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Triple Vision: From Advocacy to Legacy: The Layton Family and the Founding of the Montreal Association for the Blind

"In the early 1900s a young man arrived in Canada, ready to start a job as an organist for a Montreal church. But when the church discovered he was blind, they rescinded the job offer and, really, the rest was history! This week, the Triple Vision team starts a new series on advocacy in Canada.

This first episode begins with the story of Philip E. Layton, the founder of the Montreal Association for the Blind (MAB). Our story is told through posthumous recordings with former NDP leader Jack Layton, and former MAB Board member Nancy Layton. It is a compelling history of one prominent Canadian families' indelible mark on the lives of blind Canadians.

“Had penicillin been invented, my great grandpa, who knows, maybe never would have come to Canada because he would have kept his sight. But with no penicillin, the infection in his eye nerve moved from the one eye to the other and he was totally blinded. So here you have a blind teenager who was taught to play the piano, was quite proficient at it, already composing things. .... They didn’t mention in his resume that he was blind, they didn’t think it was relevant, but when he showed up they said, ‘I’m sorry, the job is taken,’ and I guess he got his first experience in discrimination against the disabled.” "

Listen here or on your favourite podcatcher!

Archival Date: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2022