Transportation Department Announces New Airplane Bathroom Accessibility Rule

As part of the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the DOT now requires airlines to make lavatories on new single-aisle aircraft large enough to permit a passenger with a disability and attendant, both equivalent in size to a 95th percentile male.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/transportation-department-announces-new-airplane-bathroom-accessibility-rule/

Feds Propose Rules For Web Accessibility

The U.S. Department of Justice is proposing first-ever rules to ensure that websites and mobile apps are accessible to people with disabilities.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/feds-propose-rules-for-web-accessibility/

Accessibility News July 29,2023 Update

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

AbleDocs Inc. is excited to be joining the Accessibility News team to ensure all documents are made accessible and compliant.

AbleDocs is the only organization to guarantee the compliance of the files we produce and back that up with a $10,000,000 guarantee.

We look forward to working with you and Accessibility News for years to come. For more details, please come to https://www.abledocs.com for more information about our revolutionary approach to document accessibility.

The AODA Clock is Ticking

There is 1 year, 22 weeks, 2 days until a fully Accessible Ontario! Will you be compliant?

In this Issue

*We Can’t Afford To Not Make Our Cities More Accessible For People With Disabilities
*Toronto’s New Courthouse Reveals the Limits of What Architecture Can Do
*Disabled Music Fans Say Their Accessible Seats at Rock the Park Were So Far Away They Couldn’t See
*Starting the Engagement Process to Design the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations
*He Tried to Talk to Bell. Now This Hard-of-Hearing Man is Living with His Mother, His Confidence Gutted
*Waterloo Company Designs Lifejackets for Those With Disabilities

Level Access

Level Access is an Accessibility-as-a-Service platform. It helps organizations deliver inclusive web, mobile, and product experiences in compliance with legal requirements to ensure that no one with a disability is left behind.

To learn more, visit https://www.levelaccess.com/.

Press Releases:

*Level Access Wins 2023 Top Workplaces Culture Excellence Awards
https://www.levelaccess.com/news/press-releases/level-access-wins-2023-top-workplaces-culture-excellence-awards/
* eSSENTIAL Accessibility and Level Access Complete Next Step of Merger: Unifying Identity Under the Level Access Name
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/essential-accessibility-level-access-complete-135500831.html

Past Press Releases:

https://www.levelaccess.com/news

ARTICLES:

We Can’t Afford To Not Make Our Cities More Accessible For People With Disabilities

ADA compliance and design for inclusion are an economic engine. Instead of trying to dismantle or ignore it, let’s recognize its potential to enrich our cities and their residents.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/we-cant-afford-to-not-make-our-cities-more-accessible-for-people-with-disabilities/

Toronto’s New Courthouse Reveals the Limits of What Architecture Can Do

Toronto’s new courthouse announces itself with a splash of colour. As you walk West from Toronto City Hall, the atrium of the Ontario Court of Justice peeks out from across the street – and behind its skin of blue glass and structural cables stands the elevator bank in a strip of vivid yellow.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynews.ca/torontos-new-courthouse-reveals-the-limits-of-what-architecture-can-do/

Disabled Music Fans Say Their Accessible Seats at Rock the Park Were So Far Away They Couldn’t See

Disability expert says concerts want to offer better service, but often don’t know how

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/disabled-music-fans-say-their-accessible-seats-at-rock-the-park-were-so-far-away-they-couldnt-see/

Starting the Engagement Process to Design the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations

The ground-breaking Canada Disability Benefit Act received Royal Assent on Thursday, June 22, 2023. In the spirit of “Nothing Without Us” and as required by the Act, collaboration with and feedback from persons with disabilities will be essential in the development of the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/starting-the-engagement-process-to-design-the-canada-disability-benefit-regulations/

He Tried to Talk to Bell. Now This Hard-of-Hearing Man is Living with His Mother, His Confidence Gutted

Challenges communicating with Bell led Adam King-Duke to despair about living independently.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/he-tried-to-talk-to-bell-now-this-hard-of-hearing-man-is-living-with-his-mother-his-confidence-gutted/

Waterloo Company Designs Lifejackets for Those With Disabilities

Lifejackets specially designed for those living with a disability are making a splash in the world of accessible water sports.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynews.ca/waterloo-company-designs-lifejackets-for-those-with-disabilities/

Past Newsletters

View past issues of the Newsletter at http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/category/accessibility-news-weekly-newsletter/

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.

