Over the past few months, I have had the privilege and the pleasure of attending several zoom conferences hosted by several Federal Government departments along with other entities. These have all been very enlightening for me; especially so when I have had to listen to the various entities explain why they need more time to complete commitments that have been on the table for more than a decade now.
For whereas I truly understand that the Covid choke hold as I call it has reaped tremendous havoc with human and financial resources for these entities, it still seems to be very concerning as to why these entities continue to use reasons, excuses, and everything else not to be able to fulfill their commitments to Canadians with disabilities.
I would respectfully submit that this drum continues to be beaten and I for one am not sure how we can find ways to change the tune to a happier and healthier one. It is very common knowledge that at the best of economic times and at the worst of economic times as well, the reasons and rhymes continue to be the same and I can only urge readers to think seriously about this.
The song that these entities continue to sing has the following verses:
“We don’t have the money to design and upgrade our hardware and software systems and processes in order to accommodate Canadians with disabilities.”
“It is not a priority at the present time as there are more pressing issues.”
“We are unable to justify these types of expenses due to an economic down turn.”
“We are asking for more time to complete our commitments but we do not know when we will either be able to complete them.”
“We need more time.”
The latest verse to be added to this song is this one.
“Covid has made it extremely difficult for us to complete our commitments. We are not in a financial position to complete them because of steep declines in our revenues.”
Let’s be honest here folks! We have never been a priority and will probably never be so unless and until an overdue and honest effort is made by all stake holders to change this very sad and sagging tune.
what makes this saga even sadder is this:
These entities continue to ask for our time to provide them with our hard earned knowledge and expertise and at the end of the day they go away with our knowledge and expertise and we are not financially compensated.
They make huge faux pas when they initiate fixes and changes without consulting us who are the experts on accessibility. Instead they go off on their own to consult others and pay them big bucks.
This needs to change sooner than later. We now have an accessible Canada Act in place and it is more than time that these entities grow up and realize that Canadians with disabilities are not going anywhere and as a matter of fact; with an aging population, our community is only going to grow and expand more robustly.
Just my two cents for today.
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