By Christina Stevens
Senior Reporter Global News
The Toronto 2015 app has been deemed a failure by advocates for people with disabilities. They say the App for the Panam/Parapan Am Games is not accessible to those who are visually impaired. Christina Stevens reports
The official Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games app is not accessible to those who are visually impaired, according to advocates for people with disabilities.
They said it wouldn’t have been difficult to implement the helpful feature directly into the design phase of the Toronto 2015 app.
One accessibility IT expert explained that iPhones have a built in voiceover setting, which works interactively with apps to make them accessible to people who are visually impaired.
David Best said hundreds of mainstream apps work just fine, but not the app for the Panam/Parapan Am Games being held this summer in Toronto.
He said the first time he opened the Toronto 2015 App, it was clear there were issues whole pages don’t have any voiceover functions so he showed the problem to Global News.
“I’m told there is an accessibility icon on this screen but I cant get to it. The accessibility is not accessible,” said Best.
David Lepofsky, an advocate for people with disabilities, said it’s ironic that the government is touting the Panam/Parapan Am Games as being exceedingly accessible, then missed the mark on something so basic.
“The government says it is leading by example on accessibility. This is an example that no one should be lead by,” said Lepofsky.
In response to inquiries from Global News on the accessibility of the app, a Toronto 2015 spokesperson emailed a brief response.
“If there is an issue we will attempt to resolve it as soon as possible,” read the statement in part.
It is not clear why the spokesperson said “if” there was an issue with the app, but Best said he sent representatives an email on June 1 drawing their attention to the problem.
Pan Am/Parapan Am Games spokespeople wouldn’t meet with Global News in person and declined to comment on that particular line of questioning over the phone.
“From their email, they are questioning whether there is a problem,” said Lepofsky.
“It tells you exactly how seriously they are taking it.”