Want to advertise in this spot or make an Announcement? Email info@accessibilitynews.ca for more info

To unsubscribe from this Newsletter, send an email to info@accessibilitynews.ca or just reply to this Update and state your intentions.

The views and opinions expressed throughout Accessibility News do not represent those of the various organizations or associated individuals and are exclusively those of the contributor and/or author of the specific article or commentary.

Accessibility News, since November 8, 2006

We Can’t Afford To Not Make Our Cities More Accessible For People With Disabilities

ADA compliance and design for inclusion are an economic engine. Instead of trying to dismantle or ignore it, let’s recognize its potential to enrich our cities and their residents.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/we-cant-afford-to-not-make-our-cities-more-accessible-for-people-with-disabilities/

Toronto’s New Courthouse Reveals the Limits of What Architecture Can Do

ALEX BOZIKOVICARCHITECTURE CRITIC
PUBLISHED July 24, 2023

Toronto’s new courthouse announces itself with a splash of colour. As you walk West from Toronto City Hall, the atrium of the Ontario Court of Justice peeks out from across the street – and behind its skin of blue glass and structural cables stands the elevator bank in a strip of vivid yellow.

It’s the most colourful bit of building in this institutional precinct, a clear sign that something special but quiet is happening here.

The Ontario Court of Justice, which opened earlier this year, is an extraordinarily refined public building. This is the first built work in Canada by international firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), collaborating with Toronto firm Norr. The building displays all the exacting details and refined proportions that helped make Mr. Piano, the Italian architect, one of the world’s most highly respected designers.

Yet the courthouse reveals the limits of what architecture can do. Its spatial clarity and sedulous details don’t resolve some issues with where it is placed. This is a spectacular execution of a flawed recipe.

The structure is, simply, massive: 72,000 square metres of space on 17 levels, including 73 courtrooms. It combines the functions of six older buildings into one, including several specialized courthouses (one is for youth and drug crimes), and an Indigenous learning centre (co-designed with Indigenous-owned Two Row Architect).

“A courthouse is a very complex machine,” Mr. Piano, 85, said on a recent call from his Paris office. “It’s not an easy place. It’s a place of suspension, a place of drama and pathos and passion. So it’s important to work on the skin of the building, to make it luminous.”

Using light – bringing it in, modulating it, distributing it judiciously – is Mr. Piano’s forte. His manipulation of daylight in art museums, including the Menil in Houston and the Whitney in New York, is unsurpassed.

He is best known for the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which he designed together with another future global star Richard Rogers. After that playful masterpiece, Mr. Piano launched his own firm.

RPBW now has studios in Paris and his hometown of Genoa, and has completed major cultural buildings, office buildings and airport terminals in Europe, Asia and the U.S., including the Shard skyscraper in London. In 2017, they completed a major courthouse for the Paris region.

As is usually the case with the firm’s work, the Toronto courthouse is calm and rational. As all that glass suggests, they brought a European attitude to justice, treating a courthouse as a place for civil discourse rather than as a fortress.

“We approached it as we would any other civic building, such as a museum,” said Amaury Greig, a Canadian-French partner at RPBW who worked on the project. “Civic buildings should have a presence in the city, and they should be of the city.”

