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National Committees

Much of the work that the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians does is done through our national committees. These are groups of members who formulate and implement plans to reach the organization's objectives.

Each committee has a chair, and any number of additional members. Normally, a minimum of one member of the Board of Directors will participate in committee meetings, though they may not necessarily chair the committee.

If you are interested in joining a committee, contact the committee chair for more information.

Below is a summary of each of the national committees. Click on the title of a committee for more information about its mandate.

Accessible Information and Copyright Committee

Contact: Leo Bissonnette (leo@blindcanadians.ca)

The Accessible Information and Copyright Committee has a mandate to advocate for full access to print publications, in the many different ways that the community does that (be it through CELA, NNELS, Audible, Bookshare, CourseSmart, public libraries, or otherwise). The Committee will monitor developments on any changes to the Canadian Copyright Act.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

This year, the AGM committee will be planning for the 2017 AEBC National Conference and Annual General Meeting, to be held in Toronto, Ontario. This will be a fun and exciting time for AEBC as we plan and celebrate AEBC’s 25th Anniversary. The purpose of the AGM committee is to create awareness of the AGM, focusing on AEBC’s 25th Anniversary, and to encourage more participation from defined geographic areas throughout Canada.

Communications Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

The Communications Committee, which will be subdivided as necessary to handle Western/Central/Eastern messaging, is responsible for coordinating our website and social media campaigns (Twitter, Facebook), messaging to members and third parties, drafting of press releases, and reviewing outgoing communications to ensure consistency in our messages.

Employment and Entrepreneurship Committee

Contact: Marcia Yale (yale@blindcanadians.ca)

There is an unacceptably high rate of unemployment among blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians living in Canada. It is estimated that 70 percent of working age blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians are currently not in the work force. There are a number of reasons for this devastating picture including attitudes of employers, lack of affordable technology and associated ongoing cost of technology, and lack of funding for technologies already proven to be accessible but not approved for purchase by provincial and territorial programs designed to get blind Canadians online. Programs exist to get blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians into Canada's work force but to date, none have succeeded in securing jobs which also have a career development component outside of Governments.

Fundraising Committee

Contact: Charles Bailey (bailey@blindcanadians.ca)

Fundraising is essential to AEBC in order to carry out our vision and mission. The function of Fundraising has been traditionally the responsibility of National and Chapter Treasurers. As stewards of finance, Treasurers are responsible for financial health, but a broader range of skills is required to launch successful fundraising campaigns. New tools and resources are now available to assist organizations in all aspects of fundraising such as Crowd source funding, special event planning, grants and project funding. Together with members who have fundraising experience and project management, the committee will carry out plans for raising monies for AEBC at a National, regional and chapter level. The Fundraising Committee will develop strategies and plans for raising monies in conjunction with other committees where appropriate.

Governance Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

The Governance Committee is responsible for the development, revision, filing and communication pertaining to corporate documents development, filings and disclosures.

Information Technology Committee

Contact: Alan Conway (alan@blindcanadians.ca)

The Information Technology committee deals with (1) the management of the various email lists the AEBC operates. This includes determining the organization’s needs and the development of list guidelines where appropriate; (2) Development of approaches to make the best use of our technological resources; and (3) Potential content that might be considered beneficial to the AEBC, such as features we might add to our website.

Leadership, Development and Training Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

The Leadership, Development and Training Committee has been formed to respond to the AEBC’s need to increase the capacity of its membership and to develop and groom new members to assume future leadership roles within the organization. This may be accomplished through the improvement of members’ skill sets or providing opportunities for members to become involved and utilize or enhance their existing skills.

Membership, Recruitment and Retention Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

Although it should be the responsibility of all volunteers to recruit new members, each the members of the Membership, Recruitment and Retention committee will be managing the membership acquisition process for his/her geographic area. This includes development of systematic ways to welcome and engage new members, monitoring of membership feedback, and following up with disengaged members.

Strategic Planning Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

Strategic planning is not a process that truly sees an "end". Each year, the current plan must be reviewed, stock taken of our progress toward the identified goals and objectives, and some realignment of priorities done to respond to changes in the environment. While the work of the Strategic Planning committee will be less onerous going forward, occasional meetings and reviews must continue to be undertaken on an ongoing basis.

Student and Education Council Committee

Contact: Leo Bissonnette (leo@blindcanadians.ca)

The Student and Education Council Committee has two broad areas of activity:

  • Administration of the annual AEBC/T-Base Communications Scholarship program; and,
  • Transition to University Program for students: A New Initiative The AEBC Halifax Chapter, under the Student and Education Council Committee, is exploring the feasibility of taking on this project, having it launched for one week. Fundraising and planning will be the focus for the Halifax Chapter, reporting progress to the AEBC Board.

Technology, Website, and App Accessibility Committee

Contact: Marcia Yale (yale@blindcanadians.ca)

The Technology, Website and App Accessibility committee will be tasked with monitoring the environment, and gathering and sharing information (through blogs and other media) about new technologies that work for us, don't work for us but need to do so, and more.

These activities will include work on accessibility relating to web site and Smartphone/tablet-based applications. These “apps” present new and different accessibility hurdles from mainstream commercial desktop software, and this remains a high priority item for our membership. This committee will be tasked with moving the agenda forward in drawing attention to and improving on web site and "app" accessibility issues.

Telecommunications (CRTC) Committee

Contact: Dar Wournell (dar@blindcanadians.ca)

A key issue for the membership arises from telecommunications accessibility issues relating to phones, cell phones, the Internet, cable/television providers, and streaming services (Netflix, Crave TV). The Telecommunications committee will be tasked with monitoring this environment and driving organizational policy and response to new technological and regulatory developments (CRTC-related submissions, etc.).

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