Who is the real advocate?

Greetings and I am Scott Savoy hoping that wherever you are; your weekend is
turning out to be a gorgeous one.
Today, I’d like to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and for
this week Donna J. Jodhan laments the passing of one of her mentors, dear
friends, and sounding boards! As she says, probably one of Canada’s finest
advocates!
I wish you a great weekend.

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Who is the real advocate?
A tribute to the late Chris Stark
By Donna J. Jodhan

It is certainly not me and it is certainly not most of us. However, when I
think of it, the answer is just so close at hand. I can practically reach
out and grab it! I can touch it and I can feel it! So who is it? Or
should I say who is he?

His name is Chris Stark and I do not think that anyone could even think of
debating my choice here! For if we take the time to think about it; a true
advocate is one who not only walks the walk! He fights the good fight! He
gives and sacrifices all that he has in his arsenal! He is selfless, he is
never self centered, and his hand is always out there readily waiting to
help! Most of all, he is humble and never seeks to grab the limelight.
Instead, he is always willing to give others the opportunity to stand up,
speak up, and speak out!

He is generous with his time! He is kind, patient, and always willing to
share his knowledge, advice, and experiences! He is not afraid and most of
all; he is a humanitarian and a teacher!

These are the thoughts that I express as I sit here mourning the sudden
passing of my mentor, friend, and sounding board! Chris Stark was all of
these things to me and so much more! Chris Stark was much more than this to
Blind, deaf/blind, and vision impaired Canadians! We have lost probably the
best advocate that Blind, deaf/blind, and vision impaired Canadians has
ever had!

Chris Stark was my inspiration, my role model, and my reason to keep on
fighting! He never complained and he always found a way to come up with a
solution! He was always professional in his approaches to problems and he
always preached to me that I should take the high road!

I will miss you Chris! I will miss your advice, friendship, wonderful sense
of humor, and mentoring. You were probably one of the finest chess players
when it came to strategies of life! I can only promise to help carry on
your legacy and to do my best to live up to your standard when it comes to
true advocacy!

I promise to keep on fighting the good fight! To fight for a better future
for our kids and to pass on and share my knowledge with those around me. I
promise to be strong, patient, and to do my best to protect our rights as
blind, def/blind, and vision impaired Canadians.

You are in a better place now! No more pain, no more suffering, and now it
is our turn to continue what you worked so hard to accomplish! Each time we
approach a banking machine we will remember that it was through your efforts
that we can now benefit from talking banking machines.

Each time we are faced with tough and unyielding respondents whose main
objective is to use their deep pockets to thwart our efforts we will
remember that you did not falter in front of those who failed to understand
the entire picture. And each time we are faced with situations that test
our courage, passion, commitment, dedication, and determination and
sacrifice; we must and will remember what you did for us and now we must do
it for others.

You walked with me on the journey to a successful charter challenge against
the Canadian Government over their inaccessible websites and you were there
for me during our campaign for the passage of an accessible Canada Act! But
now you are gone and you won’t be coming back! I only hope that I’ll have
the strength, courage, and determination to follow in your footsteps!

Safe travels to you good friend and it will be a sunny day when we meet
again! Please save a seat at your table for me! You came into my life when
I needed help and my only regret is you did not come sooner!

***
From Albert Ruel:
Chris Stark April 2016
Canada and the community of citizens who are blind, deaf-blind and partially
sighted recently lost a visionary, an advocate and an activist who made a
profound and lasting difference throughout his short 72 years of life.
Through his family, I want to thank Chris Stark for those things I didn’t
take the time to thank him for during his life, to thank the Canadian Human
Rights Commission for their below recognition of those accomplishments, and
to thank Beth Robertson and her Envisioning Technologies
https://acorta.me/1nx

