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1997 Annual Meeting-Motions and Resolutions

Editor's Note: NFB:AE policy is determined by the membership at annual and special meetings. Every member can propose motions and resolutions, and every member can vote on them. Following are the resolutions and motions passed by the NFB:AE at its meeting held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 2, 1997.

Motion: The terms of the current officers be extended until the NFB:AE Convention in February 1998, except that the vacancy in the position of second vice president shall be filled at the meeting to be held in New Orleans.

Motion: Beginning in February 1998, all elections and fiscal matters will be handled at the NFB:AE Convention in Canada. Any policy resolutions may be put forward and voted upon at either the NFB:AE Convention in Canada or the NFB:AE meeting to be held each year in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind Convention in the United States in July.

Motion: It is the policy of the NFB:AE that all Canadians who require Braille to access information have the right to Braille literacy and that all Canadians who are blind have the right to equal access to print information in Braille.

RESOLUTION 9701-MR. MAGOO

WHEREAS the cartoon character Mr. Magoo is based on the premise that without seeing the world clearly one cannot respond to it intelligently, and

WHEREAS this premise is false and does grave damage to blind people and is misleading to children, and

WHEREAS humour based on a false and demeaning premise is not funny at all, and

WHEREAS Walt Disney Studios is producing a new version of Mr. Magoo using live actors rather than cartoons in order to take advantage of the potential revenue which comes from nostalgia, and

WHEREAS Mr. Magoo affects blind people in much the same way as Amos `n Andy affects African-Americans or cowboy and Indian movies affect native Americans, and

WHEREAS unfortunately the character of Mr. Magoo is being played by the fine Canadian actor, Leslie Nielson, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality in meeting assembled this 2nd day of July, 1997, that this organization express its outrage that the acting talent of Mr. Nielson is being misused to demean blind people, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we take whatever steps deemed appropriate to communicate our displeasure to Mr. Nielson, Walt Disney Studios, the media, and the Canadian distributors of the Mr. Magoo movie.

Resolution passed unanimously.

RESOLUTION 9703-ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOMMODATIONS

WHEREAS environmental accommodations allow persons with visual disabilities access to the same information enjoyed by people who are sighted, and

WHEREAS there are individuals who have dual or multiple disabilities, for instance, both hearing and visual impairments, and

WHEREAS the majority of people experiencing vision loss are an older population, and

WHEREAS the skill level within the community of people who have visual disabilities varies greatly, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) advocate and support the implementation of environmental accommodations such as audible traffic signals, tactile markings in areas of potential danger, and clear, legible and tactile signage.

Resolution passed unanimously

RESOLUTION 9705-COLLABORATIVE WORK WITH CROSS- DISABILITY ORGANIZATIONS

WHEREAS the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) was founded to be the voice and vehicle for collective action by blind persons throughout Canada, and

WHEREAS some issues, e.g. access to print materials and orientation and mobility training, are of particular concern to all blind persons, and

WHEREAS some other issues, e.g. Human Rights Protection and Employment Programs and policies are of interest and concern to Canadians regardless of their disability, and

WHEREAS it is both desirable and necessary for blind persons to have input into the development and implementation of any and all programs and policies which may affect our overall quality of life, and

WHEREAS the NFB:AE wishes to be the voice and vehicle for collective action for all blind persons throughout Canada, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality, that the NFB:AE work collaboratively and co-operatively with other organizations of persons with various disabilities, including participating in coalition efforts, whenever such participation is likely to benefit blind persons, provided that we retain our autonomy and right to independent action.

Resolution passed unanimously.

RESOLUTION 9706-ADJUSTMENT TO BLINDNESS

WHEREAS adjustment to blindness services are extremely limited in Canada, and

WHEREAS counseling is available to persons with other disabilities through the medical and social service system, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) educate appropriate government bodies and other organizations about the nature of good rehabilitation and advocate that they provide comprehensive services to enable individuals to adjust to blindness, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality establish the funds to:

Assist individuals in obtaining rehabilitation or counseling services

Support research in the field of blindness and in blindness issues

Support the training of professionals on blindness issues.

Resolution passed unanimously.

RESOLUTION 9707-REHABILITATION

WHEREAS quality rehabilitation is essential if blind people are to achieve their potential for independence and self-support, and

WHEREAS Canadians with physical disabilities currently receive publicly funded rehabilitation services as part of the medical system but blind individuals are generally sent to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind-a private agency which relies heavily on charitable contributions for its funding, and

WHEREAS the best rehabilitation for blind people has as its foundation the philosophy of blindness espoused and practiced by the National Federation of the Blind, and

WHEREAS the most outstanding current examples of good, long-term rehabilitation training anywhere in North America are the Louisiana Center for the Blind, the Colorado Center for the Blind, and Blind Incorporated in Minnesota, and

WHEREAS no program of comparable scope and quality exists anywhere in Canada, now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality that publicly funded quality rehabilitation ought to be available to blind Canadians as a matter of right, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization on every level encourage the development of rehabilitation centres operated according to Federation philosophy and dedicated to partnership with the organized blind movement, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon the provinces and the federal government to fully fund comprehensive rehabilitation of the blind, either through direct provision of service or through arrangements made with private service providers, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that until quality centres operated according to federation philosophy are available in Canada we call upon funding agencies to sponsor the attendance of blind Canadians at the Colorado Center of the Blind, the Louisiana Center for the Blind and BLIND Inc.

Resolution passed unanimously.