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Blog - July 2016

Notes from June 13 meeting of the Ottawa Gatineau chapter of AEBC

On June 13 members of the community of people who are blind, deafblind, and partially sighted met to hear from OC Transpo about the Light Rapid Transit System that is being created in the city of Ottawa. The notes follow, they are prepared by staff who presented during this meeting. Recap of Questions and Answers

Q1. What is it going to be like to travel on the new O-Train Confederation Line?

The O-Train Confederation Line is a fully-electric light rail transit system, also called an LRT. It extends 12.5 kilometres from Tunney’s Pasture Station to Blair Station, and includes a 2.5 kilometre tunnel through the downtown core. There are 13 stations on the Confederation Line – nine above-ground stations and four underground stations.

Resources for Free & Low-Cost Accessibility Solutions: PC, iPhone/iPad, MAC and Android

During the 2016 AEBC National conference, the Access to Information and Copyright committee held a panel presentation about free and inexpensive accessibility software and built-in accessibility solutions based on universal design.

Below, you will find a list of compiled resources that may be of interest to those who would like to learn more about the solutions that were discussed. This is by no means an exhaustive or complete list, but we thank all those who submitted resources and hope that this list is helpful.

The Power of Access & Choice: Braille in the 21st century

NOTE: Are you a braille user, blindness professional, braille transcriber or parent of a braille reader? Want to stay informed about the exciting braille developments described below and more? Check out Braille Literacy Canada.

Nowhere in history is there an invention as pervasive and influential as the printed word. Print is everywhere, yet we often take its power for granted.

In school, learning to read and write is the backbone for later success, inclusion and societal participation. Arguably, the most liberating aspect of the modern age is the power of choice: we can often choose to access information electronically or in print, depending on what is most ideal for the situation at hand. But what about those who do not read print?

Non-Consensual Touching Seems to Depend On Who's Being Touched

I place the highest value on the impulse to help. One of my favourite things about my neighbourhood is that people ask me if I need help all the time. It never ever irritates me; it makes me happy. 19 times out of 20 I don’t, and I decline with a friendly word of thanks. In many other parts of the city however, I’m regularly physically accosted by well-meaning busybodies who haven’t learned to use their words. It’s not just me of course; most other blind people I know have the same problem. There’s a depressing distance between the good intentions of strangers who grab me on the street or in the subway, assuming I need help when I don’t, and the anger I often feel at being touched without consent.

People want to help. People want to make my unimaginable life a little easier.

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