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Statistics Canada fails to make its surveys accessible to blind and deaf Canadians

Date: 
Thursday, February 9, 2012

Statistics Canada fails to make its surveys accessible to blind and deaf Canadians

 The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians today expressed its dismay over the way some blind participants have been treated by Statistics Canada during a recent international longitudinal survey focusing on employment, education, the use of technology, and volunteerism.  (International study on adults)

“It is shocking to know that this federal agency continues to turn a deaf ear to accessibility,” says Donna Jodhan, National President of the AEBC.  “Blind persons must not be deprived of their right to express their opinions through surveys.”

Richard Marion, Vice-President of the AEBC’s British Columbia Affiliate, was denied his right to accessibility after he agreed to take the survey as a randomly chosen participant.  “This is shocking and unacceptable!” he says.  “This does not make sense in light of the fact that Canada is one of the signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities.” 

 The AEBC is fully committed to ensuring that equal access for all Blind and deaf/blind Canadians is a given and is not to be treated as either a “nice to have” or as an accommodation. 

“We will be calling on Statistics Canada to develop policies and procedures to ensure that surveys are accessible to everyone,” says Jodhan.  “it is important that their survey results reflect the entirety of the population, and excluding persons who are blind, or those who are deaf, or any other group, doesn’t accomplish that.”

About the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians

The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), is a national organization of Canadians who are blind, deaf-blind, and partially-sighted persons. The AEBC is in its 20th year and continues to advocate for the recognition, legitimization, and protection of the rights of its members as outlined under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 CONTACT:

Cindy Ferguson, National Secretary

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians / L’Alliance pour l’égalite des personnes aveugle

1-800-561-4774 - cferguson@blindcanadians.ca

 

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