News story: Accessibility must be at the heart of new transport tech

first_imgnew transport technologies could be transformative and empowering for those with mobility issues disability organisations the National Autistic Society, Muscular Dystrophy UK, Scope, Blind Veterans UK and Whizz-Kidz on board with principle that future transport must be accessible for all the Inclusive Transport Strategy sets out the government’s aim to make the entire transport network accessible by 2030 Young wheelchair users tell us how important accessible transport is so they can be independent and make the most of their lives, and just how challenging travelling can sometimes be. It’s pointless booking a train ticket to go to work or attend a job interview if the right ramp isn’t available to get their wheelchair on the train. Improving accessibility is vital for the companies developing transport in the future if young disabled people are to be included and have access to the travel opportunities many others take for granted. Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs at the National Autistic Society, said: Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aurrigo, said: Self-driving vehicles offer increased independence and options for travel but accessibility has to be at the centre of the development of the technology. The diverse needs of users, both inside and out of the vehicle, need to be considered from the outset as not everyone will react to an automated vehicle in the same way. People with hearing or visual disabilities for example need to be properly recognised and safeguarded. Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 New modes of transport and pioneering technologies should transform travel for older people and those with disabilities, the government has made clear today (14 May 2019). Transport is vital in order to connect people right across the country, but those with disabilities or mobility issues can sometimes face unacceptable barriers to travel.Speaking at the final media and showcase event for FLOURISH, a self-driving car project in Bristol aimed at improving the mobility of older people and those with mobility-related needs, the Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman has set out that new technologies including self-driving vehicles and the increased use of mobile apps have the potential to revolutionise everyday journeys for people with mobility issues, and this must be a key consideration for those companies developing future transport.In their ‘Future of mobility: urban strategy, launched in March 2019’, the government declared that transport innovations must be accessible by design in order to empower independent travel, in line with the 2018 Inclusive Transport Strategy which stated that advances in technology should provide opportunities for all. The trend towards ride-sharing, for example, will need to cater for users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as well as those who might not feel comfortable sharing with strangers due to mental health or developmental conditions.Speaking at the FLOURISH event at the University of Bristol, the Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman said: Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: Independence, that’s what it is all about. From giving it back to people with a disability to making sure elderly individuals maintain it. That’s why we wholeheartedly welcome the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy and determination to make the entire transport network accessible by 2030. Our driverless pods have a crucial role to play in this, especially in providing first and last mile transport solutions – so crucial to providing a joined-up service. For far too many autistic people, going on public transport is overwhelming. Unexpected changes like delays or diversions, loud crowds and bright lights can trigger extreme levels of anxiety. Some people are so worried about this that they sometimes find it difficult to leave the house at all. The government is right to prioritise making transport accessible for all. This must mean that all future plans, modes of transport and technologies are shaped by the experiences and often hidden needs of autistic people and their families. In particular, technology represents a real opportunity to help autistic people prepare for journeys and deal with unexpected changes, like cancellations. Scope welcome this announcement and commitment from the Department for Transport. For too long disabled people have faced barriers to being able to travel and live independently. At Scope we know that technology has the potential to transform the world for disabled people and it’s absolutely right that all future transport modes and technologies need to accessible to everyone. However, disabled people must be involved in the design and testing of these technologies if they are to succeed. A genuinely inclusive transport network is one that