I received this from another list and thought it would be of interest to
some of you. Please respond to the addresses given below.
Have a great day, Shelley
**dda-l message from David Morrell <[log in to unmask]>
Here is a media release from Bruce Maguire, a blind resident of Sydney.
Disability Action Inc. is distributing this media release without
as a service to people with disabilities and has no other involvement in
Please direct any inquiries to the author, Bruce Maguire via email;
[log in to unmask]
This release is being distributed to
- media organisations, including the production team for the ABC
satirical series "The Games"
- SOCOG, IOOC and a major sponsor, IBM Corporation
- several hundred people with disabilities throughout Australia
- Australian disability peak organisations
- Federal government and opposition politicians with a disability
- NSW Olympics Minister Michael Knight
- Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games
- the National Disability Advisory Council of Australia
- church organisations with a commitment to human rights
- the United Nations office for people with disabilities
- Disabled People's International
- disability peak and information groups in the U.K., U.S.A. and
In locating email addresses for some recipients I noted that, as well as
the Sydney 2000 web site being inaccessible, so were those of the NSW
Olympics Minister and the International Olympic Organising Committee.
Disability Action Inc.
Application for Interim Determination Alleging Discrimination by the
Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG).
Yesterday, June 9, 1999, an application was lodged with the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission seeking an interim determination of a
complaint that I had lodged earlier in the week.
The complaint is in relation to the failure of SOCOG to make braille
of the Official Olympic Games Ticket Book available to me and other
who are blind.
I lodged the complaint after having had a week of discussions with
during which I was given conflicting and contradictory information about
their willingness to arrange for braille versions of Olympics material.
These discussions culminated in a telephone conversation that I had with
senior SOCOG representative who told me that they would not make the
Book available in braille.
This same representative had had a prior conversation with an advocacy
officer from Blind Citizens Australia, during which he expressed
and disbelief that SOCOG were expected to provide material in braille or
other alternative formats.
By applying for an interim determination, we are seeking to ensure that
will not be disadvantaged if the DDA complaint is not determined before
July 16, which is the closing date being promoted by SOCOG as the
date for ticket orders made from the Ticket Book.
Not only is SOCOG so far refusing to provide braille material, but its
Internet web site is also unusable by people who are blind. This is
the web site has not been designed in accordance with the international
guidelines developed by the W3C consortium to ensure full accessibility
people with disabilities.
Because they are not providing information - especially the Ticket Book
in braille, I believe that I am being indirectly discriminated against
the grounds of my disability. It is a requirement that in order to
the information, one must be able to read print. Because I am blind, I
cannot do this.
The 2000 Olympic Games will be one of the most significant
events in the history of Australia during the past century. Just as most
us can remember what we were doing and where we were when the Apollo 11
mission landed on the moon in 1969, so, in times to come, most
will recall their activities during the Games. They will use the Ticket
Book, the Souvenir Program, and photographs, to serve as mementos of the
Games. By refusing to provide me with information in braille, SOCOG is
only denying me the chance to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime event,
but is also denying me the opportunity to have mementos of a significant
historical event. In doing this, SOCOG is acting in clear breach of
Australia's disability discrimination legislation.
I believe that by refusing to cater for the needs of people who are
SOCOG is creating unnecessary divisions within the Australian community,
and is undermining our international reputation as an inclusive,
society that is compassionate towards the needs of disadvantaged groups.
so doing, SOCOG is, in my view, acting contrary to the spirit and ideals
the Olympics movement.
L'Institut Roeher Institute,
4700 Keele Street,
Toronto, ON, Canada
email: [log in to unmask]