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Recent AEBC Activities

The national level of AEBC consists of a board of directors and twenty committees and working groups that are comprised of members from chapters across Canada and who work on national activities and issues. There are fifteen chapters, each having an executive and committees that concentrate on local activities and issues. Below is a small sample of national and chapter activities and informational announcements that have taken place in the past six months. Visit our website at: www.blindcanadians.ca or call our toll free number 1-800-561-4774 for any further information.

At the National Level

  • The AEBC has a monthly half-hour radio show on ACB Radio. "An Eye on the North" is about issues facing blind, deaf-blind, and partially sighted Canadians. Topics for past shows have included blindness in the arts, the CRTC, and transportation. To download past episodes, visit www.blindcanadians.ca/aneyeonthenorth. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, write to aneyeonthenorth@blindcanadians.ca.

  • At a meeting between AEBC and Bell Telecom - BCE a variety of issues were discussed including website accessibility, customer service, accessibility of telecommunications devices, and advertising accessible product information. One of the main messages brought by the AEBC was the need for increased involvement of people with disabilities. Blind Canadians have the skills and need to be involved as trainers of customer service agents, as employees, as product testers, and as disseminators of information. The AEBC also spoke about the need for equal pricing for accessible cell phones. Currently, in order to make many of a cell phone's features useable by blind people, third-party software has to be purchased at the expense of the blind user. The AEBC called on Bell to cover the cost of the screen-reading software, to foster equal access to cell phone technology among blind and sighted customers. The AEBC will continue to work with Bell and the CRTC to promote increased access to broadcasting and telecommunications services and technologies.

  • Two members of the Library/Copyright committee met with representatives from Industry Canada and Heritage Canada to discuss library and copyright issues. Many issues facing blind Canadians with respect to library/copyright were raised and a number of contacts were made that will be useful in moving forward to resolve these issues.

  • AEBC was represented at a federal government roundtable consultation on ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The CRPD is a very important document to our community, and it is imperative that the federal government ratifies the convention in a timely manner. In order to encourage this, federal and provincial representatives need to hear from people with disabilities and their supporters.

  • Resolutions dealing with such topics as copyright, advocacy, and calling out bus stops were passed at this year's Annual General Meeting in Vancouver. For a list of all the resolutions passed, please visit http://www.blindcanadians.ca/governance/resolution_list.php?year=2009

  • You can now get your AEBC membership online. To make it easier for new members to join and for existing members to renew, you can now pay your membership fee online using your PayPal account or credit card. To fill out the membership application and renew your AEBC membership on line, visit http://www.blindcanadians.ca/membership/application.php

  • Members of AEBC now have a listserve that provides opportunity for discussion, to share information about blindness related subjects and to keep up to date with the work of the organization. To join or find information visit http://blindcanadians.ca/listserve/

**- (If I don't get the details on this by the time we need to send to the publisher, it can get dropped) Quiet car letter follow-up and quiet car working group update.

At the Chapter Level

Fraser Valley

  • Set up a display at Seven Oaks mall in Abbotsford, in recognition of Louis Braille's 200th birthday. There was a variety of Braille paraphernalia on hand and Chapter members offered to Braille out names for passers-by

Nanaimo

  • Had their annual summer meal at which one of the member's son-in-law?a professional chef--cooked a four coarse meal
  • Is pleased to have played a role in the installation of two more intersections with audible pedestrian signals
  • Welcomes six new members since December 2008

Prince George

  • Enjoyed the motor bike rides given by a local motor bike club, after which the Chapter members barbequed and served supper to everyone
  • Have been signing up for computer classes to the point where the majority of members are computer literate

Saskatoon

  • Held it's second gadgets session?this one giving attendees the opportunity to handle and learn about the "Victor Reader Stream" made by HumanWare (a digital device that allows individuals to listen to daisy books, other talking books, MP3's, text documents etc.) It is also a great digital recorder for making brief notes or recording meetings or lectures.

Toronto

  • Has been concentrating on getting municipal elections to be more accessible so that blind voters have a choice to have someone assist them to vote or to be able to mark and verify their own ballots using appropriate technology

Winnipeg

  • Celebrated with a concert fundraiser in honor of the 200th birthday of Louis Braille. Live entertainment was provided by a local traditional French band and after the performance, there were refreshments

If you would like to express your support or concerns, get involved, or know more about AEBC activities in your area or nationally, you are invited to phone: 1-800-561-4774 or email: info@blindcanadians.ca.

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