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Let's Get It Out There - Penny’s Impressions
On October 29th, I attended a town-hall meeting via streaming, that was called, “let’s get it out there”
I found the meeting to have been interesting. My impressions may not be the same as other people but I am sharing them. The objective of this meeting of people who are blind, was to see how we might work more closely together to achieve improvements to our lives in all aspects.
I understood that no one would speak as a representative, I note that the president of CFB, was basically allowed to repeat her email address @CFB, three times in a comment response to one question. She didn’t respond to the question except to say she would love to hear from people about any letters that CFB could write in support of advocacy efforts. A nice gesture but everyone knew it was a type of sales to contact CFB which no other person did, primarily because we all gathered as individuals, to discuss how we might work better together.
Jane Blane did an excellent job as moderator, but she should have stopped the president of CFB from advertising her email address.
My impression, over all, is that people felt there wasn’t a need for another organization to form for the purpose of advocating in a more unified way, but that we need to interact more often, collaborate more often on given projects and initiatives.
Building consumer consensus is possible but it takes resources which tends to require assistance from CNIB. Finding other resources could be possible. Looking at how other countries work together would be beneficial.
People need to feel they get something out of joining an effort; so, that this need has to be managed as well as the advocacy effort. The hope of changing something can be motivational, but the key is that we have so many diverse needs, and one size does not fit all, for solutions to given problems.
It appears that if people could feel a sense of pride in being blind, that the word blind might not be something people don’t wish to associate with. Blindness brings about challenges, and the courage required to manage those challenges is cause for pride at the highest level. Perhaps if people felt better about blindness we wouldn’t have to use so many ways to indicate sight loss. Blind is not total blindness, nor is it dependence or other words that carry negative images.
The causes of our not having worked well together stems from lack of respect for differences and raging egos that expect others to be just like them. Or for thinking their ways are the only ways.
We could achieve more if we form partnerships or coalitions with other groups that have similar needs. We also would learn something about the needs of other people and educate others about our needs.
There needs to be give and take, so that if I work on achieving a need that another group requires, they will work on a need I require. The trust to having this kind of relationship needs to be sought after.
We need to know more about all other organizations within our community so that we bring the best qualities of each organization together to achieve more.
This was a good first step but it was a very small step toward a united movement of all blind Canadians.