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A Yellowknife Woman's Torturous Bathroom Trip, and Ensuing Legal Battle

A Yellowknife woman with multiple sclerosis suffered a "humiliating experience" and was discriminated against by the N.W.T. legislative assembly when she raised concerns about the building's lack of automatic door openers, only to become trapped in a bathroom two years later partlybecause anopenerstill hadn't been installed.That was the decision Thursdayof Adrian Wright, theadjudicator rulingon a human rights complaint Elizabeth Portman filed against the legislative assembly in 2013.In aoftensternly-worded ruling, Wright foundthat, in its delayed response to Portman's concerns about the heavy wooden door to the washroom for disabled persons, the assembly "reacted as though it was wrong of [Portman] to raise these issues and to push them to resolution."All this has caused her to suffer injury to feelings, dignity and self-respect," he concluded.Portman has declined to comment on her victory, her third human rights triumph in two months. (Another ruling, also released last week, centred partly on accessibility issues at the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool in Yellowknife.)N.W.T. legal aid's refusal to help human rights complainants 'systematically discriminating'But the N.W.T. Disabilities Council is praising Portman for bringing the issue to light, and for representing herself in what can be an intimidating process for those like Portman who can't afford a lawyer."I would hope in the future that a resolution is possible without having to have legal action as the thread to make a barrier addressed," said Denise McKee, the council's executive director. $10Kin damagesWright has ordered the assembly to pay Portman $10,000 in damages by the end of October."The legislative assembly accepts the decision of the adjudication panel and will comply with it fully," Speaker Jackson Lafferty said in a press release Tuesday."This has been a valuable learning experience and one that has resulted in significant improvements to the accessibility of our building by all members of the public. I sincerely regret that Ms. Portman suffered the indignity that she did in 2013."A representative of the assemblydeclined to take part in an interview.'No one else was saying anything' Automatic door openers were finally installed in 2014, following a number of earlier renovations, some spurred by Portman's concerns. All told, the assembly has spent $315,000 to remove barriers in the building.But as Portman argued, the remedy for that doorcame too late.Portman first raised a host of issues about accessibility with the sergeant at arms, Brian Thagard, in the summer of 2011.She had recently watched a man with two canes struggle into his seat in the publicgallery, because the gallery (at the time) had no open-faced seats."It was a crystallizing moment," said Portman during her testimony in a cramped room at a Yellowknife seniors home last May, with one of her legs propped up on an upturned garbage can."No one else was saying anything."She noticed other things at the assembly, too: People in wheelchairs were being confined to the back right side of the gallery, instead of being integrated with the rest of the gallery;There was no nearby seating for companions of people in wheelchairs;The glass doors leading to the downstairs cafeteria and washrooms looked too narrow. (She was right: the doors weren't as wide as the 2010 National Building Code called for.);And, as her follow-up email to Thagard put it, the door to the washroom for disabled people was "very heavy" and "does not come equipped with an automatic door opener.""In my experience, it's just a genuine oversight," she said of those shortcomings."I didn't get that feeling [here]."Trapped in the bathroomA month after Portman's email to Thagard, the assembly called on Pin/Taylor Architects, the Yellowknife-based company that designed the building, to look into whether the areas Portman identified met the building code of the day."The fact that the legislative assembly went back to a designer who had designed a building with barriers in place, that's nuts," said Portman. Pin/Taylor echoedPortman's email, writing that the "wooden door appears a little bit heavy to open."But using "rudimentary equipment," according to Thagard, the firm ultimately decided the pressure required to open the door was not enough to warrant a change to the door or its hardware.Two years later, on Nov. 16, 2013, Portman found out very differently.Portman, who was on crutches because of a broken foot, was attending a meeting at the assembly. On a bathroom break, she struggled to open the door.So she opted for the women's washroom.The toilet stall didn't have a grab bar, however, forcing her - after several panicked minutes duringwhich her mind raced and her legs went numb - to prop herself up using the bottom of the stall door.Portman nearly lost her balance several times and worried that, it being a Saturday, she would wind up trapped inside the washroom over the weekend.She ultimately managed to wring her way out of the washroom, but, looking back on the experience during her testimony, said it "was without dignity."What took so long?Why did it take Portman's experience to prompt the assembly to install automatic door openers?During his testimony, Tim Mercer, the clerk of the legislative assembly, cited a number of (pre-bathroom episode) reasons for the delay.He said the assembly wanted to make the change at the same time it installed a lock-down system, but that the latter initiative didn't receive support until after the October 2014 Parliament shooting in Ottawa.Mercer also said the assembly hadn'treceived anycomplaints about people not being able to access the building since itopenedin 1993.McKee of the disabilities council says her organization has not received such complaints, either.But she'squick to add: "That doesn't mean, in any way, shape or form, that individuals had not experienced difficulty."Assembly 'should not have waited'Wright, the adjudicator, didn't buy the assembly's reasoning for the delay."The [assembly] cannot use the apparent absence of previous complaints as a reason to not properly investigate concerns when raised," he wrote.Wright added that when the N.W.T.'s Human Rights Act came into effect in 2004, the assembly should have taken a proactive look at whether the building posed any barriers to people with disabilities. "[The assembly] should not have waited for acomplaint or, as it appears to have done here, determined one complaint was not sufficient to fully investigate whether the building was reasonably accessible to disabled persons," he wrote.The assembly has widened doors, added companion seating for people in wheelchairs, and madesure some seats in the public gallery remain open for those with crutches. It'salso giving its staff "human rights and duty to accommodate training" starting next month."As the 'Place of the People,' the legislative assembly should be accessible to all residents of the Northwest Territories," according to the assembly's Tuesday press release. But Portman is not as hopeful: during her testimony last spring, she said she never wants to step footinside the legislative assembly again.