makes it much easier for disabled people to get to work, see family, and be part of their community both now and in the future.center_img James Taylor, Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at disability equality charity Scope said: When public transport is inaccessible, it takes away the independence of people living with disabilities. We regularly hear stories about people’s terrible experiences, such as being turned away by bus drivers or missing their stop on the train because no one is around to assist. It’s not acceptable. There is still a long way to go until people living with disabilities have full accessibility, but this announcement shows we are heading in the right direction. We welcome the Department for Transport’s commitment to making public transport fully accessible by 2030. We, along with our campaigners, look forward to engaging with government to ensure that this happens. This announcement follows the arrival of a range of exciting transport innovations, including the first trials of self-driving vehicles for blind veterans in the world. A joint venture launched by Blind Veterans UK and Aurrigo in April (2019), the self-driving pods are equipped with accessible features including bright colour edges, door openings, and an external sounds system that changes tone and rate when objects in the path are detected.Aurrigo and Blind Veterans UK trialThe commitment in the ‘Future of mobility: urban strategy’ builds on wide-ranging work the government has already undertaken to improve accessibility on public transport, including investing £300 million to make rail stations more accessible for disabled passengers across Britain, and pushing transport operators to meet their legal obligations to design and deliver their services in a genuinely inclusive way. This includes showing greater recognition that less visible disabilities such as autism or dementia can be just as much of a barrier to travel as a visible disability.In November 2018, the government also announced a new partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) which will bring Changing Places toilets to the majority of motorway service areas — making journeys easier for disabled people across England.Ruth Owen OBE, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, said: Aviation, Europe and technology media enquiries Case studiesCase study: FLOURISHFLOURISH is a multi-sector collaboration, helping to advance the successful implementation of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the UK, by developing services and capabilities that link user needs and system requirements, maximising the benefits of CAVs for users and transport authorities.The 3 year project was worth £5.5 million and was co-funded between industry and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). It was delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. It is part of the government’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund, supporting the ‘Future of mobility grand challenge, which aims to make everyday transport more accessible and reliable for passengers.FLOURISH adopted a user-focused approach to best understand consumer expectations of CAV technology. The project explored how this technology can be harnessed to enhance and enable mobility for older adults and those with mobility-related conditions, contributing to the development of a stronger and more inclusive society. Participants were involved through workshops, and simulator and pod trials.To learn more about the technology required to realise these user benefits go to the FLOURISH websiteCase study: assist-MiDeveloped by a Sunderland-based company, assist-Mi is an assistance app that offers help to disabled users on the go, giving them more independence when accessing everyday goods and services.Using a unique combination of location-based technologies and two-way messaging, assist-Mi removes traditional barriers by connecting the user directly with service providers to request real-time assistance at the touch of a button.Case study: Humanising AutonomyOne of the UK companies helping to ensure self-driving vehicles are safe is Humanising Autonomy. Their technology is able to predict pedestrian intent across multiple cultures and urban contexts, improving interactions between self-driving vehicles and people and ultimately making self-driving vehicles safer.They are designing their technology with the most vulnerable road users in mind: older people, disabled people, and children. Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Self-driving technologies could greatly improve the mobility of vulnerable user groups, helping to address problems of isolation and loneliness across the country. The needs of older people, and those with visible or hidden disabilities, must be at the heart of all new modes of transport. Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee Keith Richards said: Switchboard 0300 330 3000last_img read more

