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Advocacy

Live Audio Description: What's Really Going On

I feel very fortunate to have the luxury of being an audio description snob. Now, if a movie or TV show doesn’t offer AD, I think three times about whether I want to bother with it. But audio description isn’t just for the movie theater or TV anymore. Increasingly, it’s becoming possible for blind and visually impaired people do access description for a wider range of cultural experiences like stage productions, art and museum exhibits, and sporting events. Recently, I had the chance to experience some live audio description that expanded my perception of my home city.

I like living in a city, especially one as diverse as Toronto. That said, I think of my affection mostly in practical terms: where can I go? What can I do? Who can I meet?

AEBC Ottawa Chapter meeting with City of Ottawa on transportation issues

On Dec 7 2015, the Ottawa Chapter of the AEBC hosted a very informative and successful first meeting with the city. 3 Representatives of the city (Tom, Randy, and Phil), joined a group of approximately 20 community members along with the Chapter Board to review and explore topics of mutual interest. Unfortunately, representation was not present from the Light Rail Transport (LRT) or customer Service areas and it is hoped this will be rectified in the summer 2016 meeting.

Discussions included bus announcements, universal design, the current LRT construction, installation of pulsing and audible lights, roundabouts, and the increased presence of bike lanes within the CITY.

Last Day of Campaign... (#IAmYourCustomer)

As we move into the last day of the campaign, you still have time to do your part and make a difference.

It is time to get involved and change the story about who we are. If you do not want others advocating on our behalf then it is up to all of us to advocate on matters of importance, such as access to vital information to support decision making.

Go to our home page and you will find supporting documentation there for the 'I Am Your Customer' and join us in making good things happen: http://www.blindcanadians.ca/iamyourcustomer

#IAmYourCustomer Accessible Contact Information

Accessible communication is critical to enabling independence, and full participation in life.

Join Us for a Workshop on Doing Advocacy through Social Media! (June 23, 2015)

Social media is a powerful tool – It provides individuals just like you with a platform to share your views and your voice with millions of readers instantaneously. Suddenly, we are all connected with just the click of a button. The possibilities for advocacy and public education efforts are endless! But how can we use social media platforms responsibly, appropriately, and independently? How can we use social media to educate through positive and important dialogue?

Election accessibility (town hall report): What to expect in the 2015 federal elections

On Saturday, February 28th, 2015, AMI, Elections Canada, and AEBC presented a town hall discussion on the accessibility of federal elections. We were joined by Marc Mayrand, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, who is ultimately responsible to parliament for the operation of the Elections Canada regime.

The purpose of this discussion was primarily to gain an understanding of the issues that continue to face our community, and to gain an understanding of the problem from Elections Canada's perspective. There were more than 50 participants registered for the call, and AEBC was certainly well represented with many of our members having an opportunity to speak and share their point of view.

Now Imagine the Blind Business Owner...

As a founder, and now retired entrepreneur, I know all too well that growth potential for business depends on the availability of accessible information regarding regulatory and policy changes, and also may be the difference between success and failure. In the beginning, as a person who is blind, the journey of starting and growing a business was a daunting task filled with pitfalls and many information challenges. I encountered more than my fair share of people who could not believe that a blind woman could succeed. I was troubled by the attitude of many people with respect to their consistent belief that blindness prevented me from being successful, which created needless attitudinal barriers.

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.

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.

Fighting for more accessible elections

I am currently involved in a human rights complaint that is now going to Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

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