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2005-12: Statement of Principle on Access to Information

In compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibit discrimination or unequal treatment based on disability, And in light of The Government of Canada having in place Legislation which ensures that information is made available in alternative Formats to make certain that people unable to read conventional print material have access to the same information available to the public, in accessible and useable formats;
 

And in accordance with NFB:AE Resolution 99-02, which states in part,

"7. NFB:AE members believe that, with appropriate training, education, and reasonable accommodation, individuals who are blind or otherwise vision impaired can function successfully in the community and can compete effectively in the workplace;
 

8. NFB:AE members expect the provision of information in various alternative formats--as a right, and not a ‘special need’--and that this right should be universally recognized."
 

The AEBC adopt the following principle:
 

All individuals unable to read conventional print material must have access to the same information available to the public, in accessible and useable formats.
 

This Principle presupposes the following corollaries:
 

1. The right must commence when a child who is blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted, like all children, begins to require written information. This would include basic educational toys and games, story books and electronic or computerized educational equipment. The child who is blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted must have the same rights and opportunities as all non-disabled children are given.
2. The right must continue throughout the life of any individual who is blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted, or who cannot use conventional print, until no longer needed. Such an adult must be guaranteed access to the same information available to all other members of the public. This is a basic right of full and equal citizenship and essential for any individual to develop and grow.
3. The alternate format must be the one most easily used by the individual and must always be the format chosen by each individual person. No one's needs
are exactly the same as another individual's.
4. Receipt by the individual of the appropriate alternate format must occur at the same time as the receipt of printed information by non-disabled members of the public. Receiving information after the fact or at a later date is not sufficient to ensure equal treatment of the individual who cannot utilize conventional print.
5. Cost must not be a consideration in determining appropriate alternate formats any more than cost affects regularly printed public information.

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