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Rescheduling of the Braille Camp
I hope that this email finds you well.
A few days ago, Paul Belair informed us of the CNIB's decision to withdraw from this year's planned Braille camp for blind kids.
Needless to say, the AEBC is extremely disappointed with this decision and we fully understand given the present financial circumstances being faced by CNIB.
This being said however, our organization had hoped that this camp would have heralded the breaking of new ground for not just participants, but also for both organizations in their efforts to forge closer collaborative ties.
The AEBC would like to express some of its concerns with regard to CNIB's decision and we hope that your responses to our concerns would help to clarify matters for us.
1. The AEBC has already raised thousands of dollars as part of its contribution to this initiative and several members have already committed to the giving of their time to be Braille mentors. In addition, AEBC has been heavily engaged in contacting other organizations to contribute monetarily to the Braille Camp. In turn, we are wondering if CNIB had undertaken any serious efforts towards fund raising and We are particularly interested in what types of activities and communications did the CNIB engage in, especially in light of the fact that CNIB has identified funding as their reason for cancelling this summer's Braille camp for kids?
2. What criteria did CNIB use when deciding to cancel this very important initiative while choosing to move ahead with others?
3. When you publicly committed to the Braille Camp at the Braille conference in October of last year, we felt sure that you would follow through with your commitment. IE, to walk the walk with us!
4. If this initiative is to be carried out in the future, then we would like to know what type of engagement and priority CNIB intends to offer.
We feel that this unfortunate decision will undoubtedly have grave negative affects in that it could signal the perception that the CNIB may not think of Braille literacy as a priority. Or that the CNIB exudes a cavalier approach to how Braille should be perpetuated or the importance of Braille literacy as a whole. As identified by the National Federation of the Blind and other organizations at <http://goo.gl/t2G8m> Braille.org, in the US they are facing a crisis with a lack of literacy for blind children. This is despite having large organized bodies of blind people. In Canada, this crisis has progressed significantly further because the blind community in Canada is far less organized and far more spread out geographically.
We are firmly committed to the perpetuation of Braille literacy, especially so for kids who find it difficult to obtain tutelage in the rudiments of Braille and in addition, we as an organization firmly believe that Braille has a master role to play in the development of educational and employment opportunities for Blind persons.
The AEBC remains committed to this initiative and we hope that if at all possible, you would take steps to ensure that should this initiative go forward next year that it receives the support & efforts of your organization that was lacking this year. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that the appropriate resources are found and allocated to this initiative and we are fully prepared to soldier on with or without the CNIB's participation.
I would be appreciative of an early response from you on this matter.
Donna J. Jodhan
National president Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
This letter, #2616 was sent February 10, 2013 to John Rafferty: Rescheduling of the Braille Camp