Parapan Am Games remind us of what is possible when barriers are removed

In July, Canadians were glued to television screens as Toronto hosted the 2015 Pan Am Games. But how many of us were aware of the sister event in August, the fifth ever Parapan Am Games?


Blind Parapan Athletes Face More Barriers Than Most

Goalball play Ahmad Ziedidavi, from Port Coquitlam, B.C., said this was one of the best-prepared Parapan cities, though the lack of braille on suite doors in the athletes’ village leaves a blind person “kind of lost.”


The Wall Of Unknowledge

By Victor Schwartzman

Inextricably related to the federal election is the Mike Duffy trial. Duffy has been charged with 31 counts of fraud and bribery related to his activities as a Senator, specifically charges he made to his Senate expense account. You know about that trial–but have you have heard about the OTHER trial?


Ontario Justice System ‘Punishes’ Mental Illness

Ontario is fighting a losing battle by punishing people for their mental health issues, according to a new report by the John Howard Society

The story of Toronto musician Josh Priess, seen near College St. and Spadina Ave., illustrates many of the points in the John Howard Society report. Priess ended up in solitary after an encounter with police in 2013. By: Amy Dempsey Feature Writer, Published on Sun Aug 16 2015

A troubled young man brandishing a pair of scissors is shot and killed by police. A suicidal woman is placed in solitary confinement “for her own protection.” A desperate boy finally gets the mental health care he needs, but only after he is charged with assault.

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In this Issue

Justice Department Applies ADA Title III to Carnival’s Cruise Ships, Website, and Mobile App in a Landmark Settlement

In late July, coinciding with the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) entered into a landmark settlement agreement with Carnival Corp. to improve the physical accessibility of 62 cruise ships sailing under the Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruise brands. The agreement, also addresses the accessibility of Carnival’s website, mobile application, and reservation system.


Settlements for Huronia Victims Downgraded Without Notice

Some former residents who were expecting a $42,000 payout are in for ‘an awful surprise’ Marco Chown Oved
The Toronto Star, Aug. 14, 2015

Almost 400 people with developmental disabilities who were expecting payouts of tens of thousands of dollars from a legal settlement with the government will only receive a maximum of $2,000, though they haven’t been informed and don’t have any recourse to appeal, the Star has learned.

After suffering physical and sexual abuse at the Huronia Regional Centre, former residents settled a class action lawsuit with the government for $35 million in 2013. More than 1,700 people made claims for a part of the settlement, divided into the less serious section A, which have their claims capped at $2,000, and the more severe section B, which are awarded up to $42,000.

John Baird to Be Volunteer Adviser to Group Helping the Developmentally Disabled

Some of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens are getting a powerful advocate.

Former foreign affairs minister John Baird will be a volunteer strategic adviser to Community Living Ontario, which helps some 12,000 Ontarians with intellectual disabilities.
By: Robert Benzie Queen’s Park Bureau Chief, Published on Wed Aug 12 2015

“I’m really keen to try to help them,” Baird said Wednesday.

The one-time provincial community and social services minister, who boosted funding for developmental services during his 1999-2002 tenure at the department, said he wants to work with different levels of government to improve the lot of the intellectually handicapped.

Baird stressed he will take a “non-partisan role” in his advocacy, noting governments of all political stripes have wanted to boost the employment and inclusion opportunities for people with such challenges.

George Brown student says she was denied housing over guide dog Enrolled in sign language course at college

A woman who wants to study American Sign Language and deaf studies at George Brown College says she’s been denied on-campus housing because of her service dog.


HOCKEY INNOVATION Students design puck for visually impaired players

A pair of Ontario college students face a tough crowd as they try to design an audible hockey puck that can be used by visually impaired players. And the international judges vetting the product at a global engineering contest won’t even be the harshest critics.

Those would be the players themselves, who say people have been designing pucks containing electronic noisemakers for decades and haven’t yet managed to create one that works well on the ice.