Public Defender Assesses Lack of Access to Communication for Blind Persons through Braille Font or Alternate Form as Discriminatory
On August 6, 2018, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Government of Georgia with a recommendation regarding discrimination on the ground of disability.
According to the case materials, an employee of the Chancellery of the Government of Georgia refused to accept a blind person’s application since it was made in braille. Instead, the employee offered the applicant's accompanying person to file an application of standard font.
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the braille font is one of the means of communication for blind persons. To refuse a blind person to communicate through braille or an alternate form of communication and to request an application of a standard font from him/her, like from people who do not have similar problem, is the neglect of the specific needs of blind persons and their indirect discrimination.
Taking into consideration the above-mentioned, the Public Defender addressed the Government of Georgia with a recommendation to enable blind persons, as well as persons with visual impartment, to file applications by using the braille font or other alternative forms. The Public Defender also recommended the Government to train the employees of the Case Management Service, and in case of necessity, hire relevant specialists to teach the employees how to comprehend the content of applications filed by blind persons by using the braille font or other alternative forms.