Based on the continuing actions on the part of several Federal Government entities and others; I am wondering out loud today as to whether or not the blind and vision impaired community should be thinking of themselves as the forgotten ones?
Certainly, this seems to be the perception out here and I am happy to provide a few examples.
Example 1: The Canadian Transportation Agency is hosting a two days conference in Toronto in June of this year. The conference is going to focus on how Airlines deal with mobility aids on board their aircrafts plus other related topics. The needs and requirements of blind and vision impaired persons seem to have been either left out or forgotten. This subject is of great interest to those who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, and other types of mobility devices. We can only hope that the CTA will decide to host a similar conference that focuses on such things as guide dogs, and the needs and requirements of persons who are blind and vision impaired in the not too distant future.
Example 2: If we take a close examination of the forms that the folks at the Wheeltrans transportation company in Toronto send out to applicants we will quickly discover that nowhere in this form do they ask questions pertaining to the needs and requirements of blind and vision impaired passengers and in addition; blind and vision impaired persons are forced to identify themselves in the category labelled as sensory. I find this troubling and wonder if once more, the needs of blind and vision impaired persons have been somehow forgotten or missed?
Example 3: The Greater Toronto Airport Authority seems to be extremely proud of the newly instituted check in kiosks at Pearson International Airport as they say that these kiosks can now be used by persons with mobility needs but alas! They cannot be used by persons who are blind and vision impaired and why? Because blind and vision impaired persons cannot operate these kiosks on their own. They need sighted assistance because
these kiosks have not been outfitted with screen reading technology to enable those who are blind and vision impaired to hear what is on the screen and to be able to hear their input when they enter their info.
I think that by now you are getting the picture.
Just my two cents for today.