Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CCPD directs Election Commission of India to make its website accessible within 30 days

EC warned to make website differently-abled friendly

New Delhi, August 18, 2014

Pressure from disability rights activists has prompted the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities to issue a stern warning and ultimatum to the Election Commission of India (ECI) asking it to make its website user friendly for persons with disabilities.

The ECI has been given a 30-day deadline (from July 31 onwards) to comply and make amends.

Dr. Satendra Singh, a polio survivor and assistant professor of physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Delhi, who has been pursuing the case said: “The ECI has been directed to intimate the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities within 30 days about the action taken on the direction.”

Dr. Singh added that while Delhi has made its website accessible for persons with disability the same has not been made available to the rest of the country.

“The visually impaired need to have a user-friendly website to ensure that they are able to make an informed choice before voting. Though we have been appealing to the ECI since December last year there has been no response from them,” said Dr. Singh.

“Despite my letters, the ECI did not budge and did not make their website accessible to differently-abled voters. There are Prime Minister Office (PMO) orders as well as guidelines whereby all government institutions must make their websites accessible to the differently-abled. However, we are hoping that things will improve now,” said Dr. Singh.

Accusing the ECI of having violated the orders issued by the PMO in 2010, Dr. Singh said: “The current direction by the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities we hope will work favourably for the differently-abled and give them the right to vote in a well informed manner.’’

The visually impaired need to have a user-friendly website to ensure that they are able to make an informed choice before voting

Source: The Hindu

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