I believe that the kids are our future

Greetings and I am Christian Robicheau.
Happy holiday weekend to everyone and if you celebrate Easter then a very
happy and peaceful one to you!
Let’s just hope that wherever you are; the weather will help us to enjoy all
of those lovely Easter parades.
Today, I am delighted to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for today, Donna J. Jodhan expresses her passion and belief that the kids
are our future!
Please readon!

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

I believe that the kids are our future

This is the title to a song that was made very popular by the late Whitney
Huston and it is a philosophy that I am extremely passionate about. Yes!
We need to protect the future of our kids! We need to hold them close, take
care of them, and ensure that when they grow up that in turn, they will have
a future to leave to their kids!

We are supposed to set the example for them! We are supposed to show them
right from wrong! We are supposed to teach them good manners! We are
supposed to shield them from wars, hatred, and racism! We are supposed to
tell them that love, passion, compassion, kindness, and generosity are the
building blocks of our world!

Abusing them and bullying them is not the way! Using them as pawns in adult
games is not the way to go! Using them to obtain political goals and
fulfill personal agendas is very wrong!

Each time a young life is snuffed out it only means that a tiny piece of our
future has been destroyed and each time we are responsible for injuring or
hurting a child it only means that we are doing damage to a bright star!

No child is born bad! It is we the adult who is responsible for ensuring
that they develop good behaviour and good habits. We are their teachers,
their caretakers, and their mentors!

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

Equal Access in Air Travel for the Blind:Raising Expectations from the United States Department of Transportation

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

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

Equal Access in Air Travel for the Blind:Raising Expectations from the
United States Department of Transportation

By Blane Workie

Braille Monitor October 2018

Travel and the treatment of blind passengers by the airlines are not new
topics for the NFB and in the Braille Monitor. But recent events have the
topics squarely on the NFB Agenda as you will read in this article covering
the speech given on July 8.

“We have with us the assistant general counsel for the office of aviation
enforcement and proceedings. You know, treatment of passengers on airlines
has been on the news a lot lately, except for blind people this is not news;
we’ve known about this treatment for decades. Whether it’s being treated
like an unaccompanied minor, or having our canes taken away, or trying to
fight with the in-flight entertainment system to get on the WiFi, or
knocking up against an inaccessible kiosk or website, we know about the
treatment from the airlines. We are very happy to have this next presenter
here to talk to us about the consumer protections and civil rights
enforcement efforts at the Department of Transportation. Here is Blane
Workie:”

Thank you for that introduction and good afternoon everybody. I am very
honored and delighted to be here with all of you today at this very
impressive gathering. Improving transportation for people with disabilities
is a high priority at the US Department of Transportation, and I am
personally committed to the goal of making accessible air transportation a
reality for all. [cheers] I appreciate your president, Mr. Mark Riccobono,
inviting me to the National Federation of the Blind’s 2018 National
Convention. I have a great admiration for Mr. Riccobono’s leadership and the
work that is done by the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that
blind people have access to goods and services. The NFB has been and
continues to be a champion for the rights of the blind and visually
impaired. The NFB actively engages with the US Department of Transportation
and in its advocacy makes clear NFB’s philosophy that the blind are the best
qualified to lead the way in solving problems facing the blind. [applause]

As the assistant general counsel in the US Department of Transportation’s
Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, I have had the great
pleasure of working with NFB on a variety of issues affecting blind air
travelers such as the accessibility of airline websites and airport kiosks,
traveling by air with service animals, and in-flight entertainment. I would
be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity today to recognize your
colleagues in Washington DC: John Paré, who is the NFB’s executive director
for advocacy and policy, [applause] and Parnell Diggs, who was NFB’s former
director of government affairs. [applause] This is for the work that they
have done to raise awareness of and advocate for accessible air
transportation for blind and low vision Americans. Like them, and all of
you, we at DOT believe it is important that the transportation system is
accessible, as accessible transportation is vital in maintaining
independence.

Looking out at the crowd in front of me, the strength of the NFB and the
unity of purpose this convention brings to blind people is very clear. I
understand that there are approximately 3,000 delegates here [applause] from
every state in the country as well as some foreign countries. I know that
you have had a full day, actually a full schedule the last few days, and I
appreciate being given the opportunity to present on the Department of
Transportation’s work to ensure equal access in air travel for the blind.