From Richard Marion:
Chris stark was personally committed to a number of issues. He had a very
clear idea on how people who are blind should participate in society and
worked tirelessly to do his part to ensure his view was implemented

and supported by decision makers and others in Canada and around the world.
Here are some of Chris’s victories that we now benefit from in so many ways.
The first Accessible ATM was a result of his work filing a human rights
complaint against RBC. As a result, today accessible bank machines are
usually available at all branches of all the major chartered banks and some
credit
unions across the country.
Accessible utility bills and banking statements was another area that we now
benefit from as a result of his work. After filing actions against Bell and
other, all the telecommunications companies were mandated by the CRTC to
produce accessible billing statements. This work went on to include other
utility companies like the cable companies and I believe Ontario Hydro. (may
need to verify)
His work was not just limited to filing actions against companies for not
providing accessible services. He was committed to accessible travel and
transportation and guide dog access as well. As a result, he went to a
number of
places around the word including the far North beyond the artic circle but
also visited Israel and Jordan as well. With all of this, he worked to be
part of the work that still goes on to ensure better access and service from
airlines,
inter provincial bus services and via rail.
With all of this, he wanted to share his story with anyone who was willing
to listen and learn. His belief was that only through teaching and guiding
people would ensure we continue the work of achieving equality and that
people were completely aware of their rights and responsibilities in our
daily lives and that we were best equipped to fully participate in all
activities no matter the challenge for gaining access to places and
services.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services

Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or deafblind will soon have access
to faster, better message
relay services
By Sameer Chhabra

Dec 14, 2018

Canada’s telecommunications watchdog has
issued a decision mandating standards for
message relay services.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission’s (CRTC) December
14th, 2018 decision, groups that provide text-based message relay services
(MRS) like teletypewriter
relay (TTY) and internet protocol relay (IP relay) will be required to
implement quality of service
standards, as well as a standard for call answer time and typing speed.

As per the CRTC’s latest telecom decision, 80 percent of all calls each
months will need to be responded
to by a live MRS operator within 20 seconds.

The CRTC will raise the standard to 85 percent and 10 seconds in 12 months.

“MRS providers that engage a third-party service provider must ensure that
the provider meets these
requirements,” reads an excerpt from the CRTC’s December 14th decision.

In addition to setting a standard for call answer time, the Commission
determined that every MRS
operator will need to achieve a typing speed of 45 words-per-minute, with a
95 percent transcription
accurate rate.

“MRS providers must monitor the typing speeds of the MRS operators and may
measure typing speeds
once a year using a statistically random sample of MRS operators,” reads
another excerpt.

“Alternatively, MRS providers that engage a third-party service provider
must ensure that the provider
meets these requirements.”

Wireless service providers across Canada have also been ordered to “make
enhanced functionality
available to IP relay users.”

“The Commission also directs Bell Canada et al., Cogeco, Eastlink, RCCI,
SaskTel, Shaw, TCI, and
Videotron to consult accessibility groups to determine how the minimum
functionality requirements will
be achieved for IP relay service, and to file a report with the Commission,
within six months of the date
of this decision, that describes the outcomes of discussions and that lists
the accessibility groups that
were consulted,” the CRTC wrote.

The Commission also ordered any group that provides mobile wireless voice
services to provide IP relay
to their customers within six months of the December 14th decision.

“WSPs will be responsible for recovering their costs and may use their own
discretion to determine how
to do so,” said the CRTC.

“The Commission does not expect that a separate fee for IP relay service
would be identified on
subscribers’ bills, but rather that the cost of offering IP relay service
would be included in the cost of
providing the subscribers’ telecommunications services.”

Canada’s larger carriers have until the end of 2019 to provide the CRTC with
plans to support relay
service based on real-time text, “which can be transmitted over modern
wireless networks.”

“IP relay service will continue to be offered to all home phone subscribers
and will also be offered to all
cell phone subscribers,” reads an excerpt from a December 14th, 2018 CRTC
media release.

“Any cell phone subscriber who wishes to access IP relay service will not be
required to subscribe to a
home phone service.”

The CRTC added that its latest decision doesn’t affect video relay services.

MobileSyrup has reached out to the Deaf Wireless Canada Committee (DWCC) for
comment. This story
will be updated with a response.

