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Editorial Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

The 1993 National Election campaign had a particular poignancy for blind Canadians. Everybody was talking about Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! It seemed to many blind people that the slogan was directed to everybody but us. This is not to say that one political party has a better record than another. Our unemployment level has remained consistently high, no matter which party holds the majority in Ottawa. In fact one blind person I know commented, after hearing a documentary about an outpost in Newfoundland with a 70% unemployment rate, "I wish we were doing as well." Why are blind people unemployed in such high numbers? Is the problem inherent in blindness? What role is played by poor public attitudes about blindness? What kind of training is needed for blind people to become employed and where can it be obtained? What kind of jobs do blind people currently hold? What makes the difference for an individual between having a job and being out of work? What can we do to solve our unemployment problems? One issue of a magazine cannot hope to answer all of these questions. We can hope to raise awareness, broaden the discussion, and suggest possible solutions. We are working towards the day when we can be sure that the politicians who talk about jobs for Canadians, are talking about blind Canadians too.