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2005-08: Registered blindness identification

Whereas, Registered blindness, as defined in Blind persons Regulations, Consolidated Regulations of Canada 1978, Chapter 371, is "A person whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction; or if better than 20/200, has a limit to the central field of vision of no greater than 20 degrees at its widest point"; and

Whereas, Eligibility for a variety of Government exemptions, benefits and both public and private services, available to Canadians, is predicated upon meeting the current criteria of registered blindness; and

Whereas, Diagnosis of registered blindness can only be authorized by an ophthalmologist; is seldom, if ever reversible; more often a deteriorating condition usually requiring and benefiting from a continuum of professional eye care, low vision enhancement and Rehabilitation services, particularly during early adjustment to sight loss; and

Whereas, Identification of registered blindness currently available to eligible Canadians is voluntary client status with a national charitable service provider, CNIB; or repeated verification from a medical professional, each time eligibility verification is requested or required; and

Whereas, A nationally recognized, official permanent verification of registered blindness, issued at time of original diagnosis by the attending ophthalmologist, would be undeniably cost effective and of benefit to both the individual and public/private service providers;

Therefore, be it resolved at this Convention in Ottawa, April 2005, that Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians [AEBC] actively advocate, through all appropriate Government authorities, for the provision of an appropriate system of registration for Canadians, who fall within the eligibility criteria required for all current and future public and private exemptions, benefits and services available to them across Canada.