The Experiences of Blind Canadians in the Federal Public Service

Kimberly Dhaliwal, MADR Candidate
School of Public Administration
University of Victoria
March 2017

Project Client:
Eric Diotte, Senior Research Analyst
Canadian Human Rights Commission

Supervisor: Thea Vakil, Associate Professor and Associate Director
School of Public Administration, University of Victoria

Executive Summary

Income inequality and unemployment continue to be key issues brought forward by the blind community in Canada. More specifically, within the workplace, blind Canadians have discussed their disappointments with the Employment Equity Act (EEA), the lack of accessible procurement, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, and technological barriers. These barriers that legally blind people face in employment remain an ongoing problem, which is a concern for the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), the client for this project. As one of Canada’s largest employers, the Government of Canada has the ability to become a model employer by obtaining a greater representation of people with disabilities within the federal public service.

The objective of this Master’s Project is to understand the experiences of legally blind Canadians who work or have worked within the federal public service in order to identify barriers that continue to exist and provide recommendations on what can be done to address these barriers. The project will allow a more thorough and deeper understanding of the experiences of legally blind Canadians when both obtaining and maintaining employment and will assist the CHRC plan for future work to be done in collaboration with stakeholders that represent legally blind Canadians.

The research questions are:

  • What are the lived experiences of legally blind Canadians who worked or are working in the federal public service?
  • What barriers exist for legally blind Canadians working in the federal public service, as well as what can be done to address these barriers?
  • What strategies could be established to successfully obtain employment and create a successful work environment?

This report is being made available in an accessible PDF format in order to preserve its original formatting.

The-Experiences-of-Blind-Canadians-in-the-Federal-Public-Service-by-Kimberly Dhaliwal.pdf

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