If I had to be most honest with myself, I would say that I have learned that over the past year, some things have not changed, while some have changed.
What has changed for 2019? So we now have an accessible Canada Act! Great news for our beloved country and now our fingers are crossed that this piece of legislation will be the card to help push federally regulated companies along with federal government departments to follow the rules and regulations of said legislation. We can only hope and pray that this is the dawning of a new era in Canada when it comes to being able to say that yes! And finally! Canada has entered into a new era of accessibility.
What has also changed is that Ontario’s Conservative government has found it necessary to enforce deep and concerning cuts across the board that are affecting such things as education, health, and legal services. Unfortunately, changes that should probably not be considered as positive.
What has not changed? That blind and vision impaired Canadians continue to be left out of various round tables and consultations on vital topics that directly relate to the daily lives of blind and vision impaired Canadians. This group’s voice continues to be ignored by organizations for and of persons with other types of disabilities and even by organizations for the blind and vision impaired.
What else has not changed? That there are groups out there that expect persons with a disability to impart their knowledge for free. However I must say that this is slowly changing for the better but not quickly enough in my humble opinion.
What else has not changed? That there are still organizations out there who believe that it is their responsibility to speak on behalf of those with disabilities. Or that it is their right to enable and allow mainstream entities to produce products and services and websites for use by persons with disabilities without even having the courtesy to include input from persons with disabilities.
What else has not changed? That when government gives grants to an organization to take the lead in forming coalitions of like minded groups; said organization often fails to pay invitees or participants for their input choosing instead to not have the money trickle down to participants.
What else has not changed? That when organizations receive hefty grants to develop apps that would benefit all Canadians, sadly enough; the needs and requirements of blind and vision impaired persons are still being ignored.
What else has not changed? That Canada still has the same Prime Minister but he is now governing in a minority position. Britain is still fretting over Brexit and how to deal with it and political turmoil continues to reign in the United States.
Just my two cents for today.