Let me begin by briefly explaining to you the function of my office and our
involvement in aviation civil rights matters. My office, the Office of
Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, is part of the US Department of
Transportation’s Office of General Counsel. Among other things we are
responsible for enforcement and rule-making activities related to the Air
Carrier Access Act. The Air Carrier Access Act was passed by Congress with
bipartisan support, and President Reagan signed it into law on October 2,
1986. It initially applied only to US airlines, but was later amended so
that it also applies to foreign airlines. The act makes it unlawful for US
and foreign air carriers to discriminate against passengers with
disabilities in commercial air transportation. It struck a powerful blow for
equality.

Before the Air Carrier Access Act was enacted, the airlines’ treatment of
blind passengers varied greatly as different airlines had different
procedures, and even a single airline might have its procedures interpreted
in different ways by its employees. This made travel unpredictable for
people with disabilities. Further, there were reports of airline personnel
making erroneous assumptions about the condition of people with
disabilities, some of which led to demeaning treatment. For example, there
was a time when blind persons and other people with disabilities were
required to sit on blankets. At that time, there were few specific
regulations regarding the treatment of air travelers with disabilities that
applied to commercial airlines.

We have made significant progress since then. Thanks to the Air Carrier
Access Act, we have established regulations that require commercial airlines
to provide guide assistance to blind persons at airports. It also requires
airlines to allow passengers with disabilities to transport canes and other
assistive devices in the passenger cabin close to their seat, consistent
with safety requirements. Airlines must also provide blind passengers timely
access to the same information given to other passengers at the airport or
the airline, such as flight delays or gate assignments. Airlines may not
charge for providing accommodations required by the Air Carrier Access Act
regulation such as both services I mentioned. Airlines cannot count an
assistive device against carry-on baggage totals allowed for individuals. In
addition, the regulations require training on the Air Carrier Access Act for
all public contact employees and contractors. And carriers must make
available what is called a complaint resolution official or a CRO to respond
to complaints from passengers with disabilities. Further, today airlines’
websites and airport kiosks must be accessible to people with disabilities.
[applause]

Now, these are good regulations. They make a difference. Still, airlines
receive thousands of disability-related air travel complaints each year.

In calendar year 2004, the first year for this required report, US airlines
reported receiving 10,193 disability-related air travel complaints. The
number of disability complaints that airlines receive each year continues to
increase. In calendar year 2016, the most recent year of data that is
publicly available, US airlines reported receiving 27,842 such complaints.
Now, if you’re going to include foreign air carriers with that, that would
be over 32,000 complaints.

The top disability complaint areas in 2016 were:

1) wheelchair and guide assistance issues;

2) stowage, loss, damage, and delay of assistive devices;

3) seating accommodations; and

4) service animal issues.

This is consistent with what we have seen in prior years.

Now the fact that airlines receive thousands of complaints each year, or the
increase in complaints year after year, may lead some to think that the
experience of air travelers with disabilities, including blind persons, is
as bad or worse than it was in the past.

I don’t believe that to be the case. There are more individuals with
disabilities flying today than ever before. Also, individuals with
disabilities have a better understanding of their rights, which makes it
more likely that complaints will be filed against airlines

when airlines fail to provide accessible air transportation as required.

At DOT we place great emphasis on public education as a means of ensuring
passengers and carriers know their rights and responsibilities. For example,
we recently redesigned our website to allow air travelers to quickly and
easily access information about their rights as passengers. The redesigned
website highlights content on topics of greatest concern to consumers,
including flying with a disability. It also makes it easier to file a
complaint. In addition, in 2017 we were able to release a series of
informative training materials that target the top four disability complaint
areas. We worked with stakeholders from the disability community, including
the National Federation of the Blind, and the aviation industry to develop
interactive and informative training materials

that target the top four disability complaint areas.

The informational materials that were developed include videos, interactive
guides, and downloadable brochures that can be printed or viewed on a mobile
device. These materials are also available on our website and can be used to
assist individuals with disabilities and to supplement the training and
education of airline employees and contractors.

Although the increased complaints may not be indicative of a worsening
situation for air travelers with disabilities, the complaints do tell us
that our work is not yet done. There is more that needs to be done to
achieve our goal of accessible air transportation.

This includes, when appropriate, taking enforcement action against airlines.
Generally speaking, my office pursues enforcement action against airlines on
the basis of a number of complaints on which we may infer a pattern or
practice of discrimination, or where we find evidence of a particularly
egregious violation of the law. For instance, in 2017 we issued an order
against a US airline for a series of errors in the handling of seating
arrangement for a military veteran who attempted to travel on a flight with
his service animal. We found this series of errors reflected lapses in
training and led to significant travel complications and frustration for the
passenger. We directed the airline to provide supplemental training to its
reservation agents and gate agents about the proper handling of service
animal requests.

