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Victoria Author Calls for Replacement of Charity-based System

Vancouver, British Columbia--The author of a book just released says an 80 percent unemployment rate among blind Canadians is an unnecessary violation of human rights. In his book The Politics of Blindness, Victoria resident Graeme McCreath, who is blind himself, calls for a complete overhaul of services for blind Canadians, stating the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is an unsuitable vehicle to serve the best interests of blind Canadians.

McCreath, a physiotherapist and blind rights advocate, argues that the majority of working aged blind Canadians must be given the opportunity to participate in the workforce alongside their fellow citizens. The Politics of Blindness offers a whole different approach from the traditional custodial view of blindness and calls for more workplace training opportunities.

“I wrote this book to help change what it means to be a blind person in Canada,” says Graeme McCreath. “For too long, blind people have been subjected to inequality and misrepresentation. This book tells the Canadian public the stark reality about the status of blind people in this country.”

In his book, McCreath recommends that the Canadian government dismantle blind charities in favour of setting up skills-based training facilities, government incentive programs to encourage businesses to hire blind workers and a new universal federal living allowance based solely on the characteristics of blindness. This would end the current system, which penalizes people who want to utilize their intelligence and creativity while engaging in meaningful work.

“I concentrated on identifying past and present mistakes in the treatment of disadvantaged blind Canadians, and I feel that my constructive solutions offer a way to radically improve the lives of blind citizens,” says McCreath.

The Politics of Blindness is an evidence-based account of the history, present day situation and future possibilities of blind peoples’ experience.


Reprinted courtesy of Peak Communicators Ltd., February 7, 2011.