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Highlights of Recent NFB:AE Activities

  • New NFB:AE Chapter! Welcome Saskatoon! We are looking forward to working with the executive and members of our newest Chapter.

  • Hiring of three new contract personnel, Marie Paul of Toronto as Coordinator, Wanda Fitzgerald of Toronto as Public Relations / Public Education Coordinator, and Karen Klemp of Kelowna as Bookkeeper. Welcome each of you to our organization, and see below for brief bios.

  • Participated in our first Council of Canadians with Disabilities National Council meeting, which considered such topics as the proposed UN Convention on the Rights or Persons With Disabilities, review of consumer involvement with Human Rights Commissions across Canada, social policy initiatives, immigration cases, training for youth with disabilities, and the development of a Work Plan for 2003.

  • Brief and oral testimony to the Ontario Human Rights Commission's Consultation on Education Issues Affecting Students With Disabilities.

  • Participation in Press Conference at the launch by the Royal Bank of new talking ATM's across Canada.

  • Re-establishment and expansion of Mentorship Program to also include assistance for adults who are blind.

  • Submissions of concern to CNIB on its proposed Advocacy Manual, and request for a $25.00 donation for distributing transit passes in Toronto, which will become a charge in 2004.

  • Taped segment on VoicePrint, discussing the Romanow Report on the Future of Health Care in Canada.

Introducing Our New Contract Personnel:

Coordinator: Marie Paul

Marie Paul, who now lives in Toronto, was born in Kenya. Her academic background includes a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University; an M.A. in Special Education and Rehabilitation of the Multi-Sensory Impaired from Boston College; a Certificate of General Special Education and Rehabilitation Services from Gothenburg University, Sweden; a Masters in Languages from the University of Paris; and a B.A. with Honors in History and Philosophy from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.

Marie's employment history includes Job Developer with Community Work Services in Boston, where she developed jobs for people with disabilities; Rehabilitation Counselor with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, where she provided a full range of pre-vocational services to individuals with disabilities; Special Education Teacher at the Perkins School for the Blind, where she taught communication and ADL skills to deaf-blind children, ages 6-14; Director / Inspector of Special Education in Nairobi, Kenya where she initiated and established special education programs, trained special education personnel and implemented a national curriculum; and earlier worked as a simultaneous translator between English and French with UNESCO in Paris.

She is also a Board member with ERDCO (Ethno racial coalition for persons with disabilities), member of the International Association for Education of the Deaf-Blind, and a member of Toronto's Taxi-cab Advisory Committee.

Her hobbies include traveling to different countries, listening to and playing music, needlework, reading, yoga, gardening and baking.

Public Relations / Public Education Coordinator: Wanda Fitzgerald

Wanda Fitzgerald of Toronto has a background in Journalism and Fine Art and is also active as a theatre artist in the Toronto theatre community.

For TWO years she was co-editor of the Canadian Blind Monitor and also wrote a technical column called the Tool Box. She has worked for PostCity Magazine and has a long history of writing non-fiction articles and technical tutorials. In addition, Wanda runs a small computer company specializing in computer equipment and training for persons who are vision-impaired. She is also President of the Glenvale Players, a community theatre group made up mainly of blind and vision-impaired theatre artists.

As well as acting, Wanda is a published writer of Speculative Fiction and enjoys sailing, equestrian sports, painting and reading.

Bookkeeper: Karen Klemp

Karen Klemp was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. After graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Marketing), she spent six months touring Europe with friends. She has since lived and worked in Calgary and Edmonton with her husband and two children. She moved to Kelowna in 1998 after deciding that this was the best place to raise children without having to travel anywhere for summer vacations.

Karen has completed the 5th level of her Certified Management Accountant designation. Her most recent position was as Chief Accountant with a large private construction / property management firm in Kelowna. She is also currently working on her BCRPA Fitness Instructor's certification.

Karen has five years expe3rience in accounting and bookkeeping for non-profit organizations as well as other experience in various fields including manufacturing, retail wine sales, general office administration, continuing education and property management.