Over the past ten years DOT has issued more than thirty orders, wholly or
partially involving violations of the Air Carrier Access Act and its
implementing regulations and assessed over nine million dollars in civil
penalties against airlines for those violations.

Because fines that are assessed against airlines for consent orders are
payable to the federal government and not to consumers directly, when
appropriate, we build into the orders that we negotiate credits for
compensation that the airline pays directly to consumers who filed
complaints. For example, in another case in 2017 where we assessed an
airline $400,000 in civil penalties, the department provided a $36,000
credit for compensation that the airline agreed to provide to consumers who
filed disability complaints with the airline during the time period that was
covered by the order. We also sometimes include offsets for programs or
technologies that airlines implement to improve the air travel experience
for passengers with disabilities that go above and beyond the legal
requirements.

In addition, as part of our enforcement approach, we look for other
innovative ways to increase accessibility for passengers with disabilities.
For example, we’ve recently entered into landmark voluntary agreements with
various airlines that self-disclosed to us their difficulties in complying
with the department’s accessible kiosk rule. The department reached
agreement with these airlines to not take enforcement action against them
for their temporary non-compliance with the department’s rule that any
airport kiosk that is installed be an accessible model until at least 25
percent of kiosks are accessible. In return, the airlines agreed to
undertake measures to make air travel more accessible for persons with
disabilities. This includes agreements that the airline will only install
accessible kiosks in the future so that ultimately 100 percent of the
airline’s kiosks will be accessible to passengers with disabilities.
[applause]

We have also entered into an agreement with an airline that self-reported
its temporary non-compliance with the department’s website accessibility
rule to not take action in return for the airline ensuring that its mobile
website is also accessible, which is not required by law.

But we still have some other big challenges to tackle in the future. This
includes addressing the inaccessibility of in-flight entertainment systems
and the use of service animals onboard aircraft. In 2016 an access advisory
committee was established to negotiate a proposed rule on several issues,
including these two issues. The committee included representatives of
airlines, persons with disabilities, and other interested parties. The NFB’s
own Parnell Diggs was a very valuable member of that committee. [applause]

The good news is that after seven months of negotiations the access advisory
committee was able to reach consensus on accessibility of in-flight
entertainment, an issue that has been unresolved for decades. As you know,
airlines today generally do not provide in-flight entertainment with
captioning or audio descriptions. Under this agreement, movies produced
after a certain date and displayed on aircraft would be captioned to provide
access to deaf and hard-of-hearing passengers and audio described to enable
people who are blind to listen to a visual narration of movies and shows.
[applause] Airlines would be permitted to display content that is not closed
captioned or audio described only if uncaptioned or described versions are
not available from the airline’s content provider. The access committee also
established deadlines for airlines to ensure that any new seatback in-flight
entertainment installed in new or existing aircraft are accessible and
reached agreement on addressing aircraft that have inaccessible seatback IFE
systems as well as installing software upgrades needed to ensure that the
user interface to connect to the internet on aircraft is accessible.
[applause]

The IFE agreement reached by the access advisory committee would need to be
incorporated into a future DOT rule for it to be law. The department’s 2018
Spring Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions identifies a
notice of proposed rulemaking on in-flight entertainment as a long-term
action to be taken. DOT’s significant rulemaking report explains that the
reason for the delay is related to the need for regulatory evaluation.

With regard to service animals, another issue that the access committee had
been charged with negotiating, the committee was not able to reach
agreement. DOT had charged the access advisory committee with determining
the appropriate definition of a service animal and establishing safeguards
to reduce the likelihood that passengers wishing to travel with their pets
would be able to falsely claim that their pets are service animals. Although
the access committee was unable to reach agreement, the committee has
furnished helpful information to the department.

After the termination of the access committee the department continued to
hear from the transportation industry as well as individuals with
disabilities that the current air carrier access regulation could be
improved to ensure undiscriminatory access for individuals with disabilities
while simultaneously preventing instances of fraud and ensuring consistency
with other federal regulations.

