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Access Watchdog Blasts City For PDFs of Minutes

December 3, 2010

KAWARTHA LAKES- Accessibility watchdog Geof Collis is after the City of Kawartha Lakes again -this time for meeting minutes that he can read on his Screen Reader.

Collis, in an e-mail to mayor Ric McGee (copied to The Lindsay Post), said “since this has been an issue for me in the past, I’m starting at the top and
working down.

“Mayor McGee, as you are well aware, I have had difficulties in the past getting documents off of the website in an accessible format, so I will start with

“During the election you did not respond to my emails, hopefully you have time to address my request.

“I wish to start following the decisions this council makes by way of its minutes, however the formats you have on the website are not accessible.

“I do not wish to repeat the past but since PDF is the format of choice for the city, I wish to have it in accessible format. Currently it is not accessible
to me as a Screen Reader user.

“I have passed on information of a company that you are currently using for your “brochure” and would recommend them for sending me minutes in accessible PDF, when they are official.

“I would like this to commence with the latest council meeting Nov. 16 and to continue forward as they become official.

“Hopefully this isn’t going to be a problem given we are now in the era of the ‘customer care standard’ under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) legislation and I am requesting an accessible format to you personally.”

City of Kawartha Lakes communications officer Brenda Stonehouse said the minutes are now available as word and PDF documents, which comply with accessibility standards.

She said Collis is asking for a ‘tagged PDF’ which the city currently does not have.
She said the city is asking for direction from the Ministry of Community and Social Services as to requirements under customer service standards since providing tagged PDFs could have a “significant financial impact” over the course of a year.

She added that the city would have to go through the procurement process to select a company to do it.

Article ID# 2873916

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