July 2014 Archives

Signs Restaurant

Signs Restaurant is staffed with deaf servers, and is now open for business in Toronto's busy Yonge and Wellesley area. The restaurant is the first project of its kind in Canada.

"I think it's super inspiring," says Christine Nelson from the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf. "On behalf of the whole community we're thrilled to see something like this take place."

Owner Anjan Manikumar says he got the inspiration for Signs while working in a Markham restaurant as a server. He had a deaf customer who had to order by pointing to the menu. "I felt he wasn't getting the service he deserved," says Manikumar. "He wasn't getting the personal touch."

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Written by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the passport-sized leaflet for disabled people, people with reduced mobility and their families, is aimed at making journeys by air as smooth and trouble free as possible.

It sets out what services disabled people can expect from airlines, travel companies and airports and offers legal advice too. It has been developed in association with the Civil Aviation Authority and endorsed by the Department of Transport and other travel organisations.

The guide contains 15 top tips for a smooth journey, covering areas such as assistance dogs, accessibility, getting mobility and other essential equipment on board and seating arrangements. It will be distributed through airport, travel companies and organisations working with disabled people.

With over 90,000 passengers requiring special assistance travelling through its terminals, Heathrow warmly welcomes the guide as another way to ensure its passengers have the right information and are prepared for their journey.

Ahead of the London 2012 Games, Heathrow worked with the charity Whizz Kids and Lord Chris Holmes MBE and Ade Adepitan to better understand how to help passengers with reduced mobility travel through the airport. The legacy lives on across the airport, with enhanced changing facilities, including more signage in Braille to improved staff understanding and refined processes like reuniting those passengers with their wheelchairs.

Paralympian medal winner Lord Chris Holmes MBE who is also Disability Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

"Dignity and respect are values we all share, yet too many disabled travellers have experienced the opposite. Airports are complicated places to navigate. Accurate and succinct information is key for passengers who require assistance. This new guidance is another way to help make journeys as smooth as possible - from the outset when booking flights or holidays all the way through to returning home."

Mark Hicks, Head of Customer Relations at Heathrow said:

"Over 90,000 passengers with reduced mobility travel through Heathrow per month and we strive to meet each person's needs. More than a million pounds has been invested in specific facilities to make their journeys as smooth as possible, such as a new bespoke changing facility in Terminal 5.

"As the guide says, passengers who require help should get in touch with their airline well ahead of travelling so that we can help make the right arrangements at Heathrow."

The Commission has produced the guide as part of its work to improve the experiences of disabled people using air travel, and can be found on their website.

Accessible Wilderness Society

The Accessible Wilderness Society seeks to develop its 25 acre Roberts Lake wilderness property. Designed from the ground up using the principles of Universal Design, this will become BC's first universally accessible campground and wilderness lodge, able to accommodate those with physical, visual, auditory, or cognitive challenges along with their family and friends. This 'inclusive by design' approach will become a showcase of accessibility, sustainability, and a place to celebrate the natural beauty of our rugged west coast wilderness.

Accessible Routes - Advanced Session (August 7)

laptop with Access Board logoThe next webinar in the Board's free monthly series will take place August 7 from 2:30 - 4:00 (ET)and will feature an advanced level discussion of the requirements for accessible routes in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards. Presenters will address in greater detail topics and issues concerning accessible routes, including connection to required clear floor spaces, door maneuvering clearances, and exterior routes. They also will answer questions submitted from attendees in advance and those posed during the webinar session. Participants are encouraged to review earlier webinars onaccessible routes and accessible routes on sites in advance of the upcoming session.

For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.

PhotoAbility introduces Portfolios by West Coast Photographers Tiffany Mather and Aaron Paul Rogers that creatively reflect through their art of photography how models with disabilities smash perception commonly associated with disability such as sickness, frailty, and asexuality. To the contrary, these images will titillate, delight, and inspire viewers.

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Aaron's images are edgy, creative, and refreshing, while pushing the barriers of perception. He makes disability sexy and strong with images ranging from extreme adventure to a female model dominating in leather and whips from an antique wheelchair. Visit Aaron's Portfolio.

Independence and self-determination are characterized in Tiffany Mather's emotive and symbolic images which range from black and white studies on loss and loneliness to vibrant color images of various adaptive sports featuring archery, skiing, and wheelchair basketball. Visit Tiffany's Portfolio.

Tiffany Mather was recently named "Hero of the Week" by a local paper in Santa Clara, CA for her work as a volunteer and board member on behalf of the Triumph Foundation for the last six years.

Aaron Paul Rogers of LA, California also met his first model, Domonic Corradin, through the Triumph foundation. He coordinated with PhotoAbility owner Deborah Davis, a wheelchair user herself in Florida, to shoot Alanna Flax Clark in his studio. Alanna brought her friend Melissa, and with props brought in by Aaron, the ladies brought to life the vision he had long planned for...a modern and antique twist on perception of disability.

PhotoAbility often matches photographers with specific models in their area in an effort to more quickly create "Disability Inclusive Stock Photo Images" for their customers to choose from in their Library. Custom shoots can also be arranged by companies who wish to hire a photographer or model whose work they have seen through the website.

Photographers who are represented in the library receive top competitive royalties; have the option to create an individual portfolio hosted on the site, receive promotions of their businesses with links to their sites, and have the opportunity to become a featured portfolio monthly.

PhotoAbility feels that powerful messages imparted through imagery will bring about important social change with increased access and rights. Its Stock Image Library represents over one billion persons with disabilities worldwide, whose spending power has a substantial impact on travel and lifestyle economies all over the world. This demographic is seeking to be acknowledged in advertising and editorial images.

The goal of the Image Library is to give customers the wide selection of positive imagery reflecting the real lives of people with disabilities, encouraging further inclusion. The imagery contained within the pages have the effect of helping to eliminate the fear and negative stereotyping that so often permeates all levels of society.

Gymnastics from a Wheelchair

Aleksi Kirjonen

PhotoAbility Sampler

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