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New Program Helps People With Autism Overcome Barriers in Accessing COVID-19 Vaccines

By Maria Sarrouh
Toronto Star
Thursday, July 8, 2021

The noise, bright lights, winding lines and moving parts of mass immunization sites may be anxiety-inducing for plenty of people. But for some individuals with autism and others who have sensory issues, the experience can be entirely overwhelming.

Among the “unmet needs” still hindering people with autism from receiving their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is the possibility of experiencing sensory overload at vaccine clinics, said Anne Borden King. She’s a spokesperson and board member for Autistics for Autistics Ontario (A4A), a collective of adults with autism advocating for reform to autism funding and services, provincially and federally.

New School Misses Mark on Accessibility

When the construction fences came down around the new school in June, Mary and Geoff did a walkabout and were alarmed when they found two doors at the front of the building on both sides of the main door that a person in a wheelchair would not be able to access. They contacted staff members and a trustee of the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) to express their concerns. The response was disheartening, according to Mary.


New Laws Let Americans With Disabilities Vote Online. They’ve Also Resurrected The Debate About Voting Access vs. Election Security.

Since the dawn of the internet, someone has inevitably raised this question every election cycle: Why can’t we vote online? (The question was particularly apt in 2020, when states had to grapple with how to run an election during a pandemic.) And every time, election security experts dutifully answer that there is currently no technological way to guarantee a secure online ballot.


Accessibility Gains Must Become Lasting Learning Practices

For too long, colleges and universities have waited for students with disabilities to request accommodations before deciding to remove barriers to access and full participation that existed all along.


Accessibility Standards Canada 2020-2021 annual report: Keeping our focus on an accessible Canada

Accessibility Standards Canada is proud to release its second annual report, which recounts a year that saw real progress in advancing their mandate. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, tabled the report in Parliament on June 18, 2021.


Neuroscientist Joey Ramp is Breaking Down Barriers for Disabled STEM Students With Service Dogs

People with disabilities lack equal access in academia and this is especially the case in science and other STEM subjects. Having faced this, neuroscientist Joey Ramp is out to change the picture. Ramp helps disabled students with service dogs pursue STEM majors and works with universities to build an open minded, accessible culture.


Is There a Right Way to Act Blind?

Activists slammed the TV show “In the Dark” for casting a sighted actress in a blind lead role. But what if blindness is a performance of its own?


Send Your Feedback on the Initial Report/Recommendations by the Post-Secondary Education Standards Development Committee on What Must Be Done to Make Ontario Colleges and Universities Accessible for Students with Disabilities

There are now three different public consultations going on at the same time on the content of new accessibility standards to be enacted under the AODA. The first, ending on August 11, 2021, concerns the disability barriers facing patients with disabilities in Ontario hospitals. The second, ending on September 2, 2021, concerns the barriers impeding students with disabilities in Ontario schools between Kindergarten and Grade 12. The third, which ends on September 29, 2021, and which we are focusing on in this Update, concerns the barriers impeding students with disabilities in Ontario colleges and universities.


Canadians Concerned About Disability Poverty, On-Board with Proposed New National Benefit

Recognizing the challenges faced by Canadians with disabilities –
problems that have only been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic – the federal Liberal government laid out plans to help in its September 2020 Speech from the Throne. The government promised a new Canadian Disability Benefit, modelled after the seniors’ guaranteed income supplement.


I Chose Not to Disclose My Condition for Many Years, But I Came to Change My Mind

“You’re a very big guy and awkward with the way you move. You have this large presence that is off-putting. If I had an opening and you were the applicant, I wouldn’t hire you.”