Commitment to Accessibility in New Independent Leader’s Debate Commission

The Government of Canada announced the creation of an independent Leader’s Debate commission. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould said an emphasis will be on accessibility, to reach the greatest number of Canadians, including people living with disabilities.

The CNIB Foundation applauds the federal government in this decision. For many Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, the federal Leader’s Debates are an opportunity to listen to federal leaders debate high profile issues before an election. Often, election material distributed door-to-door is inaccessible and candidate websites are not usable for Canadians who rely on screen readers or screen magnifiers. Ensuring accessibility as a central component to future Leader’s Debates is imperative to offer all Canadians a chance to inform themselves ahead of voting.

CNIB appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedural and House Affairs in December 2017 and recommended the Committee ensure full accessibility for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted at all future leader’s debates.

Technology offers new platforms for viewing political debates in an accessible way. The CNIB Foundation recommended to the Committee that future leader’s debates have described video and be hosted on a platform that supports screen readers and screen magnifiers. As federal leader’s debates are a focal point in federal elections, the CNIB Foundation is proud to have highlighted the need for accessibility to the Committee.

Source : CNIB

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