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Technology & Accessibility

As the old cliché goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” This saying is as true for solutions related to disability as it is for any other ambition. With the necessity of technology in our daily lives, individuals with disabilities, and those who advocate for them have designed many tools that work for all, along with guidelines for how to harness its power. This concept is not a new one. In 1808, Pellegrino Turri invented the typewriter to help a friend to write legibly. In 1886, Herman Hollerith, who himself had a cognitive processing disability, invented a method to use punch cards to transport and manage data, later founding the company that would become IBM.

Technology & Accessibility
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5 Design Trends You’ll See in 2017

The trickiest part of design trends is that they’re almost never new, just a resurgence of a design aesthetic that was made popular before. Let’s take a look at 5 of the trends that will be making a strong comeback in 2017.


serif

1) SERIF TYPEFACES

If 2016 was the year of thin and light minimal sans-serif fonts, 2017 will be the year of serifs – ranging from slab to slim. These fonts offer class and elegance and when combined with the right graphics can still come off as modern and fresh. Who knew Times New Roman would actually come in handy?




2) OVERSIZED TEXT

While this trend was popular in 2016, it’s not going anywhere. It allows for a bold and clear message. The trick to this trend is not over-using it and finding other creative ways to include it in photos.




3) BRIGHTER COLOURS

As more website & print designs are heading towards minimalist layouts, many designers and brands are trying to find ways to infuse personality and vibrancy into their brand which is why bright colours are making a comeback. Many brands are shifting towards gradients with very subtle hue shifts. Instagram’s recent rebranding saw the introduction of their gradient colour palette across their apps.




4) DESIGNS ROOTED IN REALITY

While this trend might not be as easily spotted from afar, you can be sure it is out there. Designs Rooted in Reality are essentially designs that pull the familiar textures and effects commonly associated with the real world into the digital world. This includes more paper and ink textures online, and even the imitation of letterpress and other old school technologies.


 



5) HAND DRAWN GRAPHICS

Partially connected to designs rooted in reality, you should expect to see more logos with hand-drawn elements this year. Hand-drawn logos and graphics help to convey warmth and authenticity and will be most popular with brands wanting to connect to a more youthful audience.


5 Design Trends You’ll See in 2017
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Ailsa’s Must Have Whisky

Whoever said that Canada can’t compete with a Single Malt Whisky has obviously never tried Cape Breton Rare! Whether it is the fact that the Glenora Distillery draws its clear spring water from MacLellan’s Brook which trickles down the beautiful Mabou highlands, or whether it is the fact that the craftsmen learned from Bowmore Distillers in Scotland who lent their hand with production training and the sourcing of authentic Scottish Copper Pot Stills, it’s award winning whisky has a smooth, flavourful taste that competes with world renowned single malts.

Add this to your Christmas wish list, or better yet, take a trip to Cape Breton Island and visit the Glenora Distillery, take a tasting tour and pick up a bottle yourself, you wont be disappointed.

 
Ailsa’s Must Have Whisky
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Pam’s Holiday Reading List

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

by Adam Grant

Adam Grant, is a top-rated teacher at Wharton and an influencer in international HR with a Ph. D. in organizational psychology. His book Originals is an exploration of how people, can and do, choose to step forward and champion unconventional ideas and values.  If you are looking to originate ideas and practices Originals offers fresh insights on a variety of topics that will leave you feeling hopeful and, possibly, a little exhilarated.   

 

 

 

 

  

15515791_10211458907566132_978401787_oBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and several other internationally bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction.  Her book Big Magic dives into the creative process and shows us insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. Gilbert encourages us to embrace curiosity, let go of suffering and uncover the hidden jewels in ourselves. She offers tactics on how to face down our fears and live a creative life.

 

 

 

 

 

15502835_10211458906366102_1335968998_oBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is a New York Times bestselling Author and a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship who writes fiction and non-fiction. Lamott knows there is no better way to write than to sit down and do it, line by line. It does not matter that your first draft is “shitty,” all that matters is that you keep your eyes open and keep moving forward. She offers tips such as finding a writing partner and carrying around index cards to jot down fortuitous phrases. Bird by Bird encourages, instructs and inspires writers with blunt honesty and humour.

Pam’s Holiday Reading List
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Patricks Wing House Review!

Searching for rockin’ chicken wings in Midland? I recommend you look no further than the Original Wing House. Boasting over one hundred flavours of wings, from the sweetness of honey bbq to the explosive Texas homicide, from dry rubs to wings so messy you’ll need a stack of napkins, this place has your taste buds covered. Bring some friends and share a platter that lets you sample multiple flavours from all parts of the world, or get a combo and discover their salads and excellent fries. Enjoy your food in the laid back, casual atmosphere of the bar, or take the wings with you on the road or home to your TV. It’s all up to you.

They might be named for their wings, but that’s not the only way the Original Wing House knows how to serve chicken. Their wraps, sandwiches and quesadillas promise to satisfy any chicken lover. There are also vegetarian wraps and quesadillas, and sides ranging from onion rings to garlic bread to jalapeno poppers. No matter your tastes or mood, you will find a meal that hits the spot for a reasonable price that will not leave you hungry.

The staff here are polite and sociable. The first time I visited the Original Wing House and was understandably overwhelmed by the vast selection of flavours, the serving staff were ready and willing to answer my questions and provide recommendations based on what I was in the mood for. The garlic parmesan wings I ultimately went for were delicious and I can easily understand why they are one of their most popular choices. The service wasn’t the fastest, but I was regularly updated and was able to talk to serving staff while waiting for my order. I have not had problems with incorrect orders and the food was piping hot.

