Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Updating New York’s Accessibility Signage and Logos

One of the largest concerns is that existing signage and language emphasizes the disability itself, rather than the person. The current universal symbol for a person with a disability represents an individual with a wheelchair, which will be updated on all new signage to portray a more active image (view here). Additionally, the word “handicapped” will be removed from signs, or any other communication, now using only the word “accessible.”

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/governor-cuomo-signs-legislation-updating-new-yorks-accessibility-signage-and-logos/

Presidential Proclamation — Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

ANNIVERSARY OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2014
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Over two decades ago, Americans — some in wheelchairs, some using sign language, and all with an abiding belief in our Nation’s promise — came together to strengthen our commitment to equality for all.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/presidential-proclamation-anniversary-of-the-americans-with-disabilities-act/

Ontario Should Consult People With Disabilities Before Making Laws to Protect Them

Unfortunately, with almost 10 years passed since its enactment, many Ontarians with disabilities (myself included) see the AODA as something the province wanted to do, but didn’t quite know how to achieve. This has become quite evident to anyone living with a disability, and that is where I would like to begin the discussion.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/ontario-should-consult-people-with-disabilities-before-making-laws-to-protect-them/

Open Doors Organization will reveal the findings on international travel of its 2014 national survey of American travelers with disabilities at the World Summit Destinations for All

2 Press Releases

Open Doors Organization (ODO) is conducting its third nationwide survey of American adult travelers with disabilities. The findings on international travel will be revealed at the World Summit Destinations for All to be held in Montreal, October 19-22 2014.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/open-doors-organization-will-reveal-the-findings-on-international-travel-of-its-2014-national-survey-of-american-travelers-with-disabilities-at-the-world-summit-destinations-for-all/

Innovative Recommendations for Toronto Police Dealing with the Mentally Ill

Five important, off-the-beaten path ideas from retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci’s report on police use of force

Sammy Yatim was 18 when he was shot and killed by Toronto Police on a TTC streetcar last summer. By: Wendy Gillis News reporter, Published on Sat Jul 26 2014

Body cameras, the expansion of Taser use, training that focuses on de-escalation in the wake of retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci’s report on police use of force, these issues have stood out among the broad-ranging recommendations.

And for good reason. A possible increase in the use of conducted energy weapons and a significant augmentation of surveillance are both contentious issues, ones that should be extensively debated and explored. And an emphasis on de-escalation training is something experts and advocates have long been calling for.

But within the 400-plus-page tome a report containing 84 recommendations on how the Toronto Police Service can improve its interactions with mentally ill and emotionally disturbed people lie other ideas those in the mental-health and legal community say are creative and even innovative.

Below are five important, off-the-beaten-path recommendations from Iacobucci’s report, “Police Encounters With People in Crisis.”

Emphasis on cautious health-care information sharing

Though Iacobucci knew his mandate was to look only at the Toronto police, his report acknowledges the broader context of fatal incidents between police and those with mental illness.

The sobering reality, he writes, is that police are often dealing with the consequences of a much larger societal problem that “Ontario does not have a co-ordinated, comprehensive approach to treating mental- health issues.”

So he suggests a comprehensive oversight committee be struck to unite police, psychiatric facilities, emergency medical services, community health organizations and others.

Among the committee’s tasks would be developing a means to share relevant health-care information with police.

Brian Beamish, acting commissioner with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, said he was “very encouraged” to see that in making that suggestion, Iacobucci was careful about privacy concerns, stressing that “health-care information should continue to be treated as such, and not as police information.”

The report notes that any health-care information shared with the Toronto Police Service needs to be “segregated from existing police databases and therefore prevented from subsequently being passed on to other law enforcement, security and border services agencies.”

“My office stands ready to assist the TPS with the work of this important committee,” Beamish wrote in a statement. “Our expertise will be critical to the proper resolution of privacy issues associated with, for example, police access to personal health information.”

A voluntary health information registry for vulnerable people

Within the mental-health community, there is heated debate concerning whether law enforcement should have increased access to personal health-care records to improve their treatment of the mentally ill.

Proponents of information-sharing believe if police knew more about the person involved in a call they were responding to such as a history of mental illness they might have the tools to respond more effectively.

But there is also a concern that advance information about a person’s mental health could prejudice treatment by police.

The potential for harm and benefit has prompted Jennifer Chambers, who advocates on behalf of Centre for Addiction and Mental Health clients, to suggest that the appropriate compromise is the creation of a voluntary registry a recommendation Iacobucci makes.

According to the report, the registry would give someone with mental-health issues the option of giving permission to his or her health-care providers to share personal information with police, “only to be accessed by emergency responders in the event of a crisis situation.”

The report also stresses the information-sharing should be subject to consideration of privacy rights.

“Before signing on, though, people need to be informed of how long this information will be used and with whom it will be shared, and the effect that could have regarding employment and travel,” Chambers said.

Early detection of bad police behaviour

In a section devoted to supervision of police, Iacobucci stresses the importance of thoughtful and effective leadership, something he says is “essential” to ensuring training programs translate into police practice.

