Accessibility in the News- Knowledge is Power for 05-10

National News (U.S.) 1.    Alice Wong’s ‘Disability Intimacy’ Is a Deep Dive into Relationships and Community- May 3, 2024 Source: KQED When […]

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National News (U.S.)

1.    Alice Wong’s ‘Disability Intimacy’ Is a Deep Dive into Relationships and Community- May 3, 2024 Source: KQED

When Alice Wong — activist and founding director of the Disability Visibility Project — began conceptualizing the new anthology, Disability Intimacy, she Googled what would become its title. What she found was “basic AF” and made her go, “Ewwwwww.” So, she commissioned and collected writing from disabled people about what intimacy meant to them for the anthology published this week. Shortly after Wong received the green light for this anthology in 2022, she developed aspiration pneumonia compounded by a collapsed lung…

2.    After my stroke, I didn’t know how to identify as someone with a disability- May 3, 2024 Source: Today

When I was 26, out of the blue, I suffered a massive brain stem stroke caused by an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, a rare congenital tangle of blood vessels of which I had no warning or symptoms. The malformation surrounded my brainstem and filled my cerebellum, over half of which would be removed in a life-saving brain surgery that took place in the hours following my stroke. What’s more, my AVM contained four aneurysms and was the largest the UCLA neurosurgeon on call had ever seen. He told my husband, who held our sleeping 6-month-old baby in the emergency room’s waiting area, that I would likely not survive the day…

3.    Disability as the Next Step in DEI Explored at Annual Meeting- May 5, 2024 Source: Psychiatric Times

As we consider diversity and inclusivity, it is important to think about disabilities, shared Donald Egan, MD, MPH, and Jessica Williams, MD, at the 2024 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in New York City. To put the importance of the topic in perspective, Egan, who is the vice chair of the American Psychiatric Association Diversity Leadership Fellowship and PGY-3 University of Texas Southwestern, explained approximately 6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic disease, and 4 in 10 have 2 or more…

4.    Bill introduced to create resource database for those with disabilities- May 5, 2024 Source: KCTV

A senator from Missouri has helped to introduce a new bill that would order the creation of a resource database for those with disabilities in a bipartisan effort. Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) says he and Sen. John Ossoff (D-Ga.) recently joined forces to introduce the bipartisan Think Differently Database Act. The bill would order the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a comprehensive website to include resources for those with intellectual disabilities…

5.    Adaptive Sports NW is making athletics accessible to all in Portland- May 5, 2024 Source: KPTV

The Mittleman Community Center in southwest Portland hosted Adaptive Sports Northwest’s ‘Get in the Game’ community-building fundraiser on Saturday. Adaptive Sports Northwest has been helping physically and visually impaired children and adults to be active and involved for more than four decades now, and this night was a great time to get in the game. Evita Rush is an athlete with ASNW. “A night like this is beautiful I mean, being in this community and being around like-minded people and people we share lived experiences,” Rush said…

6.    How can schools prepare for Title II digital accessibility requirements?- May 6, 2024 Source: K-12 Dive / Higher Ed Dive

A newly issued federal rule to ensure web content and mobile apps are accessible for people with disabilities will require public K-12 and higher education institutions to do a thorough inventory of their digital materials to make sure they are in compliance, accessibility experts said. The update to regulations for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, published April 24 by the U.S. Department of Justice, calls for all state and local governments to verify that their web content — including mobile apps and social media postings — is accessible for those with vision, hearing, cognitive and manual dexterity disabilities…

7.    Rethinking how dyslexia is diagnosed- May 7, 2024 Source: WBUR (Podcast)

Dyslexia affects one in every 5 Americans. But only 2 million are diagnosed and receive the help they need. Why? Today, On Point: Rethinking how dyslexia is diagnosed. I’m Meghna Chakrabarti. We’re joined today by Tim Odegard. He’s professor of psychology and chairholder of the Murphy Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. He’s also host of the podcast Dyslexia Uncovered. Professor Odegard, welcome to On Point…

8.    I-Team: Disabled vets say Maine’s rollout of tax break left them in the dark, out money- May 7, 2024 Source: Fox 23 Maine

Some disabled veterans say they’re just learning about the law that exempts them from paying the state’s vehicle excise tax, two-and-a-half years after it took effect. They claim the lack of information from the state has cost them money, while others say what’s supposed to be a big benefit has been causing big headaches from the start. “I was in for 24 years,” Kennebunk resident Pete Wirth said. “I started out as an infantryman, [and] did military intelligence for nine years.”…

