TTC Enhancing Accessibility With Blue Priority Seating

The Toronto Transit Commission is enhancing accessibility with blue seats that clearly identify priority seating areas on its vehicles for persons with disabilities, the elderly and expectant mothers.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/ttc-enhancing-accessibility-with-blue-priority-seating/

Special Needs Kids Often Told to Stay Home From School, Says People for Education Report

A new survey of Ontario schools finds many principals ask special education students to stay home because of lack of resources, reports People for Education.

Jen Charron with son Reid, 7, outside Adam Beck Public School, where Reid in in Grade 2. Reid, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is one of more than a dozen kids with autism at the school who are served by the equivalent of 1.5 assistants. A report being released Monday has found that schools don’t have enough support for special needs students.

By: Kristin Rushowy Education Reporter, Published on Mon Apr 28 2014

We were really surprised by the finding, said Annie Kidder, executive director of People for Education, which surveyed 1,349 Ontario schools and for the first time asked about forcing children to stay home after hearing numerous complaints from parents.

The research and advocacy group recommends the Ontario government put enough resources in schools so that this widespread practice doesnt continue.

Principals gave a lot of different and understandable reasons to do with safety or that the child couldnt cope being at school, said Kidder. But the biggest reason for them not being there is lack of support.

The report identifies a number of concerns around special education, including too-large ratios of students to special education teachers, as well as caps on how many students a principal can refer for psychological assessment sometimes just two per year.

At Adam Beck public school in Torontos Beaches neighbourhood, more than a dozen children with autism are served by the equivalent of 1.5 assistants.

Jen Charrons son Reid, in Grade 2, has Asperger’s syndrome, which is on the high functioning end of the spectrum. Hes in a mainstream classroom and does receive help from a special needs assistant intermittently during the day.

(The assistants) schedule varies and she helps and supports a lot of kids in the school, said Charron, who has gone into the school herself to assist her son. I know that the school tries to work out how she can be in two places at once sometimes.

With help, Reid, 7, does really well, and when he doesnt have support, he has a harder time, and the teacher has a harder time, she said, adding he might have trouble getting his own work done or disrupt the entire class.

Amanda Wood, a mother of three who volunteers at the school, has written to the board and education ministry. Kindergarten students, who have autism and who arent toilet trained, go to the washroom accompanied by a classroom buddy rather than an adult, she said. In the classroom, teachers attention is now fully engaged in safety and away from strong instructional practices.

At what point does the TDSB and ministry intervene and recognize . . . that we are advocating for the basic right of every child to learn in a safe and caring environment? How can our staff and school be expected to provide such an environment without proper supports in place?

Anne Seymour, co-ordinating superintendent of special education for the Toronto District School Board, said shed take a look at what is happening at Adam Beck, but that staff there have been specially trained and extra resources have been made available.

Over the past decade, the province has increased special education funding by 67 per cent, to $2.72 billion, serving roughly one in five students.

In a written statement, Education Minister Liz Sandals said the province is phasing in a new funding model over the next four years that will provide greater fairness and equity in the education system to ensure our most vulnerable students are getting the support they need.

Kidder said under the new formula, some boards will receive more money, and some less, but funding is not the only issue: theres also a lack of consistency to special education across the province.

Underneath all of this, notwithstanding everybodys best efforts, we still havent quite managed to say these are the kinds of programs that should be in all boards, these are the programs that work best we need to get a hold of what works well, what makes a difference.

Reproduced from http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2014/04/28/special_needs_kids_often_told_to_stay_home_from_school_says_people_for_education_report.html

Meet the Company That Wants to be the Netflix for Blind People

For years, advocates have been trying to make mainstream television more accessible to the visually impaired. TalkingFlix may be on the verge of doing just that.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/meet-the-company-that-wants-to-be-the-netflix-for-blind-people/

Accessibility News April 26,2014 Update

Inclusive Media and Design Inc is a proud supporter of Accessibility News.

Inclusive is ready to caption and video describe all your video for web, DVD, and computer desktop. They can also assist you in understanding and implementing Ontario’s AODA Integrated Standards’ media requirements. Consider having them check that any of your new web site content is compliant well before the new year deadline with an Accessibility Audit.

Visit http://www.inclusivemedia.ca to find out more.

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In this Issue

*Accessibility Spreading Like Wildfire!
*Does Your Website Have to Comply With AODA? The Answer is: Probably *AccessiGate: Canadian Banks Clarify Why Sites Not Accessible *Traveling Poses a Unique Set of Challenges for People with Blindness
*City of Toronto Offers Voters with Disabilities Scythes Solutions for Internet and Telephone Voting
*CRTC Announces That Canadians Who Are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Impaired Will Have Access to a New Telecommunications Service *Canadian Airlines Told To Allow Free Attendant Fare
*Turkish Scientists Create Talking Hands for Deaf

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For a long term strategy in meeting the AODA and Section 508, Accessibility News recommends Accessibil-IT Inc for all your accessible PDF documentation needs. For more information email them at info@accessibilit.com or visit them on the web at: http://www.accessibilit.com

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ARTICLES:

Accessibility Spreading Like Wildfire!

Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar is the latest Restaurant to join aMENU, the Accessible and Mobile friendly Directory for Restaurant menus.

Read their menu at
http://www.amenu.ca/wildfire-steakhouse-wine-bar/

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Does Your Website Have to Comply With AODA? The Answer is: Probably

Among the most important issues which organizations face under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is the requirement to change websites.

The new AODA requirements for websites kicked-in for government entities in 2012, but for large (50 employees or more) private organizations (including not-for-profit organizations), the obligations started on January 1, 2014. What are those duties?