“Our group believes in providing all telecommunications options possible,
unfortunately, the CRTC
decided to focus on only one of the options IP-browser web-based relay
services and did not mandate
IP-Relay apps because they would rather wait until Real Time Text becomes
available.

Once again, we are left to wait until everything becomes accessible, again
we are left behind in
stagnation and waiting to catch up with others in Canadian society.”

https://mobilesyrup.com/2018/12/14/crtc-decision-accessibility-mrs-tty-ip-re
lay-services/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We did it! We are the champions!

Greetings and I’m Christian Robicheau wishing all dads a very happy Father’s
day.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan reflects on the journey to the passage of Bill
C81. This is very passionate and moving and I encourage you to read on.
Enjoy your weekend.

+++++++++++++++

We did it!
By Donna J. Jodhan

Four and a half years later and as I sit here doing my best to put words
together, I am extremely humbled, pleased, and downright ecstatic to share
with you that we have finally done it!

On May 29, Bill C81 became an Act when the Canadian House of Commons passed
it. Now we await Royal Ascent and we are all hoping that it will be done
soonest before the writ is dropped in the House to signal the end of
proceedings in the House and then we get ready for a Federal Elections on
October 14.

It has been a long and arduous journey! For me it started at the end of
2014 when I founded Barrier Free Canada and decided to stir the pot in order
to lobby for an accessible Canada Act and a barrier free Canada.

To everyone’s great surprise including me, it took very little time before
both organizations and individuals from coast to coast began to climb aboard
the train. Then when three of the four Federal Parties endorsed our
campaign along with the cities of Toronto and Halifax, we knew that we had
struck pure gold!

2015 was a Federal Elections year and the time was right for such a campaign
to be launched.

Shortly after taking office in October 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau promised
to deliver an accessible Canada Act and he handed over the responsibility to
Carla Qualtrough to bring home the bacon as they would say. This hard
working Minister did not disappoint us!

Now history has been made! A landmark day for all Canadians! For those
with a disability, and for those with friends, family, and for those who
work with a person with a disability!

For me personally, I am extremely grateful and humbled that I was given an
opportunity to work with some very special persons. All I ever wanted was
to push the envelope a wee bit harder and further in order to ensure that
our kids would have a better future than me and for our seniors to be able
to enjoy their golden years a bit better.

Prime Minister Trudeau has delivered as he promised and I thank him, his
government, Minister Carla Qualtrough, and Senator Jim Munson for their
tireless dedication to action!

We have made it better than possible! We have done it and now it is time to
celebrate! May 29 will not only be a day in Canadian history; it is also my
dad’s birthday! A double blessing for me!
Just my two cents for today!

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top advocacy article of the week – Feds Prod Universities to Address Website Accessibility

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

Feds Prod Universities to Address Website Accessibility

Universities are under legal pressure to make their websites fully
accessible to people with disabilities, but is “fully” even possible? By
Lindsay McKenzie

November 6, 2018

Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country are currently under
investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for
failing to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.

Universities that receive federal financial aid are required by law to make
reasonable accommodations to ensure their web content is accessible to
everyone, including, but not limited to, people who are blind, deaf or have
limited mobility.

Awareness of the importance of web accessibility has grown among university
leaders in recent years partly due to numerous well-publicized lawsuits. Yet
ensuring that every aspect of a university’s sprawling web presence meets
recommended web-accessibility standards remains a huge challenge.

Part of the problem is the sheer volume of content universities have online,
said Scott Lissner, Americans With Disabilities Act compliance officer at
Ohio State University. Universities can have thousands of webpages, with
hundreds of faculty members and staff constantly adding, removing or
changing content. This “amoeba-like” quality makes it difficult to monitor
content for accessibility, said Lissner.

When Lissner asked colleagues how many webpages Ohio State has, they told
him to “multiply the grains of sand on the shore by the stars in the
heavens” to get a close approximation. The true number is “somewhere between
five and eight million,” he said, “depending on what definition you’re using
and what moment in time it is.”

