Two years ago, Donna Jodhan embarked on a very difficult mission to challenge the federal government to make their websites more accessible to Canadians who have a print disability; in particular to blind and vision-impaired Canadians. Donna launched a Charter challenge after years of not being able to convince government to work with her and other stakeholders to make their websites more accessible.

The case is ongoing. And so is Donna's determination to continue what she knew would be a long and difficult fight for better employment opportunities and equal access to information. In her own words: "I am here because others before me fought very hard to make things better for my generation so now it is up to me and my fellow blind and vision-impaired Canadians to continue the fight."

Her struggle began in 2000, when Donna started her quest for job opportunities within the Public Service Commission but quickly discovered that the websites were extremely inaccessible to Canadians who are blind and vision-impaired. Her appeals for help to officials within the Public Service Commission and the Treasury Board Secretariat were in vain and she quickly found herself as a one-person advocate trying to convince the government that they needed to make their websites more accessible.

Then in 2005, after Donna was refused the right to write an exam in Braille by a high profile federal department, she took her complaint to the Federal Human Rights Commission. This long, arduous, and frustrating process only ended this year when the complaint was settled in Donna's favour.

Donna did not hesitate to take on these challenges. She is not intimidated and has spent many hours working tirelessly alongside her lawyers and experts refusing to give in.

Donna's resolve to improve accessibility and to break down barriers to job opportunities is inspirational. But in her modest words, she says: "My objective was solely to help make a difference in the lives of my fellow blind and vision-impaired Canadians. Nothing more."

Nominated by: Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians


Here are just a few of the responses we have received.


The Canadian National Institute of the Blind

1929 Bayview Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8

I would like to commend Donna Jodhan of Sterling Creations for her valuable contribution to the CNIB’s Web Accessibility Review of the Psychiatric Patient Advocacy Office (PPAO) website.  The PPAO provides advocacy services to individual patients, addresses facility-based or provincial systemic issues impacting on patients' rights, rights advice services, public and health care professional education through speaking engagements, publishing reports and media releases.  In order to ensure that all Ontarians had complete access to their information and services provided through their website, the PPAO contracted the CNIB to review the accessibility of their website from the perspective of blind and visually impaired users.  The CNIB chose to partner with Sterling Creations because of Donna Jodhan’s long history and expertise in the area of accessible technology.

Donna played a key role in managing the usability test portion of the project.  Through intuitive testing design and thorough, in-depth interviewing of test subjects, Donna effectively captured the blind and visually impaired user experience of the PPAO website.  Her valuable insight into accessibility issues was the foundation of many of the recommendations presented in the final report to the PPAO.  Based on the report, the PPAO has made several positive changes to their website to enhance not only the accessibility but also the usability of the website for blind or visually impaired consumers.

Sterling Creations provides service in a professional manner and deliverables of high quality.  I would highly recommend Donna Jodhan and Sterling Creations to any organization whose objective it is to provide accessible, inclusive products and services for their consumers.

Robert Eichvald
National Coordinator of Employment Services, CNIB


Government of Canada logo Office For Disability Issues (ODI)

Office for Disability Issues (ODI) of Social Development Canada (SDC) is managing a five year project which aims at setting up web-based interactive networks of persons having common interests, for example, researchers, organizational leaders etc. In order to ensure that the web-based collaborative tool we will use is W3C compliant and accessible to persons experiencing various barriers, we ran some detailed tests on three different tools. Including persons with various disabilities in these tests ensures measuring true accessibility.

Extensive researching and testing of the three collaborative tools was done, whereby test plans, test guides, surveys and test environments were created to coincide with each collaborative tool. Testing was then organized with selected participants; Donna being one of them. Donna tested the software tools by communicating, collaborating, posting messages, checking, exchanging and managing information within all the main areas of each collaborative tool. By following the Test Guide, she looked at what she could perform and achieve with each tool and determined if the tools met the needs of people with her disability. This was completed by moving electronically from area to area in the software and working within each. The tools directed Donna to a survey of questions that she completed as well as adding comments and suggestions relating to the functionality, accessibility and user-friendliness of each software tool tested.

Donna's participation in testing the accessibility of the software tolls was one of utmost professionalism. Her testing, with the use of the test guides, was very meticulous and extensive. the testing phases and survey documents were completed not only on time but with detailed, knowledgeable insight of her analysis of the collaborative tools. We would certainly consider working with Donna in the future.

Beverley Saindon of the Office for Disability Issues Ottawa Canada
Technical Advisor
Office For Disability Issues (ODI)
Special Projects

One Stop logo One Stop Internet Solutions Inc.

Sterling Creations provided us with their expertise in effective writing. They have written well over 60 very effective articles on various subject matters that we use in our business. Their unique writing skill and finesse was what prompted us to seek their services, not to mention their professionalism. Each subject was thoroughly researched and well written. Our readers have found the articles very interesting to read and informative. We have gotten some really amazing responses from our customers. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Sterling Creations and a special thank you to Donna Jodhan for writing these wonderful articles for us. Good Luck! and keep up the GREAT WORK!

One Stop Internet Solutions Inc.


Aikon logo Aikon Publishing Company

Donna of Sterling Creations has done some work for us and has proven to be really good at what she does. Her skills as a writer are unparalleled in the writing industry. Donna's unique writing ability first caught our attention through some articles she had written. We knew at that moment that she had the insight and savvy to create wonderful works of literature on any subject matter.

We have utilized Donna's greatest strength and forged a very satisfying business relationship involving the creation of books both in e-book and hardcopy for sale through our online bookstore. The results have been electrifying and have resulted in the publication of 2 books and over 90 articles.

We highly recommend Donna to anyone who seeks to capitalize on her strength as a writer. She has the uncanny ability to keep her readers glued to her books. Our business success is the direct result of Donna's skill as a writer, her enthusiasm and her excellent work habits.

Aikon Publishing Company


Personal Testimonial

I could not have done this without your service. I am very impressed with your professionalism and the high level of translation/transcription that you offer. Many thanks.

Susan Artis


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