The third party syndrome part two – who’s listening?

Over the years as an advocate I have seen where entities of all sizes use the defence of the third party syndrome as I describe it.  It is a defence where whenever an entity is asked to defend its actions, they defer or deflect the complainant’s  complaint to the actions of their third party company.

In the case of testing centres, this type of defence seems to be growing at a rapid rate.  Last year, I personally became a victim trapped in this web when I attempted to discuss this issue with a large international corporation.  Their somewhat weak defence was that their third party testing centre was responsible for making exams accessible to those who were blind and vision impaired  but alas!  When I approached said testing centre their even weaker defence was that they had tested their system through the use of blind/vision impaired testers and did not need to do anything more.

Upon further pressing, they could not give me a satisfactory explanation of how their testing was carried out and when I offered to provide my professional services to help them identify glaring accessibility glitches and to assist them in fixing them, they wanted me to sign a non disclosure agreement but were not willing to pay me.

A non disclosure agreement would have been most acceptable and understandable but to have asked me to do this and not having been willing to compensate me for my time was most unacceptable.

Fast forward to today and fairly recently I was made aware that a third party testing centre out in British Columbia is being identified as one that is not providing accessible exams to blind/vision impaired persons wishing to take the language proficiency test in order to become a permanent resident of Canada.

This testing centre is housed at the University of British Columbia and administers these tests on behalf of the department of Immigration Canada.  I am not very sure if this department is aware of this glaring glitch and if it is not then I hope that they are made aware.

What concerns me about this circumstance is that it appears that this testing centre seems to be totally oblivious of what its obligations need to be and in light of the accessible Canada Act, it is even more ironic that this testing centre is representing a Federal Government department.

I can only hope that someone is listening and will take this matter up the ladder.

Just my two cents for today.

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