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2010-11: Guiding Principles

Whereas, Resolution 2001-13 sets forth an over all philosophical framework for the organization; and

whereas, From time to time, it is worthwhile to re-examine and reaffirm an organization's guiding philosophy;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that members of the AEBC adopt the following sixteen principles for use in determining how to proceed on an issue related to Canadians who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted, and for consideration on whether or not to support a program or project being delivered to people who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted:

1. The Principle of Rights and Responsibilities
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the same rights and the same responsibilities as other Canadians. They are entitled, as others are, to the equal protection and the equal benefit of the law and require measures for achieving equality, consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, provincial, territorial and federal human rights legislation and international human rights covenants.

2. The Equality Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to goods and services which will give them equality of opportunity and outcomes.

3. The Respect Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to have their abilities, right of choice and dignity respected in all stages of their lives.

4. The Inclusion Principle
Canadian society including Government must be committed to an inclusive way of thinking and acting that allows every person who is blind, deaf-blind, or partially sighted to feel accepted, valued and safe. Canadian communities must be inclusive, consciously evolving to meet the changing needs of Canadians including people who are blind, Deaf-blind and partially sighted. Through recognition and support, Canada through its Governments must strive to provide meaningful involvement and equal access to the benefits of citizenship.

5. The Access Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have a right to places, events, services and functions that are generally available in the community.

6. The Empowerment Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have a right to the means to maximize their independence and enhance their well-being.

7. The Universal Design Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have a right to expect that infrastructures be designed to meet the needs of Canada's population made up of persons spanning the full range of functional abilities rather than of a prototypical average person or norm. People who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted have a right to environments and information that meet the needs of the range of the population to the greatest extent possible.

8. The Principle of Self Determination
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to participate in decision-making regarding the design, organization and operation of programs providing goods and services that affect them.

9. The Freedom Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to
 the least restrictive environment possible.

10. The Principle of Social and Economic Integration
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to services and programs that support integrating those who are blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted into existing social and economic structures rather than segregating such persons into parallel environments.

11. The Participation Principle
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to participate and be invited to participate in all aspects of the economic, social and cultural life of Canada.

12. The Principle of Early Integration into Family and Home Community
Children, youth and adults who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to programs and services that ensure early and lasting integration into society and avoid forcing individuals to leave their families and home communities.

13. The Principle of Flexible Service Delivery
People who are blind, Deaf-blind or partially sighted have the right to programs and services that are flexible enough to accommodate individualized service delivery including options for self and family managed service delivery.

14. The Systemic Responsibility Principle
The responsibility to include and ensure accessibility for people who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted to general systems of society (including education, employment, housing, transportation, communications, market and infrastructure) rests with the public and private sector organizations which operate these systems.

15. The Awareness Principle
The Alliance for equality of Blind Canadians carries out awareness activities and promotes awareness of issues involving people who are blind, Deaf-blind and partially sighted. Canadian society must demonstrate a commitment and action to raise public awareness that minimizes environmental barriers, removes systemic barriers and remedies social attitudes evolving from ignorance, indifference and fear, presently impeding the full inclusion and participation of people who are blind, Deaf-blind and partially sighted.

16. The Prevention Principle
Society has an obligation to ensure that effective measures will be developed to prevent the barriers that result when environments fail to accommodate the needs of persons who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted.
 

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