Lissner needs to know the total number of webpages so he and his colleagues
can review every single one as part of a requirement by the Office for Civil
Rights. The office opened an investigation into Ohio State’s web
accessibility two years ago following a complaint. To resolve this
complaint, Ohio State must audit its webpages – identifying any areas that
need work and proposing a time frame to fix them.

Ohio State isn’t expected to check millions of webpages overnight, but even
the initial audit of the university’s public-facing webpages represents a
significant undertaking. There is software that can automatically test
webpages for accessibility, but it’s far from perfect, said Lissner.

“These tools do an OK job on very static, content-oriented webpages,” he
said. “But depending on the tool and the design of your web space, they are
only between 30 and 45 percent accurate.”

Web-accessibility software can, for example, check to see if webpages have
descriptions known as alt-tags on images. These alt-tags should describe an
image so that people who use screen readers can know what’s there. But
Lissner said the software doesn’t tell you if a description is good or not.

“If I have a picture of the Oval on a webpage, and the alt-tag says ‘image
27’ – that’s not going to mean much to anyone,” he said.

Though auditing websites is time-consuming and potentially costly for
institutions, Lissner does not resent doing the work. Ohio State’s
resolution agreement with the OCR set out a strategy for improving the
institution’s web accessibility, which includes developing a
web-accessibility policy, performing audits and training staff. Ohio State
was already doing many of these things but at a slower pace and with a
slightly different approach. The agreement requires that institutions
perform an initial audit of their websites within 180 days of OCR approving
the institution’s proposed web-accessibility policy. Lissner estimates Ohio
State is probably about two years ahead of where it would have been had it
not received the complaint.

John Ellinger, chief information officer at Bowling Green State University
in Ohio, said it wasn’t a surprise when the university received a letter
last year saying that OCR had opened an investigation into BGSU’s web
accessibility. Ellinger, who had been in contact with IT staff at other
Ohio-based institutions, knew that many of them were already under
investigation by OCR.

“We didn’t wait for the letter to arrive to start the work,” said Ellinger.

A Department of Education spokesman would not say how many universities are
currently under investigation by OCR for web accessibility issues. He
previously told Inside Higher Ed that there were 556 open cases as of Aug.
7, 2017. The spokesman said OCR receives thousands of complaints alleging
violations of federal civil rights laws every year, and the number “has
generally increased over time.”

When OCR reviews a website as a result of a complaint, it doesn’t do a
comprehensive audit. It instead typically lists a small sample of webpages
where it has identified web-accessibility issues. Problems highlighted at
BGSU included a lack of alt-tags on some images and videos that were not
appropriately captioned.

There were also some surprises – Ellinger’s team thought they were using
accessible fonts and colors on the BGSU website, but in fact, their choices
were not compatible with the required web-accessibility standards. The
website has since been updated to reflect this, with added features such as
a button that allows users to toggle between normal and high-contrast
webpages.

Bowling Green State University webpages, in normal and high-contrast
versions.

Ellinger said BGSU has approximately 15,000 webpages. These webpages are
controlled by 610 content moderators, all of whom must be trained as part of
the university’s resolution agreement with OCR. So far, around 150 have
completed the training BGSU created. A small team is working to audit BGSU’s
webpages and is on track to report the results of their audit by next
February, said Ellinger.

“I’m very comfortable with where we are,” he said. “We haven’t thrown a lot
of resources at this work – it’s just become part of our day job.”

Jeremy Thompson, assistant vice president of marketing and enrollment
management at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., oversees web content at
the university. He said that the university had just completed an 18-month
project to update its website when they received an OCR complaint in July
2017.

“The site was only two weeks old and we were still testing it,” said
Thompson.

He said it took a few months to draw up the terms of the resolution
agreement with OCR. The agreement is similar to those drawn up by OSU, BGSU
and other universities under investigation by the OCR. Thompson said his
institution is “fully onboard” with completing the steps outlined in the
agreement but notes it is “impossible to achieve complete perfection.”
Web-accessibility standards “change very regularly, and the methods are
constantly evolving,” he said.

