Blind Canadians Applaud Decision in Landmark Website Access Case
“Blind persons all across Canada join in celebrating the landmark decision in Donna Jodhan’s victory in her Charter of Rights case against the federal government for its failure to provide “equal access to, and benefit from, government information and services provided online to the public,”” says Robin East, President of the nationwide Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.
This Charter challenge was all about access to information and usability of federal information and websites.
“It is very regrettable that rights holders of Canada were forced to go to court and fight to gain access to information. This should not be an issue in 2010,” added East. “Blind, partially sighted, and deaf-blind Canadians must not be closed off from accessing Government information forms and applications.”
“I launched this case for all blind Canadians and for the kids of the future,” says a jubilant Donna Jodhan upon hearing of the successful outcome of her case.
“Blind Canadians want to be able to access information on websites independently and privately, just as our sighted counterparts can,” added Jodhan. “Today an increasing number of job applications and purchases are carried out electronically, and we must not be left on the sidelines,” added Jodhan.
“We hope this decision will send a signal to all website designers and organizations that it is time that accessibility gets included in all websites,” said John Rae, 1st Vice President of the AEBC.”It is time that governments used taxpayers dollars to remove barriers to our equal participation in society rather than wasting time and money fighting individual Canadians with disabilities like Jodhan,” added Rae.
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is a national organization of rights holders who are blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted whose work focuses on improving public attitudes and providing input on public policy issues that affect the lives of members of ourcommunity. For further background, visit our fully accessible website, www.blindcanadians.ca.
For interviews, please contact:
Robin East, President, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), 306-934-1547
John Rae, 1st Vice President, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), 416-941-1547
Donna Jodhan, 2nd Vice President, AEBC and complainant: 416-497-7306