9.    TLC wants out of agreement to make 50% of cabs wheelchair accessible- May 7, 2024 Source: NY1 & THE CITY & amNewYork

Disability rights advocates were back in court 10 years after a landmark settlement with the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The settlement mandated the agency to make half of its yellow fleet wheelchair accessible by 2020. It was less than 2% accessible at the time. The deadline was extended to last year due to COVID-19 and the explosion of for-hire vehicles. But they’re still not there…

10. Implementer Bill Decried By Disability Rights Advocate; Key Democrat Mostly Agrees- May 7, 2024 Source: CT News Junkie

An advocate for the disability community is raising alarms over the budget implementer bill the legislature is debating today based on changes he says it will make in how – and in many cases, whether – disabled people will access healthcare. The advocate, Sheldon V. Toubman, a litigation attorney for Disability Rights Connecticut, says the Lamont administration and Democratic leaders at the legislature have put forward language in the implementer bill – House Bill 5523 – that circumvents the public process and makes “cruel” changes to Medicaid that will make thousands of poor, disabled people ineligible for their current healthcare…

11. Tennessee pharmacies must accommodate visually impaired patients under new policy- May 7, 2024 Source: WPLN

About 200,000 Tennesseans are visiually impaired, and they can have a hard time managing prescription medications. That will be easier now because of a policy that went into effect this year. Federal drug regulators make sure pharmacies put a lot of information on their prescription bottles. But there hasn’t been any kind of requirement to support visually impaired people. That could look like having a large–print option or printing labels in braille. Tennessee lawmakers created their own requirements in 2022, and they went into effect this spring…

12. Presentation on disability council gets legislators riled up against presenter- May 7, 2024 Source: Nevada Current

Advocates are pushing Gov. Joe Lombardo to embrace “Employment First” policies that assist people with disabilities in finding and keeping paying jobs. Catherine Nielsen, the executive director of the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and a member of the Nevada Employment First Task Force, told state lawmakers last week that the policy groups are in conversation with the first-term governor’s office to embrace the designation, which could be established via an executive order…

13. Autistic Students at Shrub Oak School Have Suffered Without Oversight- May 8, 2024 Source: ProPublica

From the first months that Brett Ashinoff was at Shrub Oak International School in New York, his parents felt uneasy about the residential school for students with autism. They worried that Brett, who already was thin, was losing weight. They said his nails weren’t getting cut. He would refuse to get into the car to return to Shrub Oak after visits home, sitting for hours on the porch until his father coaxed him into the vehicle. His parents’ concerns, documented in email exchanges with school administrators, began soon after he started in April 2022 and grew over time…

14. Why restaurant accessibility is a win for customers of all abilities- May 8, 2024 Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

On opening day of the new Washington D.C. Starbucks at Union Market, Emily MacKinnon was “nerding out,” she said. Through her work as the head of inclusive design, MacKinnon helped bring Starbucks’ first Inclusive Spaces Framework store into existence, and she was thrilled to hear customers’ reactions. While features like easy-to-read order status boards, accessible paths of travel, and power-operated doors were created for, and in collaboration with, people with disabilities, the features were appealing to everyone…

15. Justice Department Secures Agreement with Springfield Clinic to Make its Online Services Accessible for People with Disabilities- May 8, 2024 Source: Department of Justice

The Department of Justice announced today it has entered into a settlement agreement with the Springfield Clinic (Clinic) to resolve alleged violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the agreement, the Springfield Clinic must make its website, patient portals, and mobile applications accessible for patients with visual and manual impairments. Patients receiving medical care from the Clinic rely on its online services to access personal medical information, review test results, communicate with healthcare providers, and pay bills…

16. Housing Department launches accessibility assessment- May 8, 2024 Source: Buckrail

The Jackson/Teton County Housing Department announced that it’s working with The Kelsey, a non-profit specializing in disability-inclusive housing, on an assessment of accessible housing needs in Teton County. According to Teton County, this effort is a first step in exploring a Senior Housing and Assisted Living Program — a work directive made by the Jackson Town Council and Teton County Board of Commissioners to the Housing Department for 2024…

17. Top barriers to eye care among Americans include cost, accessibility, health care literacy- May 8, 2024 Source: Healio

