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Highlights of Recent AEBC Activities

AEBC'S First Alberta Chapter

In June, the AEBC formed our first Alberta Chapter in Calgary. We are looking forward to working with its President, Mike Hambly, and the Chapter's executive to build a vibrant presence in the Calgary area. Contact Mike Hambly at:

braille@telus.net

Dangers of the Hybrid and Electric Cars

At the AEBC's 2005 Conference, a resolution was adopted concerning the need for research into the dangers posed to pedestrians by the quiet, hybrid and electric cars, which will make it increasingly difficult to hear approaching traffic. A letter containing the Resolution (and a couple of articles) was sent to 17 automobile manufacturers and two unions, and AEBC's Executive Assistant, Kim Kilpatrick, appeared on Ottawa's CBC afternoon show, All in a Day, on August 3, 2005.

See elsewhere in this edition for a discussion on this emerging issue and its danger to blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted pedestrians.

AEBC Supports TTC Case

AEBC's National Secretary, Marcia Cummings, attended David Lepofsky's Ontario Human Rights Tribunal hearings, which led to a decision mandating the calling out of all subway stops in Toronto. She also participated in media coverage and in a training video for TTC staff.

Accessible Products Research

This summer the AEBC hired two students, Daylin Mantyka and Jeremy Rutledge, through HRSDC's summer student program to research the availability of accessible products and to determine how products are regulated in Canada. Visit the AEBC's website http://www.blindcanadians.ca this fall for results of this work.

AEBC Participates in Broadcasting Study

CRTC Decision 2004-2 extended television licenses for many specialty channels, and mandated the broadcast industry to improve the presence, portrayal and participation of racial minorities, First Nations peoples and persons with disabilities. The AEBC has been actively participating in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) project, which makes numerous recommendations, and the report will appear on the CAB's website: http://www.cab-acr.ca

AEBC and the Future of Library Services

Following a meeting with the Canadian Library Association (CLA) and representatives from several other organizations, the AEBC prepared an extensive response to Draft #3 of "Opening the Book" on the future of library services for blind Canadians. The draft incorporated the content and spirit of many resolutions that were adopted at this year's AEBC Annual General Meeting, and calls upon publishers and the regular public library system to provide books electronically, and serve persons with disabilities in the regular system.

This paper is available from the AEBC's National Office.

Appointments

Robin East, AEBC's Saskatoon chapter president, has been appointed chair of the Council on Disability Issues by Saskatchewan's Minister of Community Resources and Employment, Joanne Crawford. He and the council will work closely with the Office of Disability Issues and report directly to the minister.

John Rae, The AEBC's national president, has been appointed as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities' (CCD) representative on the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF). John will bring his lengthy background in consumerism, union and government work to this multi-partite body.

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