Accessibility in the News- Knowledge is Power for 05-24

National News (U.S.) 1.    Law focuses on accessibility issues at Iowa’s state parks- May 16, 2024 Source: Radio Iowa & SiouxlandProud Lawmakers have directed […]

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National News (U.S.)

1.    Law focuses on accessibility issues at Iowa’s state parks- May 16, 2024 Source: Radio Iowa & SiouxlandProud

Lawmakers have directed the Iowa Natural Resources Commission to review how accessible state parks are to people with disabilities and recommend improvements. Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law late this afternoon at Big Creek State Park. “It’s hard to imagine a better way to experience the natural beauty Iowa has to offer than by making a trip to one of our many outstanding state parks,” Reynolds said. “Every Iowan, regardless of physical ability, should have the opportunity to experience them first hand.”…

2.    Disability rights advocate says state senator with violent history shoved him at New York Capitol- May 16, 2024 Source: NBC News

A disability rights advocate made a complaint to New York State Police saying he was shoved twice in the state capitol building by state Sen. Kevin Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat with a history of violent behavior. Michael Carey said his confrontation with Parker took place Wednesday after he approached the senator before a committee meeting and asked him to co-sponsor a piece of legislation. Parker lost his temper, Carey said, after the advocate described the legislation as tackling a “Dr. Martin Luther King type of situation” regarding discrimination against people with disabilities…

3.    Portland businesses hit with ADA complaints, demands for thousands in attorney’s fees- May 16, 2024 Source: KGW

With a ramp to the front entrance and well-marked parking spaces, the small commercial building Mike Davis owns in Southwest Portland looked like it was compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It wasn’t. The property was in violation, Davis explained. The ramp was too steep and there was no van-accessible parking. Davis, who has owned the building for years, just learned about the ADA issues in January. He didn’t learn it from a customer visiting the hair salon housed in the building — instead, he was served a demand letter from a Portland attorney who proposed a settlement agreement…

4.    Celebrating Deaf Culture: How 5 Leading Museums Approach Accessibility and ASL Year-Round- May 17, 2024 Source: American Alliance of Museums

After I asked my husband to repeat himself multiple times in one conversation, he eventually turned to me and said, “You don’t hear anything I say. Please get your hearing checked.” I balked at his request and suggested that he speak “louder” and “clearer.” Hearing loss is not something one would experience in their thirties, right? Fast forward some months, an otolaryngologist, and two audiologists later, and I found out that hearing loss can be experienced at any age…

5.    Man sues Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Shop, LLC for ADA Violation over Digital Accessibility- May 17, 2024 Source: Cook County Record

Holger Fiallo has filed a lawsuit against Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Shop, LLC in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case, identified as 1:24-cv-03688, was lodged on May 6, 2024. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s digital properties are not accessible to visually impaired individuals, violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Fiallo, represented by his counsel, asserts that approximately 2.3% of the American population lives with some visual disability…

6.    Gabby Kozinski addresses wheelchair accessibility in and around Bucyrus- May 18, 2024 Source: Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum

Miss Wheelchair Ohio, who just happens to be a Bucyrus native, brought her message home when she presented a program at Thursday’s Kiwanis Club meeting. The competition for the crown is focused on ideas presented through essays and speeches, and Gabby Kozinski claimed her title in March through a presentation titled “Knowledge is Power.” In the competition, the 2020 Bucyrus High School graduate emphasized educating children about disability etiquette to promote awareness, empathy and inclusivity…

7.    How Hoteliers Can Adapt to the Evolving Needs of Website Accessibility- May 20, 2024 Source: CoStar

As places of public accommodation, hotels in the U.S. and their websites need to meet certain accessibility requirements. Speaking during the Hospitality Law Conference, attorney Jordan Schwartz explained those accommodations could be physical, such as adding a ramp or installing grab bars, or digital, such as written descriptions of pictures or captioning for videos. Accessibility also includes having online descriptions of the accessibility features at hotels…