In May 2018 the department issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking
[ANPRM] seeking comment on amending its Air Carrier Access Act regulation on
transportation of service animals. In the ANPRM the department solicits
comments on numerous issues including: should the department continue to
require the transport of emotional support animals, should there be
limitations on species that airlines are required to transport, should there
be limits on the number of service animals that passengers can carry, should
passengers be required to provide documentation providing proof of
vaccinations and/or attesting that the animal is properly trained? The
comment period on the ANPRM closes tomorrow, Monday, July 9. I understand
that the NFB has already submitted comments.

Given that the service animal issue is currently the subject of an open
rulemaking, we had also issued an interim statement of enforcement
priorities to inform airlines and the public of our intended enforcement
focus with respect to the transportation of service animals in the cabin. We
explained that our focus will be on clear violations of the current rule
that have the potential to adversely impact the greatest number of persons.
The comment period on the interim statement of priorities has closed, and a
final statement of enforcement priorities will be issued in the near future.

In conclusion, I’m proud of the progress that we have made, and I am
confident by continuing to work together with all of you that we can
accomplish even more. [applause]

https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/bm/bm18/bm1809/bm180908.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The slabstic attitude

Greetings and I’m Scott Savoy.
Happy weekend to everyone wherever you are!
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for today Donna J. Jodhan
focuses on the slabstic attitude presently plaguing society.

I wish you a great weekend.

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

The slabstic attitude
By Donna J. Jodhan

When it comes to a slabstic attitude, I don’t think that this type of
attitude is anything new for it has probably been around for as long as we
can remember. However, there are many who would argue that it appears to be
getting worse as the years roll by.

It seems that up until about five years ago, people seemed to take their
commitments more seriously. They appeared to be only too willing to go the
extra mile and to go beyond the call of duty in order to satisfy their
customers and clients. Helping hands seemed to abound much more than they
do today. Patience and a propensity to understand appeared to be much more
in supply than now and there was so much more to smile about.

What has changed? Why do we find ourselves having to deal with and rebuff
slabstic attitudes? Is it that we are living in a world where we do not
seem to be able to have as much time to maintain our people skills? Or is
it that we simply have lost our way when it comes to caring and believing?

Is it that we are choosing to complain more as opposed to proacting more?
Or is it that we are deliberately choosing to become a part of the problem
rather than being a part of the solution?

Whatever the reasons; it may be time for us to stand still for those few
moments and take stock.
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

One in five museums do not provide online access information, research uncovers

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

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

One in five museums do not provide online access information, research
uncovers

E-Access Bulletin, Issue 203

Museums are inadvertently contributing to a “disability engagement gap” by
not publishing accessibility information on their websites needed by
millions of potential visitors, a new report has found.

The State of Museum Access 2018 report found that people with disabilities
are less likely to visit a museum if it does not provide this information on
its website. Published by VocalEyes (a charity working to increase arts
access for blind and visually impaired people), the report recorded whether
access information was available on the websites of the 1718 accredited UK
museums.

Access information is crucial for many potential visitors with a disability
or impairment, as it allows them to plan a visit based on their needs. It
could include listing accessible facilities and equipment (such as audio
description guides for blind and visually impaired visitors), providing a
dedicated accessibility contact, travel information, and highlighting any
relevant training that staff have undergone.

State of Museum Access 2018 is a follow-up to a 2016 report, but while the
earlier version focused solely on online access information for blind and
visually impaired people, the new report covers a range of disabilities and
impairments.

VocalEyes Chief Executive Matthew Cock told e-Access Bulletin that the vast
majority of museums still think of disability access information as only
being relevant to people with mobility impairments. He said: “The access
needs and barriers relevant to millions of people with hearing or sight loss
– or other conditions that make visiting museums challenging, such as autism
and learning disabilities – are ignored by the large majority of museums.
It’s a huge shame, because so much can be done for very little cost.”

Although 19% of museums (one in five) provide no access information at all
on their websites, this is still an improvement on the figure from the 2016
report, 27%. Despite this, the report notes that “overall, the amount of
detail [where access information is provided] is poor”.

As well as highlighting gaps, a key aim of the State of Museum Access report
is to help museums improve the situation. This is done through
recommendations about the type of information to include on websites (for
example: venue accessibility and website accessibility) and advice on
communication with potential visitors with a disability (such as creating an
effective welcome message or access statement).

The report also asks museums to make the Museum Access Pledge, based on four
steps to improve website information for potential visitors with
disabilities.

