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Accessibility and outdoor socialising: 'I feel unwelcome in my own city'

There's probably quite a nice vibe on your high street at the moment, with tables outside restaurants and bars as people catch up with each other face-to...

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Accessibility news archive

Here's what happened in the accessibility world from May 9–May 15, 2021

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5 Simple Ways To Support Disability Activism

May 15, 2021, Forbes: Disability activism is empowering. For some disabled people who get involved, it opens up avenues for friendship and “chosen family” among other disabled people that they may have missed all of their lives. In some circles at least, disability activists are admired. Activism can be a strong source of pride. Disability activism is also useful. It makes real positive change.

Disability and DEI: Overlooking a group that is everywhere

May 14, 2021, BenefitsPRO: After a year where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) became a hot topic in the workplace, advocates for workers with disabilities express cautious optimism about the nation’s movement toward a more-inclusive workplace. There has been progress, they say, but disabled workers—many of whom have no outward sign of disability—can still feel overlooked or undervalued by the companies they work for.

A Deaf Person Can't Lipread Through a Mask: How to Make Vaccine Sites Accessible

May 13, 2021, Popsugar: Katie Norton is a powerlifter who is hard of hearing and is passionate about advocacy for the deaf and hard of hearing. While she was very grateful to be able to get her first COVID vaccine, she noticed that communication wasn't as clear and easy as it could be. She posted these two TikTok videos to offer tips on how to make vaccine sites more accessible to the deaf or hard of hearing.

Why Accessible Design Will Create Long-term Value

May 13, 2021, Scoop–NZ: On 30 April, Australia’s building ministers agreed to include minimum accessibility standards in the 2022 National Construction Code. This decision reflects how housing needs to be more flexible to meet the changing needs of an aging population during the next decades.

This manager is working toward diversity in Hollywood — and that includes those with disabilities

May 13, 2021, Los Angeles Times: After her first experience of the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, talent manager Eryn Brown wanted to end her nascent Hollywood career.

Microsoft is testing Xbox party chat accessibility features

May 13, 2021, Engadget: Microsoft has announced that speech transcription and text-to-speech synthesis is coming to Xbox party chat, starting today for Xbox Insiders. The new features will make it easier for players with hearing or speech difficulties to participate in party chat and are part of an Xbox initiative to improve accessibility.

How B.C.'s accessibility act will change life for the deaf, hard of hearing community

May 12, 2021, CBC–CA: This week, a new piece of legislation in B.C. aimed at improving accessibility for those with disabilities will go through a second reading. If passed, the accessible British Columbia Act will remove barriers and create accessibility standards throughout the province, which according to the B.C. government, would help 900,000 British Columbians.

Be seen, heard and validated: Creating a workplace that welcomes those with disabilities

May 12, 2021, BenefitsPRO: One of the key priorities among HR departments this year is DEI–diversity, inclusion and equity. From company culture to hiring practices, more businesses are looking for ways to be more welcoming to a range of talented individuals. Though racial and gender equity tend to receive the lion’s share of attention, they’re not the only areas that employers should be considering in their policy and procedure rewrites.

UK investigates whether Apple discriminates against disabled people with iPhone Upgrade Program

May 11, 2021, 9to5Mac: The UK’s Financial Ombudsman has opened an investigation into whether Apple discriminates against severely disabled customers through its iPhone Upgrade Program conditions.

TikTok user calls out Nike over new 'accessible' footwear: 'So hyped up'

May 11, 2021, Yahoo! Movies–CA: A TikToker is calling out Nike for the scarcity of one of its first-ever accessible sneaker designs, which is now almost impossible to get without shelling out serious cash. Louie Lingard (@notlewy), a 19-year-old disability advocate and content creator who boasts over 841K followers on TikTok, shared his frustrations with both Nike and sneaker resellers for contributing to the scarcity and price hike of the brand’s latest release — the Go FlyEase, a much-anticipated hands-free sneaker and the first of its kind by Nike.

How to Host an Accessible Online Gathering or Meeting

May 11, 2021, Duke Today: Due to COVID-19, staff in Undergraduate Admissions had to rely more on virtual presentations, so they overhauled their PowerPoint decks, replacing photo collages of Duke University Chapel, Abele Quad and Cameron Indoor Stadium with a single image per slide.

How Xbox Is Getting Accessibility Right

May 11, 2021, Creative Review–UK: From releasing its adaptive controller to tackling loneliness in older people, Xbox has proved how much creative scope there is for brands that commit to accessibility.

Orlando jury awards $2 million to Burger King employee fired for having a trachea tube

May 10, 2021, Orlando Sentinel: A jury awarded more than $2 million to a former Orlando-area Burger King employee who sued after claiming she was fired solely because she had to use a trachea tube to breathe.

Blackboard 'Ally' tool aids course design for students with disabilities

May 10, 2021, Scoop: Edtech giant Blackboard is offering free lessons on online accessibility and formatting course materials for students with disabilities, as online learning takes root in higher education even as students return to campuses.

These are the most accessible cities around the world

May 9, 2021, The Points Guy: With an estimated 1 billion of the world’s population living with a disability and an aging population, particularly in the developed world, it’s becoming increasingly important for municipal authorities around the world to cater to a growing need for accessibility in both the built and digital environments.

Blind people, advocates slam company claiming to make websites ADA compliant

May 9, 2021, NBC News: Throughout the pandemic, as blind people, like everyone else, became increasingly dependent on websites to purchase goods, one of the fastest-growing companies that works with clients like Oreo cookies and Energizer batteries to make their websites more accessible has been engulfed in an increasingly contentious relationship with blind people. Many blind people say its product is making it harder for them to navigate the web.

7 Game-Changing Beauty Products You Can Use With One Hand

May 9, 2021, The Zoe Report: When major brands begin creating and stocking beauty products for one-handed accessibility, they aren’t just adding a new hair care product or makeup collection to their shelves — they’re creating space for all beauty fans. “I’ve been a beauty fanatic my whole life, so when my arms became paralyzed at 22, I needed to find accessible beauty products,” Christina Mallon, Head of Inclusive Design at Wunderman Thompson, tells TZR. And sometimes, those products just don’t exist yet: “I couldn’t find an accessible deodorant, which is why my team helped create Degree Inclusive,” Mallon continues, referencing Degree’s upcoming deodorant launch created for consumers with visual impairments, upper limb disabilities, and/or limited arm mobility.