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Advocacy

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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.

Blind sex offender skips jail: Corrections cannot accommodate blind prisoners

The accused, blind since the age of 16 as a result of a car accident, worked with the City of Calgary as a spokesperson and presenter on issues of blindness and disability. He has represented Canada at the Paralympic Games in 1984 and 1992. (By my reckoning, he must be at least in his 40's as a result.)

The accused, who has a prior criminal record for fraud over $5000, was convicted in 2012 of assault and sexual assault involving a friend. The question of sentencing -- and whether it would be proper for the accused to "be sentenced to a period of incarceration in a correctional facility given that he is blind and requires 24 hour assistance from his guide dog" -- was considered by a judge of the Alberta Provincial Court in April of this year: [R. v.

Emergencies effect everyone, even those of us with disabilities

June 20, 2013, saw a record flood hit the city of Calgary. It's probably the worst natural disaster this part of Canada has seen in generations. An unusually wet spring combined with a significant snow pack has resulted in communities from Banff to Calgary and surrounding area litterly get wiped out; it's been a perfect storm.

It's been a huge devistation with the price tag likely to be in the billions. Sadly, four people have lost their lives and I'm sure everyone feels for their families for the tragic loss. Would our service animals be welcome at an emergency centre? How about someone using a wheel chair or motorized scooter.

So what happens to those of us who may live alone and have a disability when mother nature strikes.

The changing of the leopard's spots: CNIB now and into the future

A few weeks ago, CNIB released a document which marked the beginning of a consultative strategic planning initiative taking place within CNIB. Entitled, "Your CNIB. Your future. Hearing your views on the future direction of CNIB," this document (which has been posted on the AEBC web site already) outlines what CNIB is planning on doing, how and why they are soliciting opinions from the community as to their future direction.

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