Liberal Website Becomes More Accessible to People with Physical Disabilities

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OTTAWA – To mark the upcoming United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Liberal Party of Canada is proud to announce changes that make the Liberal Party’s website, and soon all related micro-sites, more accessible to individuals with physical disabilities.

“A quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, either themselves or as caregivers to family members or friends,” said Liberal Leader Bob Rae. “When we eliminate barriers to information, people are able to participate more fully in social, civic, and economic life, and we are all better off.”

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Mr. Rae rose in the House today to speak on this important issue. He noted that by taking this important step and leading by example, the Liberal Party of Canada is calling on the federal government to join other jurisdictions in finding innovative ways of increasing accessibility to digital information for disabled persons.

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“Accessibility is not only an issue of basic human rights but also one of citizenship,” concluded Liberal Human Resources & Skills Development and Labour Critic Rodger Cuzner. “Provided with the right tools people with disabilities have immense capacity to contribute to society. By making websites more accessible we are moving one step closer to realizing this potential.”

International Day of Disabled Persons was established by the UN General Assembly to commemorate the end of the UN Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992). It is observed annually on December 3rd.

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Changes to have been made in partnership with eSSENTIAL Accessibility, a Canadian company committed to making online environments instantly accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. It empowers users with dexterity limitations that arise from a variety of conditions including stroke, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease among others. Moreover, it also helps those who have difficulty reading because of literacy deficiencies, limited English proficiency, dyslexia, or mild visual impairment. Organizations feature the eSSENTIAL Accessibility icon as part of a Disability Community Involvement initiative sponsored by March of Dimes Canada. The symbol displayed on the homepage acts as a clickable icon through which any visitor can download the assistive technology they require free of charge.

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