Lesley University consolidated its webpages when it redesigned its website,
but the total number is still in the thousands. There are about 30 staff
members who can upload and edit the institution’s website, said Thompson.
All of them have now been trained in web-accessibility best practices.

“I would encourage other institutions to make accessibility a key
consideration with any website,” said Thompson. “They need to be making
every effort to move in that direction – it’s mission appropriate.
Universities should be accessible to anyone interested in pursuing
education.”

Gabe Cazares, government affairs specialist for the National Federation of
the Blind, said higher education institutions are more aware of what is
required of them by law than they were in the past.

“There have been some improvements from when we started doing this work,” he
said. “But there’s still more to be done.”

Common issues that NFB members encounter on university websites are a lack
of alt-tags and documents being uploaded as image files rather than text
files that can be read by screen readers, said Cazares.

The federal government recommends that institutions meet web-accessibility
standards known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, but these are
not the latest standards – new, better ones have been released, said
Cazares. Government policy is “very slow” to reflect these developments, he
said.

Resolving a web-accessibility complaint can take years. The OCR can take
several months to respond to the reports that institutions send as part of
their resolution agreements, and institutions can ask for extensions on
their reporting deadlines. George Washington University, for example,
recently secured an extension from OCR for its first reporting deadline. The
Education Department spokesman did not comment on whether it is common for
institutions to be granted extensions, nor under what conditions they may
obtain them, saying only that “as a matter of policy, OCR does not discuss
details of open cases.”

Sometimes institutions are “overoptimistic” in how quickly they can improve
their web accessibility, said Cazares. He’d like the work to happen quickly
but says he is more concerned when institutions miss deadlines than when
they ask to extend them.

Though several university accessibility staffers said it is impossible to
make sure every webpage of a university website is accessible, Cazares
disagrees. “You can create something inherently accessible,” he said. “It
just requires a change in culture.”

Earlier this year, OCR changed the way it processes web-accessibility
complaints, releasing a new case-processing manual. This change means that
OCR can dismiss complaints that appear to be part of a pattern. What exactly
constitutes a pattern is unclear, said Marcie Lipsett, an education rights
advocate, who since January 2016 has single-handedly filed thousands of
complaints against universities, colleges, schools, public libraries and
state education agencies.

Lipsett said that since the OCR changed its case-processing manual, hundreds
of her complaints have been dismissed – including 571 cases that were
already under investigation by OCR. “I started getting bulk letters and
emails. I had more than 100 dismissals in one letter,” she said.

Cazares noted that the NFB was “very disappointed” when OCR announced the
processing changes. The NFB is one of the lead organizations in a lawsuit
against OCR regarding this change.

Terrill Thompson, a technology accessibility specialist at the University of
Washington, said he doubts there are any universities that have fully
accessible websites. “If it exists, it would have to be at a very
centralized institution, where every webpage has a standard template or
theme,” he said.

At Washington, where many different staff members add website content using
different tools and hosting platforms, Thompson thinks it will be difficult
to ever attain 100 percent compliance.

It’s “kind of a wild west,” he said. “We are seeing improvements – we just
need to keep that momentum going.”

Thompson said he and his colleagues at Washington are talking less and less
about being compliant with web-accessibility standards and thinking more
about universal design – creating things that work for everyone.

“My conversations with web developers in-house and at vendors indicate there
is a real motivation to create things that don’t shut people out,” he said.

Legal requirements and the threat of being sued are motivators for some
institutions to take accessibility seriously, said Thompson. OCR complaints
have had a mostly “positive impact” and prompted more institutions to pay
more attention to improving web accessibility, he said

“There are some accessibility staff having a hard time convincing university
leaders that this is important,” he said. “A complaint or lawsuit can give
them some leverage. And some of the best models for accessibility have
emerged out of legal complaints.”

The University of Washington hasn’t had to work with OCR to respond to any
web-accessibility complaints, said Thompson.

