Accessibility

Rick Hansen Foundation

People With Disabilities Should Be Able To Go Wherever They Want

For someone who has a mobility challenge, vision or hearing loss, or uses an assistive device to get around, daily decisions are not so carefree. Stores and shops need to be researched ahead of time to make sure they are accessible. Aspects of daily life that most take for granted can be riddled with accessibility challenges. In Canada and around the world, people with disabilities are still limited by physical barriers in the built environment -- and there is urgent need for change.
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This Is What Being Hard of Hearing Is Like at the Movies

I am hard of hearing and rely on lipreading. Video can be difficult, for a variety of reasons, including camera angle, voice-overs, sound effects, accents, and animation. Every time captioning fails at the movies, I am reminded of my inability to participate in activities many Canadians take for granted. I feel belittled, squashed, unimportant.

Embracing the Power of Accessibility: TEDxToronto

Looking back on the past six years, the team is often asked how we managed to grow a simple 100-person event organized in just eight weeks to a 1,000+ person conference, streamed to thousands more online, which has become the most watched TEDx event in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
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The Wheelchair Is Just One Small Part of the Picture: Why It's Time to Reimagine Accessibility

The nub of my and others' unease with the current International Symbol of Access is that it excludes over 97 per cent of people with disabilities, because it is all about wheelchairs, rather than accessibility. To those who fear that the competition I've launched is aimed at throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater and getting rid of the wheelchair symbol altogether: this is definitely not the case. What I'm asking is for designers to reimagine the concept of accessibility and to come up with a revised symbol or set of symbols that will be more inclusive.
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Having a Disability Doesn't Mean You Can't Have Adventures

I've been reflecting on the fun experiences my family and friends had this summer. My thoughts inevitably also turn to those with new health challenges and disabilities, and their caregivers, the people who are supporting them. I've learned that there are many wonderful opportunities to get out and create lasting happy memories, participate in things that bring joy, and still manage the care.
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Reimagining Accessibility and the Wheelchair Symbol

In 1969, the universal symbol for accessibility -- a blue square overlaid in white with the stylized image of a figure in a wheelchair -- made its first appearance. But the symbol is still built around a stick figure -- not a person. But the most important problem with the International Symbol of Access is this: it is exclusionary. The symbol is all about the wheelchair -- even though the majority of disabilities are not mobility-related. That is why, with the enthusiastic co-operation of the Ontario College of Art and Design University, I have launched an international competition to find a contemporary symbol.

A Film Festival First for Montreal

This spring, one brand new film festival is using Montreal's cultural benefits to highlight issues of accessibility and inclusion. Regarding Disability: A Film Festival will make its debut in Montreal on March 21 and will run in various locations until the 28.
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ChangeMaker: Don't Call Him Disabled

During his 22 years at CityTV, David Onley was an anchor, producer, science and technology specialist and weatherman. He was also Canada's first senior newscaster with a visible disability. Having lived with polio and post-polio syndrome since the age of three, he has broken down many social barriers. He has worked tirelessly to improve accessibility for all.