March 1, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
When the report, “Medical Assistance in Dying: A Patient-Centred Approach” was released last week, “I was anxious to read it, as CCD has been very active in this issue,” says John Rae, Second Vice Chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. “But, to my surprise, it was released only in an inaccessible PDF version that I could not read, and this discriminates against me and all Canadians who cannot read conventional print,” added Rae.
Sharlyn Ayotte, First Vice President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians added, “More and more information is being made available electronically and over the internet, and Canadians who are blind must have equal access to this growing range of information to participate fully and inform our decisions.”
James Hicks, National Coordinator of CCD said, “The death with dignity question is a hot issue throughout Canada, and all Canadians, including Canadians who are blind, must be able to participate fully in this critical debate.”
Rae and Ayotte are considering the possibility of filing human rights complaints, but the conclusion of the Committee’s work may make this difficult.
In the Jodhan case, the Federal Court of Appeal reaffirmed that the Government of Canada violates constitutional equality rights when it posts inaccessible information on its websites.
James Hicks, National Coordinator, Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Tel: 343-291-1118 or Cell: 613-620-3605.
Sharlyn Ayotte, First Vice President, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, Tel: 613-730-1694.
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a national organization of people with disabilities, working for an accessible and inclusive Canada. The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians is a national grassroots, peer support organization that comprises Canadians who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted and our supporters from the public at large. We work to ensure we have a voice on all matters affecting our participation in Canada’s mainstream society.