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Please Don't Say Shh!

On Canada Day of 2005, I had the opportunity to help residents of a local nursing-home celebrate the occasion by providing background piano music while they feasted on cupcakes and punch. What I didn’t know until later was that a little boy and his mother were present as well.

When the child showed an interest in the dog attached to the piano leg, a friend, who worked there at the time as an Activities Co-ordinator, explained that the lady playing the piano was blind, and that the dog was actually a guide dog.

“Really?” He asked with growing interest. “Is she related to Ray Charles?”

The mother instantly felt the need to launch into damage control.

“Shh!” she admonished.

“But is she?” the young lad insisted.

“Be quiet!” his mother hissed.

Advocating for the Rights of Consumers

In last week's blog post, I was extremely upset on how a company like Presonus could make a product so inaccessible to the visually impaired, and how this company was not willing to invest the time to make their products accessible. Well, I did two things to make me feel a lot better.

The Eugenic Legacy for Parents with Disabilities

Melanie Moore, an AEBC member, was recently interviewed on CBC radio concerning parenting with a disability. You can click this link to listen to this excellent interview.

One of the main points I take away from the interview is that disabled parents are faced with the default assumption that they will be unfit parents. It is only after disabled parents prove that they are capable that they are permitted to be parents. Melanie was scrutinized in ways that most parents are not, and she was permitted to leave with her child only after proving herself capable; and all of this despite the fact that it was her third child.

PreSonus Accessibility

Good day readers. If you remember a few posts ago, I was telling you all about my troubles with a PDF document that I came across while downloading the latest drivers for the v-studio 100 audio card from Roland. Well, I'd like to share with you all today that I finally got an answer from the company telling me that they had replaced the non accessible file, and put up an accessible version of the document. However after testing out the card on the Mac platform, I found that there were other issues that made it impossible to work with Protools a music sequencing software package. "Fine, I can live with that," and decided to trade in the card for another model.

How close is disability?

More often than not, we seem to ignore the frightening reality that like it or not, disability is only a fraction of a blink away.  Many of the mainstream world may choose to believe that they can avoid disability.  That if they ignore it, it will just simply go away and that if they don’t think about it, it will probably never affect them.  Right?  Wrong!

Believe it or not, disability can affect anyone.  Disability does not discriminate and it can make anyone its victim whenever it wants and wherever it chooses.  From the youngest to the oldest.  From the tiniest of babies to the oldest of persons. 

Talk to the President March 2012

Greetings fellow AEBC members and I hope that all is well with everyone. 

Ah yes!  March is all but gone and soon April will be with us.  I hope that everyone is getting ready to have a wonderful spring. 

I would again like to thank everyone for their feedback and my question at the end of this update is an important one which I am asking you to really give some thought to.  I believe that this question will help your board to better understand what vision you seek for the AEBC.

My quote for this month is:

Your slice of the pie

When it comes down to it, we could easily compare it to a slice of pie.  What am I going on about today?  Well, here goes!

In my humble opinion, we are each assigned a slice of pie when we come into this world.  Each slice is of the same exact size but we can increase or decrease the slice of our pie depending on our actions throughout our life.  If we take our slice and make things happen, if we take it and use it as a means to help expand our horizons, and if we take it and use it to help others, then the size of our pie will definitely grow.

Are Blind Drivers Going to take over the Roads?

A video of a blind man piloting one of Google's self-driving cars has swept across the Internet over the last couple of days. In case you missed it, the video is available with audio description here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid=cdgQpa1pUUE&annotation_id=annotation_979835&feature=iv&v=peDy2st2XpQ

Count us in

In early February 2012, a certain Canadian Federal agency decided to run some very important surveys but there was a bit of a twist to this.  For whereas these surveys should have been made accessible and available to all Canadians, it was not and why not?  Because it appears that some blind persons and persons with hard of hearing challenges were turned away. 

Listen to our kids

In the normal scheme of things, we feel that it is our kids who need to listen to us but sometimes; we need to listen to our kids.  Whenever we think that they are not paying attention then guess what?  They are and much more than we think.  Whenever we think that they are shutting us out, it is we who are doing it, not them.

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