New rules for disabled parking spaces In Ireland

New regulations governing the use of disabled parking spaces come into force today. Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar signed new regulations to tackle fraudulent use of such spaces in April. The changes include altering the medical eligibility criteria required for a disabled person’s parking permit as well as new powers for local authorities to introduce… Continue Reading »

Mayor aims for London to be 'most disabled friendly in world' by 2012

THE Deputy Mayor of London has promised a “true legacy” of accessibility for disabled people in the capital after next year’s Olympic Games. Richard Barnes pledged to “make sure London is inclusive and embracing to all communities” as he, along with Mayor of London Boris Johnson, opened a new play area at a Muswell Hill… Continue Reading »

Ordnance Survey produces first maps for colour blind people

UK: Colour blind people will soon be able to navigate the countryside with special maps created by Ordnance Survey. The maps, made with help from the Royal National Institute for the Blind, have one palette with shades that sufferers can see. Once drawn, they were put to the test by colour blind volunteers. The scheme… Continue Reading »

Robotic wheelchair uses 3D imaging to 'see' for visually impaired drivers

You may not be able to control it with your mind, but this robotic wheelchair from Sweden’s Luleå University of Technology can still offer something that only a few others can — “sight.” The chair uses a laser sensor to generate a 3D map of its surroundings, which is then transferred to an on-board haptic… Continue Reading »

UN disability representative prohibited by Swissair from boarding a flight

European disability rights movements were flabbergasted on hearing that a high United Nations disability representative was prohibited by Swissair from boarding a flight that would have taken him from London to Geneva. The passenger, the UN Special Rapporteur on disability, Shuaib Chalklen, who is a wheelchair user, was not allowed to board flight LX353 from… Continue Reading »

EU vows to improve travel rights for people with disabilities

The European Commission vowed Wednesday to strengthen the travel rights of disabled people, after a UN disability expert who uses a wheelchair complained that he was barred from a Swiss airline flight. Shuaib Chalklen, the United Nations special rapporteur on disability, was told by the airline that he could not board a London-to-Geneva flight without… Continue Reading »

Airlines facing EU clampdown for refusing Travelers with Disabilities

The EU is under pressure to enforce equality rules on airlines as increasing numbers of disabled people, including a UN disability rights monitor, are being refused travel because they are in a wheelchair. Shuaib Chalklen, the UN’s “special rapporteur on disability” has complained to the European Commission after he was denied boarding on a flight… Continue Reading »

London 2012 – Concerns about disability access for transport

London 2012 transport plans are on track but there is no room for complacency, members of the London Assembly have warned. However, concerns have been raised about issues of disabled access with only a quarter of Tube stations and one-third of rail stations have step-free access from station to platform. Assembly members have also urged… Continue Reading »

London five star Savoy hotel completes £220 million refit but still inaccessible for wheelchair users

When the five-star Savoy hotel completed its £220 million refit it promised to “exceed people’s expectations”. But a wheelchair user told April 4 of her unscheduled tour through its kitchens, goods lifts and a loading bay because of apparent problems with disabled access at the Grade II-listed building. Legal journalist Husnara Begum (pictured) was attending… Continue Reading »

Tobii PCEye brings eye-control technology to disabled people

Tobii Assistive Technology, makers of the eye-tracking technology behind the eye-controlled laptop, is bringing its eyeball-tracking equipment to any personal computer with the Tobii PCEye. Part of Tobii’s line of assistive technologies, the PCEye allows users to control their mouse and computer with only a glance, opening up new possibilities for those with impaired motor function… Continue Reading »