Cost, insurance, transport and accessibility, eye health literacy and communication were identified as major barriers to eye care among U.S. adults, with telemedicine cited as a possible solution, according to a systematic review in Cureus. “Extensive research has identified numerous barriers that put many Americans at a disadvantage when trying to seek high-quality eye care services,” Nicholas Green, OD, FAAO, from Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, and colleagues wrote. “Not only do the barriers to eye care services create problems for eye health, but also create a poor quality of life.”…

18. How technology helped a nonspeaking autistic woman find her voice- May 8, 2024 Source: CBS News

Technology has allowed activist Jordyn Zimmerman, a nonspeaking autistic woman, to find her voice. Zimmerman’s early life was spent communicating through body language and pictures. She bounced between numerous school systems in Ohio. It wasn’t until the age of 18 — when she began using Proloquo2Go, an augmentative and alternative communication app — that her true self was finally revealed. Now 29, she described the moment she had a legitimate voice for the first time as “joyful,” but “deeply confusing” for her family…

19. ‘Gateway to the world:’ FWA makes strides to be more accessible- May 9, 2024 Source: WANE 15

“Airports are the gateway to the world,” said John Morris, founder of The only problem, Morris noted, is that airport design often makes that gateway to the world shut to those with disabilities. “Disabled people face a lot of challenges, particularly in air transportation. Non-disabled people don’t have a lot to worry about when they travel,” Morris said. “They just want to make sure they’ve selected the seat they want and have a ticket to board the plane where I as a power wheelchair user have to consider will my power wheelchair fit on the aircraft?”…

20. Making Accessibility a Reality at HRCS- May 9, 2024 Source: US Sailing

If you have expectations as to whom you might see getting ready to sail off the dock at Manhattan’s Dyckman Marina, you might want to take a step back and reset your expectations. You might want to take a step back anyway, just so you don’t get your toes run over by the crew rolling down the pier. On any given weekend, from May through October, sailors using wheelchairs are making their way to customized boats, looking forward to another day on the water…

21. Making Nature Trails Accessible to Everyone- May 9, 2024 Source: The Nature Conservancy

A few years ago, Aislinn Graves and her husband, David, posted the first video to their YouTube channel, Wheels in the Wilderness. Over an orchestral score, a Star Wars-style text crawl described the couple’s mission, the yellow letters drifting through space: “After years of being unable to get off the beaten path … Aislinn has decided that she will attempt to visit the White Mountains. With her trusty partner, David, they will try to explore the Lincoln Woods trail, armed only with her manual wheelchair and their grit and determination. Will their efforts end in disaster?”

Jack Fact  According to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, the country is home to more than 17 million blind or partially sighted people.


Hit The Road Jack — 15 Most Wheelchair Accessible Cities in the US How to plan an accessible summer holiday in the UK

International News

1.    Funding for Australian school students with disabilities ‘woefully inadequate’, principals say- May 2, 2024 Source: The Guardian- Australia

Principals and teachers say funding to support students with disabilities is “woefully inadequate”, with schools diverting resources from other areas of their budgets to meet their needs. A new national survey of 15,000 principals and teachers reports that just 11% of principals feel they have sufficient resources to support the educational needs of students with disabilities. When asked which resources they were lacking, 80% of principals said they needed extra assistance in the classroom, with more than half nominating more teachers, specialist support and professional development as lacking…

2.    Dumfries accessibility project team welcome local students for site visit- May 3, 2024 Source: Network Rail- Scotland

Scotland’s Railway welcomed primary school students to see first-hand the work being done to make Dumfries station more accessible. Primary 5 pupils from Georgetown Primary visited the project team to learn about the £3.6m Access for All scheme investment which aims to make it easier for people with impaired mobility or those travelling with luggage, children, or bicycles to travel by train. Colleagues from Network Rail and Story Contracting shared their knowledge and experience about engineering and railway construction…

3.    Outhouse Town Hall event to explore accessibility challenges faced by LGBTQ+ disabled people- May 3, 2024 Source: Yahoo News- UK

It’s no accident that our Strategic Plan at Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre is titled Space for All. As an organisation deeply rooted in our community’s history, we have proudly supported LGBTQ+ people for decades. However, we also recognise the importance of critically analysing where we have fallen short and are striving to improve. We are aware of some of the many challenges disabled LGBTQ+ people face – whether it’s accessing queer spaces like Outhouse LGBTQ+ Centre, being considered in the creation of LGBTQ+ social events and support services, or being centred in discussions and decisions that impact their rights…

