Advocate says ArriveCAN app technology is not accessible for blind Canadians

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The CNIB, formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, says the federal government's new ArriveCAN travel app is inaccessible to some Canadians with disabilities.

Robert Fenton, a member of the CNIB board, says he found a major bug when using the Apple VoiceOver screen reader on his iPhone as he tried to access the app.

He says that as someone with sight loss, he found it impossible to move beyond the privacy screen that pops up when the app is opened. (The Canadian Press has confirmed other hurdles to setting up an ArriveCAN account for blind and partially sighted Canadians.)

Fenton says the defects mark a major travel barrier to Canadians with disabilities, and are particularly urgent as athletes gear up to travel to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games this summer.

He is asking the Canada Border Services Agency to make the app accessible by July 23, adding that CBSA staff are looking into the issue.

Travellers to Canada must use the ArriveCAN app or online portal to submit their vaccine information and the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before departure.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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