The right to privacy
Greetings! I’m Christian Robicheau, assistant editor of writing services at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
Today, I am pleased to be back with you after a nice long break and it’s time for me to introduce an editorial by our president Donna J. Jodhan. Today, Donna talks about the right to privacy for blind and partially sighted Canadians.
I wish you a great day and weekend.
The right to privacy
I do not believe that anyone would find it difficult to understand why it should be no different when it comes to the matter of blind and sight impaired persons demanding the right to privacy. For after all, everyone these days is demanding it. when it comes to being able to keep our personal information private, our banking details hidden from prying eyes, and everything else that one deems to be personal hidden from those ever potential dangerous scammers and schemers, everyone has the right to demand and receive total privacy.
So much so that when I phone a customer service line and request that information be sent to me in a format that I can read, I expect it to be sent to me in my requested format; Braille, or in an electronic format that I can read. I do not expect that a call taker or service rep would offer to send it to me in printed format nor do I expect them to tell me that I should ask a sighted neighbor, friend, or family member to read it to me. Nor do I expect them to tell me that I can get sighted assistance to help me complete forms that contain my personal information.
Under the Canadian Charter of rights, all Canadians are guaranteed equal access to information; on the Internet, by phone, and in any other medium that is available. Sending me forms in printed format does not guarantee my privacy; it infringes on my privacy and discriminates against me. Asking me to complete a form in PDF format is also discriminating against my privacy because as a rule of thumb, blind and sight impaired persons are unable to interact with forms and files that are in PDF formats.
I can almost guarantee you that if for some reason, a sighted person were somehow asked to share their information with a stranger, they would strongly object and in essence this is what happens each time we are asked to seek sighted assistance when it comes to customer service departments either unwilling or unable to provide us with forms and/or information in alternate formats. For those of you who are not too familiar with the term alternate formats; these formats apply to information and/or forms being provided to the sight impaired in any of the following formats: Braille, large print, electronic text that excludes PDF, and audio.
It is time for the blind and sight impaired community in Canada to start pushing harder for all forms of government as well as for federally and provincially regulated agencies and companies to provide us with forms and information in alternate formats. Anything less is a direct infringement to our privacy and under the Canadian Charter of Rights, this is illegal.