4.    Duck hunting season begins with first wheelchair-accessible stand- May 4, 2024 Source: 1News- New Zealand

Fish and Game is working to make duck hunting more inclusive by opening the first wheelchair-accessible public shooting maimai (stand) in the country. Tens of thousands of duck hunters were expected to try their luck at bagging a feast on Saturday as the opening day of the game bird season begins. The wheelchair-accessible shelter is near Te Puke and has a concrete path for easy access, Fish and Game chief executive Corina Jordan said…

5.    Taylor Swift: Ticketmaster sorry for disabled ticket rule- May 6, 2024 Source: BBC- France

A disabled woman who was prevented from buying enough tickets for her daughters to join her at Taylor Swift’s Cardiff concert has received an apology from Ticketmaster. While other customers could buy up to four tickets for the gig, Cat Dafydd was told by the ticket seller that she could only buy one accessible ticket, with one complimentary ticket for a carer. Ms Dafydd, who uses a wheelchair following a spinal cord injury, resorted to spending £1,800 to see Swift with her daughters in France…

6.    Thorny path to UHC: Kenya’s struggle with inclusion and promise of digital accessibility- May 6, 2024 Source: The Standard- Kenya

Despite the government’s avowed commitment to the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) policy of 2020, the path toward inclusivity and accessibility in healthcare remains fraught with formidable obstacles. The stark reality of exclusion and neglect in addressing the healthcare needs of persons with disabilities lays bare a systemic deficiency that beckons urgent attention and innovative remedies. Central to the failure in achieving UHC for Persons with Disabilities is the enduring dearth of accessible health information and services…

7.    TDRA supports the implementation of National Digital Accessibility Policy- May 6, 2024 Source: ZAWYA- UAE & Sharjah24

In the context of enhancing the digital knowledge society and economy, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) emphasizes the significance of implementing the principles outlined in the National Digital Accessibility Policy adopted by the cabinet, to facilitate access to diverse digital services for all segments of society, including people of determination and senior citizens. The National Digital Accessibility Policy is based on several international references and agreements…

8.    Paris Promised the Olympics Would Be Accessible. The Clock Is Ticking- May 6, 2024 Source: The New York Times- France

During a trip to Paris last November, Samantha Renke just couldn’t seem to find a taxi that could accommodate her motorized wheelchair. “Every time I logged on, it just kept saying, ‘Unavailable, unavailable, unavailable,’” Ms. Renke said, recounting her struggle to book an accessible cab using the G7 taxi app. Eating out was also a problem for Ms. Renke, a 38-year-old British actress and disability campaigner who has a genetic condition commonly known as brittle bones: Too few restaurants had step-free access…

9.    Unequal Justice? Nagaland’s top legal institutions found lacking basic accessibility- May 6, 2024 Source: Nagaland- India & Nagaland Page

The complexes of two key institutions in Nagaland dealing with enactment and dispensation of justice, among others, were found wanting in enabling a barrier-free environment to person with disabilities (PwDs). This conclusion is based two orders issued by the Court of State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) on May 3 following ‘Accessibility Audit inspections’ conducted at the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) complex, Kohima on February 14 and the High Court (HC) Complex in Meriema, Kohima, on March 19…

10. Financial services firms, charities back website to boost access to banking and credit for deaf people- May 7, 2024 Source: Retail Banker International- UK

Financial services firms, charities and accessibility organisations have teamed up to support the launch of The new website aims to improve the experience of deaf people when engaging with banks and lenders. It brings together over 20 partners from inside and outside the financial services sector. These include Nationwide, Lloyds Banking Group & Barclays, in a joint initiative to boost deaf accessibility. As well as enhancing banking services, the initiative is designed to promote awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people…

11. Banks and lenders improve accessibility for deaf customers- May 7, 2024 Source: Mortgage Solutions- UK

Banks and lenders have made steps forward in offering better accessibility support to deaf customers, one year on from the launch of the Lending Standards Board’s (LSB’s) research into improving services for the deaf community. Released to coincide with UK Deaf Awareness Week, which runs from 6 to 12 May, the board has updated its research to find LSB-registered firms have made progress in almost all of the seven key deaf accessibility services highlighted last year…

