The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published a report today outlining common barriers to medical education faced by med school students with disabilities. The research on this topic was prompted by the AAMC‘s desire to promote diversity among its student, faculty and professional membership, and facilitate the standardization of accommodations. The report suggests that, although more medical school students are self-identifying as having disabilities, a culture of competition still promotes stigma around disability. Philadelphia public radio’s (WHYY) Elana Gordon wrote a short article summarizing the AAMC report and the responses it prompted from disability rights advocates.
NY Times reports Hideto Kijima, a disabled rights activist who is partly paralyzed, said he was told by staff of a Japanese airline that he could not board because the small plane was not wheel-chair accessible. The episode has drawn significant public attention and the airline, Vanilla Air, has since apologized. Read more.
People with disabilities in Boston are speaking out about accessibility after snowstorms. Read more
Professionals in the fantasy convention world are signing a pledge to refrain from attending the events until accessibility is taken more seriously by organizers. In an article from io9, some panelists at these conventions recount experiences where stages did not have ramps for those using wheelchairs. Read more
Uber and Lyft are facing lawsuits in several different states over discrimination against people with disabilities. Now, advocates want better access and equal service for disabled riders. Read more
KD Smart Chair, a manufacturer of power wheelchairs, recently released an infographic that visualizes the facts, numbers and figures about the wheelchair industry. The infographic provides some interesting background on the history and use of wheelchairs in the U.S. and around the world. http://kdsmartchair.com/blogs/news/18706123-wheelchair-facts-numbers-and-figures-infographic
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio approved a 30-cent taxi surcharge as part of a plan to make city cabs wheelchair accessible by 2020. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission unanimously approved the charge on Wednesday. Read more.
A new elevator at an above-ground New York City subway station is poised to “open transportation to the city,” according to an official with the advocacy group Disability in Action. The ribbon was cut at the elevator on the Dyckman Street station in Upper Manhattan last week. Edith Prentiss with Disability in Action said the newly accessible stop gives riders in wheelchairs access to “the entire eastern side of Washington Heights and Inwood.” Read more.
The United States does not need to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because the U.S. already protects its disabled citizens, according to an opinion piece by Steven Groves in U.S. News & World Report.
According to Groves, U.S. federal laws are more specific than the “ambiguous” codes shaped by international opinion in the CRPD. Moreover, the U.S. legislation, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act, can be expanded and modified.
CRPD activists pushing for ratification claim it will improve accessibility on a global level. Not so, says Groves. Read more.