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Headlines & Highlights Recent AEBC Activities

Below is a sample of activities carried out over the past six months. More information can be obtained on some of these and other items by visiting our website at: {http://www.blindcanadians.ca}, or calling our toll free number, 1-800-561-4774.

  • Brief was presented at public hearings of the CRTC (Canadian Radio Television & Telecommunications Commission), where AEBC addressed unresolved issues related to the accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services to persons with disabilities. The report for the hearings will be released and appear on the CRTC website, probably in spring 2009.

  • Airlines consult with the AEBC and others in the disabled community on two separate occasions regarding tactile seat numbering on planes and the One Person/One Fare ruling that was made by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

  • Monthly radio show, An Eye On the North, airs on ACB Radio to showcase the diversity amongst blind Canadians.

  • "Has CNIB forsaken blind Canadians?" is the question that AEBC asked when it presented at the Annual General Meeting of CNIB in order to try to convince voting members that it should remain a requirement that the CNIB CEO be a client (vision-impaired person). The majority of voters disagreed and thus any upcoming CEO could be a fully sighted person.

  • Four post-secondary students from across Canada win $1,500 scholarships administered by the AEBC.

  • Information and Discussion on the AEBC listserve was recently a-buzz on the subject of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) that the Federal government has enacted commencing in the 2008 tax year (see New Resources in this issue).

  • Potential benefits of cross-border collaboration was the focus of an AEBC board member's address as a speaker at the 2008 convention of the American Council of the Blind.

  • The Nanaimo, British Columbia, Chapter organized an educational display for the public in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille's birth and the importance of braille, the system used for reading, writing, mathematics, and music Notation by blind persons all over the world.

  • AEBC forms provincial affiliate in British Columbia. This development will facilitate communication among the six BC chapters, province-wide recognition, and access to funding available to provincial groups.

  • Dog First Aid course held in Vancouver was a success for the Lower Mainland Chapter and the people who attended.

  • AEBC member wins a court decision. The ruling states that a person travelling on planes with a guide dog must be provided sufficient comfortable space for a guide dog at no extra cost.

  • Concerns about changes to Canada's postal service are presented in a brief to Canada Post Corporation, with recommendations that changes not take place until a Discussion Paper has been released, and a national consultation conducted that includes public hearings throughout the country.

  • National Board ratifies bylaws and welcomes two new chapters?Brantford, Ontario, and Prince George, British Columbia.

  • Saskatoon Chapter co-sponsors a "gadgets meeting", with the North Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre, during which everyone had an opportunity to talk about, show, and give people hands-on introductions to devices that could assist them with every day tasks.

  • The pilot project to provide low tech Adaptive Devices concludes in British Columbia, during which many vision-impaired citizens were able to apply for and receive low-tech aids to assist them in their daily lives.

  • The AEBC continues to press Elections Canada for a method of voting that will enable blind electors to independently cast and verify how they voted.

  • A presentation on the danger of quiet cars was given at the 2008 International Conference on Low Vision.

  • Encouraging publishers and Educators to play a more active role in the availability of materials in alternative formats was the focus of an AEBC board member's paper presented at a conference of the National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS).

  • A brief was presented to the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services regarding Ontario's proposed Information and Communications Accessibility Standard, which is due to make these critical areas accessible by 2025.

  • A "Key Points for Drivers in Protecting Blind Pedestrians" pamphlet was developed and sent to officials concerned with driver education across Canada.

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