Asked what museums can do to improve on-site access for blind and visually
impaired visitors, Matthew Cock said: “Only 20% of museum websites mentioned
that they provide large-print labels, something that can be accessed by 75%
of partially sighted people and 36% of registered blind people, and are
often used by elderly people with poor vision or people with dyslexia. It
costs little to produce and maintain such resources. We’d also recommend
that front-of-house staff receive training in visual awareness and guiding,
so that they are better placed to welcome and support blind and partially
sighted people throughout a visit.”

Read more about State of Museum Access 2018 and download the report in full,
including a large-print version, at the VocalEyes website
.

Comment on the ‘State of Museum
Access 2018’ story now at e-Access Bulletin Live.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Israel’s OrCam to help blind people cast vote independently

This is progress!
Israel’s OrCam to help blind people cast vote independently

A pilot project makes OrCam’s artificial vision device available at 12
polling stations in Tuesday’s election

By SHOSHANNA SOLOMON

Israeli startup OrCam, which has developed devices to assist the blind and
the visually impaired, will make its technology available at 12 polling
stations

in Israel on election day on Tuesday, April 9, in a pilot project that will
enable visually impaired people to vote without the need of an escort for
the

first time ever.

The company partnered with the Central Elections Committee and the Center
for the Blind in Israel to implement the project. OrCam’s artificial
intelligence-based

device, which snaps onto glasses and reads out to users what they are
seeing, was chosen after a tender was issued two years ago to find
accessibility

technologies for the elections. The polling stations were selected so they
could serve Jewish, Arab and ultra-Orthodox citizens, the statement said.

OrCam’s MyEye artificial vision wireless product is basically a little
camera with a mount attached to a computing device, weighing less than an
ounce

and the size of a finger, with a personal speaker on the other end. When the
OrCam camera is attached to the frame of a pair of glasses, users can point

to text on any surface, and the speaker transforms the image into words and
reads them out. That way, users can “read” newspapers, restaurant menus, or

books – and now ballot slips.

In the process, AI-driven software uses a high-resolution video camera and
smart algorithms that analyze what the camera is seeing, and read back the
information

to a user in real time.

“The device will instruct the users and read them what is written on the
ballots, so they can identify the one they want,” said Ziv Aviram, the CEO
and

co-founder of the Jerusalem-based startup in a Facebook post. The initiative
is “the first of its kind in the world.”

There are some 24,000 blind citizens in Israel, out of whom 22,000 are
eligible to vote. Another 100,000 are visually impaired, OrCam said in a
statement.

Voters who are blind or visually impaired will now be able to vote in two
ways: at a regular polling station with an escort or at one of the polling
stations

in the pilot, using the device or their escort, if need be.

There is no need to register ahead of time to use one of the accessibility
polling stations, a person manning a hotline for the Central Elections
Committee

told The Times of Israel.

Details of the participating polling stations are available on the Central
Elections Committee

website

or via these hotlines:

. 3857 or 073-3899500

. 3859 or 073-3899501

. 3852 or 073-3899502

Aviram said that many blind people he consulted with had expressed concerns
that the escorts who help them to vote were not putting their actual choice

into the envelope. Now, Aviram said, they “will be able to be 100% sure that
they voted as they wanted.”

The pilot will show how the firm’s AI technology can help enrich the lives
of thousands of citizens, he said, expressing a hope that other countries
would

adopt the method.

Aviram set up the firm in 2010 together with Prof. Amnon Shashua. The two
entrepreneurs are both also the founders of Mobileye, a maker of
self-driving

car technologies,

acquired

in 2017 by Intel Corp. for a massive $15.3 billion.

“This is the first time in the world that a state has found a solution in
such a sensitive area for democracy,” Matan Bar-Noy, director of business
development

at Orcam, said in a phone interview. The system will give blind voters both
the right to privacy – without having to reveal to their escorts how they
are

voting – and the assurance that their ballot will actually be put into the
envelope.

For the elections, OrCam has developed a special device, adapting its
technology to enable it to read letters on the ballot slips rather than
words. It

will also infer what the letters could be, even if they are partially
covered by the fingers of the voters, he said. “A smart algorithm can deduct
the

missing bit,” he said.

The device is a standalone and not connected to the internet, he said, thus
protecting it from any hacking efforts. It has also been vetted and approved

by cybersecurity experts, he said.

OrCam has developed two devices that are already used by thousands of people
globally.

Its OrCam MyEye

artificial vision

device helps people who are blind and visually impaired navigate the world.
The device can also be programmed to recognize faces and products.

The company’s other product, the OrCam MyReader, focuses on reading alone
and is good for people who can see but have trouble reading, for example
those with dyslexia or who have suffered a stroke.

