Friday, 19 February 2016

Cyclists asked to exercise caution around Guide Dogs!

A charity for blind people has said guide dog owners are scared of going out in London because of cyclists.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association said it had seen more reports from guide dog owners who had been hit by a cyclist or come close to a collision.
Rob Harris from the group said some visually impaired people were "fearful" about going out which was "worrying". The London Cycling Campaign said every cyclist had a "duty of care".
Mr Harris said: "We work incredibly hard to get blind or partially sighted people out of their homes and mobile, so to hear that vision impaired people are anxious and in some cases fearful about going out in London because of irresponsible cyclists is very worrying."
Cyclist reminders
  • In a survey conducted by the association, of 33 guide dog owners in London who responded, 14 said they had been involved in a collision and 25 said they had been involved in a "near miss" with cyclists on pavements or jumping red lights.
  • A further five blind people without guide dogs said they had been in collisions with cyclists - out of 16 who responded to the survey.
  • There are 41,060 people registered blind or partially sighted in London with just over 320 using guide dogs in the city.
Charlie Lloyd, from the London Cycling Campaign, said: "Any crash or a close pass which frightens or intimidates a pedestrian is unacceptable. Far worse when that person is blind, partially sighted or in any way less able than we are."
Guide dog owner Deborah Persaud said she was involved in a collision with a cyclist on the pavement while she was walking home in Islington. She said: "My dress was torn, the contents of my handbag damaged and I was left with damage to my shoulder and hip."
As part of the campaign, Guide Dogs said it was reminding riders to use a bell or call out to owners waiting to cross the road to let them know they were on the road and to remind cyclists not to ride up behind a guide dog in case it startled them.


Calls to improve regulations for assistance animals

The Australian Human Rights Commission has responded to an increased number of complaints regarding assistance animals, by holding a forum with various stakeholders to discuss issues around certification, accreditation and regulation of assistance animals.
Assistance animals, particularly assistance dogs, guide dogs and hearing dogs provide invaluable support to some people with disability to enable them to participate in various activities of public and private life.
But there have been a number of cases brought to the Commission, where people with disability have complained that services providers have denied them access because they won’t accept their assistance dogs. This has been particularly problematic when it comes to air travel. Members of the Australian Government’s Aviation Access Forum and other groups agreed to hold a specific meeting to further discuss this issue in coming months.
Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, opened the meeting.
“It is clear that there’s an appetite for clarification of some of these issues, particularly regarding training, certification and accreditation of assistance animals, and we have agreed to continue to work together to progress the issues,” said Commissioner Ryan.
Source: www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/calls-improve-regulations-assistance-animals  

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Service dog accompanies first-ever disabled Lego figure in new collection

Lego just made history with the addition of a Lego character in a wheelchair and a service dog.

Lego just changed the toy game in a major way.The Denmark-based company unveiled a disabled Lego figurine during the International Toy Fair earlier this week in Nuremberg, Germany, NPR reports. The character, who appears to be a young man or boy, is seen sitting in a wheelchair and is accompanied by a service dog.


The new figurines, which are part of Lego City’s upcoming “Fun in the Park” summer collection, have been celebrated as a victory by members of  Toy Like Me. The group has been urging toy brands to design characters with disabilities as a way to make their figurines more inclusive.

“Lego have just rocked our brick built world and made 150 million disabled kids, their mums, dads, pet dogs and hamsters very very happy,” Rebecca Atkinson, leader of Toy Like Me, said in a statement. "This groundbreaking move by Lego is just one small step toward recognizing the important place all people and animals have in our society. Thank you, Lego."

See the video at: https://www.facebook.com/bbclookeast/videos/1017283028352576/ 



Toys Like Me mission is to celebrating disability in toys and is calling on the toy industry and children's TV to better culturally represent 150 million disabled kids worldwide. 


Help Toys Like Me turn its viral social media campaign into a lasting online resource which will celebrate disability in toys, advise people looking for representative toys and continue consulting and calling on the global toy industry to include disabled children in the cultural mainstream. For more information go to:

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