From my previous post on the Future of Web Accessibility in Canada, the latest judgment has now come in from the Federal Court of Canada in favour of Donna Jodhan.
Reasons for Judgment and Judgment dated 29-NOV-2010 rendered by The Honourable Mr. Justice Kelen Matter considered with personal appearance The Court’s decision is with regard to Judicial Review (s.18)
Result: granted “THIS COURT ORDERS AND ADJUDGES that:
- This application for judicial review is allowed and the applicant is entitled to a declaration under section 18.1 of the Federal Courts Act that she has been denied equal access to, and benefit from, government information and services provided online to the public on the Internet, and that this constitutes discrimination against her on the basis of her physical disability, namely that she is blind. Accordingly, she has not received the equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on her physical [disability] and that this is a violation of section 15(1) of the Charter;
- 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 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;
- It is also declared that the government has a constitutional obligation to bring itself into compliance with the Charter within a reasonable time period, such as 15 months;
- This Court will retain jurisdiction over the implementation of this declaration and the Court will resume its proceedings on the [application] of either party if necessary to ensure the effect of this declaration is properly implemented;
- The applicant is a public interest litigant and is entitled to her legal costs including disbursements in the fixed amount of $150,000.” Filed on 29-NOV-2010 certified copies sent to parties Transmittal Letters placed on file. Final Decision Certificate of Judgment entered in J. & O. Book, volume 1106 page(s) 424 – 425
Federal Court – Court Index and Docket – DONNA JODHAN v. AGC (File Number T-1190-07)
Needless to say, this will potentially have huge ramifications on the future of web accessibility in Canada. Specifically with sites related to the Federal Government. I’ll continue to monitor this story very closely. For now, it looks like 15 months will be the time line to be in compliance. Much work will need to be done.
As I’ve stated before, it is a shame that it has to come to this. But, let’s not take the time to dwell on the past.
Let’s make web accessibility in Canada even better than it is today. It begins now.
It’s always interesting to see the humble beginnings of a career. Here’s the very first site I actually got paid to do: Ryz Wrestling.
As this was done 10 years ago, I’m not going to beat myself up too bad. However, here’s the lowlights for your amusement:
- HTML 4.0 Transitional Document Type.
- Absolutely no metadata.
- Table-based layout, complete with
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" MARGINHEIGHT="0" MARGINWIDTH="0" LEFTMARGIN="0" TOPMARGIN="0" border="0"> and a fixed width of ‘683’ for all of those 800 by 600 resolutions.
- Designed to display consistently with Netscape 4.0 and above.
<font size="-2">, wrapped in a
<div>, wrapped in table cells. Like a crazy HTML Turducken.
- The good old CSS
- Non-breaking spaces used for padding the navigation items, of course.
- The content of the site consisted of "This site is currently under construction".
- Great use of red, salmon and dark jaundice. Complete with lame Photoshop effects.
- Lovingly hand coded with HomeSite
I could keep listing things, but let’s end the suffering there.
Regardless, this is my dollar bill framed on my wall, so to speak. As dated as this is, it’s still a reminder of how far I’ve come.
I have the honour and the privilege in trying out the private beta of about.me.
Receiving an invite was very cool, thank you. And to give something back, I want to encourage you to sign up to reserve your about.me name now.
Before you check out my profile, I just want to let you know that I’m in the process of getting a better photo from my good friend John. For now, I dug up one of my less flattering photos. This will motivate me to change it as soon as possible.
Without further adieu, here’s my about.me profile. Apologies in advance 😉
I’m a definite proponent of ‘skip links’ with any site I build. In addition to being an essential part of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – 2.4.1. – Bypass Blocks, I firmly believe that skip links are valuable for a more effective user experience. I just do mine a little differently.
My site only has 2 skip links:
- Skip to Content
- Takes you directly to the content of the current page that you’re on.
- Skip to Search
- Takes you directly to the search field.
You may have noticed that I do not have a ‘Skip to Navigation’ link.
Why? Quite simply, I feel that skipping to static information doesn’t make the best experience.
This is not to say that the navigation isn’t important. It’s the key to any site, obviously. But for me, this site’s navigation shouldn’t be changing on a regular basis.
It’s not about the importance of content. It’s about accessing dynamic content and the tools associated with it.
Of course, there can be exceptions based on the type of site you have. Perhaps if you have navigation elements that are dynamic in nature (like a product based site that filters down to a specific type of product), then you’d want to reconsider how it’s treated.
Regardless, the key is to assure that the user is having the best and most effective experience possible. For my site, I feel this works best.
With all of the uproar today with Cooks Source Magazine and their handling of the Copyright infringement of an author’s work, I would like to highlight my 4 lessons of providing good PR when it comes to reusing content and / or messing up on the web:
- Plan to get permission from the original author of any content you wish to reuse.
- If you didn’t do this, then quickly and publicly admit what was done wrong.
- Quickly and publicly remedy this situation.
- Don’t tick the web off. It’s like poking a bunch of angry bears with sticks.
But seriously, try to remember that we’re all human and we all make mistakes. Having an “angry mob” coming at this organization and the individual in question is probably not going to help the situation.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and things will be rectified soon.