One aspect of successful supervision, the report says, is the identification of problematic behaviour among officers. Iacobucci recommends Toronto police establish an early-intervention process “for identifying instances of behaviour by officers that indicate significant weakness in responding to mental-health calls.”

That includes, he writes, a tendency to draw firearms unnecessarily, insufficient efforts to de-escalate and a lack of sensitivity to mental illness.

Coinciding with early detection is a recommendation that a disciplinary procedure be put in place for such behaviour something Peter Rosenthal, a Toronto lawyer who has represented families of victims of fatal police force, was pleased to see.

“It is my view that the behaviour exhibited by the officers who attended the killings of Sammy Yatim and Michael Eligon, a Toronto man killed by police in 2012, should have been appropriately disciplined.”

Increased involvement of people from the mental-health community

Throughout the report, Iacobucci emphasizes the importance of involving people with mental-health issues as much as possible while acting on the report recommendations.

In a section devoted to implementation, Iacobucci suggests an advisory committee with a broad range of membership, including hospitals, community mental-health organizations and “those with lived experience of mental illness.”

Involving people who have been mentally ill those who may have personal knowledge about, among other things, interacting with the police “changes the conversation in a positive way,” says Breese Davies of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.

“It moves away from seeing people with mental illness as the problem that other people need to fix, and sees them as part of the solution. It is crucial to the bigger concept that Justice Iacobucci talks about, which is cultural shift.”

Rewards for de-escalating a mental health crisis

Professional incentives could push police to put mental-health training into practice during a crisis, Iacobucci writes. In that vein, the report recommends Toronto police “reward officers who effectively de-escalate such crisis situations.”

Community organizations and other agencies, the report suggests, could play a part in developing a police division-level or service-wide recognition for “exceptional communications and de-escalation skills.”

It was an idea Chambers was happy to see taken up; she suggested it in a submission to Iacobucci during the report-writing process.

But it was not a popular suggestion with everyone. On Thursday, Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, derisively compared the incentives to Boy Scout badges.

With files from Tara Deschamps

Reproduced from http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/sammyyatim/2014/07/26/innovative_recommendations_for_toronto_police_dealing_with_the_mentally_ill.html

Accessibility News July 26,2014 Update

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/acnewsca

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 with an Accessibility Audit.

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

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In this Issue

*Disabled Man Reports Hurtful Comments to TTC 400 Says Booth Collector Called Him a Diddler
*Harper Government Supports Innovative Pilot Program Assisting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Obtain Employment in the IT Industry
*PRESS RELEASE : DUCERE TECHNOLOGIES LAUNCHES LECHAL Worlds first interactive haptic footwear
*No Rest for the Weary: More AODA Compliance Required in January 2015
*Toronto Cancels Plan to Allow Online, Phone Voting for Disabled Citizens in 2014
*No More Wait Lists for Disabled in Ontario, All-Party Report Urges
*Seven Reasons why disabled Canadians are Losing CPP Benefits
*How Accessibility is Redefining Personalization
*Access Health Clock Announced

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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:

Disabled Man Reports Hurtful Comments to TTC 400 Says Booth Collector Called Him a Diddler

Disabled man Kevin Rogers, 51, alleges a TTC collector verbally abused him, prompting Rogers to file a complaint with the TTC. (Maryam Shah/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO Kevin Rogers simply wanted to ride the subway with his family to Ripleys Aquarium on a sunny weekday.

Instead, he says he got an earful from a TTC booth collector who accused him of being a diddler in front of other people.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/?p=4602

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Harper Government Supports Innovative Pilot Program Assisting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Obtain Employment in the IT Industry

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, together with the Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for EdmontonMill WoodsBeaumont, announced an investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/harper-government-supports-innovative-pilot-program-assisting-individuals-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-obtain-employment-in-the-it-industry/

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PRESS RELEASE : DUCERE TECHNOLOGIES LAUNCHES LECHAL Worlds first interactive haptic footwear

Ducere Technologies announced the launch of the worlds first interactive haptic footwear under their wearable technology brand LECHAL (pronounced lay-ch-al, meaning take me there in Hindi).

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/press-release-ducere-technologies-launches-lechal-worlds-first-interactive-haptic-footwear/

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No Rest for the Weary: More AODA Compliance Required in January 2015

Employers who still have less than fond memories of trying to comply with the requirements of Ontarios Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 relating to Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards are now facing a new challenge: complying with additional AODA requirements that come into force on Jan. 1, 2015.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/no-rest-for-the-weary-more-aoda-compliance-required-in-january-2015/

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Toronto Cancels Plan to Allow Online, Phone Voting for Disabled Citizens in 2014

The cancellation profoundly disappointed one member of the citys disability issues committee. The city says there isnt enough time to get the system ready.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/toronto-cancels-plan-to-allow-online-phone-voting-for-disabled-citizens-in-2014/

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No More Wait Lists for Disabled in Ontario, All-Party Report Urges

No more wait lists. One provincial minister in charge. And recognition that all people with developmental disabilities have the right to services throughout their lives. Those are the key recommendations in a long-awaited report released by the Select Committee on Developmental Services.

