Sunday, September 19, 2010

Inaccessible Federal Websites Challenged Under Canada's Charter

Donna Jodhan, a visually-impaired Toronto internet accessibility professional, has brought suit against Canada's federal government. She claims the government's failure to make certain websites usable by the visually impaired constitutes a breach of her Charter equality protections:

“The Internet is something that is liberating to everybody — but not to blind and visually impaired Canadians,” she said in an interview. “Canada used to be at the top when it came to accessibility 10 years ago. It’s way down the list now.”

On Tuesday, Jodhan will argue in federal court that her inability to apply for a position on the federal jobs website or complete the online version of the 2006 Census breached her equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

She will also argue that this violation and her ongoing inability to access the government’s online information and services constitute a breach against all blind and partially sighted Canadians, said Jodhan’s lawyer David Baker.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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