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Struggle Ongoing for People with Service Dogs

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network
Friday, August 5, 2016 5:29:00 EDT PM

ANDREW PHILIPS/SPECIAL TO THE PACKET & TIMES While Judy German, pictured with her dog guide, Reno, says she has suffered her share of slights over the years when it comes to bringing her dog into businesses, it has only happened once since she moved to Orillia.

Judy German couldn’t believe what she was hearing when she arrived for an appointment at a city business.

Focus: Employers Urged to Prepare for New AODA Requirements

Monday, 14 September 2015
Written By Marg. Bruineman

With a new year approaching, employers will once again need to prepare for a new set of obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

“The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is one of Ontario’s best-kept employment law secrets,” says Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm.

“Perhaps the most onerous obligations for employers are set out in the employment standard which takes effect for private sector organizations with 50 or more employees on Jan. 1, 2016.

AODA Compliance for Private Sector and Not-for-Profit Employers

Torkin Manes LLP
Peter C. Straszynski.
Canada August 27 2015

The deadlines for private and not-for-profit employers to comply with the “Employment Standard” under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) are quickly approaching.

“Large” organizations (50 or more employees) must comply by January 1, 2016. “Small” organizations have until January 1, 2017.

Here is what is required for compliance:

Guelph Transit Going to Next-Generation Stop Calling and Display System

Rob O’Flanagan, Mercury staff

Guelph Transit is introducing a new automated next stop calling and display system, which is expected to make buses more accessible, and riders less likely to miss stops.

GUELPH Starting next Monday, Guelph Transit will roll out a new, next-generation automated “next stop calling and display system,” a high-tech system that, when completely installed will be more mobile device friendly. It is also expected to make public transit more accessible.

Pan Am Games Accessibility Lacking During Opening Ceremonies, Woman Says

Mary Penner lost her promised seat, wants a full refund
CBC News, July 13, 2015

A woman who attended the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games this weekend wants a full refund of all her tickets after the lack of accessibility at the site left her frustrated and disappointed.

Mary Penner, who uses a walker to get around, said she had been looking forward to the Games for a long time.

Stuck on the Sidelines

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 5:27:10 EDT PM

Butterfly Beth Fields feels like she’s lost her independence.

Every week she hopes one of the city’s new accessible buses will arrive at the Marshall Avenue transit stop to pick her up.

But if not then hopefully a stranger will be kind enough to help.

Fields said she’s had to count on the compassion of many strangers who have helped her because she couldn’t get up the bus ramp.

Pan Am Games App Deemed Failure by Advocates for People With Disabilities(PWD’s)

By Christina Stevens
Senior Reporter Global News
The Toronto 2015 app has been deemed a failure by advocates for people with disabilities. They say the App for the Panam/Parapan Am Games is not accessible to those who are visually impaired. Christina Stevens reports

The official Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games app is not accessible to those who are visually impaired, according to advocates for people with disabilities.

Windsor ‘Dragging Its Feet’ in Terms of Accessibility, Say Visually Impaired Residents

Rebecca Blaevoet works on the company website at Tactile Vision Graphics in Windsor on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Blaevoet is upset with Transit Windsor
after a bus driver refused to help the blind woman find her stop. (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE/The Windsor Star)

Windsor is a particularly challenging city to navigate for the visually impaired, says newcomer Rebecca Blaevoet.

Every time she rides the bus, she approaches the front with assistance from her seeing-eye dog, then asks the driver to alert her upon arrival at her stop.

Tribunal Hears Transit Issues

By Ian MacAlpine, Kingston Whig-Standard
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 8:33:24 EDT PM

Louise Bark, a former Kingston resident, is involved in an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal case against the City of Kingston over public transit accessibility issues. Bark was in Kingston with her service dog Bruce on Wednesday.

A former Kingston resident and disability rights activist has taken Kingston Transit and Kingston Access Bus to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Advocates Calling for Official Government ID for Service Dogs

By Christina Stevens
Senior Reporter Global News

Advocates are calling for official government ID for service dogs. They say itll cut down on fraud and help those who legitimately need the dog. Christina Stevens reports.

TORONTO In Ontario, service dogs used by people with disabilities other than visual impairment dont get the same government identification.

The head of a service dog training organization is calling on the Ontario government to change that.

Is Your Restaurant Pan Am or Para Pan Am Games Ready?

Is it compliant according to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act? May 27, 2015
Geof Collis

This summer Toronto will be welcomeing hundreds of thousands of tourists, including tourists with disabilities, to enjoy the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games.

“Unlike the Olympics in Vancouver BC or London England, the Government has no comprehensive plan in place to ensure that we have adequate accessible restaurants, public transit, hotels and other tourism and hospitality services to meet the needs of an influx of tourists with disabilities at this major international sporting event.”

Refusing Service to Customer With a Dog

HR in the News (Again)
2 recent news stories pose challenges for HR
May 20, 2015

Brian Kreissl is the product development manager for Carswell’s human resources, OH&S, payroll and records retention products and solutions.

I was planning on devoting this entire blog post to Shauna Hunt. She is the CityNews reporter who recently publicly confronted some soccer fans for their boorish and misogynistic behaviour while she was on camera covering a Toronto FC soccer game.

$25K Awarded Against Restaurant Owner Who Prevented Employee From Serving Employees Mother Because Of Service Animal

Last Updated: April 27 2015
by Asha Rampersad

On November 4, 2014, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) found that a restaurant owner discriminated against a customer (CC), who was also the mother of one of the restaurant’s waitresses (JC), on the basis of disability and family status when they refused to serve CC because she was accompanied by a service animal.

OPP Launches Text 911 Service for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Speech Impaired

By Staff The Canadian Press

ORILLIA, Ont. Ontario residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired will now be able to communicate with provincial police via text message when they dial 911 in an emergency.

The Ontario Provincial Police’s new Text with 911 feature allows those with hearing and speech disabilities to register their cellphones for the service with their wireless carrier.