This is a question that continues to be asked along with pleas for something to be done before something really horrible takes place. To answer my own question! When alternate formats are unavailable to blind/vision impaired Canadians or any other blind/vision impaired person around the world for that matter; here is what happens!
Our right to independence, privacy, and confidentiality is being trampled upon and why? Because we need to depend on someone else, preferably someone with vision to read a printed document to us. This means that we need to depend wholly on someone that we trust to keep safe our privacy and confidentiality.
When there is no alternate format available, it means that we need to depend on someone else to read the printed document to us and this is a blatant violation of our rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights. Why? Because as stated above; we are being denied our basic rights.
Just think of this! As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and no two persons will read the same document in the same way. So no matter what; if we were to ask more than one person to read a document to us, we will never be able to determine the complete accuracy of the reading.
Each time a medical professional presents a blind/vision impaired person with any sort of form; requisition, diagnosis, or prescription or anything else in printed format, it means that the person is forced to find someone to read it to them. What happens then if the person reading the form inadvertently misses out some important information that can prove to be vital?
Each time that a bank statement, utility bill, or important legal documents are presented to a blind/vision impaired person in printed format, it means that once again rights are being disrespected and not being recognized.
There are some companies that have been making progress to having their forms be made available in alternate formats but much more needs to be done. The medical profession in particular needs to do more to improve this situation as they continue to be woefully guilty of not doing anywhere near enough.
Just my two cents for today.
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