learn or to just come an enjoy and just have that respite. It means the world when they can do that now and have ease of use.”…

20. When is Chicago going to make affordable housing accessible to people with disabilities?- May 2, 2024 Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Over the past 35 years, the city of Chicago has invested billions of dollars in the development of privately-owned affordable rental housing for low-income households. Recognizing these efforts fall short, and that the affordability gap is growing, Mayor Brandon Johnson recently announced two new initiatives: the Housing and Economic Development Bond program that could result in as much as $390 million in new affordable housing funding and the “Cut the Tape” recommendations meant to streamline city approval processes…

Jack Fact  According to World Enabled, by 2050, 6.25 billion people will live in urban centers. If these estimates hold true, that means that by 2050, nearly one billion urban dwellers will be persons with disabilities. The unprecedented scale of urban expansion demands a radical rethinking of what cities are, and who they are for.”

Hit The Road Jack — 14 Wheelchair-Accessible & Sensory-Friendly Things to Do in San Diego & Panama City Beach is making beach access for those with physical disabilities a lot easier

International News

1.    Vision-impaired residents, disability advocates call for action over accessibility in WA- April 27, 2024 Source: ABC- Australia

Like many people in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Gary Paul wears fluorescent clothing most days. But there are still too many moments when he feels invisible. After several close calls, the vision-impaired senior said he routinely approached some of the Goldfields city’s busiest pedestrian crossings with trepidation. “You press the button, go across the road, and people drive straight through the traffic light,” Mr Paul said. “One [vision-impaired] fella had his cane knocked out of his hand one time. I’ve been walking across and near on been run over.”…

2.    Campaigners concerned over lack of accessible housing- April 28, 2024 Source: BBC- UK

Disability campaigners have called for more to be done to provide accessible housing in the north-east of England. Research from Disability Rights UK shows outside London under a quarter – 23% – of new homes due to be built by 2030 are accessible and only 1% will be suitable for wheelchair users. Figures show the North East has the highest proportion of disabled people and one woman told how spending years on a waiting list for housing had been “exhausting”…

3.    In First Two Poll Phases, 4995 Disabled Voters Opted For Vote-from-home Facility’- April 28, 2024 Source: Times of India

Of the 5 lakh-odd voters with disabilities in Bengal, 4,995 opted to vote from their homes in the first two phase of elections, deputy CEO Subrata Pal said on Saturday. Pal was speaking at a meeting chaired by state disability commissioner Nilanjana Dasgupta where initiatives taken by the EC to make voting accessible to people with disabilities were shared. A special training programme was also held for NGOs working with disability issues…

4.    Resources needed as ASL and Indigenous sign languages officially recognized in Sask,- April 28, 2024 Source: The Star Phoenix- Canada

Saskatchewan recently became one of four Canadian provinces that recognize sign languages as official languages with the passing of the Accessible Saskatchewan Act (Bill 103) in December. The bill states, “Sign languages are recognized as the primary languages for communication by deaf persons in Saskatchewan,” including American Sign Language (ASL) and Indigenous sign languages. Nationally, the Accessible Canada Act was passed in 2019 also recognizing ASL, Langue des signes du Quebec and Indigenous sign languages in Canada…

5.    Gender-neutral lavatories ‘have more germs than single-sex ones’- April 30, 2024 Source: Telegraph- UK

Gender-neutral lavatories carry the most germs, research suggests. The UK study examined the bacteria – including multi-drug resistant superbugs – in a wealth of hospital settings. Lavatories for women were found to carry far fewer microbes than those for men. When staff facilities were compared, door handles for men were around eight times as dirty as those for women. However, unisex lavatories were the worst of all, researchers found, in the study presented at the ESCMID Global Congress in Barcelona, Spain…

6.    Manitoba focuses on accessibility with new rules for public sector- April 30, 2024 Source: Canadian HR Reporter & Province of Manitoba- Canada & Global News

As of May 1, Manitoba public sector organizations will have to comply with the accessible information and communication standard regulation. “So much of our world revolves around access to information and Manitobans should not face barriers when accessing digitally, in print or through interactions with technology or people,” says Nahanni Fontaine, families minister and minister responsible for accessibility. “The accessible information and communication standard removes barriers and ensures we all strive to identify, reduce and remove barriers for everyone, including the one-in-three Manitobans with a disability.”…

7.    New electric Dart service with improved accessibility due next year- April 30, 2024 Source: Irish Independent- Ireland

Dublin will soon have a more accessible, family-friendly and faster Dart service. The new Dart+ trains are to be delivered in September for testing, with the first two improved accessibility and climate-friendly units set to become operational in late 2025. In total, there will be 37 new trains to serve the Maynooth, Hazelhatch and Drogheda lines. The batteries of the trains will be charged in ­Drogheda. It is expected that it will take less than an hour to charge the trains…

8.    Digital Press Briefing with Sara Minkara, U.S. Special Advisor on International Disability Rights, on Disability Rights in Africa- May 2, 2024 Source: U.S. Department of State- Africa

Good afternoon to everyone from the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub. I welcome our participants logging in from across the continent and thank all of you for joining this discussion on the topic of Disability Rights in Africa.  Today, we are very pleased to be joined by the U.S. Department of State’s Special Advisor on International Disability Rights, Sara Minkara. We will begin today’s briefing with opening remarks from Special Advisor Sara Minkara and then turn to your questions…

9.    The accessibility revolution- May 3, 2024 Source: The Nation- Pakistan

The accessibility revolution refers to an extensive and ongoing shift towards enhancing accessibility for individuals with disabilities. It seeks to eliminate barriers and ensure inclusivity and equality for impaired people. It aims to transform environments and technologies to be accessible to all individuals irrespective of their physical, cognitive, or motor disabilities. People with disabilities are valuable members of our society. I believe that rather than being disabled, they are differently abled…

10. Woman-led tech start up drives innovations towards an inclusive online world- May 2, 2024 Source: ESCAP- Vietnam

Following a casual conversation with a friend who happens to be a blind software engineer, Tran Khanh Dung was enlightened to the multiple obstacles to digital accessibility faced by individuals with disabilities. With a vision to make the online world a more inclusive place, Dung seized the opportunity to develop an innovative solution to tackle these barriers and went on to found Rayo ̶  an AI copilot designed to make web browsing accessible and enjoyable for people with varying forms of disabilities…

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