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2007 CCD Award Recipient: John Rae

For the past 10 years, John has been a member of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. He has served on our national board of directors since 1998 in various capacities, as Treasurer, 2nd Vice President and as President. He also served as Editor of AEBC's national magazine, the Canadian Blind Monitor from 1998 to 2008, and he continues to contribute articles and editorials.

John Rae retired in 2005 after a 24-year career with the Ontario Public Service, during which time he was a Consultant with the Centre for Disability and Work, an Education Officer with the former Employment Equity Commission, and finally a Program Officer with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.

John has worked tirelessly for many decades to improve rights and opportunities, not just for blind persons, but for all Canadians with a disability. He has been particularly involved in fighting for human rights protection, access to information in multiple formats, and reducing the level of unemployment and poverty that remains the reality for so many members of the blind community.

John has been a board member of many human and disability rights organizations. He has been President of PAL Reading Service, the Canadian Legal Advocacy, Information and Research Association of the Disabled (CLAIR), the Blind Organization of Ontario with Self-Help Tactics (BOOST), the Don Vale Community Centre, and co-chaired the Coalition on Human Rights for the Handicapped, which secured the first human rights coverage for persons with disabilities in Ontario. John was active in Canada's labor movement at the local, provincial, and national levels. He now represents the AEBC on the Council of Canadians With Disabilities (CCD). In January, 2006, he was elected to the Board of the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance, where he brings his 30 years of experience in the disability rights movement to the work of this new organization.

John has assisted our organization to expand our activities and gain credibility on the national scene. As an organization, we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated National President who volunteers many hours a week to promote our goals. As board members, we are honored to work with John Rae who brings many years of expertise and history in the disability and human rights movements to all of his efforts. We would like to recognize John for all of his valuable contributions to our community and to the overall cause of human rights in Ontario an across Canada.