Gloria Noseworthy has been waiting three years for adult funding for her 23-year-old son Zachariah, above right, who has autism and other medical conditions. She hopes the reports recommendations are implemented soon.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/?p=4597

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Seven Reasons why disabled Canadians are Losing CPP Benefits

There are serious problems at the Social Security Tribunal and the Canada Pension Plan Disability Program, especially for people trying to appeal decisions on their ineligibility for this disability pension benefit.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/seven-reasons-why-disabled-canadians-are-losing-cpp-benefits/

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How Accessibility is Redefining Personalization

Accessibility that is grounded in a companys values can bridge individual differences, better connect with customers, enable a diverse pool of talent in the workplace, and improve the standard of living for all members of society.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/how-accessibility-is-redefining-personalization/

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Access Health Clock Announced

By Victor Schwartzman

Recently Accessibility News reposted an article by Michelle Diament about a 2013 study. 256 randomly selected medical practices in four major American cities were surveyed about access. The result? 22% could not accommodate a hypothetical patient who used a wheelchair and required assistance moving from the wheelchair to an examining table.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/access-health-clock-announced/

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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.

In the Spotlight

*Quinns Steakhouse & Irish Bar
http://www.amenu.ca/quinns-steakhouse-irish-bar/
*Shopsys Deli, Restaurant & Catering
http://www.amenu.ca/shopsys-deli-restaurant-catering/

Disabled Man Reports ‘Hurtful’ Comments to TTC 400 Says Booth Collector Called Him a ‘Diddler’

By Maryam Shah ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014 06:09 PM EDT

Disabled man Kevin Rogers, 51, alleges a TTC collector verbally abused him, prompting Rogers to file a complaint with the TTC. (Maryam Shah/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO – Kevin Rogers simply wanted to ride the subway with his family to Ripley’s Aquarium on a sunny weekday.

Instead, he says he got an earful from a TTC booth collector who accused him of being a “diddler” in front of other people.

Rogers has been quadriplegic and in a wheelchair since a diving accident at the age of 20. The 51-year-old who says he has worked in disabilities training for 17 years is no stranger to taking the TTC daily, usually alone.

His limited hand dexterity means he can’t physically pull out a token to pay his fare. So he usually ends up relying on a TTC employee or fellow rider to reach into a Roots pouch strapped around his waist to retrieve a token for the fare box.

But last Wednesday morning, Rogers claims that a St. Clair station booth collector, when faced with this request, went “beyond rude” in his response.

“I asked him if he would take the token out,” Rogers said. “That’s when he said ‘Are you some kind of diddler?’ And he told me that I was sick and that I had issues and then he finally just let me pass through the gate.

“It was very hurtful.”

Faced with a bizarre public accusation of perversion, Rogers says he did not know how to respond.

“I was appalled and I was shocked and embarrassed and hurt,” he said.

The alleged interaction was over in a matter of minutes but bothered Rogers enough to file an official complaint with the TTC.

“This guy should have some kind of sensitivity training or something or a serious reprimand,” Rogers said. “You don’t deal with customers in that manner.”

TTC spokesman Brad Ross said he couldn’t speak to details of the allegation but the TTC will “review the complaint, speak with the customer, and interview the employee concerned to determine next steps.”

While all employees “have discretion in how they go above and beyond to assist a customer,” a station collector cannot leave the booth for “security reasons,” Ross added.

He said TTC workers do undergo sensitivity training and are expected to “treat all members of the public with dignity and respect.”

Rogers said he isn’t looking for a termination, he simply wants better training. He said this isn’t the first time a transit worker has treated him rudely.

“It’s not just an isolated incident,” he said. “All he had to say is, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t assist you with that.'”

Reproduced from http://www.torontosun.com/2014/07/20/disabled-man-reports-hurtful-comments-to-ttc

Harper Government Supports Innovative Pilot Program Assisting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Obtain Employment in the IT Industry

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, together with the Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for EdmontonMill WoodsBeaumont, announced an investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/harper-government-supports-innovative-pilot-program-assisting-individuals-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-obtain-employment-in-the-it-industry/

PRESS RELEASE : DUCERE TECHNOLOGIES LAUNCHES LECHAL Worlds first interactive haptic footwear

Ducere Technologies announced the launch of the world’s first interactive haptic footwear under their wearable technology brand ‘LECHAL’ (pronounced lay-ch-al, meaning “take me there” in Hindi).

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/press-release-ducere-technologies-launches-lechal-worlds-first-interactive-haptic-footwear/

No Rest for the Weary: More AODA Compliance Required in January 2015

Employers who still have less than fond memories of trying to comply with the requirements of Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 relating to Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards are now facing a new challenge: complying with additional AODA requirements that come into force on Jan. 1, 2015.

Read more at
http://www.aoda.ca/no-rest-for-the-weary-more-aoda-compliance-required-in-january-2015/