8.    How accessible is Northern Kentucky?- May 20, 2024 Source: LINK nky

Laurie Hamilton’s 12-year-old daughter, Kirin, primarily uses a wheelchair to get around. Hamilton, a Covington resident, told LINK nky she is grateful for resources to which she has access to help Kirin, who attends Holmes Middle School. The Center for Independent Living Options helped her family find stable housing, and the teachers and aides at her school have been phenomenal, she said. The sidewalks can make it difficult for Kirin to move through her community, though…

9.    Transit, housing initiatives highlight accessibility concerns for disabled community- May 22, 2024 Source: Austin Monitor

Advocates for disabled people in Austin want to ensure upcoming major changes to the local transportation network and housing market don’t exclude those with physical, visual or hearing impairments. A discussion on Tuesday at the Austin office of the advocacy group ADAPT of Texas brought together leaders attached to the Project Connect mass transit plan and efforts to increase housing density near transit corridors, with a special eye on creating homes that are easily accessible and affordable for people with disabilities…

10. Adel man continues mission to improve accessibility around Iowa- May 22, 2024 Source: KCCI

For almost a decade Robert Fisher has had no issues navigating the Hy-Vee store he works at in Waukee. He weaves his way in his motorized wheelchair to put items customers decide they don’t want back on the shelves. Store Manager Tonia Pettersen says Fisher never stops working or advocating. “Having Robert work here is a huge benefit to our store and our company because he can see things we cannot see,” Pettersen said. Making sure the store is accessible for everyone…

11. ADHD diagnoses are rising. 1 in 9 U.S. kids have gotten one, new study finds- May 23, 2024 Source: NPR

About 1 in 9 children in the U.S., between the ages of 3 and 17, have been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that calls attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder an “expanding public health concern.” Researchers found that in 2022, 7.1 million kids and adolescents in the U.S. had received an ADHD diagnosis – a million more children than in 2016. That jump in diagnoses was not surprising, given that the data was collected during the pandemic, says Melissa Danielson, a statistician with the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the study’s lead author…

12. Jen Roth serving Entrepreneurs’ Organization-Minnesota while building travel accessibility website, Wise Blue Yonder- May 23, 2024 Source: MinnPost

When Jen Roth was in her junior year at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, she packed up her luggage for a study abroad stint in London. That might seem like a normal rite of passage for a college student, but Roth, at the age of 9, was diagnosed with systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, an affliction that causes joint inflammation and stiffness. In the years since, she’s had 14 surgeries and eight joint replacements. “I cannot believe my parents let me go to London,” she said…

13. New business giving free beach accessibility rentals to veterans this Memorial Day- May 23, 2024 Source: Curry Pilot

A new business is opening in the Brookings on Memorial Day Weekend that aims to provide accessibility options for those with mobility issues, so they can enjoy Brookings’ lovely beaches. AccessAble Adventures rents beach ready walkers and wheelchairs to anyone who may have trouble on the sand. To celebrate the business’ opening, and commemorate the Memorial Day holiday, AccessAble Adventures will be providing beach walkers and wheelchairs to Gold Star families, free of charge…

14. Forced sterilizations for people with disabilities decried by members of Congress- May 23, 2024 Source: South Dakota Searchlight & Rep. Pressley

a.    Today, ‘disability justice is reproductive justice’ — but that hasn’t always been the case- May 23, 2024 Source: The 19th

b.    It’s Past Time To Address Reproductive Equity for Disabled People- May 23, 2024 Source: CAP 20

Three members of Congress introduced a resolution Thursday that’s intended to bring attention to the experiences and challenges people with disabilities face when it comes to reproductive rights. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley announced the resolution during a press conference with advocates just steps from the U.S. Capitol, saying that under a Supreme Court ruling still in effect, people with disabilities can be sterilized without their consent…