Outside, a 90-metre ceremonial spire marks the end point of York Street, emphasizing the building’s position on an axis in Toronto’s street grid. This zone has a strong institutional character. The new court neighbours two judicial buildings to its west and south: the Superior Court of Justice, a handsome limestone box from the 1960s, and the historic Osgoode Hall, which dates back to 1832.

“Our building forms a conclusion to the sequence,” Mr. Greig said.

Visitors to the building arrive through doors at the southwest corner. After passing through a security screening, they move east into the 20-metre-tall lobby, enclosed in glass, at the southeast corner. Here, stairs and escalators rise to the second floor. Those yellow elevator banks carry visitors upward past art by Indigenous artists and relics of the neighbourhood’s past as the multicultural St. John’s Ward.

The elevator bank provides a visual beacon indoors, as well. You can see the yellow from almost anywhere within the building’s corridors. This allows people to orient themselves easily – an important job, as Mr. Piano points out, in a vertical public building.

But the bright colour also speaks to the good taste and creativity of the architects. They were asked to deliver stone walls, which are traditional in courthouses for their connotations of solidity and consequence. But RPBW subverted that mandate to design the yellow wall panels, which are made of recycled granules of marble. It’s stone, sort of, but friendlier.

Elsewhere in the building, the yellow gives way to white, interspersed with panels of beechwood. Inside the courtrooms, the beech takes over. “The building becomes progressively warmer and more humane as you move inside and enter the places where the most serious moments take place,” Mr. Greig said.

But even on the exterior, the architecture has a humane quality. What looks like an undifferentiated glass facade is actually more complex. It features two layers of glass, and the inner layer alternates clear rectangular sections with 2,200 opaque embossed metal panels. Only about one-third of the facade is actually transparent. This is an effective compromise between a typical curtain wall and the typical rhythm of punched windows in a masonry building.

It is, if you hold your gaze, beautiful.

Elsewhere, Mr. Piano’s practice can be very playful. Their 2015 building for the Whitney Museum in New York is an odd fusion of factory and ocean liner, and now beloved. The Toronto building, typically for a Toronto building, is (except for that stripe of yellow) very quiet. “Some people may say this building is boring,” Mr. Piano said. “But I think it will grow over time.”

He is right. And the architectural achievement seems grander, but also more limited, once you understand the context.

The building was designed and built through a “design/ build/ finance/ maintain” arrangement. The architects partnered with construction giant EllisDon Corp. and investors to win the contract, responding to a highly detailed “specification” document prepared by the government – essentially a giant list of requirements that must be decoded, interpreted and adhered to.

Many lawyers were involved. And such a process is generally toxic to good architecture. It distances the designers from the actual users of the building. It rewards experience, not excellence.

It is amazing that RPBW was involved in this project at all.

Yet the project has problems. According to accessibility advocate David Lepofsky of the AODA Alliance, who was a member of an advisory committee on the building, the designers of the project “specifications” did not consult any people with disabilities. And their requirements baked numerous physical accessibility problems into the design.

Some of these were resolved. But of the ones that remain, some –
including a lack of way-finding and a confusing elevator system – are inexcusable.

Then there is a larger question: Is a centralized courthouse a good idea in the first place?

The Liberal government that kicked off the project, and today’s Conservative government, make similar arguments about the benefits. They cite the relative convenience afforded by centralizing the courts and related services.

However, many in the legal system disagree. Dana Fisher, head of the union local representing legal aid lawyers within the Society of United Professionals, said the six predecessor courthouses are often more convenient for those who use them.

Centralization “has made the lives of our clients, as well as victims and witnesses more difficult,” she said, “and it serves no useful purpose that we can see.”

That stands in tension with Mr. Piano’s ambitions for the building. “This is a place where people do not want to be,” he said. “This is a place where you are worried. But you find yourself surrounded by civic life. You are reminded of the social contract, that we all owe something to each other.”

A beautiful lobby and a civilized corridor can, indeed, induce such feelings. But design can’t fix everything.

