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  • Simser Consulting
    can be booked for deaf or hard of hearing people at conferences court proceedings and meetings Its use is also widespread on television and now it is an option available on any new television set The reporting firm was initially very positive and completed a successful test run at another trial with Simser attending as an observer However two days before Simser s case the firm informed him the service would not be provided because the contract with the Tax Court did not allow for the provision of real time captioning to a third party After scrambling to find another service Simser found a firm that would provide him with real time captioning but the Department of Justice had to pick the 100 an hour tab Despite the last minute reprieve Simser felt it was unfair that the court would not provide accommodation services for him as a deaf lawyer Since the Tax Court provides a service to the public the court should pay for the captioning just as it would pay to make its facilities wheelchair accessible he reasoned The Department wrote the court asking it to pay for the services but the court refused saying accommodation costs were the responsibility of the employer Simser then filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission The commissioners overruled a staff recommendation and ordered a hearing before a tribunal With the support of the Canadian Hearing Society the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and the Canadian Association of the Deaf Simser and his lawyer respected disability rights advocate David Baker assembled a list of witnesses Shortly after the Tax Court received the witness list negotiations began and a settlement was reached September 5 about a week before the scheduled start of the tribunal Simser a native of Kanata Ontario earned degrees in business and accounting from the University of Ottawa and worked as a budget analyst for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment He was keen to start his own business and since there was then no other deaf lawyer in private practice in Canada other than one in Vancouver he turned to law and figured he would have a thriving practice After joining the Department of Justice however he decided to stay on because of the Department s excellent track record as an equal opportunity employer The Department has provided him with a special phone that allows him to communicate with anyone through a Bell Canada operator whose service is already paid for by the public He has kept the same phone number through numerous office moves and the excellent e mail technology within the Department allows him to do much of his work electronically if no client confidentiality is involved I can hire sign language interpreters for work related meetings training or court procedures any time and I can also hire real time captionists This is all at my discretion so I feel very empowered knowing that they trust me to make these decisions I believe I have

    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/art_tax_court.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
    Gary Malkowski Alliance Atlantis Cinemas partnership AMC Entertainment International Inc Cineplex Entertainment LP Rainbow Centre Cinemas Inc Three complainants filed complaints against various film exhibitors and distributors regarding accessibility of movies to the deaf deafened and hard of hearing community which were referred by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario The complainants and the exhibitor parties the Exhibitors have agreed to a settlement which includes an incremental increase in the number of theatre complexes with the capability to exhibit movies with closed captioning Similar complaints against two film distributors Universal Canada and Paramount Canada were also referred to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario In a parallel settlement Universal Canada has agreed to continue to provide its films in both open and closed caption formats The complaints against Paramount Canada have not been resolved and it is anticipated that a hearing will soon be scheduled before the Tribunal Previously Famous Players now Cineplex Entertainment was the only Exhibitor in Canada to offer rear window captioning RWC technology RWC facilitates access to movies by allowing individual moviegoers to view captions on a small portable reflector screen This reflector screen fits into a seat s cup holder and mirrors captions that are displayed backwards on a 10 foot wide teleprompter screen mounted on the rear wall of the auditorium RWC technology first became commercially available in 1997 with the release of Titanic and remains the only commercially available closed captioning technology for movie exhibition today In 2001 and 2002 Famous Players now Cineplex Entertainment installed RWC systems in 56 auditoria across Canada A number of new potential closed captioning technologies are under development which should offer greater functionality and flexibility than RWC These technological developments have led to the present settlement between the parties Under the

    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/art_close_cap.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
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    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/video/human_rights_sign.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
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    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/video/human_rights_voice.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
    him by refusing him services generally available to the public The Commission referred the complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal which then granted intervener status to the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association the Canadian Association for the Deaf and the Canadian Hearing Society Mr Simser the three interveners and lawyer David Baker successfully negotiated with the Tax Court before tribunal hearings began resulting in the landmark policy being issued On September 11 the Tax Court issued the policy that pledges to arrange and to pay for a competent and independent real time captionist or sign language interpreter or if requested any other widely recognized method of accommodating the translation needs of a deaf deafened or hard of hearing party or witness lawyer or articling student Accommodation will be ensured if such requests for services are made two weeks before they are required According to the policy requests made on less than two weeks notice will receive best efforts to accommodate the request This policy by the Tax Court of Canada acknowledges a fundamental human right that access to justice is not the exclusive prerogative of able bodied Canadians but of all Canadians It provides equal access to deaf persons and confirms that the needs of persons with disabilities must be accommodated if we are to ensure equal participation for everyone within our society The Commission views the new policy as a major step in ensuring that people with disabilities are accommodated in the legal system and I congratulate both Mr Simser and the Tax Court of Canada for reaching this settlement Indeed outcomes such as this one have a systemic impact in that the solutions reduce the potential for similar future complaints If all of our disability complaints had such positive results I dare say that our work would

    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/art_access_for_all.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
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    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/video/tax_sign.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
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    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/video/tax_voice.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Simser Consulting
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    Original URL path: http://simserconsulting.com/video/wills_sign.php (2016-02-13)
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