“The nice thing about being at an institution where we’re not complaint
driven is that we can strategize and come up with our own accessibility
solutions,” he said. “We have a lot more freedom to address problems
creatively and find solutions that work with our culture, without the
Department of Justice or OCR dictating what we should be doing.”

“We’re not going to make everything accessible overnight – that’s an
unrealistic expectation,” said Thompson. “It’s important to prioritize, have
a road map and demonstrate our progress.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/11/06/universities-still-struggle-m
ake-websites-accessible-all

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The forgotten child

Greetings and I’m Scott Savoy hoping that your weekend is turning out to be
a great one for you.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan shares a very interesting experience with us.
I encourage you to read on.
Enjoy your weekend.

+++++++++++++++

The forgotten child
By Donna J. Jodhan

I would like to share a very interesting experience with you that took place
in late November 2018. It was a phone call between me and a caller who was
calling on behalf of the Sick Kids Foundation. She was soliciting for funds
for the foundation.

As a regular monthly donor it is probably why I was on her list of people to
call and when she did I gave her time to explain her reason for calling and
then I asked this question as follows:
“Have you ever donated to a cause that would raise funds for the needs and
requirements of children who are blind and vision impaired?”

The line went dead silent and then I decided to continue after a few
seconds. I told her that as a vision impaired person I felt that too many
times when fund raisers called to solicit funds for the Sick Kids Foundation
it always appeared that somehow no one ever called to solicit funds for kids
who are blind and vision impaired or kids with special needs.

I continued by voicing my opinion that more needed to be done for blind and
vision impaired kids. That they were often left out or left behind and like
any other kid they too would enjoy the toys, activities, and attention like
every other kid.

I was quite surprised when this caller apologized and said that this was
perfectly true.
Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
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New Strategy for a More Accessible and Inclusive Public Service

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

New Strategy for a More Accessible and Inclusive Public Service

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

May 27, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario – Canadians expect innovative, efficient and productive
programs and services from an inclusive federal public service that reflects
the true diversity of Canada. On the occasion of National AccessAbility
Week, the Government of Canada today launched its first ever accessibility
strategy for the public service of Canada, setting the conditions to
identify, prevent, and remove barriers in the workplace to persons with
disabilities.

The strategy, Nothing Without Us, is focused on 5 key objectives:

.improving recruitment, retention and promotion of persons with disabilities

.enhancing the accessibility of the built environment

.making communications technology usable by all

.equipping public servants to design and deliver accessible programs and
services

.building public service that is confidently accessible

Guided by the principles in the proposed Accessible Canada Act and informed
by extensive consultations, the strategy aims to prepare the public service
to lead by example and become a model of accessibility, in Canada and
abroad.

A number of promising initiatives are already underway. These include:

.promoting persons with disabilities through the Employment Opportunity for
Students with Disabilities led by the Public Service Commission

.prioritizing accessibility in the renewal of the Parliamentary Precinct led
by Public Services and Procurement Canada

.supporting innovation, experimentation and research in the critical area of
workplace accommodation through the Centralized Enabling Workplace Fund led
by the Treasury Board Secretariat

Successfully implementing of the strategy will result in more persons with
disabilities employed by the Government of Canada in a barrier-free and
inclusive workplace, where every employee has what they need to do their
best work. The strategy will be reviewed in 2021 to assess progress.

“By developing Canada’s first accessibility strategy for the federal public
service, our government is helping create the most inclusive public service
in the world. This is an important step in enabling the Government of Canada
to set and meet high standards of accessibility in its policies, programs
and services to all Canadians. It’s a strategy that reflects the true
diversity of the people it serves and one that will help us achieve our
ultimate goal: a barrier-free Canada where everyone is fully included.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
and Accessibility

“Diversity is Canada’s strength and we are fully embracing a public service
that reflects everything this country has to offer. The strategy laid out in
Nothing Without Us comes from listening to more than 7,000 federal employees
and disability stakeholders. It will guide our efforts to build an inclusive
federal public service that is more innovative, efficient, and productive.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of
Digital Government

https://www.miragenews.com/new-strategy-for-a-more-accessible-and-inclusive-
public-service/

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Accessibility delayed is accessibility denied

Greetings and welcome to the jolly month of June! We hope that your merry
month of May was a good one for you and now it’s time to usher in the long
awaited summer.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan talks about her view that accessibility delaid
is accessibility denied.
Have a great first weekend in June.
I’m Christian Robicheau

+++++++++++++++

Accessibility delayed is accessibility denied
By Donna J. Jodhan

This is something that I constantly am challenged with and it is something I
truly believe is the case whenever companies and entities proffer any type
of excuse/reason for not doing something.

