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Highlights of Recent AEBC Activities

  • AEBC Elects Sixth President

During AEBC's biennial Conference in Victoria, BC, in May, which focused on universal design, Mr. Robin East of Saskatoon was elected AEBC's sixth President.

Resolutions adopted focused on fighting poverty, accessible elections, preserving human rights protection, and AEBC's role in providing services. Further details on this year's Conference can be found elsewhere in this publication.

  • AEBC Presents at Council of Canadians with Disabilities' Transportation Forum

In conjunction with CCD's AGM and National Council meetings, John Rae participated on a panel at a national Transportation Forum, which examined the current state of transportation in Canada. He raised a number of issues, long-standing and new barriers in Canada's transportation system, including the need for adequate space on airplanes for guide dogs, the problem of guide dog users getting rides from taxis at airports, the dangers of the hybrid automobile, and the introduction of onboard flat screen entertainment systems on a growing number of airplanes.

  • AEBC Presents at 11th TRANSED Conference

John Rae presented AEBC's "Dangers of the Hybrid Quiet Car" paper at the 11th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED) held June 18-22, 2007 in Montreal, under the theme "Benchmarking, Evaluation and Vision for the Future."

This major international Conference also included presentations on all modes of transportation--air, rail, inter-city bus, ferries, and included some presentations on travel and tourism. It provided an excellent opportunity to make contacts and offer a consumer perspective on a variety of important transportation topics.

To read the paper, please visit: www.blindcanadians.ca/press_releases//index.php?BriefID=42

  • AEBC Presents at International FICCDAT Conferences

On Sunday, June 10, 2007, John Rae presented two papers at the Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology (FICCDAT), including "Boomers Aging With Vision Loss: Public Attitudes Are Key," available on the AEBC website. Our goal in appearing was to offer a consumer perspective to this Conference comprised largely of service providers.

  • AEBC's National Secretary Asked to Present at AER Conference

Marcia Cummings was asked to talk to the Ontario Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) at their workshop in Waterloo on September 8, 2007. She spoke about the added independence offered her by her Trekker, one of the few accessible GPS (global positioning system) units available.

  • BC Low Tech Assistive Devices Program (LTADP) Update

The LTADP has been up and running for just under two months. The four Navigators, who are all blind or partially sighted, have interviewed over five hundred applicants and facilitated the acquisition of approximately 480 devices at a total cost of $234,563.40 as of September 11. There are still about fifty applicants who are either waiting for an assessment or have not yet decided which device will best meet their needs. All the applicants will receive a follow-up call from their Navigator to determine their satisfaction with the program and their device, and to provide support or referral if required.

The most popular devices have been Daisy players and portable video magnifiers. A list of devices and where to get them will be posted to the AEBC website at the conclusion of the program, which is anticipated to be the end of the year. There will be a report of the pilot's findings that will be submitted to the BC Government and it is hoped that these findings will lead to the development of an ongoing provincial assistive devices program based on this consumer-directed model.

For more information about the AEBC LTADP, contact the Navigator Coordinator, Linda Bartram, at (250) 485-0275 or email: Lindabartram@cablerocket.com

  • AEBC Organizes Another New Chapter

The AEBC's first chapter in Edmonton, Alberta, is now up and running. For further details, contact Keith Gillard at: kgillard@shaw.ca

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