POLITICS

Manitoba MPs' flyer sent with unreadable braille

07/29/2013 12:44 EDT | Updated 09/28/2013 05:12 EDT
An advocate for people living with disabilities is calling a new Conservative Party flyer insensitive because its message about inclusivity is written in braille that is impossible for blind people to read.

A recent mailout sent by two Manitoba MPs, including the newly minted minister of Canadian heritage and official languages, Shelly Glover, advertises how the Stephen Harper government is working to help people with disabilities enter the workforce.

But the flyer uses braille that is not tactile because it is neither raised nor embossed.

"They're talking about what they've done for people with disabilities around issues of access and inclusivity. And I'm thinking, 'Well, this isn't really an inclusive way to do it,'" said Doreen Demas, who is blind.

"It just kind of boggles my mind why they would do such a thing. What was the purpose of it? Clearly, blind people would be unable to read it, seeing that we read by touching the braille and obviously this couldn't happen."

In an email sent to CBC News, a spokeswoman from Glover's office said the braille text on the mailer is meant to be a visual representation only.

"Like the other graphics on that mailer, it signifies a group of Canadians who may face challenges in obtaining employment," Rochelle Squires, Glover's director of communications, stated in the email.

"Our Conservative government is committed to supporting all Canadians in finding work, and is proud of renewing our support for the Enabling Accessibility Fund."

Elmwood-Transcona MP Lawrence Toet also sent out the mailer. His office has not yet released a statement about the incident.