I am definitely not saying that all reasons/excuses are not legitimate. No!
However, too often, these so-called reasons/excuses can be categorized as
wishy/washy at best.

Whenever a company says that they are unable to make their products,
services, or information accessible; it probably means any of the following.
It is not economic for them to do it. It is not their priority. The costs
outweigh the benefit. They do not see an opportunity to increase their
revenues or customer bases. Most of all; they are simply too lazy to go out
their and use their imaginations and creativity to find solutions to improve
accessibility.

What most companies are still failing to realize is that we are facing
increasing pressures from a rapidly aging population to increase
accessibility or create equal access to products, services, and information.

Too many Governmental agencies are still too hesitant to stand up to
industry. The perception is that they are just paper tigers with plastic
teeth! On the flip side, too many companies continue to use their deep
pockets and cheque books to muzzle complainants. So, accessibility delayed
is accessibility denied and we continue to allow and enable this trend to
persist.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Product reviews website asks consumers to get vocal

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

Product reviews website asks consumers to get vocal
A consumer reviews website for people with disabilities and older people has
put a call-out for users to give their opinions on all kinds of devices and
products, helping inform other consumers before they
buy.
The ‘Rate it!’ site features reviews of a wide range of products that can
assist people with disabilities and older people.
Products include anything from mobility aids (such as wheelchairs and
walking bikes) to kitchen and garden appliances (including adapted cutlery
and a robotic lawnmower that cuts grass by itself), to
clothing and footwear (such as easy-tie shoelaces), to computing and
communication devices, including tablet computers and voice-controlled
systems.
Users can search for products or select by category. Each product features
an overview of basic information, but the key focus is the user reviews
section, where feedback can be left.
Crucially, product reviews can be left by anyone and are not written by
specialists. The feedback lets others know how the product works and how it
helps someone with an impairment complete specific
tasks.
Rate it! is now keen to build a larger community of readers and reviewers,
and the team have put a public call-out to ask for visitors to the site to
leave feedback – positive and negative – about products
and devices they have used. No technical knowledge is needed to leave a
review, and the team are keen to hear from any consumers with disabilities
and older consumers.
Reviews can be left through the site directly (after a simple registration
process) or by phone, by calling 020 7427 2460.
Rate it! has been developed through a collaboration between the Research
Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC), Leicestershire Centre for
Integrated Living (LCiL) and Enabled by Design. The project
is being supported by Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning
(DRILL).
Chris Lofthouse, Outreach Manager at RiDC, spoke to e-Access Bulletin about
Rate it!: “From initial research, it was found that there wasn’t web space
for disabled people to post meaningful product
reviews. Rate it! provides a high-quality online space where people can
research, review and share knowledge about specialist and mainstream
products in one place.”
Find out more and read or leave product reviews at the
Rate it! website
https://rateit.ridc.org.uk/

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Where are the bedside manners

It’s another holiday weekend in our neck of the woods and I wish everyone a
happy holiday weekend.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan zooms in on the lack of bedside manners.
I’m Christian Robicheau wishing you a great holiday weekend.

+++++++++++++++

Where are the bedside manners?
By Donna J. Jodhan

This is a question that I have been asking and pleading with so many
professionals to address and I have been asking and pleading for decades
now.

When members of the medical profession continue to address their questions
and concerns to friends and family who escort us on visits to their offices;
this needs to be stopped and dealt with now.

When customer service staff at customer service desks continue to do the
same; this is not acceptable and when officials in government offices
continue to ignore our presence as we stand in front of them deliberately
choosing to ignore us; we need to put an end to this.