NCC TENNIS LEAGUE: CBN Futures Beat Team Yetade to Win First…

first_img Team CBN Futures, a team of the best junior players in Nigeria – finally won a tie in the third edition of the NCC Tennis League when they defeated Team Yetade of Ado Ekiti 6-1 in a match the youngsters hosted at the National Stadium Lagos.CBN Futures won the four men’s and one ladies’ singles as well as the mixed doubles – conceding only the men’s doubles where Stephen Augustine and Emmanuel Jebutu held a match point before the Team Yetade pair of Kayode Olawolu and Opeyemi Odeyemi rallied to salvage a match.Augustine had the CBN Futures team on the victory path when he easily beat Odeyemi 6-3, 6-1 in the first singles. Godgift Timibra followed with a close 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 win over Olawolu and Toyin Osogba edged Akosile Afolarin 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to give the fast improving juniors a 3-1 lead on the opening day.Team CBN Futures returned on Sunday to complete what for them will be a milestone.Timibra beat Michael Olajimbiti of Team Yetade 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the first reverse singles and Jebutu overwhelmed Olawolu 6-4, 2-0 (Scratch). The pair of Augustine and Omolade Aderemi rounded off the tie by defeating Omodara Ayodeji and Afolarin 6-4, 6-2 in the mixed doubles.“I am very happy with the outcome and impressed that these juniors can play with so much determination and confidence” said Kayode Savage, the coach of the CBN Futures. Adding, “It could have been a clean sweep if we did not drop the match point and I am sure going forward the boys will no longer have any fear or respect any team too much.”In the Abuja tie, the expected upset of the defending champions, Team Offikwu, by host Team Ndoma-Egba did not happen as two former champions -Shehu Lawal and Henry Atseye combined with Sarah Adegoke to snatch a 5-2 victory.Lawal beat Emmanuel Paul of Team Ndoma-Egba 6-1, 6-4 in the opening singles and Thomas Otu then leveled scores by edging Atseye in a nervy match of two ex champions 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Adegoke then put the visiting team ahead with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Osareme Airhunwhunde and the defending champions then took a stranglehold on the tie with the pair Lawal and Atseye overcoming Otu and Taiwo Owolabi 7-5, 6-4 in the men’s doubles. Otu beat Lawal in the first reverse singles to close the gap to 2-3 but Atseye called on his wealth of experience saving a match point and coming from behind to pip Emmanuel in three sets to put the tie beyond the reach of the host team. Lawal and Adegoke came from a set down to win a very exciting mixed doubles match that effectively secured a semifinal place for the defending champions. In a tie of two equally matched teams in Ilorin, Team Teach Vibe of Jos beat hosts Team Goshen 4-3 to stop the unbeaten streak of the Ilorin team. Team Goshen which was in contention for a semifinal place now has to beat Team Ndoma- Egba to qualify.Musa Bala, who had an outstanding tie, won his two singles matches beating Emmanuel Omeruwa 6-0, 6-1 and Joseph Iyorouvbe 6-3, 6-3 but lost a tight men’s doubles with Adehi Ochei to  Iyorouvbe and Owolabi Jinadu 7-5, 5-7, 10-8.Team Tech Vibe’s No.2, Michael Michael, also won two singles matches to secure the tie for the Jos team. Michael defeated Iyorouvbe 7-5, 6-1 in the first and Jinadu 6-2, 7-6 in the reverse.The other two points for the host team were won by Patience Onebamhoin who defeated Abies Amadasun 6-2, 6-1 and the mixed doubles pair of Jinadu and Onebamhoin who defeated Bala and Amadasun 6-2, 6-3. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

