Accessibility In The News 2023

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Passing grade on accessibility not good enough

Editorial, Winnipeg Free Press, January 18, 2023
Sometimes, a passing grade is considered a satisfactory result, the product of sufficient preparation and effort to allow for an outcome that qualifies as success even though it may have flirted with failure along the way. In other words, just enough to be good enough. When it comes to the midterm report card issued to the provincial government by Barrier-Free Manitoba (BFM) for the implementation and enforcement of its accessibility-standards legislation, a barely passing grade should be regarded as a cause for concern and immediate remedial action rather than reason for anything resembling celebration or self-congratulation. BFM is a non-profit cross-disability initiative formed in 2008 to lobby the province to enact strong and effective legislation that requires the removal of existing barriers and prevents the creation of new ones. Its mock report card offers an assessment of the current Progressive Conservative government’s success (or failure) in bringing into force the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA), which was passed into law in December 2013 by the province’s previous NDP government, promising significant accessibility progress by 2023. With the 10-year implementation timeline ticking toward its end, BFM’s most recent assessment gives the government an overall D grade for fully setting in motion the legislation aimed at affording Manitobans with disabilities the opportunity to fully participate in all the province has to offer.

For every dollar donated to CNIB's urgent guide dog campaign, it spends 52 cents on fundraising

Bonnie Allen, CBC News, January 18, 2023
CNIB Guide Dogs president says you have to invest money to get money. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) began its urgent appeal for donations in late 2020. A charity watchdog says CNIB spends more than half of each dollar raised on fundraising costs, and that its spending on programming is below what’s reasonable for Canadian non-profits. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) has been making an urgent appeal for donations to its guide dog program for more than two years to solve what it calls a crisis-level demand. Overall, more than half of what CNIB takes in from donations is spent on fundraising costs, and finding out exactly what proportion goes to the puppies is difficult. Charity Intelligence Canada, a charity watchdog that aims to help Canadians be informed and give intelligently, reviewed CNIB’s online financial statements from 2021. The accounting applies to the entire CNIB organization and not just its guide dog program. It found CNIB collected roughly $29.1 million in donations and spent about $15 million on fundraising costs.

Blind B.C. woman files discrimination complaint over city roundabouts, bike lanes

Jon Hernandez, CBC News, British Columbia, January 6, 2023
Woman alleges City of Maple Ridge has created unsafe walking conditions for people with disabilities. Maria Kovacs won’t risk waiting for the bus near her church on her own anymore. The last time she tried it, a cyclist hit her. When I got out of the bus, the bike hit me in the back, she told CBC News. This area is very unsafe for someone who is blind.