Advocate says government has improved websites accessibility for the blind

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TORONTO - A legal battle over blind Canadians' access to federal government websites has come to a close.

Neither the Ontario woman who launched the long-standing court battle nor the office of the Attorney General of Canada plan to mount further appeals to a federal court decision forcing the government to make sure blind people can use its Internet resources.

Donna Jodhan alleged federal government sites, such as the job bank and online census forms, were inaccessible to blind users relying on screen-reading technology.

The government had argued that Jodhan's inability to access web resources was not a violation of her charter rights, saying information on its websites could also be obtained by phone or by visiting a local office.

A federal court decision in November 2010 ruled in Jodhan's favour, and an appeal court ruling handed down in May supported that decision and gave the government 15 months to make the websites accessible.

Jodhan says she is satisfied that the government has improved the accessibility of its websites, but says many other public and private sector organizations across the country need to follow suit.

Geographic location: TORONTO, Ontario, Canada

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