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What did I learn today - Canadians and Charity

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations states “Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating.  Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”.  I believe this statement should be our guide in everything we do.  We have opportunities to learn something new everyday.   Learning can be through formal education, classes at our local community centre, reading a newspaper or interacting with others.  Learning and education are lifelong activities and I have decided to try to learn something new everyday.  When my children were in elementary school I would ask them at dinner, “What did you learn today?”  Now I ask myself, “What did I learn today?”

Talk to the President - January 2012

Greetings fellow AEBC members and yes! January is almost over and we are only just a short distance away from beautiful spring! I hope that all is well with everyone and I would again like to start by thanking those of you who continue to give me very valuable feedback for it is only through you and with you that your board and I can continue to persevere.

Is the government complying with its new standard on web accessibility? Help us find out!

On November 29, 2010 the Federal Court of Canada released a landmark decision concerning the rights of Canadians with disabilities to access government websites. 

Justice Kelen declared that Donna Jodhan's inability to access certain government websites is representative of a system wide failure by government departments and agencies to make their websites accessible, and that the government's failure to monitor and ensure compliance with its own accessibility standards violates the equality guarantee in the Charter. He declared that the government has a constitutional obligation to bring itself into compliance with the Charter within a "reasonable time period, such as 15 months."  If the government is not complying, Justice Kelen indicated Ms.

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. 

Why Accessibility is an Essential Ingredient for the iPad's Success in Education

Today, Apple announced some new tools that are likely to revolutionize textbook publishing and education in the same way that iTunes and the iPod changed music and the music industry and in the way the Appstore and the iPhone changed mobile phones. Specifically, Apple announced:

Be Sure To Sign Up To Have Your Say To The Pinto Human Rights Code Review

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance is calling on interested parties to sign up to have their say to the Pinto Human Rights Code Review by January 23rd.

Talk to the President - December 2011

Season's greetings to all and I hope that everyone is well into the holiday celebrations.  This is probably one of my favourite times of the year!  A time for giving and for forgiving and a time of peace and goodwill.

2011 is fast coming to an end and my hope for each and every one of you is that 2012 will be a better year for you.  I'd like to thank you for your continuing feedback and support and just want you to know how much it is appreciated.  Please keep it coming! 

As always, I'll have my usual monthly question at the end of my update and would love to get your thoughts.

My quote for this month is:

Talk to the President - November 2011


November 30, 2011

Greetings fellow AEBC members:

It is the end of November and I hope that everyone is getting ready to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. Some of you may have already started to toast the end of another year while others are waiting for the first dawn of December 01. No matter what, I wish each and every one of you the very best!

I'd like to thank those of you who took the time to provide me with feedback for last month and remember! It is only with you and through you that your board can succeed!
I'd like to start with my monthly quote: "You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give." Eleanor Roosevelt

Talk to the President - October 2011

Dear fellow AEBC members:

I hope that everyone has had a great October and that with the fast approaching holiday season, we are all getting ready to raise our glasses in toast to each other's successes and accomplishments. I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to send me your feedback for it is only with you and through you that the AEBC will be able to forge ahead. This month as always I have a question for you at the end of my update and I look forward to receiving your comments.

I'd like to start with one of my favorite quotations: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy

Talk to the President - September 2011


September 29, 2011

Dear AEBC members:

Another month is now in the books and I hope that everyone had a great September. It has been a very busy month for your board as we continue to work to ensure that your priorities take top spot over everything else. I thank those of you who took the time to write to me and again, I would love to hear from you with your thoughtful and respectful comments for it is only through you that we can aspire to achieve better things.

I thank those of you who took the time to respond to my monthly question for August and I'll have another for you to respond to at the end of this email.

I would like to start with one of my favorite quotes:

Talk to the President - August 2011


August 31, 2011

Dear fellow AEBC members:

I hope that this email finds you all well and I also hope that you have managed to enjoy this very warm and humid summer.

Well, August is almost at an end and soon fall will be here. Another month has come and gone and I would like to take a few minutes of your time to tell you a bit about what your national board has been up to for the month of August.

Invitation to Town Hall Meeting With CNIB Regarding Library Services

You are cordially Invited to a Town Hall Meeting

With John Rafferty, CEO of the CNIB

Topic:  Library Services in Canada

Purpose:  to ask questions of, and provide input to, the CNIB on:

How best to move forward on issues pertaining to the future of library services for blind, partially sighted, and deaf/blind Canadians.

When: October 29 2011

Time: 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time or 10:00 am Pacific Time


365 Bloor Street East, Suite 902


The closest subway is at Bloor and Sherbourne

How Can I Participate?:

Talk to the President - May 2011


May 27, 2011

Dear AEBC Members:

As part of my commitment to increase communication between your board and you, I thought that I would kick things off with a short email/note from me.

First, allow me to tell you how humbled and delighted I am to be your new president. I know that I have very large shoes to fill but I am ready and willing and with your help I am confident that we will be able to take the AEBC to even greater heights.

Talk to the President - July 2011

Hello AEBC Members:

I hope that all is well in your neck of the woods and that July has been an enjoyable month for you. I thank those of you who took the time to respond to my previous email and I'll have another ponderous question for you at the end of my email and I look forward to your considered feedback.

Remember now, your opinions are extremely important to me and it is only through you that I will be able to steer our ship in and out of these rough seas.

So, here is my monthly update and please if you can, take a moment to read and give some comments to my question at the end of this email.

Talk to the President - June 2011

Dear AEBC Members:

I hope that you are all doing well and that you are enjoying some of the nice weather that we have been having thus far for this spring and early summer.

As I promised in my speech to you on May 21st, one of my commitments is to increase communication between your board and you and to that end, each month I will be writing to you to give you an update on some of our activities.

I will also have a question for you - one which I hope will stimulate some good old fashioned discussion and I would also like you to write to me with your own questions. Tell me what is on your mind and what you would like me to know more about. So, without much more ado, here is my update to you.

Robin East's Voting Experience - May 2, 2011 Federal Election

1.       The Information Card that was mailed to me and had my correct mailing address on it was not in an alternative format. I understand that Elections Canada gets the information from the Canada Revenue Agency for elections purposes if I check the box on my tax return. Of course I do so this is mailed to me. the Canada Revenue Agency sends me everything in a format of my choice and that choice is electronically in HTML format so why is this not sent to me in the same way. If elections Canada is asking for my mailing address they should also ask for format of which the Canada Revenue Agency sends information out to the tax payer. In this way it would have come in an appropriate format.

It is not mine alone to win but ours not to lose

It is not very often that one gets an opportunity to go head to head with the government of their country and it is not something that is for the faint of heart.  I have always known this and as I sit here contemplating the latest developments in my charter challenge, I can only tell you that the one thing that keeps me going is this:  Belief!  I believe in what I have been doing since 2006 and if I had to do it all over again then I surely would.  I have never sought any monetary compensation or any personal gain for myself; it is all for our blind, sight impaired, deaf/blind, and print disabled kids of the future and for our community as a whole.

The Right to Recreation

As a resident of the city of Toronto Canada, I feel that I am compelled to write an open letter to our new Mayor; Rob Ford.  First Mr. Mayor, congratulations on your recent elections.  I know that for the next while, you will be busy putting your Mayoral house in order but before you get down to the business at hand, I thought that I would sneak in on the ground floor so to speak and make you aware of something which would probably become more important to Torontonians as time marches on.


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