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2003-12: Government of Canada Access to Information

Whereas, The Government of Canada is committed to become the most connected country in the world by 2005, with all citizens able to access services on-line at a time and place of their choosing; and

Whereas, Both Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibit discrimination on the ground of disability; and

Whereas, The Government of Canada has in place Federal Legislation Bill C-78, to ensure that information is made available in alternative Formats to ensure that people unable to read conventional print material have access to the same information available to the public, in accessible and useable formats; and

Whereas: The 1997 Supreme Court decision on the Eldridge case, states clearly that Government has the responsibility to ensure that the obligations of governments are incorporated into any third party agreements: and

Whereas: The Government of Canada has legislated accessibility on all it's internet sites stated in the Checklist for Common Look and Feel Standards and Guidelines for the Internet, standard 1.1; and

Whereas: "All GoC Web sites must comply with W3C Priority 1 and Priority 2 checkpoints to ensure sites can be easily accessed by the widest possible audience"; and

Whereas: The W3C's guidelines priority 3 is listed as a best practice for publication of information on any Government of Canada internet site; and

Whereas: Common Look and Feel standard 1.1 requires Government of Canada Web Sites to comply with the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative, Priority 1 and Priority 2 checkpoints; and

Whereas, Numerous websites under the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada continue to provide content which uses files such as those in PDF as primary distribution formats, thus posing major accessibility barriers to persons using a screen reader;

Therefore be it resolved that NFB:AE actively advocate and promote that all information provided by the Government of Canada on their internet sites comply fully with their own legislation and policies, and ensure that the Government of Canada not evade their Charter responsibilities by implementing policy through the vehicle of private arrangements with either for profit or non-profit entities.

Be it further resolved that: The NFB:AE actively advocate to ensure that full accessibility criteria be built in to the terms and conditions of all Crown Corporations, and new government contracts for programs, services and technology Procurement thereby ensuring that access to information is main streamed and available to all Canadians regardless of the method by which this information, program or service is accessed.

Be it finally resolved that the NFB:AE undertake research to attempt to gather sufficient evidence to support an organizational complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission against the Government of Canada for Its failure to comply fully with its obligations and policies.

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