Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 752

Document Name: 2015-134.227293.2536356.Interventions Phase 2(1$d2c01!).html

Feb. 8, 2016Secretary General CRTC Ottawa, ON *** *** **** Secretary General:I am pleased to submit some comments in regards to the CRTC’s request for comments on broadband Internet, and would appreciate the opportunity to appear in support of expanding access for patrons who are blind.BACKGROUND:My name is John Rae. I am blind, live in Toronto, and have made submissions on a wide range of subjects that the CRTC has considered in the past.NEED FOR FULL ACCESS:Persons with disabilities pay the same fees to their cable provider as do all other Canadians, and thus, must be provided with a comparable level of service.NEW PLATFORMS:A growing number of Canadians are discontinuing cable service altogether in favour of accessing television programming through other platforms. At present, too often a program that includes description when broadcast through a tv set does not include this important aspect when carried over other platforms, including the internet. The CRTC needs to more vigorously regulate this delivery mode, and require that any described version be used on all alternative delivery platforms.TECHNICAL SUPPORT:From time to time, customers experience interruptions in internet service. When a blind person contacts his/her provider, we are usually faced with technical support personnel who have no idea how to assist a blind customer. They have no understanding how a person using a screen reader navigates a computer, and we are too often faced with staff who will ask us to do various things with a mouse or ask a blind customer how many lights are on, and numerous other questions where sight is required. All internet providers should train a number of technical staff in the use of screen readers, so they will be equipped to assist blind customers.WEBSITE ACCESS:An ever-increasing amount of crucial information is provided via the internet. There is a fundamental difference between a website that may be accessible as compared to one that is usable and easy to navigate. When considering the design of any website, issues of usability should be considered alongside those of access, so that customers will have an easier time finding the information they need and which may be offered on a provider’s website.CONCLUSION:I appreciate what the CRTC has done in the past, but more vigorous regulation is still required if we are to be able to fully enjoy services we pay for.*** End of Submission