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It is not mine alone to win but ours not to lose

It is not very often that one gets an opportunity to go head to head with the government of their country and it is not something that is for the faint of heart.  I have always known this and as I sit here contemplating the latest developments in my charter challenge, I can only tell you that the one thing that keeps me going is this:  Belief!  I believe in what I have been doing since 2006 and if I had to do it all over again then I surely would.  I have never sought any monetary compensation or any personal gain for myself; it is all for our blind, sight impaired, deaf/blind, and print disabled kids of the future and for our community as a whole.

On November 29 2010, Judge Michael Kelyn handed down a landmark decision when he ordered the Federal Government to make all of their websites accessible within 15 months and he retained jurisdiction over the auditing process of his decision.  It was a landmark victory for me and my supporters.  I was humbled, delighted, and excited and at the same time I did not view this as a defeat for the Canadian Government.  Rather, I viewed it as a wake-up call for them to work with blind, sight impaired, deaf/blind, and print disabled Canadians to make their websites equally accessible to all. 

On January 10 2011, the Canadian Government filed an appeal in response to Judge Kelyn’s landmark decision.  The Canadian Government has decided to appeal the Judge's entire decision.  This is probably one of the saddest days for blind, sight impaired, deaf/blind, and print disabled Canadians.  For not only has the government gone against the very laws that it coined in its charter of rights, it has also contradicted the spirit of its signing of the United Nations treaty on the rights of disabled persons which it ratified in March of 2010.

This seems to indicate a complete lack of respect for the law by our esteemed government and in addition; it may also be perceived to be that the government probably views us as nothing more than second class citizens.

In an economy where the government continues to preach restraint, it continues to waste precious financial resources on court cases that should never have come to court in the first place.  What is most confusing is that this government does not seem to mind spending your money and my money when it comes to preventing a specific group of Canadians from claiming and protecting their legitimate rights. 

I am shocked to see that this is happening!  I am saddened that this government would seemingly go out of their way to continue to defy their very own laws and I am deeply troubled that they continue to do this despite the fact that the court has ruled that my rights as a Canadian were violated under the charter of rights. 

Words cannot really express my feelings as I sit writing this article with snowflakes silently racing down my window panes.  Feelings of great sadness, disappointment, surprise, and a deep sentiment of shock and shame for a government that continues to blatantly ignore the rights of blind, sight impaired, deaf/blind, and print disabled Canadians. 

As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, and as sure as the snow will always fall in January, I and my supporters will never give up!  We are here to stay and we are here to ensure that the future for our community will be protected no matter what.  We must not give up!  We must fight to ensure that all print disabled kids can look forward to an

Internet where accessibility is a reality and not just a nice to have.

From the bottom of my heart; I thank all of you for your support!  To the AEBC, the CWDO, ARCH, Balance, the CCD, the CNIB, and the rest!  Thank you!

Disclaimer:

This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.
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