The latest incident for me occurred in June 2018 when polling staff at
Elections Ontario completely ignored my presence, failed to acknowledge me,
and totally ignored my questions and concerns.
This needs to stop now!

What are my thoughts on possible ways to address this? More collaboration,
more awareness training, and a willingness on all sides to work together.
Maybe we could suggest that courses on bedside manners be given to the
health profession, elections staff, and companies operating in the customer’s
arena.

Just my two cents for today.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
www.jodhanmysterybook.club
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
http://www.donnajodhan.com

And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.

You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anticipated refreshable Braille reader launches, seeking to disrupt the market

Hello there and welcome to our newest segment: Where we highlight important
articles on topics pertaining to advocacy.

We are introducing this segment based on several requests that we have
received from readers.
Please feel free to send us your feedback and if you wish us to publish your
own articles then by all means send it along to info@sterlingcreations.ca

Please take a moment to subscribe to our newest newsletter:
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.
http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

With best wishes
From the business desk team
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld

+++++++++++++++

Anticipated refreshable Braille reader launches, seeking to disrupt the
market
The Orbit Reader 20 refreshable Braille device has been released in the UK,
aiming to transform the current market by offering the technology to blind
and visually impaired people at a low cost.
The device features 20 refreshable eight-dot Braille cells and can connect
to Apple, Windows, Android and Kindle devices. Books and other texts (such
as sheet music or magazines) in any language can
be read from an SD card (the device also comes with a range of books and a
dictionary pre-installed on an SD card). The Reader also offers basic
note-taking, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and is
compatible with widely used screen-readers, including Jaws, NVDA and
VoiceOver.
The device is now available for UK audiences to buy and is being sold
exclusively through RNIB. Along with other sight loss charities, RNIB is a
member of the Transforming Braille Group (TBG), who helped
develop the Orbit Reader. TBG was formed in 2014 to help produce an
affordable refreshable Braille device and increase global access to the
technology.
Claire Maxwell, Senior Product Developer at RNIB, spoke to e-Access Bulletin
about the Orbit Reader 20 and explained what makes refreshable Braille
devices appealing to users. She said: “Only 7% of
books are available in hard copy Braille. Refreshable Braille devices offer
the user the possibility of accessing a much wider range of information,
from novels to music. Refreshable Braille can also be
easier to read. The quality of the Braille dots does not fade over time, as
can occur with paper Braille, and typical refreshable devices only have one
line of Braille, making it easier for beginners.”
A key part of the Orbit Reader’s appeal for many will be its price: £449
excluding VAT (which applies to blind and partially sighted people or
someone buying on their behalf) or £538.80 including VAT. This
is considerably lower than most other refreshable Braille devices on the
market, with many costing over £1,500 and upwards.
Maxwell said that its lower cost is due to “a new type of Braille cell
technology” and its lack of internal translation, which means that users
“must either access prepared content on an SD card or connect to
an external device that uses a Braille translation package,” she said.
The device works through mechanical Braille, generated by computer-driven
pins to translate digital text, and makes a slight sound when the Braille
refreshes.
The Orbit Reader 20 was first announced by then-Chair of RNIB Kevin Carey at
the CSUN technology conference in the United States in March 2016, and has
been the subject of much anticipation and
speculation since then (read
E-Access Bulletin’s previous coverage of the Orbit Reader
, featuring an interview with Kevin Carey).
Speaking about the long-term aims for the device, Maxwell said: “The Orbit
Reader has already achieved part of its goal – to lower the cost of
refreshable Braille technology. It has also disrupted the wider
market and we are now seeing different suppliers following suit with other
low-cost devices.
“The other goal is to offer refreshable Braille technology to those in the
developing world. RNIB is committed to achieving this and has already
allocated 500 units to be distributed to countries where access
to Braille is limited by cost implications.”
Find out more about the Orbit Reader 20 at the
RNIB website
https://www.rnib.org.uk/orbit-reader-20

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