You are here:

The Blind Canadians Blog

Independence and Peer Mentoring

I think often about the road I've used to get to where I am, and mostly I think about it from a place of gratitude. I know and understand that along the way I've tripped over many hurtles and that I've come across people who were less than helpful or supportive, and yet I'm amazed at how easy it is for me to remain focussed on those events, people and organizations who have helped by setting down the smooth paving stones that make up my path in life.

I'm quick to acknowledge that some professionals like Phil Crowson, Kay Finley, Pat Robertson, Larry Bieberly and Julie Beland provided the early guidance and skill development I needed, and for them I remain ever grateful.

Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter!

The AEBC Communications Committee is working on expanding our reach to engage as many people as possible and share our news and plans about matters important to us such as,the upcoming AGM and Conference in Halifax. Sharing our message with potential new members, sponsors, donors and more will increase our influence on issues and opportunities that may be of interest to all of us.

In that respect, I am requesting that for those of us with twitter accounts to please visit Twitter and follow @blindcanadians and @AEBC_Halifax.

Our request is that you follow to help us increase our reach and engagement.

We will follow you back.

If there are Chapters which also have twitter and/or FaceBook accounts, please adv

From the Montreal chapter: What is advocacy?

Here is a Wiktionary definition of advocacy and a few words about advocacy and advocating. Hope you like it and I will look forward to your comments about them. If you could send me any topics I would be happy to relate what I know about what we have done about them up to now.

Advocacy

  • the profession of an advocate
  • the act of arguing in favour of, or supporting something
  • the practice of supporting someone to make their voice heard

For the most part, as chapter members of a national organization we will be engaged in self-advocacy or supporting collective advocacy. Often, national issues will involve our collective voice to amend existing legislation or to require new legislation for the benefit of anyone experiencing vision loss.

Canadian Human Rights Museum set to open in Winnipeg (September 20, 2014)

In January 2013, Stuart Murray CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) announced the Museum had embraced an approach to inclusive design that would set new standards for universal accessibility. I doubt this bold commitment would have been realized if it weren't for the extensive and ongoing involvement of the Council of Canadians With Disabilities (CCD), and other disability experts.

Is AMI becoming the new CNIB of our lives?

Is AMI becoming the new CNIB in our lives, somewhat more open to our input than CNIB ever has been it is true, but yet another huge separate empire that is considered the source of expertise on blindness and all matters concerning accessing described programming?

I have believed from its inception that its very presence would and will be used by regular broadcasters and the CRTC to drag their feet, push back, or sluff our aspirations over to AMI, to slow down progress. Nothing has changed my views.

Tactalis "tactile computer"?

While monitoring the AEBC twitter feed, I noticed a tweet from @Tactalis wondering what we 'thought' of their new tactile computer project. Basic information about the tactile computer is available on the IndieGoGo fundraising page for the project, where the company behind the initiative is working to raise $40,000 toward the project, which will be used for the first production run aimed at getting "tactile computers" into classrooms.

They describe it as follows:

Our groundbreaking platform embeds an array of switchable magnets beneath any LCD panel to instantly create tangible reproductions of images that are normally displayed only as pixels of light.

Think you might be interested in blogging?

We are always looking for new, regular contributors to the AEBC blog, and you needn't be an expert to do it! While blog posts to the AEBC blog must have some connection to the organization and its objectives, there are a hundred and one different ways to achieve that goal. Perhaps a particular article or event resonates strongly with you and you want to share your perspective, or perhaps there is a theme that you'd like to regularly write about. Whatever the circumstances, we invite contributions from everyone.

If you are a regular writer, we can set you up with your own account and provide instructions on how to directly write and post blogs. For more occasional writers, or for those who aren't very comfortable with the web site, there's an easier way.

Massage

My youngest son teaches English in Korea. He has recently resigned a contract for yet another year, this will be his 5th year working in Korea. He enjoys teaching and enjoys the travel opportunities living abroad affords him. He loves the young woman he met in Korea and that is the reason he has chosen to stay. She is absolutely lovely, she loves my son and my son loves her.

My son, and his girlfriend arrived a week ago for a 10 day visit. I have met his girlfriend twice before, the first time when the ex and I visited our son in Seoul and the second time when our son brought her to Canada. When I visited Korea I left my dog guide with another son and used my cane.

Reflections on the CRTC "Let's Talk TV" submissions

Attached are some of the disability related submissions to the CRTC Lets Talk TV Phase Three process that I could find on their website. They are all in the public domain.

In my opinion, these submissions are a good real time indicator of broadcasting and BDU issues of concern to some individuals and groups of and for persons with disabilities.

Arts and my imagination

I read an article in “The Atlantic” recently entitled “Disability Is Not Just a Metaphor”. The author, Christopher Shinn, comments on “able-bodied actors playing disabled characters”.

Shinn states, “We are not witnessing the actual pain and struggle of real disabled human beings; it is all make believe.”

I understand that actors who self identify as persons with disabilities find few opportunities. Shinn’s comments that the obvious absence of people with real disabilities lessens the potential power of works about disability concerns me. All art is make believe. Prose, poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture, they all force us to suspend our individual “real” and step into our imaginations.

