Accessibility News December 18,2010 Update

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In this Issue

1) Message Board
*Customer Service Standard Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On
*Watchdog’s Request Reasonable: Reader
*CI Recognized for Web Site Accessibility for the Blind
*The Sound of Accommodation: Do You Hear What I Hear?
*New Coalition Calls for Completely Accessible Broadcasting System
*Human Rights Success: Disabling a System of Discrimination
*Reveal Human Rights Review Findings: Mother
*My Proposed Dec. 16 ADA Regulatory Hearing Testimony
*$25M for Autism ‘Raises a Lot of Questions’
*Ontario Lawyers to Represent Injured Vets for Free
*Raise Welfare Rates Before Review: Advocate
*Phone for the Hard of Hearing
*Transit Barriers to Toronto and Back
3) Classifieds
4) This and That



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Customer Service Standard Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On

By Geof Collis

City of Kawartha Lakes cowardly hides behind the Provincial Government in its decision not to grant my request in the article
Access Watchdog Blasts City For PDFs of Minutes

Over a 12 business day span I had a one way email correspondence with my City for a simple request of documentation, the first one being part of the above article. Everyone was ignored, until the 16 th business day, coincidentally after the Article broke, the Mayor asked Staff to look into it.



Watchdog’s Request Reasonable: Reader

Mr. Collis’ request is perfectly reasonable. The law says he is entitled to accessible services. Our mayor, who is visually impaired himself, should understand these needs very well. Communications officer Brenda Stonehouse’s comment about the “significant financial impact” of providing tagged PDF documents implies that it’s acceptable to deprive the disabled of their rights under the law if we decide the cost is too expensive. This type of thinking is no longer tolerated in our society. Who knows, it might even lead to another expensive law suit.



CI Recognized for Web Site Accessibility for the Blind

CAMARILLO, Calif., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a recent review of 183 university Web sites published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, CSU Channel Islands (CI) placed sixth overall in Web site accessibility for the blind and placed first for accessibility of online applications, with 98.2% of applications usable by the blind. Four of the top ten Web sites were from the CSU system.



The Sound of Accommodation: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Here, you had a new employee who had an ‘invisible’ disability ­ a hearing impediment that would not have been apparent had he not mentioned it to me (he wore no obvious hearing aid). His disability conflicted with his ability to perform his job due to the environment he was being required to work in.
That music wafting in the air? While perhaps not an issue for non-hearing impaired employees, it clearly was an issue for this employee. So much an issue that he felt it necessary to alter how he was doing his job, from leaning in to hear customers to going so far as to disclosing to them the fact
he was ‘hard of hearing’.



New Coalition Calls for Completely Accessible Broadcasting System

Access 2020, a newly formed coalition of Canada’s largest accessibility organizations, will be asking the CRTC to adopt a new approach to accessibility
in its May 2011 policy hearing on vertical integration.

“While current regulatory trends mean that sight- and hearing-impaired Canadians will only obtain complete access to television in thirty years, Access
2020’s goal is to achieve fully captioned and described television content within the next decade,” said Beverley Milligan, on behalf of Media Access Canada which is leading the Coalition.



Human Rights Success: Disabling a System of Discrimination

Dec. 12, 2010/ Troy Media/ ­ Canada’s success in rooting out discrimination is often lost in a national debate that focuses on the failings of human rights

The country’s system of meting out justice in cases of inequality is not without its many bright spots, however.

In one particular case concluded earlier this year, a complaint concluded in a triple-whammy success for the federal human rights agencies, disabled Canadians and Elections Canada.



Reveal Human Rights Review Findings: Mother

The City of Cambridge has a public duty to reveal findings of a consultant’s report ordered by a human rights tribunal, says a Cambridge mother whose son was denied access to a city summer camp.

Recently, the city was ordered by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to pay the Cambridge family $12,000 in damages after the 12-year-old boy was denied partial access to a nine-week camp at John Dolson Centre pool in 2008.



My Proposed Dec. 16 ADA Regulatory Hearing Testimony

By Blind Access Journal

I will be testifying on Dec. 16 in Washington D.C. at a Department of Justice hearing on proposed new ADA regulations to expand accessibility requirements for websites, closed captioning, video description, electronic equipment (ATMs, kiosks, payment terminals) and emergency-notification technology.



$25M for Autism ‘Raises a Lot of Questions’

Families react with guarded optimism to provincial announcement of expanded services

Suzanne Jacobson, left, who has two grandchildren with autism, says the new program is a positive step, while Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod, right, believes the government is looking to prevent autism from becoming a heated issue.

Families of children with autism are reacting with guarded optimism to news that the Ontario government has pledged $25 million to expand services for those who have the developmental disorder.

The new services, known as applied behaviour analysis, or ABA, would help children with autism learn communication, social and behaviour management skills.

It would also help them develop daily-living skills such as toileting and bathing.

In announcing the funding Tuesday, Children and Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten said the range of new supports would benefit 8,000 children — a figure that critics say is vastly inflated given the McGuinty Liberals’ uneven track record in managing autism intervention programs.



Ontario Lawyers to Represent Injured Vets for Free

Moved by the stories of Canada’s wounded soldiers who’ve come home only to be forced to fight the federal government for benefits, Ontario’s trial lawyers say they’ll represent injured veterans for free.



Raise Welfare Rates Before Review: Advocate

CBC news, Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Ontario government’s review of its welfare system wastes valuable time, says an Ottawa-based advocate for the poor.

Former Statistics Canada chief statistician Munir Sheikh is one of two people leading the review of Ontario’s welfare system. (Fred
Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Entraide Budgétaire director Hélène Ménard, whose organization helps poor people manage their money, says the government’s planned 18-month review of welfare and disability payments has its timeline backward.



Phone for the Hard of Hearing

Vodacom has launched the Bellen A100 handset in South Africa, as an innovative solution for ‘hard of hearing’ mobile users. It is not only useful for people with hearing difficulties, but also makes clear communication possible for people who work in noisy environments.



Transit Barriers to Toronto and Back

By Wheelchairdemon

Are people with disabilities and passengers such a nuisance, that the employees don’t believe they need to bother doing their jobs, deliver good customer service, or be polite?

Does the TTC not expect their employees to do better?

Does the top brass at the TTC properly train and support their employees?




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