15. New Law Requires Airlines To Better Assist Travelers With Disabilities- May 24, 2024 Source: Disability Scoop

People with disabilities are poised to see big improvements when traveling by air thanks to a host of changes tucked inside a massive reauthorization of federal aviation programs. The measure signed by President Joe Biden this month includes new requirements for airline workers assisting wheelchair users, accessibility upgrades at airports and enforcement of rules protecting the rights of flyers with disabilities. The law mandates that airline workers be trained before assisting passengers boarding with an aisle chair or before storing wheelchairs and other mobility devices…

Jack Fact  According to the National Institute of Deafness and Hearing Disorders, 1 in 8 people in the United States over the age of 12 have hearing loss in both ears, and about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from hearing aids.

 

Hit The Road Jack — Accessible tourism in Wales: Are we there yet? & Outdoor accessibility at Cheyenne Mountain State Park & Spain´s most accessible city

International News

1.    Paralympic uniform featuring accessibility modifications launched at Australian Fashion Week- May 16, 2024 Source: ABC- Australia

The official uniform for the Australian Paralympic team has been unveiled at Australian Fashion Week, featuring accessibility modifications created in collaboration with the team. With Paris 2024 just over 100 days away, the formal uniforms and competition kits were revealed. Accessibility features include magnetic fasteners instead of buttons on jackets, elasticised waistbands for both chinos and shorts, as well as zippers in place of shoelaces on some sneakers…

2.    Accessibility Standards Canada and Nova Scotia’s Department of Justice connect to pave way toward a barrier-free Canada- May 17, 2024 Source: Government of Canada

a.    From floor tiles to urinals, making spaces more accessible in N.S. will cost millions- May 23, 2024 Source: CBC- Canada

Accessibility Standards Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in their work to develop accessibility standards. The agreement will improve efforts, coordination, and the sharing of resources dedicated to creating a Canada without barriers. This MOU encourages both parties to consider each other’s respective accessibility priorities. This may include aligning or harmonizing work on the development, review, and implementation of accessibility standards, where possible. It may also include the promotion, support, and conduct of research…

3.    Progress Over Perfection: How Singapore Pursues Inclusivity- May 17, 2024 Source: Government Technology Agency- Singapore

In a world that is increasingly digital, leaving anyone behind is not an option. This is particularly true in Singapore, where we have a rapidly ageing population. In 2023, nearly one-fifth of Singapore’s population was elderly. But it’s not just about age — vulnerable communities of all kinds need to be considered as technology becomes more deeply ingrained in daily life. That’s why at GovTech, we believe that digital services are for everyone. This is why by 2030, we’re aiming to ensure that all high-traffic government websites are accessible to persons with disabilities…

4.    Unacceptable accessibility. UNB Law grad recounts inability to cross stage at own graduation- May 17, 2024 Source: CBC- Canada

Crossing the stage at graduation for many is the official symbol of being done with your degree and moving onto the next chapter of your life — a moment of pride and joy. Blair Curtis didn’t get that moment. Curtis was graduating from the University of New Brunswick with a law degree, but at the ceremony on Thursday at the Richard J. Currie Center, he was unable to get onto the stage to accept his diploma. “It was a hard day,” he said through tears. “It should have been a day of celebration and happiness and feeling proud to get my degree,” he said…

5.    N.B. introduces first accessibility legislation- May 17, 2024 Source: 91.9 The Bend- Canada & Government of New Brunswick & CTV

a.    Proposed accessibility laws will help those ‘being left behind,’ says advocate- May 19, 2024 Source: CBC- Canada

b.    Disability advocates welcome accessibility legislation- May 21, 2024 Source: 91.9 The Bend- Canada

It is being described by some disability advocates as a historic day for New Brunswick. On Friday, the province unveiled the Accessibility Act, its first piece of accessibility legislation. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Greg Turner unveiled the details during a news conference. Turner said the bill affirms New Brunswick’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities…