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/does-your-website-have-to-comply-with-aoda-the-answer-is-probably/

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AccessiGate: Canadian Banks Clarify Why Sites Not Accessible

By Victor Schwartzman

Minister Hoskins nodded. If people could easily access their own money, it might give them ideas. Not on different ways to spend their own money. We make sure their pension and employment programmes dont allow them to have enough money to have different ways to spend it.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/accessigate-canadian-banks-clarify-why-sites-not-accessible/

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Traveling Poses a Unique Set of Challenges for People with Blindness

Getting from here to there can be challenging and require patience from most everyone. But for people with blindness or visual impairment, overcoming mobility challenges often takes more than just patience it takes planning, flexibility and, at times, courage particularly given the publics lack of awareness and compliance with safety and anti-discrimination laws.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/traveling-poses-a-unique-set-of-challenges-for-people-with-blindness/

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City of Toronto Offers Voters with Disabilities Scytls Solutions for Internet and Telephone Voting

Scytl, the worldwide leader in secure online voting and election modernization, has been awarded a contract by the City of Toronto, Canada to provide improved accessibility for persons with disabilities via Scytls secure Online Voting and Scytls secure Phone Voting in the October 2014 election.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/city-of-toronto-offers-voters-with-disabilities-scytls-solutions-for-internet-and-telephone-voting/

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CRTC Announces That Canadians Who Are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Impaired Will Have Access to a New Telecommunications Service

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that video relay service will be made available in Canada for users of American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).

When it launches, the service will facilitate conversations between people who are Deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired and other Canadians, and vice versa.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/crtc-announces-that-canadians-who-are-deaf-hard-of-hearing-or-speech-impaired-will-have-access-to-a-new-telecommunications-service/

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Canadian Airlines Told To Allow Free Attendant Fare

Given a year to implement free attendant fares for severely disabled, how did Canadian airlines do?

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/canadian-airlines-told-to-allow-free-attendant-fare/
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Turkish Scientists Create Talking Hands for Deaf

Two young Turkish scientists have built a prototype of talking gloves that translate sign language into vocal language, helping people with hearing and speech impairments make their voices heard.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/turkish-scientists-create-talking-hands-for-deaf/

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eSSENTIAL Accessibility: helping organizations reach, serve and empower people with disabilities.

The eSSENTIAL Accessibility assistive technology app gives those who have trouble typing, moving a mouse, or reading a screen due to a variety of conditions such as stroke, paralysis or arthritis – the tools they need to navigate the Web. The app is free to the end-user and simple to use.

Organizations that feature the app on their websites are committed to making it easier for people with disabilities to access information online. For more info, please visit http://www.essentialaccessibility.com

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aMENU: Accessible Restaurant Menus.

Visit the site at http://www.amenu.ca , Restaurant Owners visit http://www.amenu.ca/create/ and design your own Menu.

Featured Menus:

*Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar
http://www.amenu.ca/wildfire-steakhouse-wine-bar/
*The Eaton Chelsea Hotel Bb33 Bistro + Brasserie
http://www.amenu.ca/bb33-bistro-brasserie-at-the-eaton-chelsea-hotel/ *Irish Embassy Pub & Grill (Toronto)
http://www.amenu.ca/irish-embassy-pub-grill-toronto

Accessibility Spreading Like Wildfire!

Wildfire Steakhouse & Wine Bar is the latest Restaurant to join aMENU, the Accessible and Mobile friendly Directory for Restaurant menus.

Read their menu at
http://www.amenu.ca/wildfire-steakhouse-wine-bar/

Does Your Website Have to Comply With AODA? The Answer is: Probably

Among the most important issues which organizations face under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) is the requirement to change websites.

The new AODA requirements for websites kicked-in for government entities in 2012, but for large (50 employees or more) private organizations (including not-for-profit organizations), the obligations started on January 1, 2014. What are those duties?

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/does-your-website-have-to-comply-with-aoda-the-answer-is-probably/

AccessiGate: Canadian Banks Clarify Why Sites Not Accessible

By Victor Schwartzman

Minister Hoskins nodded. “If people could easily access their own money, it might give them ideas. Not on different ways to spend their own money. We make sure their pension and employment programmes don’t allow them to have enough money to have different ways to spend it.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/accessigate-canadian-banks-clarify-why-sites-not-accessible/

Traveling Poses a Unique Set of Challenges for People with Blindness

Getting from “here to there” can be challenging and require patience from most everyone. But for people with blindness or visual impairment, overcoming mobility challenges often takes more than just patience it takes planning, flexibility and, at times, courage particularly given the public’s lack of awareness and compliance with safety and anti-discrimination laws.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/traveling-poses-a-unique-set-of-challenges-for-people-with-blindness/

City of Toronto Offers Voters with Disabilities Scytls Solutions for Internet and Telephone Voting

Scytl, the worldwide leader in secure online voting and election modernization, has been awarded a contract by the City of Toronto, Canada to provide improved accessibility for persons with disabilities via Scytl’s secure Online Voting and Scytl’s secure Phone Voting in the October 2014 election.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/city-of-toronto-offers-voters-with-disabilities-scytls-solutions-for-internet-and-telephone-voting/

CRTC Announces That Canadians Who Are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Impaired Will Have Access to a New Telecommunications Service

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that video relay service will be made available in Canada for users of American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).

When it launches, the service will facilitate conversations between people who are Deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired and other Canadians, and vice versa.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/crtc-announces-that-canadians-who-are-deaf-hard-of-hearing-or-speech-impaired-will-have-access-to-a-new-telecommunications-service/