I recommend the Original Wing House to any chicken lover seeking a casual bar dining experience, or anybody who doesn’t mind waiting a little for takeout. They easily have the best chicken wings I have tasted in a long while and their meals are large enough to satisfy an empty stomach.

Patricks Wing House Review!
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Jason’s Top 5 Travel Destinations!

After visiting 44 countries, these are my favourites so far…

  1. Thailand – Inexpensive, awesome food, tons of cultural history, warm weather, lots of beaches, and a great place to party.  Most people in the tourism industry speak English well enough so it’s pretty easy to get around.  I spent a month in Thailand had a great time.  Best place was Railay (Rai Leh) Beach, just around the corner from Ao Nang which is a very scenic coast town on the Krabi coast that has a fun vibe, decent beaches, beautiful islands to kayak to and beautiful cliffs. http://wikitravel.org/en/Rai_Leh
  2. Italy – There are so many amazing places in Italy…  But Rome is likely my favourite place that I’ve been to in Europe.  The history is just mind boggling.  And there are so many ruins, cathedrals, museums, art galleries and other notable attractions.  Even if you only have a couple of days, a visit to the Colosseum, Forum and Vatican City are outstanding. http://wikitravel.org/en/Rome
  3. Nepal – A great place to experience the Indian Subcontinent without feeling as overwhelmed as visiting India itself.  The mountain tourism makes for some great tourist mecas in Kathmandu while still experiencing some of the Indian/Nepalese culture.  http://wikitravel.org/en/Kathmandu Then from there the tallest mountains in the world are at your fingertips!  Personally, I hiked to Everest Base Camp just to say that I did it, but I’ve heard that the Annapurna Circuit is the more scenic route. http://wikitravel.org/en/Everest_Base_Camp_Trek
  4. Czech Republic – Relatively inexpensive in European terms, castles on the scenic landscape, and Prague: one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with its rivers, historical streets and buildings (untouched by the world wars unlike most other European cities), and fun atmosphere.  I haven’t been here in almost 20 years but I was blown away by Prague’s beauty. http://wikitravel.org/en/Prague
  5. New Zealand – I had so much fun on the South Island of New Zealand.  Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world!  And with all the beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers, what better place.  I recommend the AJ Hackett Thrillogy (http://www.bungy.co.nz/) which involves 3 bungee jumps in different locations in one day!  And don’t miss all of the Lord of the Rings filming locations. http://wikitravel.org/en/Queenstown_(New_Zealand)

 

And for an added bonus, there’s one country that is at the top of my list of places I’d like to go:

  1. Norway – I have a love for mountains and scenic beauty and Norway happens to have an abundance of this.  From the photos and videos I’ve seen, the fjords that skirt the entire northern coast of Norway are beyond words.  The only downside (and the only reason I haven’t gone yet) is that you need a ton of time to travel it all and therefore is a quite costly trip to do it right.  It’ll happen… eventually… 
Jason’s Top 5 Travel Destinations!
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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. While the month may be drawing to a close, the benefits an inclusive workplace has in creating a prosperous Canada are present at all times of the year. Having an accessible website is just one way you can help ensure that people with disabilities have access to jobs, services, and information in your community. At Collaborative Haus, we are committed to designing high-quality websites that are accessible to everyone.

Patrick Bouchard – Developer

National Disability Employment Awareness Month
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#3 – The Need For Online Accessibility

Since its invention, the Internet has quickly grown from being a cutting edge tool for research and education to one of shared knowledge amongst the masses. In today’s fast paced interconnected world, it has become a vital part of everyday life, becoming even more so as technology advances. As the Internet has evolved from a luxury to a convenience to a necessity, so has the need for it to become accessible to everyone.

Individuals with disabilities also rely on the Internet throughout their daily lives. As the world continues to become increasingly digital, information is rapidly transitioned to electronic formats that computers and other communication devices can access.  Take printed newspapers for example; they posed a challenge to people who were blind, as well as individuals who had trouble physically holding or turning pages. Now, they are available online and digitally using accessible devices, as long as the organization’s website has been designed in a format that meets the current Accessibility Standards. This removes the barrier that previously existed, allowing people to independently keep up with local news in a format they can use.

If websites are not accessible, individuals with disabilities lose a convenient way of independently obtaining information. Many sites use images and flashy graphics, some have online games, and others have contests that require precise mouse clicks and timed actions. It is difficult for assistive technology devices to interpret this functionality, barring the users from equal participation. A site with tutorial videos which do not feature somebody describing the on-screen action, or a video with spoken content that is not conveyed visually or in text, prevents people with hearing or vision loss from being able to fully understand the message leaving many disabled persons at a distinct disadvantage.

There are other, more severe barriers resulting from poor accessibility. Some colleges and universities use online course management software designed without accessibility in mind. The relevant material in inaccessible images, audio only formats, non-standard buttons which do not respond to keyboard presses, unreasonable time constraints during tests, and animated content cause assistive devices to struggle with page focus.  These issues can prevent students with disabilities from independently completing their courses and obtaining good grades.

Online stores with poorly designed, inaccessible websites cause grief to disabled people as they are unable to complete their purchases. Inaccessible company websites make it difficult for some employees to be as productive as possible, which can result in them unjustly viewed as liabilities. Government forms and documents that are not accessible make it difficult for some to complete, requiring them to relinquish their privacy while somebody assists them with sensitive information.

All types of information lives on the Internet. To a person with disabilities, an inaccessible Internet is a barrier. Ensuring websites are accessible is the best way to ensuring that everybody can participate in today’s information-driven world.

#3 – The Need For Online Accessibility
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