Original at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/article-new-toronto-courthouse/

Disabled Music Fans Say Their Accessible Seats at Rock the Park Were So Far Away They Couldn’t See

Disability expert says concerts want to offer better service, but often don’t know how

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/disabled-music-fans-say-their-accessible-seats-at-rock-the-park-were-so-far-away-they-couldnt-see/

Starting the Engagement Process to Design the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations

The ground-breaking Canada Disability Benefit Act received Royal Assent on Thursday, June 22, 2023. In the spirit of “Nothing Without Us” and as required by the Act, collaboration with and feedback from persons with disabilities will be essential in the development of the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/starting-the-engagement-process-to-design-the-canada-disability-benefit-regulations/

He Tried to Talk to Bell. Now This Hard-of-Hearing Man is Living with His Mother, His Confidence Gutted

Challenges communicating with Bell led Adam King-Duke to despair about living independently.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/he-tried-to-talk-to-bell-now-this-hard-of-hearing-man-is-living-with-his-mother-his-confidence-gutted/

Waterloo Company Designs Lifejackets for Those With Disabilities

By David Zura
Posted Jul 13, 2023

Lifejackets specially designed for those living with a disability are making a splash in the world of accessible water sports.

Boxes filled with the innovation were picked up Thursday morning by Able Sail Toronto, a group that describes itself as making the sport of sailing accessible to everyone.
The life jackets were manufactured in Waterloo by the Salus Marine Wear company and funded by a Trillium grant.

Karen-Ann Xavier, the Co-Founder of Able Sail Toronto, said it’s a design that’s been taking shape over a few years. In January, the group feeling they were ready to reach out to manufacturers.

“This front zipper makes it easier for people to get into the life jackets,” said Xaiver. “For the people that use sip and puff units, so that they use their mouth to control the sailboat, this pocket can actually fit some of the equipment.”

She outlines all the details that make it more accessible. “Being open makes it very easy to get people that are paraplegics and quadriplegics into the life jackets,” shared Xavier. “And the big design that we wanted was to have extra flotation here in the front.”

“This will be, overall, any water sports, this will be a great benefit,” she added.

Meanwhile, Lacey Miller, with the Salus Marine Wear company, a marine wear company that’s been making this kind of equipment since 1999, said they jumped on the opportunity to manufacturer the lifejackets.

“It a pretty finicky process. We’re very heavily regulated by Transport Canada and UL,” explained Miller. “It is very doable for the most part like I said. Certain things may take a little bit longer.”

The very first batch of life jackets now headed back to the National Yacht Club near downtown Toronto where they’ll be pilot tested through the summer, with the goal of eventually being used across the country.

Original at https://toronto.citynews.ca/2023/07/13/waterloo-accessible-life-jackets/

Accessibility News July 22,2023 Update

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

AbleDocs Inc. is excited to be joining the Accessibility News team to ensure all documents are made accessible and compliant.

AbleDocs is the only organization to guarantee the compliance of the files we produce and back that up with a $10,000,000 guarantee.

We look forward to working with you and Accessibility News for years to come. For more details, please come to https://www.abledocs.com for more information about our revolutionary approach to document accessibility.

The AODA Clock is Ticking

There is 1 year, 23 weeks, 2 days until a fully Accessible Ontario! Will you be compliant?

In this Issue

*This Jersey Shore Restaurant is Designed to Welcome Kids With Autism, Other Disabilities
*Transportation Apps Can Help People With Disabilities Navigate Public Transit but Accessibility Lags Behind
*Montreal Stand-Up Making Comedy Inclusive for Those With Hearing Loss
*Toronto City Council Should Not Re-Open Its Unanimous Vote Two Years Ago That Banned Electric Scooters Which Endanger Vulnerable People with Disabilities, Seniors and Others *Anorexic Toronto Woman Wants to Die, and Canadian Authorities are Happy to Help
*Quadriplegic Ontario Man Hand-Cycling Across Canada to Promote Activity After Injury
*Study Finds Children With Disabilities Commonly Face Medical Discrimination

Level Access

Level Access is an Accessibility-as-a-Service platform. It helps organizations deliver inclusive web, mobile, and product experiences in compliance with legal requirements to ensure that no one with a disability is left behind.

