Disability Advocates Call on Party Leaders to Ensure Barrier-Free Ontario

The following report comes from the Toronto Star:
Ontario has a long way to go before it's fully accessible to people like Laurier University student Chantal Huinink, whose story of a horror trip to Waterloo was told by the Star in January.

Ontario has a long way to go before it’s fully accessible to people like Laurier University student Chantal Huinink, whose story of a horror trip to Waterloo was told by the Star in January.

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Test Maker Settles Disability Suit With Justice Department

The following report comes from Disability Scoop:

In a deal with the federal government, the maker of a standardized test is agreeing to sweeping changes to ensure those with disabilities receive the accommodations they’re entitled to. Continue reading

Face Up 4 CBM

The following report is from Attitude Live:

‘I wish I had a new leg’.

Heartbreaking words from a beautiful young girl. Laxmi was just 6 months old and sleeping on the dirt floor of her family home when it happened: the family fire that acted as a source of light and heat burned her leg so badly that as a result, it never grew. Continue reading

The Care Act 2014

The following report comes from the Guardian:
Care Act

The Care Act has received royal assent. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
The Care Act, which has recently attained royal assent, will bring far-reaching and welcome changes to social care provision. The Act puts principles into statute that have long been in the domain of social work, and provides a script for modern social work with adults. Continue reading

End the Awkward Campaign

The following three videos have been online for a couple of weeks now, and have received positive attention throughout the disability community. They are a great way of showing how to act around and how to communicate with people with disabilities (i.e. like a normal person). Continue reading

Doctors’ Ignorance Stands In The Way Of Care For Persons With Disabilities

The following report comes from www.NPR.org:

Something curious was happening in the emergency room. Eight patients had come in within minutes of each other. Almost instantly, the junior resident, two interns and a medical student signed up for all of the them – except for one.

Half an hour passed, then an hour. As the senior resident doctor at the time, I supervised the others as they tended to the middle-aged man with chest pain, the elderly woman with a broken wrist and the teenage girl with a sore throat.

New patients kept coming in, and they, too, were seen quickly.

Still, there was that one patient everyone seemed to avoid, a man in his 20s with back pain. I watched as the medical student picked up his chart, then placed it back on the rack. Nurses, too, weren’t going to his room. Finally, I assigned a team to care for him.

“We drew the short straw here,” I overheard the nurse say.

The resident sighed. “I already ordered labs and an X-ray. It’s going to take too long to examine him, so let’s just get this started.”

What was different about this patient? Was it a dangerous, contagious disease? A mental health problem marked by a violent streak? A history of weekly drunken visits to the ER?

No. All he had was a wheelchair Continue reading

High School Graduation Rates in US for Persons with Disabilities Remain Static

The following report comes from Disability Scoop:

More Americans are graduating high school than ever before, but students with disabilities remain far behind their typically-developing peers, a new report finds.

Nationally, 80 percent of public high school students earned a diploma on time during the 2011-2012 school year, according to data released Monday from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

While the number of students with disabilities obtaining diplomas also ticked up that year, just 61 percent of those with special needs graduated, the findings indicate.

For the report, students were considered to graduate on time if they finished high school in four years. Those who completed an Individualized Education Program but did not obtain a traditional diploma and students who were held back a grade were not included.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hailed the progress, but said there are still far too many students dropping out.

“That 20 percent who didn’t complete high school on time in 2012 represented 718,000 young people — more teenagers and young adults than the total population in Wyoming or Vermont,” Duncan said. “Among them are a sharply disproportionate share of African-American, Hispanic and Native American students, along with students from low-income families, students with limited English proficiency and students with disabilities. Not one of those groups reached a 75 percent graduation rate, let alone 80, and several have rates in the 60s or below.”

Currently, students with disabilities account for about 13 percent of the nation’s students, but their success varies dramatically by state, the report found. In 2012, for example, 81 percent of students with disabilities graduated in Montana while just 24 percent did in Nevada.

A second report, which was also released Monday by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, indicated that increasing the graduation rate of students with disabilities is one of five key areas of emphasis that need to be addressed in order to bring the nation’s overall graduation rate above 90 percent.

While this study is an excellent start for further necessary research, it only shows a glimpse into the problem of disability and education. Disability is not a simple concept; there are a vast number of different disabilities – from intellectual to physical to sensory, etc. – and the rate of graduation will certainly significantly differ depending on what type of disability is being focused on.

Furthermore, rate of graduation will also significantly differ depending on the specific disability and, even further, the individual.

Statistics are great for a first look, but this report contains no case studies or specific details in regards to disability. This is a perfect opportunity for the US Administration for Community Living to team up with the National Center for Education Statistics, an opportunity that could see more detailed statistics and, therefore, better decisions made as a result of better information.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission press release: Federal Appeals Court Rules for EEOC in its Disability Discrimination Case Against Ford Motor

Agency Charged Automaker Denied Employee the Chance to Telework; Sixth Circuit Agrees Case Should Go Forward

WASHINGTON — The majority of a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided on April 22 that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had created issues sufficient for trial in its disability discrimination lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company. The EEOC had charged that Ford violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying a former employee the opportunity to telework and by firing her after she filed an EEOC charge.

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Reinventing the Wheel

An Israeli company has developed a technology that allows wheelchairs and bicycles to travel more comfortably over bumps and down stairs. Softwheel says its ‘symmetrical selective in-wheel suspension’ system is designed to absorb the impact of obstacles in the road, and could be adapted to suit any vehicle with wheels. Jim Drury reports on Reuters.com.

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NOW Week in Review: Week Ending Sunday, 30th of March

This week has been quite slow in terms of new news, the majority of reports on disability issues being merely extensions of those from the last few weeks.

However, one article put out by CBM India showed an extremely fresh move for a country in many ways still considered to be conservative.

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