12. Increasing accessibility with new mobility maps- May 7, 2024 Source: Fraser Coast Regional Council- Australia

Navigating footpaths in Maryborough and Hervey Bay is set to become easier for pedestrians with disabilities, parents with prams, and elderly citizens, thanks to the introduction of new mobility maps. Fraser Coast Regional Council has engaged with Briometrix to undertake a comprehensive “mapping” process.  This project involves a survey team, including trained Wheelchair Users (pilots), utilising innovative technology to gather data on footpath conditions, accessibility to public transport, parking, and amenities…

13. City committee aims to add braille, sign language to improve accessibility- May 7, 2024 Source: Winnipeg Free Press- Canada

People whose hearing and eyesight are impaired may soon have better access to decisions made at city council. The human rights committee of council has passed a motion recommending the city expand the inclusive and accessible communication it offers by having all documents posted online in braille and plain language, free of jargon. That would include minutes and agendas for every committee meeting at city hall. The committee also recommended that American Sign Language interpretation be provided at all of the city’s service announcements…

14. Disabilities Beat: French business leaders’ perspectives on American accessibility- May 8, 2024 Source: WBFO- France

Last week on the WBFO Disabilities Beat, we shared an interview with Jérémie Boroy, the advisor to the Mayor of Paris on people with disabilities, who was visiting the United States as part of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). This week, we share an interview with two business leaders from the Deaf community in France who were part of the IVLP trip to Buffalo. Noémie Churlet is the co-founder and director of Médiapi, an organization that provides news and education that is accessible to the Deaf community…

15. In a Historic Mexican City, Wheelchair Accessibility Is an Uphill Battle- May 8, 2024 Source: Global Press Journal- Mexico

“Nobody wants to feel cars whizzing past their ears,” says Ángel Joziel Román, a 27-year-old activist, as he skillfully assembles his handbike. An attachment turns his wheelchair into a motorized tricycle, allowing him to move independently around San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in southeast Mexico. Life has become more complicated for Román since his arrival to the city in 2014, at age 17. Originally from the city of Delicias, Chihuahua, he was used to moving around in wide spaces that were accessible for people with motor disabilities…

16. Working to make our city accessible for everyone- May 8, 2024 Source: City of Ottawa- Canada

Building a city where everyone can navigate, participate in, and enjoy their community is essential to our quality of life. That is why we are committed to ensuring accessibility for those living with disabilities and to fostering an environment where all residents can thrive. Did you know that the City of Ottawa has an Accessibility Office? Accessibility is an important commitment for the City, and this group is dedicated to ensuring that projects, services, programs and facilities not only meet the requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), but also meet the needs of people with disabilities and older adults…

17. Blind Sask. boy heading to international braille competition hopes to increase accessibility for visually impaired- May 8, 2024 Source: CTV New- Cananda

A Saskatchewan boy who qualified for an international braille competition in Los Angeles next month hopes he can inspire change in his home province. Isaiah Gauthier, 10, was born with a visual impairment. He punched his ticket to Braille Challenge finals after cracking the top 10 in the world for his age category during a regional braille contest earlier this year. He’s the first student in Saskatchewan to ever qualify for the event. “To be the first, maybe other people can realize how important braille is,” Gauthier said…

18. It’s an extension of my body’: accessibility advocates say airlines need to change- May 9, 2024 Source: Powell River Peak

a.    ‘We can, and we must, do better’: First-ever Air Accessibility Summit hits Ottawa- May 9, 2024 Source: CTV News- Canada

b.    British Airways Embarks on New Initiative to Improve Customer Experience for Accessibility Needs- May 9, 2024 Source: Travel And Tour World- UK

c.     Air Accessibility Summit closes with pledge to improve services, but no new penalties- May 9, 2024 Source: CBC- Canada

d.    Canada aims to tackle air travel accessibility issues in national summit today- May 9, 2024 Source: NOW Toronto- Canada

e.     Ministers Rodriguez and Khera hosted a National Air Accessibility Summit- May 9, 2024 Source:

Maayan Ziv knows all too well the problems that can come from giving her motorized wheelchair to a stranger when she gets on a plane. “The fact that I’m even having to be separated from my wheelchair, a lot of the problems come from that,” Ziv said in an interview. “It’s the way I move around. It affords me independence.” That independence was stripped away from her in 2022, when she got off an Air Canada flight to find her wheelchair destroyed…

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