6.    Reading accessibility opens world to people with visual impairments in Yunnan- May 17, 2024 Source: Xinhua- China

A group of 10 students from the Kunming school for visually impaired and nonspeaking people in southwest China’s Yunnan Province walked onto the stage of a national reading event to perform for their audience late last month. And they received warm applause from the audience. Their show, titled “There is Light in Reading,” opened as they guided one another onto the stage by each resting their arms on the shoulders of the performer in front. They then helped one another into their chairs and took the time to find the raised dots on their braille scripts to ensure they were holding them the right way up…

7.    White Rock council delays accessibility mat for pier, opts to wait for grants- May 17, 2024 Source: Global News- Canada

Increased accessibility for the White Rock Pier will have to wait. White Rock city council voted on Monday not to fund an accessibility mat for the city’s well-known pier. In a majority vote, councillors decided to have city staff look into possible grants to fund the mat, rather than approve a one-time $100,000 investment of city funds. The argument was made that it would be better for White Rock taxpayers if grants could be used to create the accessibility mat (walkway) for the pier…

8.    Accessibility issues facing Laois residents heard at local election husting event in Portlaoise- May 17, 2024 Source: Leinster Express- Ireland

The severe lack of accessible taxis, the inaccessible lift in Laois’ brand new €7.6 million library in Portlaoise, the new high kerbs on the Dublin Road, Portlaoise which people in wheelchairs can’t access, were among the topics covered during a lively discussion at Irish Wheelchair Association’s Local Election Hustings in Portlaoise on Tuesday. Hosted in partnership with Portlaoise DAGs (Disability Action Group), its Chairperson Pat Whelan and Secretary Tommy White both spoke about the issues affecting people with disabilities in the county, and IWA members around the room also had their say…

9.    PWDs want inclusion in transport, mobility discussions by govt, innovators- May 18, 2024 Source: KBC- Africa

Nominated Senator Crystal Asige has called on government and innovators to include people living with disabilities in policy formulation as well as discussions on new inventions on transport. Speaking during the Inclusive Africa Conference 2024, Asige said there is a huge gap to fill in terms of transport and mobility in the country as well as most countries globally urging the government and innovators to borrow from best practices globally to make it easier for persons with disabilities to move from one place to another with ease…

10. Sidewalks, buses, and taxis still present obstacles to accessibility for disabled individuals- May 18, 2024 Source: Macau Business- China

Several association leaders recognise that accessibility in Macau has improved significantly, but there are still numerous obstacles on sidewalks and public transport for people with disabilities. Regarding Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which is celebrated on May 16, Fernando Carvalho said that he only entered primary school at the age of nine. At the age of one and a half, he was diagnosed with polio and ended up being “rejected from a public school because he was disabled,” he recalled…

11. Nagaland: ‘Church must do more to promote disability inclusion’- May 18, 2024 Source: Morung Express- India

State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Diethono Nakhro stated that the Church can do better to promote disability inclusion, given its influence on the masses. Speaking at the Global Accessibility Awareness Day held at Hotel Japfü, Kohima under the theme ‘Accessibility in the church,’ Nakhro said, “With the authority and influence it has, the church has the potential to change attitudes and perceptions about disability, educate the masses on inclusion and acceptance and encourage people with disabilities.”…

12. Only 3 Toronto beaches are accessible. Advocates want better- May 19, 2023 Source: CBC- Canada

When she isn’t swimming, East York resident Kim Lumsdon uses a cane to help her get around. That’s especially the case at Cherry Beach. With sticks and stones jutting from the steep, uneven ground, Lumsdon wishes there was a better way to navigate the sand beneath her. “I have to watch that I don’t fall,” she said. “It’s honestly very dangerous.” Devices such as Mobi-mats allow people to move across the sand to the water on a sturdy platform, which would make it easier for people like Lumsdon to cross the beach…