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The darker side of the picture

Greetings and I’m Christian Robicheau welcoming you to the month of April!
Ah yes! April! April showers are supposed to bring May flowers so here’s
hoping.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan draws our attention to some very deep concerns
as they pertain to companies using their deep pockets to deliberately
frustrate the complaints of persons with disabilities.
This continues to be a very hot topic and I can only hope that more people
start to pay more attention to this.
Enjoy your first weekend of April.

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

The darker side of the picture
By Donna J. Jodhan

I am afraid that being an active advocate and accessibility and special
needs advisor often subjects and exposes me to the darker side of the
picture of the landscape and why am I saying this?

I truly believe that advocacy is not for the faint of heart. Advocacy is
where you get to see some of the worst attitudes of society! How regular
folks view those with a disability. Where society as a whole believes that
if they throw a bit of money at us we would stop complaining. Where much of
society would only react if they are either directly affected by a
disability or if a
loved one is affected.

For me, it is painfully embarrassing each time I feel the need to take a
large organization to a Human Rights Commission or even more embarrassing is
when we end up in court fighting for rights which are rightfully ours. It
is a darn shame when I see large organizations deliberately choosing to use
dirty tactics to try and wear us down with the hope that we would eventually
give up and go away.

They use their deep pockets to try and squash us to bits! They refuse to
take responsibility for their actions. They refuse to fix glaring glitches
and infractions. They prefer to pay hundreds of thousand of dollars to
their high priced lawyers rather than negotiate with us in good faith and to
collaborate with us for the greater good.

Then when they realize that we are not going to go away they have the nerve
to pull out their cheque books to try and pay us off and even more
humiliating is when they say that in return for their dirty money we need to
sign a confidentiality agreement.

When you have tele communications companies blatantly offering that they are
unable to provide audio descriptions of prime time programming because they
are technically disabled, you ask yourself this question: Is this for real
or is it just another way of them using an impotent excuse to cut costs?

Or when you have a large Airport telling us that they are not really
responsible for Human Rights infractions, that it is the responsibility of
others, and then they attempt to use their deep pockets to frustrate the
legal system: You ask yourself this; seriously? Are you for real? You
show up at mediation sessions and everyone hopes that you are here in good
faith but truth be told all you want to do is to shut us down!

Or when you have an organization that has recklessly and wilfully infringed
upon your rights to vote and tries to excuse themselves from said
infractions, you ask yourself this question: Seriously, is this really
happening in a country that is supposed to be a developed country?

This sort of behaviour can only be described as condescending, patronizing,
and downright nasty! No organization, entity, or individual should be
allowed to use their deep pockets to bully those who are in a much lesser
position. This is called brazen bullying!

My parting message is this! I will do everything in my power to encourage
and motivate others to keep on fighting. We cannot give up and we must not
give up! We are fighting for ourselves, for each other, but most of all for
the kids of the future!

We are fighting for what is rightfully ours; legally, as Human Beings, and
as members of society! No one should be allowed to take away our dignity,
our rights, and our well being! We must not let this happen and I encourage
those reading this to stand with me and to share this with others!

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

People With Disabilities Face Significant Barriers in Education System:

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

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

People With Disabilities Face Significant Barriers in Education System:
Commission

Michelle McQuigge

The Canadian Press, August 29, 2018

TORONTO Ontario’s education system needs to modernize its approach to
supporting disabled students at every age level and do more to eliminate
persistent barriers they face in school, the province’s human rights
commission said Wednesday.

In updating its education policy for people with disabilities for the first
time in 14 years and issuing recommendations on accessible education, the
Ontario Human Rights Commission said it wanted to offer everyone tools to
address society’s evolving approach to disability issues.

Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane said both legal and social understandings
of disability have changed, adding the education system now needs to take
that new knowledge into account when engaging with disabled students.

At the core of the commission’s policy, she said, is a call to shift the way
disabled students are viewed by those who work with them.

“The current model for special education starts from a premise of
exceptionality or the idea that students with disabilities are the exception
to ‘the normal’ student,” Mandhane said in an interview. “We need to start,
from the beginning, designing inclusively rather than relying on one-off
accommodations to deal with the varied needs that students have.”

Mandhane said disabled students encounter barriers to education from primary
school through to post-secondary institutions, adding that the bulk of all
issues that come before the commission concern discrimination based on
disability.

