What did we learn for 2021
There are so many things that I can mention here but for now I am going to do my best to list the more important things and not to clutter our minds.
To start with, I learned that it does not matter if I pay my bills or taxes; Government departments and utility companies will continue to do what they have been doing for so or too many years. This being to ignore the rights of Canadians with disabilities when it comes to providing information, services, and products equally to all Canadians.
It seems as if they do not follow the strands of philosophy that clearly state that if it is not accessible, it is not acceptable. One of the most glaring examples for 2021 is the inaccessible Arrive Can app. In addition, if a work around is needed in order to make something accessible, then it is definitely not acceptable.
Speaking of the Arrive Can app, I learned over the past few months that the relevant Federal Government departments somehow conveniently forgot to ensure that this app was accessible to seniors, Canadians with disabilities, and those without cell phones, those who are not technically able to use an I device, and those without Internet connections. We need to convince the Canadian Border Service Agency and Public Health Canada that they need to include the requirements of those groups as stated above.
Any action short of this can only be described as reckless and willful.
Their lack of transparency, responsibility, and accountability need to be swiftly and firmly addressed both by the present government and by organizations for and of persons with disabilities and seniors.
I also learned that too many entities continue to place heavy requests on Canadians with disabilities to share their expertise and knowledge in return for no financial compensation. Just ask the Canadian Transportation agency, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and other high profile Federal Government Departments why they continue to flout the rights of Canadians with Disabilities choosing instead to continue with a very unfair practice. Or should I ask them how they plan to rectify this glaring glitch?
However, these departments are not the only offenders. Both Federal and provincial entities continue to be a part of this trend with no end in sight. Just ask Elections Ontario if they pay Ontarians with disabilities when they hire them to sit on their advisory group. Or just ask other entities if they pay members of their advisory groups whenever these members so selflessly share their expertise and knowledge.
Just ask certain universities in Ottawa if they plan to compensate invited Canadians with disabilities to participate in their research projects. I can tell you that fairly recently one of them was bold enough to invite someone to be a part of one of their research projects and then had the nerve to state in one of their letters that there would be no compensation.
In short, the embarrassing pattern of requesting and asking Canadians with disabilities to share their lived and hard earned expertise in return for no financial compensation needs to stop as soon as possible. There is a famous Chinese proverb that says “cheap things no good.”
So if we consider this, it would bluntly mean that our expertise and knowledge are no good because it is cheap! It is not worth anything because all of these entities continue to extract our expertise and knowledge at no cost!
Hard lessons to learn and digest but I as the eternal optimist will continue to make things better than possible wherever and whenever I can!
Just my two cents for today.
Image = 2021 learning and education theme. A woman dances atop the numerals 2021 learning, seeking and documenting everything that she finds.
To learn more about me as a sight loss coach visit http://www.donnajodhan.com