A House Raising Experience

first_imgBy John BurtonHomes are literally rising along the Jersey Shore as owners work to restore their houses after the pummeling from Super Storm Sandy.House lifter Pete Sommer (center) with his crew, Pete Sommer Jr. (l) and Dennis Grasso (r) in front of a Monmouth Beach house.It’s been a busy six months for contractors who specialize in elevating structures or moving homes as part of their construction business. Owners have been scurrying to find qualified companies that can address their needs and ad­here to new regulations for flood level standards that are expected to be issued by the Federal Emergency Manage­ment Agency (FEMA).“It’s been crazy busy. I can’t even answer the phone right now. I have 150 calls to return,” said Pete Sommer, who lives in the Leonardo section of Middletown and has been lifting houses for 36 years.James Sullivan, who owns and operates Eco-Coastal Building, LLC in Monmouth Beach, was busy a year ago at this time, still working with Hurricane Irene-related locations. Now, “it’s been insane,” he said.His company does house lifting, construction and is an insurance due diligence firm, working with the insured in negotiations with the insurance company. His firm has 67 residences currently under contract to be raised, said Sullivan, who has 25 years experience doing this.During the past six mon­ths, Sommer, whose operation is fairly small, has elevated about 12 homes, one structure at a time. He was working this week on a Mann Court, Monmouth Beach, home when he stopped to talk about the work.The project, he said, entail­ed lifting the two-story home an additional 8 feet to a total of 14 feet above flood plain level. That would make it slightly higher than the current Monmouth Beach standard for the specific area in immediate proximity to the Shrewsbury River. The home was flooded with about 3 feet of water during Super Storm Sandy last October.The work, being done by Sommer, his son, Peter Jr., and another worker, will take the crew about three weeks to complete, Sommer said. “We do everything by hand. We like to do everything slow,” paying painstaking attention to details.The details begin with gutting the home and removing the drywall, then screwing 2-by-12-foot wooden boards to the structure’s walls, and installing 8-inch-by-8-foot steel beams – using 17-inch hy­draulic jacks – to slowly raise the building. He then places 6-inch-by-6-foot wooden blocks in place as the building goes higher, usually at 6 to 17 inches at a time.“It’s like putting together a puzzle,” Sommer said.The crisscrossed, stacked wooden blocks look a bit like Jenga, the children’s wooden block stacking game.As the structure is raised, workers place and seal cinderblocks into place where the house will eventually sit. The structure might have some minor cracking, which is normal for the type of job, he said.The cost of the work is about $15 per square foot, according to Sommer.That’s only the beginning. After the home is elevated, additional work is needed, including masonry work for the foundation, which is completed by others, Sommer said.Sullivan said his work costs on average about $50 per square foot, with a 1,200- to 1,400-square-foot first floor footprint, costing, roughly, a little bit under $50,000.The work is more complex than it might initially appear. “A lot of people think they can do this themselves. They can’t,” Sommer warned.Sullivan and the state’s Division of Consumer Protec­tion, advised homeowners to research and check the licensing of contractors they are considering hiring. Neal Buccino, a division spokes­man, also recommended not paying more than one-third of the project upfront and consider paying by credit card, which would offer a recourse if there is an issue with the work.The house on Benton Avenue in Leonardo is in the process of being lifted by Pete Sommer and crew.The division has not re­ceived any complaints about home improvement contractors raising homes. However, last year the division got more than 1,500 complaints about home improvement contractors, the largest category of complaints, Buccino said.Sullivan also advised check­ing to see if the contractor has specific house lifting insurance, which usually requires them to have at least two- to four-years experience before it can be issued.Eventually, it’ll be around 100,000 structures that will have to be elevated throughout the state, in response to damage or FEMA and local standards, Sullivan estimated.Sullivan offered a pretty strong warning for area residents: Given what he’s heard from scientists and experts in the field, another severe storm “is going to happen again, not in 100 years, not in 500 years, but it’s going to happen relatively soon.”The work is still coming and things are expected to continue to be hectic for Sommer.“Before, you were looking at people who wanted to do it. Now it’s people who have to do it and they can be a little crazy,” he said.Looking back, it seems a long way from last year for Sommer when he “could ride my motorcycle and have a little fun.”last_img read more

Peewee Leafs host tourney

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsThe Nelson Leafs roll out the red carpet on the annual Nelson Minor Hockey Peewee Rep Tournament beginning Friday at the Nelson and District Community Complex and Civic Centre Arenas.Six teams from Castlegar, Cranbrook, Creston, Elk Valley, Spokane and Trail join the Leafs in the weekend tournament.Nelson opens play Friday at 1:15 p.m. against Elk Valley in the Civic Centre Arena. The Leafs then meet Cranbrook later in the day at the NDCC Arena.Nelson plays Trail (9:30 a.m.) and Creston (4 p.m.) to conclude the round robin draw. The top four teams in each division advances to the semi final round.The final is set for 1 p.m. at the NDCC Arena.Nelson tuned up for the tournament by finishing the Osoyoos event with a 1-2-1 record.The Leafs opened with a 7-2 loss to Coquitlam. Logan Mengler and Everett Hicks scored for Nelson. The Leafs then played to a 3-3 tie against Victoria before being bombed 10-2 by Kelowna.Hicks, with a pair, scored for Nelson against Victoria. Ben Woodward added a single.Against Kelowna, Hicks scored his fourth and fifth goals of the tournament.In the final game of the weekend Nelson blasted South Okanagan 7-2.Taylor Cooper and Woodward each scored twice to lead Nelson. Hicks, with his sixth of the weekend, Matthew Brind’Amour, Jacob Shukin and Mengler, also scored.Curt Doyle and Joey Timmermans shared the netminding duties for [email protected]last_img read more