The updated policy said students routinely encounter issues such as a lack
of adequate supports in class, exclusion from the full educational
experience, and even outright denial of accommodation requests.

The commission said many of those barriers are predicated on ableism
attitudes akin to racism that “that devalue or limit the potential of people
with disabilities.”

Mandhane said many students face stereotypes and pre-conceived notions about
their skills, abilities and motivations from both educators and peers, all
of which contribute to a more difficult school experience.

The commission’s updated policy calls on educational institutions to
recognize the role ableism plays in the student experience and take steps to
create a more inclusive culture, such as monitoring staff attitudes and
soliciting feedback from disabled pupils.

The policy also delves into the ways in which legal discussions of
disability have evolved in recent years, a development that at least one
legal advocacy organization hails as important.

Robert Lattanzio, executive director of the Toronto-based Arch Disability
Law Centre, said Ontario’s Education Act is still predicated on what’s known
as the “medical model” of disability. Under that system, disability is
defined on the basis of a medical diagnosis.

Case law both in Canada and abroad, however, has shifted more towards social
and rights-based understandings of disability, which Lattanzio defined as
those that focus on the barriers people face in society and the rights
they’re entitled to.

Mandhane said legal definitions of disability have expanded to include
people with mental health conditions or intellectual disabilities, adding
those conditions are not always clearly identified.

The commission’s new policy gives educators guidance on how to offer
accommodations, even in cases when a student has not explicitly made a
request.

Mandhane said educators who notice a student struggling, or who observe a
sharp decline in performance, are duty-bound to inquire if there are
supports that need to be put in place.

For Lattanzio, that represents a step forward.

“A school board still has an obligation to accommodate a student even if
they’re not identified,” he said. “The policy is quite clear on that and
helps articulate that obligation.”

Mandhane said the policy also offers needed clarity for students and parents
on the sometimes thorny issue of medical disclosure, adding there is often
confusion as to what information families are obliged to disclose.

“You don’t necessarily need to provide diagnosis information, but you
certainly need information from a medical professional that would allow the
education provider to understand what your needs are and how to accommodate
them,” she said.

Mandhane said the policy contains many recommendations aimed at everyone
from school boards to the provincial government on ways to make the
education system more inclusive.

The Ministry of Education did not immediately respond to a request for
comment on the commission’s policy and findings.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, the union representing the
vast majority of the province’s primary school instructors, hailed the new
policy as a positive step.

“The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s education policy and recommendations
on accessible education is a welcome development that will further the goal
of creating an education system that is inclusive and allows students with
disabilities to participate, grow and succeed,” it said in a statement.

https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/people-with-disabilities-face-significan
t-barriers-in-education-system-commission-1.23416785

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The hiring dilemma – the challenge continues

Greetings everyone and I’m Scott Savoy on this last weekend of March.
It is another beautiful spring day and I am pleased to share our president’s
weekly editorial with you. For this week, Donna J. Jodhan focuses her
attention on the hiring dilemma.
Enjoy this gorgeous weekend now.

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

The hiring dilemma
By Donna J. Jodhan

I do not think that this so-called dilemma is anything new and maybe I am
using an incorrect term here so I’ll try to explain.

There are those companies that go out there as good corporate citizens and
they do their best to ensure that some sort of hiring equity takes place and
then there are those that do their best to skirt the issue using whatever
means that they can at their disposal.

In a perfect world we would hope that somehow a system of equity can take
place. Where skills and experience are combined with giving individuals an
opportunity to flourish. Where potential employees with a disability or
challenge is given a chance to show off their skills and where employers can
find a way to look past a person’s disability and instead focus on the
person’s ability.

Easier said than done and as I write this I really do not know how we can
find ways to correct an imbalance. As someone who is vision impaired and
who has worked for 2 major Canadian banks, a top computer company, and now I
am an entrepreneur; I have had the opportunity to experience so many various
circumstances ranging from an employer really doing their best to look past
a disability and focus on an ability to one who has found a way to avoid
being an equal opportunity employer.

The excuses and reasons could be many ranging from not being able to provide
adequate accommodations to ones where the employer does not really
understand how to implement equity.

Things have improved over the years but there is still room for more
improvement and I for one truly believe that the hiring dilemma can only
start to dissipate when we make honest efforts to become more aware along
with admitting that there are artificial barriers that need to be broken
down.

