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Blind Canadians Blog Posts by atibbs

President's Report - October 1, 2013

Hello, AEBC!

We must become the change we want to see in the world.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

Welcome to the October edition of the President's Report. This month has been busy for AEBC, and there are some exciting developments in the community that we need to harness and build upon, like the availability of accessible prescription drug labels at a Canadian pharmacy. Sure, it's only one pharmacy, but it's a start.

We've also had a busy September with the strategic planning session, hosting a number of discussions that have proven to be very fruitful. I am impressed with the energy and enthusiasm with which so many of you have shown to the process.

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.

President's Report - September 5, 2013

Hello, AEBC!

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. -- John Quincy Adams

Summer has come and gone. Fall is upon us. The children return to school; we return from vacations; and it's time to get back to the serious work ahead of us.

If you, your chapter, or your committee has a news item or announcement or resource of interest, please send it to me (tibbs@blindcanadians.ca) for inclusion in my next report.

A. Announcements and Reminders

1.

CRTC Response to DV Working Group Results

In 2009, the CRTC established a working group to look at various matters relating to descriptive video. In particular, the working group was to look at some technical matters (such as enabling the pass-thru of DV), some practical matters (such as providing means for viewers to activate descriptive video, and ensuring that the availability of DV would be advertised in program listings).

Among other things, the DVWG was responsible for the production of the audio description public service announcement that has seen considerable air play. (The, "A woman enters a kitchen..." PSA.)

The CRTC's response to the DVWG's activities is provided below.

President's Report - August 5, 2013

Hello, AEBC!

The summer is half over and we're marching steadily toward the fall, and much has been going on.

Of significance to the AEBC is that the strategic planning initiative is moving forward and you will have a number of opportunities in the next month or two to contribute your input into where you think AEBC is, should be, and how we should get there.

Please remember that if you, your chapter, or your committee has a news item or announcement or resource of interest, please send it to me (tibbs@blindcanadians.ca) for inclusion in my next report.

This is not intended to be a one-way communication. I want, we want, your feedback.

President's Report - July 3rd, 2013

If we do not like our work, and do not try to get happiness out of it, we are a menace to our profession as well as to ourselves.

-- Helen Keller, "Know Thyself," The Home Magazine, September 1930

Hello, AEBC community members!

The time has finally come to get this show on the road. At the annual general meeting this past April, I was elected as your President. I then headed off into the sunset to get married and have a honeymoon. That is in part why this first update is so long in coming!

I intend to use these President's Reports to provide a global update on the AEBC's activities, and my own thoughts on these issues.

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.

"Get Together With Technology" - Exploring technology in Ottawa

For those who are in or near the Ottawa area, a new program has been started which might broaden your horizons regarding the technology that is available for blind and partially sighted users.  "Get Together with Technology" (GTT) is a group which meets on a monthly basis to discuss technology, share resources, take training sessions, and so on.  From their blog:

Hallowe'en as a "blind man": The legal perils of carrying a white cane

Yesterday, the AEBC released a press release in protest of the selling of “blind person” Hallowe’en costumes. I agree that the sale of such costumes is wholly inappropriate or at the very least insensitive. Media portrayals of blindness are often, at a minimum, misguided. The public’s conception of what it means to be blind, and what people who are blind or who have low vision can do, is typically a far cry from reality. Dressing up and acting as a blind person can only further these misconceptions.

2012 Canadian Blind Sports National Goalball Championships: April 20-22

The 2012 Canadian National Goalball Championships are taking place this weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Proceedings are being broadcast live with full narration at http://www.goalball.info/canadian.php, and a schedule of the games is posted on that page.

What is goalball?

Marco The Clown: Making Your Own Way

Marc Proulx is a member of the AEBC's Brantford chapter.  Blind since the age of 12, Marc has tried time and again to secure employment and end his dependence on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) for survival.  He has not had much success with that effort.  But rather than simply complaining about the discrimination that employers often exercise (intentionally and otherwise) against blind and partially-sighted applicants, Marc has essentially gone into business for himself - as a clown.

In a recent profile published in Brantford's The Advocate, Marc is quoted as saying:

"Great Things About Being Blind!"

Kim Kilpatrick, a "storyteller, disability awareness presenter, and music therapist" from Ottawa, embarked on a journey in January 2011 that would see her write at least one blog post per day on the great things about being blind.  Almost 500 posts later, she is continuing strong with the tradition. 

"Blind Lawsuit" - 2008 Paralympic runner who is blind being sued for colliding with woman on canal pathway

An article posted on SportsOttawa.com a few days ago was brought to my attention, which details how it is that 2008 Paralympian Jon Dunkerley is being sued for $350,000 in damages over a 2010 jogging collision.  You can read the original article at http://sportsottawa.com/content/blind-lawsuit.

WHO/World Bank Report on Disability - Live webcast available on January 27th

On January 27th, the WHO will be releasing the first World Report on Disability in Toronto. (We announced this event last week; however, the in-person sessions are now completely full.)

The report is introduced as follows:

The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability.

To disclose or not to disclose: Saying nothing to a potential employer until you have no choice

The question of when and what to disclose to a potential employer can be a difficult one.  For those who are totally blind, or who are only marginally partially sighted, this might not present as much of a challenge: you can't very well hide the guide dog or the white cane.  But for those who have low vision, and who may or may not even be legally blind (but require accommodation nonetheless), the waters are quite a bit murkier. 

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