Future of Web Accessibility in Canada – Federal Court of Appeal Decision

The AODA has posted the full Federal Court of appeal’s May 30 2012 decision in Jodhan versus Canada. (In Word format)

As well, the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians has posted a summary of what it all means.

Speaks for itself.

Related Links

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 9 marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

To celebrate, I’d like to recap on an experiment in identifying external links, which stemmed from a discussion on the accessibility issues with links that open a new browser window. Originally posted 20 July 2011.

Testing external links up in here. Actually, it all started with a question from Glenda [External Link] about the accessibility of using CSS to announce a new window, based on an external link example [External Link]. Steve [External Link] was there to help. The rest is history.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque id dolor sit amet quam consequat tempus. Duis ante arcu, cursus sit amet consectetur eget, accumsan sit amet nulla. Google [External Link] metus urna, egestas ut imperdiet sed, pretium in nibh. Phasellus felis dolor, ullamcorper eu dignissim in, lobortis ut libero. Donec interdum auctor suscipit. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin libero ligula, pharetra a tincidunt sit amet, ultrices a eros. Curabitur condimentum, Google [External Link] sit amet cursus pellentesque, ligula dui pharetra arcu, non aliquet tellus libero et leo. Cras gravida congue dui, a mattis nisl congue nec. Donec in sapien neque. Maecenas Google [External Link] porttitor aliquam. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Aliquam ac turpis ut mi cursus pellentesque. Suspendisse potenti. Ut sit amet sem ante, in ultrices dui.

Thank you to Glenda [External Link] and Steve [External Link] for your help on this. Just when I thought I knew everything!


a[rel="external"] {
background: url(gfx/Icon_External_Link.png) 100% 50% no-repeat;
padding-right: 1.0em;
z-index: 48;

a[rel="external"]:active {
z-index: 49;

a[rel="external"] .ol,
a[rel="external"]:link .ol {
position: absolute;
width: 0;
height: 0;
overflow: hidden;
z-index: 50;
text-decoration: none;

a[rel="external"]:focus .ol,
a[rel="external"]:hover .ol {
float: right;
background: pink;
width: auto;
height: auto;
border: solid 1px pink;
margin-left: 1.5em;
margin-top: 0.5em;
padding: 0.2em;
overflow: visible;
-moz-border-radius: 0.5em;
-webkit-border-radius: 0.5em;
border-radius: 0.5em;
box-shadow: 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em #000;

a[rel="external"]:focus .ol:before,
a[rel="external"]:hover .ol:before {
position: absolute;
width: 0;
height: 0;
border-top: 1px solid transparent;
border-right: 20px solid pink;
border-bottom: 15px solid transparent;
margin: 0 0 0 -20px;


<li><a href="http://google.com" rel="external">Google<span class="ol"> [External Link]</span></a></li>

Is this the most accessible method for identifying external links and / or opening a new browser window? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

Future of Web Accessibility in Canada – Application for Judicial Review

A further update as of 17 September 2011.

The Federal Court of Appeal will be holding a hearing in relation to an Application for Judicial Review on 15 and 16 November of 2011.

This is specific to making the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians an intervenor in the case of Donna Jodhan versus the federal government, in regards to inaccessible government websites.

For those not familiar with what an intervenor is, it’s basically a nonparty who can assist the court in making a decision that’ll best benefit all involved by the original judgment by bringing to light other interested parties affected that may have been overlooked by the original respondent. But, I’m not a lawyer, so please correct me if I’m wrong!

I’ll keep you posted over the next 2 days once I hear more.

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Future of Web Accessibility in Canada – Judgement Amended

A further update as of 9 February 2011.

The ruling in favour of Donna Jodhan versus the federal government, in regards to inaccessible government websites, has now been amended.

The thing that stood out for me was the difference between the original court order with the five points of action with the following amendments to point 2:

2. It is also declared that the applicant’s inability to access online certain departmental websites is representative of a system wide failure by many of the 146 106 government departments and agencies to make their websites accessible. The failure of the government to monitor and ensure compliance with the government’s 2001 accessibility standards is an infringement of section 15(1) of the Charter since it discriminates against the applicant and other visually impaired persons. This declaration does not apply to stored government historical and/or archived information which is stored in a database and which the government shall retrieve and provide in an accessible format upon request;

Federal Court – REASONS FOR JUDGMENT AND JUDGMENT – DONNA JODHAN verses AGC (File Number T-1190-07)

Basically, we now have a change in the number of agencies that have "failed" and, more importantly, this judgment does not apply to "historical and / or archived information stored in a database."

It’s a step in the right direction in having the Federal Government make their content and applications more accessible in the next 15 months. But, I feel that the latter amendment dilutes the spirit of the original judgment.

According to the amendment, I’m interpreting this as the Federal Government agencies not making any historical and / or archived content more accessible and will simply provide this content in a more accessible form by request.

How will this be interpreted in relation to web-related content? How will this be any different than the status quo? Sadly, I could see this being applied to all web-related content in sites and applications and I don’t see there being much of an improvement. I sincerely hope that I’m wrong.

More to come over the next 15 months as I’ll be tracking what work is being done by the different departments and agencies.

Related Links

Future of Web Accessibility in Canada – Judgement Appealed

An update as of 7 January 2011.

The latest ruling in favour of Donna Jodhan versus the federal government, in regards to inaccessible government websites, is now being appealed.

More on this story as it develops.

Update: Link to the Federal Court of Appeal added

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