Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Walk a mile in my shoes

This is usually the tack that I take whenever I feel that someone does not quite understand my world. Whenever someone challenges me to explain why it was necessary for me to have sued the Canadian Government over their inaccessible websites, my response is: Walk a mile in my shoes and see what it is like.

For the mainstream person, it is easy for them to gain access to information on the Internet if they have access to a computer and Internet connections. For us as blind persons, it is not that easy. Several additional components must be in place in order for things to work for us.

First, we need to have access technology installed on our computers. What is access technology? The software that enables us to hear what is on the screen or software that enlarges the text on the screen. Or software that enables us to communicate with our computer via Braille.

Next, we need to be able to communicate with websites through the use of our access technology and if websites are not configured so that this communication can take place, then, in a word, we are sunk. In short, websites need to be designed so that we can all read and communicate with web content, forms, and files.

We are living in a society whereby we depend on information to help us make decisions, keep up to date on the latest happenings, plus much more. So here is the question of the day: How would you feel if you were unable to read information on the Internet? Chances are you would be extremely unhappy and you would eventually do something about it, and this is exactly what I did.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan, your friendly accessibility advocate, wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and share my blogs with others. Visit www.bakerlaw.ca to learn more about why I sued the Canadian Government over their inaccessible websites.

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