A Yellowknife Woman's Torturous Bathroom Trip, and Ensuing Legal Battle 1

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Problems of Phased Array Ground Penetrating Radar Detection System
Although GPR has been widely used in hydrology, engineering, environment and other fields, many basic theoretical and technical problems have not been fundamentally solved, so the real advantages of GPR have not been brought into full play.The main problems existing in GPR technology include:1) The detection depth is shallow, and the contradiction between detection depth and resolution cannot be overcome. Increasing detection depth means sacrificing detection resolution;2) Multiple spread and other clutter jamming are serious, and there has been no good elimination method, which exists in radars at home and abroad;3) The influence of medium unevenness is great and can not be eliminated, resulting in difficulty in obtaining necessary velocity data;4) The data collection method of single sending and single receiving can provide limited information for post-processing and interpretation.The above problems are fatal defects for GPR. Although many geophysicists, electromagnetic experts and geophysical workers have done a lot of research and improvement on radar antenna design, signal processing and underground target imaging, these works are only partial modifications to the existing GPR system. In order to develop GPR technology, we must update our ideas and solve the problems from the fundamental principle.In view of this situation, experts proposed to develop a new GPR system - phased array GPR detection system in 1999.The basic research idea is to replace the current monopole radar antenna with the phased array radar antenna by using the relatively mature military phased array radar technology. Its purpose is to gather the electromagnetic wave into a narrow beam to transmit underground (or detection object) through the phased array technology, and receive the radar echo signal reflected by the target by using the multi-channel acquisition technology, The advanced data processing is carried out, and finally the three-dimensional image of the internal structure of the detection object is given.Development prospect of ground penetrating radar technologyIt is worth noting that at present, similar products have appeared in the market, such as RIS antenna array series of a company, but these products simply combine multiple monopole antennas into array antennas, which is essentially different from the idea of phased array ground penetrating radar.Because the phased array radar converges the electromagnetic wave into a narrow beam by controlling the phase delay of each channel, the energy is concentrated and the wave front diffusion is small. Therefore, the detection depth of the phased array radar is much larger under the condition of the same frequency and transmission power; On the contrary, under the same detection depth, phased array radar can improve the transmission power, so its resolution is much higher than the existing radar. In addition, since the spherical wave transmission is changed to beam transmission, the influence of medium heterogeneity is much smaller.Secondly, the phased array radar works in a continuous scanning mode and can scan in multiple directions. Therefore, the amount of information is much larger than that of the existing ground penetrating radar. For some special detection work, such as the quality detection of embankment cut-off wall, its role is unmatched by the existing ground penetrating radar (monopole antenna radar can not detect the joints, forks and other defects of embankment cut-off wall at all).Because phased array radar is a multi-channel received signal, multi-channel superposition can be carried out, just like the multiple coverage technology of reflection seismic exploration. Therefore, multiple interference can be greatly eliminated, which is difficult for existing radars. The antenna of high frequency (600mhz-1ghz) phased array ground penetrating radar can be made smaller, and its advantages are unmatched by the existing ground penetrating radar in shallow detection.At present, the system prototype has been completed. The carrier free pulse working system with center frequency of 900MHz is adopted, and the transmitting and receiving antennas are separated. 16 (4 × 4) Transmit channel forming, beam aggregation and scanning 16 (4) × 4) The channel receives the echo, and the optional scanning angles are - 36 °, - 24 °, - 12 °, 0 °, 12 °, 24 ° and 36 °.The software part of the system has rich data processing functions. The main conventional processing includes filtering, gain adjustment, static and dynamic correction, deconvolution, complex signal analysis, time-frequency analysis, etc., and multi-channel data processing, such as velocity analysis, superposition technology, coherence analysis technology, array signal processing, etc. And weak signal extraction, target automatic recognition and inversion interpretation under various clutter interference. A large number of field experiments on concrete detection in Yichang Three Gorges dam are carried out. The experimental results show that the spotlight scanning function of phased array radar has been realized, the penetration depth is greater than 1.5m and the resolution is higher than that of ordinary radar.Editing: hfy
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A Yellowknife Woman's Torturous Bathroom Trip, and Ensuing Legal Battle
Problems of Phased Array Ground Penetrating Radar Detection System
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PLEASE HELP ME CHOOSE a VIDEO CAMERA!?
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