Will the Canadian Government be able to keep their promise? We wait and hold our breaths

This is the million dollar question as we wait and watch anxiously and with the fast approach of spring our anxiety and expectation can only grow.  This the timeline that the Canadian Government has set for the passage of the Accessible Canada Act.

So what is this question?

Simply put!  The Canadian Government has promised to hire 5,000 persons with a disability within five years after the Accessible Canadian Act has been passed.  This works to about one thousand persons annually.

This indeed is an extremely generous promise but there are very legitimate concerns about this that are very important especially so to the blind and vision impaired community.  It is all about a well known concern that about 95% of internal systems; both hardware and software systems are not accessible or usable to blind and vision impaired Government employees.

Coupled with this is a growing concern that several internal Government board and committees do not have any blind and vision impaired members as sitting members.  This means that the voices of blind and vision impaired persons are probably not being heard loudly enough.

The other piece to this picture is this:  In order to be able to fully understand the needs and requirements of the blind and vision impaired committee, we need to have more representation on boards and committees.  If internal surveys and forms continue to be circulated in an inaccessible format then it means that the message is either not being heard or understood or maybe and just maybe our message is being ignored?  Or could it be that the message is simply not filtering down from the Minister to the troops on the ground?

Whatever the reasons; there are very tangent and legitimate concerns for let us consider this:  If at the present time internal systems are not accessible to and usable by blind and vision impaired employees; then how would the Government propose to make this an equal playing field for all persons with all disabilities?

Let us add to this the important piece of accessible websites and accessible and usable online forms.  Blind and vision impaired persons simply cannot compete on an equal footing if these pieces are not in place and the needs and requirements of said community cannot be understood if legitimate reps are not at the various round tables, committees and other decision making entities.  Asking persons with other disabilities to represent the interests of blind and vision impaired persons will not work.

Just my two cents for today.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.