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 – Accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan

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

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

Accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan

https://aoda.ca/accessibility-at-the-2020-summer-olympics-in-japan/>

Tokyo, Japan is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. As usual, the Paralympics
will follow. It is expected that forty million people will travel to Japan
to watch the Olympics and Paralympics. As a result, Japan is examining
accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

While Japan is accessible in some places already, the country will be making
improvements between now and 2020. The goal is to ensure accessibility for
everybody at the 2020 Summer Olympics so that athletes and fans of all
abilities can enjoy the Games without facing barriers.

In this article, we will discuss how Japan is improving accessibility at the
2020 Summer Olympics. We will examine some locations, such as:

* Hotels
* Airports
* Public Transit
* Venues

Accessibility at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Hotels

Hotel rooms in Japan are usually small. As a result, using mobility devices
is hard. As well, some hotel bathrooms in Japan do not have accessible
showers or tubs. So, since Japan is hosting para-athletes and fans with
disabilities, they must make hotels accessible. The International Paralympic
Committee (IPC) has urged Japan to build more accessible hotel rooms. As
well, they asked Japan to improve existing rooms. For example, they’ve asked
for:

* More space in rooms
* Installation of grab bars
* Ramps that address floor level differences

Airports

There is a plan to improve airports
in time to greet Olympics
fans and athletes. Above all, the plan is to make airport washrooms more
accessible. Improvements include upgrades, such as:

* Voice guidance systems in accessible washrooms to guide users who
are blind
* Light alert systems to help users who have hearing loss or are deaf
* Consistent washroom sign icons
* Adding Braille to signs
*

The Narita Airport in Japan has some accessible washroom stalls with special
features for service animals
. For instance,
these features include:

* Double wide stalls to fit service animals, as well as owners
* Leash hooks
* Mats that provide animals a place to relieve themselves
* Cans designed for animal waste disposal

Public Transit

Japan has 3500 transit stations slated for accessibility upgrades before
2020. For instance, upgrades to transit stations include:

* Barrier-free equipment and upgrades for wheelchair users
* Braille notification signs
* Toilets designed for easier access
* Platform sliding doors to prevent people from falling onto the
tracks
* Ramps and elevators

Venues

Japan will address all barriers within 20 kilometers of venues. There will
be many upgrades, for example:

* Braille tiles on walkways
* Addition of ramps and railings
* Levelling out of walkways and entrance ways
* Automatic doors

As well, they will make changes to improve venues so all people can enjoy
events. For instance, each venue will have accessible:

* Pathways and circulation areas
* Stairways
* Counters and service areas
* Washrooms
* Doors and doorways
* Entrances and exits
* Elevators and ramps
* Venue seating areas

In sum, Japan is hoping to ensure that all fans can enjoy the 2020 Summer
Games. To that end, Japan is increasing accessibility at local hotels, the
venues, and the transportation systems. Japan welcomes fans from all over
the world regardless of ability.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From rising star to falling star

Greetings and I’m Christian Robicheau with you today. It is a beautiful
March day and I hope that everyone is enjoying it all.
Today, I am pleased to share our president’s latest editorial with you and
for this week Donna J. Jodhan focuses her attention on rising star to
falling star!
Have yourselves a great first spring weekend!

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

From rising star to falling star
By Donna J. Jodhan

It is probably a lot easier to traverse the path of a rising star to that of
a falling star. So many of us fail to remember that more often than not;
what goes up almost always comes down but the trick here is to realize that
when falling there are ways to do it graciously and gracefully.

When we start our journey upwards we are often caught up in the excitement
and the applause. We are so focused on getting to the top that there are
some very important things that we fail to keep tabs on. Here are just a
few of my personal observations.

We often fail to acknowledge those who are close to us and those who help
us.
We do not spend enough time to say please and thank you.
We fail to remain humble often replacing this mantle with bits of
condescension, arrogance, a lack of professionalism, and o yes! a lack of
respect and courtesy.

Too many times we make the mistake of not knowing when to leave gracefully
choosing instead to overstay our welcome and this is probably one of the
most common errors made by rising stars. Instead, we fail to give others a
chance to shine and this is why in so many cases why great organizations and
dynasties die.

At the end of the day we need to keep in mind that any rising star will only
be able to rise to a certain point and after that it is either it remains
there or that it falls. No one can ever remain in the lime light forever
but there are those who know how to remain in the minds of others in a good
way for a very long time and then there are those who simply lose track of
how to do it choosing instead to be their own downfall.

We need to remember that the higher you rise the harder that you will fall
if you slip and become a falling star.
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