13. An architect’s ‘vision’ for inclusivity- May 19, 2024 Source: The New Indian Express- India

In an earnest effort to address the often overlooked challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in the built environment, architect Kavya Poornima Balajepalli has emerged as a beacon of change. Apart from confronting personal adversity, Kavya’s commitment to foster inclusivity has propelled her to spearhead the initiative ‘Poornamidam,’ which delves into the intersectionality of architecture, environment, and disability. In simple words, she is working to make public spaces more accessible to everyone, including persons with disabilities…

14. Meet the paralysed man circumnavigating the UK who wants more disabled people to access the sea- May 19, 2024 Source: ITVX- UK

A quadriplegic man who is circumnavigating the UK in a specially adapted boat says it’s his dream to make the sea more accessible to other people who are disabled. Geoff Holt MBE has already travelled more than 600 miles around the coastline of the UK. He set off in his modified boat from London and on Saturday 18 May arrived in Milford Haven. His epic challenge is all in aid of his charity, WaterWheels, which has already provided thousands of disabled people with the opportunity to access the water…

15. Lawmaker wants tourist sites made accessible to PWDs, seniors- May 19, 2024 Source: The Philippine Star- Philippines

To boost the country’s tourism, House Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar wants tourist destinations to be accessible to senior citizens and people with disabilities (PWDs). In House Bill 10349 or the proposed PWD and Senior Citizen-Friendly Tourism Sites Act, Villar urged the government to engage in accessible tourism practices to encourage more individuals to travel and explore the country’s tourist sites. The measure stated that this will “promote sustainable tourism, increase livelihood opportunities and contribute to economic growth.”…

16. Paris 2024: Paralympics ‘shame’ in lack of Metro disabled access- May 19, 2024 Source: BBC- UK

It is “absolutely scandalous” that more has not been done to improve accessibility on Paris’s underground trains network ahead of the Paralympics, a leading French disability charity has said. APF France Handicap said the Metro was a “big black spot” on the city’s Paralympic legacy. The president of the International Paralympic Committee said he understood the “frustration”, but pointed to “massive investment” in the city’s buses. French wheelchair users told the BBC the lack of accessibility on the Metro was a source of “shame”…

17. ‘Help people feel empowered’: Oshawa students dream of new, accessible solutions- May 21, 2024 Source: Durham Region- Canada

Students at Kedron Public School brought their accessibility ideas to life with a new 3D printer program. Students at the school were tasked with finding solutions to some practical accessibility solutions as part of a new Durham District Schools Board (DDSB) project — 3D Printing Project: Dream, Design, Deliver — which is aimed at teaching students to use 3D printing technology to address common accessibility issues. Beth Birney, teacher-librarian at Kedron, and Grade 6 and 7 teacher Rob Hercia were the first to run the project with their students…

18. ‘A huge learning curve’ – Survey over night life accessibility for wheelchair users- May 21, 2024 Source: RTE- Ireland & gov.ie

A new survey aims to hear about the challenges facing wheelchair users and people with disabilities in their social lives across towns and cities, so that practical solutions can be put in place to make night life accessible for all. The purpose of the ‘Night-Time Economy Accessibility Survey’ is to examine the challenges for patrons and artists with disabilities accessing the night time economy. Louise Bruton is a DJ, journalist, playwright and disability rights activist who writes a weekly newsletter called ‘Legless in Dublin’ where she explores issues around access…

19. Accessibility Equals Inclusion- May 23, 2024 Source: The Meaford Independent- Canada

Next week is National AccessAbility Week, an initiative that shines a bright light on the importance of accessibility for all, identifying areas for improvement, and celebrating the progress that has been made in recent years. According to Statistics Canada, 27 percent of Canadians have a disability of some description, meaning that roughly eight million of us have one or more disabilities to deal with in daily life. While historically those with disabilities could be overlooked, or treated differently than the rest, in modern times our society has worked to be more inclusive, to be more accommodating…

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