To learn more, visit https://www.levelaccess.com/.

Press Releases:

*Level Access Wins 2023 Top Workplaces Culture Excellence Awards
https://www.levelaccess.com/news/press-releases/level-access-wins-2023-top-workplaces-culture-excellence-awards/
* eSSENTIAL Accessibility and Level Access Complete Next Step of Merger: Unifying Identity Under the Level Access Name
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/essential-accessibility-level-access-complete-135500831.html

Past Press Releases:

https://www.levelaccess.com/news

ARTICLES:

This Jersey Shore Restaurant is Designed to Welcome Kids With Autism, Other Disabilities

“Servers wouldn’t give him a menu because they would assume that he couldn’t read,” she said. “And the look on his face because of the lack of inclusion and compassion – to be at a table with a bunch of people and you not being looked at, you being overlooked.”

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/this-jersey-shore-restaurant-is-designed-to-welcome-kids-with-autism-other-disabilities/

Transportation Apps Can Help People With Disabilities Navigate Public Transit but Accessibility Lags Behind

Smartphone apps have become commonplace tools for travel and navigation. As technology becomes more integrated into transport networks, apps will continue to be indispensable. But many of those apps remain inaccessible to those with various disabilities.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/transportation-apps-can-help-people-with-disabilities-navigate-public-transit-but-accessibility-lags-behind/

Montreal Stand-Up Making Comedy Inclusive for Those With Hearing Loss

Abby Stonehouse may not take herself too seriously but her cause is no joke.

“When I started doing standup comedy I realized the arts is so inaccessible to so many people. With my work with Hear Quebec my passion for accessibility grew,” she said.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/montreal-stand-up-making-comedy-inclusive-for-those-with-hearing-loss/

Toronto City Council Should Not Re-Open Its Unanimous Vote Two Years Ago That Banned Electric Scooters Which Endanger Vulnerable People with Disabilities, Seniors and Others

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynews.ca/toronto-city-council-should-not-re-open-its-unanimous-vote-two-years-ago-that-banned-electric-scooters-which-endanger-vulnerable-people-with-disabilities-seniors-and-others/

Anorexic Toronto Woman Wants to Die, and Canadian Authorities are Happy to Help

“Every day is hell,” she said. “I’m so tired. I’m done. I’ve tried everything. I feel like I’ve lived my life.”

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/anorexic-toronto-woman-wants-to-die-and-canadian-authorities-are-happy-to-help/

Quadriplegic Ontario Man Hand-Cycling Across Canada to Promote Activity After Injury

Kevin Mills, a quadriplegic man from Ontario, is hand-cycling across Canada to promote outdoor activity after injury while also charting an accessible nationwide bike route for those with a disability.

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/quadriplegic-ontario-man-hand-cycling-across-canada-to-promote-activity-after-injury/

Study Finds Children With Disabilities Commonly Face Medical Discrimination

While medical discrimination has been proven to contribute to worse health outcomes, a study finds that disabled children may be frequent victims of this bias

Read more at
https://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/study-finds-children-with-disabilities-commonly-face-medical-discrimination/

Past Newsletters

View past issues of the Newsletter at http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/category/accessibility-news-weekly-newsletter/

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.

Want to advertise in this spot or make an Announcement? Email info@accessibilitynews.ca for more info

To unsubscribe from this Newsletter, send an email to info@accessibilitynews.ca or just reply to this Update and state your intentions.

The views and opinions expressed throughout Accessibility News do not represent those of the various organizations or associated individuals and are exclusively those of the contributor and/or author of the specific article or commentary.

Accessibility News, since November 8, 2006