Words

I was out for lunch with a high school friend last week. I finished high school many, many years ago and she and I have maintained a friendship through marriages, children, career changes, divorce and rebuilds, and aging parents. As always, we shared stories, we laughed and we bragged about our children.

We had just finished lunch and were enjoying coffee when a man approached our table and said hello to my friend. It turns out he attended our high school as well. I have not seen him for years but my friend has kept up with him. She hugged him and asked if he remembered me.

There it was ....... that awkward moment of silence. “Oh, yes,” he said. “I remember you. How are you doing? I heard you had gone bl........”

“Yes,” I answered. “I am blind.

Weeding

It’s Mine!!!!

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I have been in this house for a year. This is my first Spring!!!!!! It is absolutely lovely!!!!! I have spent many, many hours in my gardens.

The previous owners created low maintenance perennial gardens. Low manintenance perennial gardens still need to be weeded. Here I am, on my hands and my kness, running my hands over the dirt. At this point, the plants I want to flourish are above elbow height and those I don’t want to flourish are still thumb height. That is the gauage I use. I pull out everything thumb height or lower. If a weed is above elbow height, I have a couple of sighted friends armed with spades, weed spray or pruners.

Choosing a Customer Focused Relationship whith Service Providers

There are a number of organizations in the public, nonprofit, and private sector providing services to blind, deafblind and partially sighted people throughout Canada.

With so many new accessible technologies being introduced that enable our community with access to information anytime and anywhere, , greater numbers of blind people can be found online and connecting with others who share a common vision and interest in the benefits of accessibility as the means of joining, participating and contributing to the social and economic life of Canada.

Spring

Today is National Sea Monkey Day and National Piercing Day. Hmmmmm - I don’t have a sea monkey and I don’t plan on any additional piercings. However........if I were to purchase a sea monkey and then take it for a piercing would I be eligible to celebrate twice? Or........if I had my navel pierced with a charm of a sea monkey would I get two slices of celebratory cake?

I have been enjoying the arrival of Spring and have been busy weeding and preparing the gardens. An acquaintance asked how I managed to weed the gardens. Simple answer - same way you do - I pull out the weeds!!!. I have been in this house for just over a year now. Last spring and summer I learned the back yard. This spring and summer I will learn the front yard.

Important announcements and requests for feedback!

Hello, AEBC!

This report is coming to you a little earlier than usual, and not long after my last one, because quite frankly, there is a lot going on and I think it is important that everyone know what is happening and the opportunities that you have to participate!

1.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Are we making progress?

As many of you know, a few years ago Canada signed on to, and ratified, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities -- abbreviated as the CRPD or the UNCRPD. The purpose of the UNCRPD has been described as follows: "To promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity." It has been seen by some to be something of a watershed moment, giving international and legal recognition to what is often referred to as the social model of disability -- the notion that people with disabilities are not hampered by their disability, but rather by the social construction in which they live which does not adequately accommodate their differences.

Presidential highlights from the 2014 conference and AGM in Ottawa

This past weekend, 30 AEBC members -- some of them new members, some of them recent members, some of them members from 20 years ago -- gathered in Ottawa for the 2014 conference and annual general meeting.  In this blog post, I will touch on some of the highlights of the conference, for those who were not in attendance and who were not listening to the live stream.  (We had as many as 20 listeners to the stream, a record since we began offering this service a few years ago.) 

Good things come in small packages

The best things in the world really do come in small packages. I am participating in a volunteer project in London over a number of Monday afternoons. I wake up early Monday mornings. Hope and I leave the house at 6:15 and walk to our Via “shelter”. We don’t have a train station in Strathroy, we have a shelter much like the public transit shelters in most Canadian cities. The train leaves Strathroy at 6:43 and arrives in London shortly after 7:00 am. We walk to the bus stop and catch the city bus to a stop a few blocks from my daughter’s house. A quick text to my daughter to let her know I am walking the last few blocks and Hope finds her way to the front door and the arms of my 2 year old grand daughter.

President's Report - March 20th, 2014

Hello, AEBC!

It's March. We're a little over a month away from the conference and annual general meeting in Ottawa, this April 25th to 27th. Check out http://www.blindcanadians.ca/programs/conf/2014 for all the details, including the registration form.

Are you interested in running for the board? Pursuant to s. 28.4 of our bylaws, "the 1st Vice-President, Treasurer, and one Director Without Portfolio shall be elected during even numbered years." However, over the course of the last year, Dar Wournell (our secretary) resigned and Jennifer Jesso was appointed to fill her position. Under s. 32.3 of the Bylaws, that appointment is effective only until the next membership meeting, and therefore, the position of Secretary will also need to be elected.

Aqua Boot Camp

I had my biennial physical in October. It’s always a little amusing when I do this. Remember, small town. My family doctor is a family friend. I play bridge with his wife. His children are friends with my children. One of his daughters, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren live 2 doors down from my son and daughter-in-law. I did medical transcription at that clinic for about ten years and I know all the staff, I usually go out for lunch with the women in the business office at least once a month. And his office is in the clinic where my ex has an office. Again - small town! Anyways, everything is great but I have some loss of bone density. He suggested I take vitamin D and Calcium which I started. I thought some additional exercise might be beneficial as well.

Pages

Subscribe to The Blind Canadians Blog