You are here:

1999 Convention Resolutions

Editor's Note: EDITORS NOTE: The following is the text of policy resolutions that were adopted at the 1999 NFB:AE convention in Victoria Feb. 19-21, 1999.

Resolutions of the 1999 Victoria Annual General Meeting of The National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality

RESOLUTION 99-02: NFB:AE PHILOSOPHY

Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) was established as an organization without share capital under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act with the following objectives embodied in its Letters Patent:

The objects of the Corporation are:

  1. To serve as a vehicle for self improvement by the blind and for public education about blindness throughout the dominion of Canada.

  2. To function as a mechanism through which the blind and interested sighted persons can come together in local, provincial, and national meetings to plan and carry out programs to improve the quality of life for the blind.

  3. To provide a means by which blind adults can share their experience and act as mentors for blind children and support parents in their efforts to improve educational opportunities for blind children.

  4. To create a climate through public education to increase opportunities for blind people in employment and social integration.

  5. To take any other action similar to those above which will improve the overall condition and standard of living of the blind; and

Whereas, the NFB:AE must always be an open, inclusive, membership-driven organization that respects and welcomes new and diverse ideas; and

Whereas, the NFB:AE will project a positive view of blindness in all of its activities and publications; and

Whereas, the NFB:AE believes in working co-operatively with other equality-seeking organizations in an effort to achieve its objectives;

Now, therefore, be it resolved:

  1. The members of the NFB:AE affirm the NFB:AE is an autonomous

Canadian organization "of" persons who are blind, partially-sighted, deaf-blind and others who share our cause.

  1. The NFB:AE will pursue the best interests of its members through the development of made in Canada solutions to issues and problems that take into account the unique political, social, economic and judicial systems within Canada;

  2. All major policy decisions will be made at membership meetings held within Canada;

  3. NFB:AE members believe in a membership driven style of leadership where leaders are sensitive to, consult with, and take their direction from the membership. Leaders should be good listeners and good advocates;

  4. As NFB:AE members we take our rights and responsibilities seriously. We will not tolerate being discriminated against by any corporations, governments or other entities because we are blind or otherwise vision impaired;

  5. NFB:AE members believe that blindness is only one characteristic of an individual's overall being;

  6. NFB:AE members believe that, with appropriate training, education, and reasonable accommodation, individuals who are blind or otherwise vision impaired can function successfully in the community and can compete effectively in the workplace;

  7. NFB:AE members expect the provision of information in various alternative formats--as a right, and not a "special need"--and that this right should be universally recognized.

  8. The NFB:AE will draw on the experience of our colleagues in other groups of blind and otherwise vision impaired consumers outside of Canada whenever their approaches are likely to be applicable to the unique Canadian context.

RESOLUTION 99:03 PROXY VOTING

Whereas the current bylaws of the NFB:AE restrict the voting at national conventions to those active members present at the meeting; and

Whereas many active members wishing to exercise their votes at the annual convention are prevented from so doing by economic and or other factors; and

Whereas active members residing near the location of the annual general meeting have significant advantages as to the exercise of their democratic rights; be it resolved that the President of the NFB:AE strike a special enfranchisement committee with the following terms of reference:

A. to develop a policy whereby all active members of the NFB:AE who have been members for at least three months prior to the meeting be entitled to vote by proxy or by some comparable system; and

B. to develop a protocol for the selected voting system including a form with guidelines as to how the voting may be exercised; and

C. to recommend a revision in the current quorum requirement for annual general meetings so as to take account of the larger number of members entitled to vote under these provisions; and

Be it further resolved that this resolution be part and parcel of any overall program for the review and revision of all existing NFB:AE bylaws.

RESOLUTION 99-04 PAC PROGRAM

Whereas it is vital for the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) to increase ongoing fund-raising measures to strengthen its financial resources in order for the organization to secure sufficient funds to continue current operations and to assume additional activities; and

Whereas it is important for ongoing fund-raising measures to involve individual members in order to foster the membership's ownership of fund-raising endeavours of the NFB:AE; and

Whereas a Pre-authorized Cheque (PAC) program facilitates individuals to voluntarily and conveniently give an affordable contribution on a regular basis; and

Whereas it is vital to implement more ongoing fund-raising measures for the NFB:AE in a timely manner:

I therefore move that, as a means of offering individual members the option of contributing to our organization's funds on a regular basis through a convenient method, the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) implement a Pre-authorized Cheque (PAC) program to commence when determined as being financially feasible..

RESOLUTION 99-05 SENIOR BLIND

Whereas the 1998 convention of the NFB:AE unanimously approved a resolution calling for a study of how the NFB:AE could attract more seniors into its membership and

Whereas Alan Neville's report on this matter concludes with the following recommendations:

  1. That the President strike a three person standing committee on senior issues.

  2. That the Chairman of the committee be a member of the board of directors.

  3. That two members of the committee be themselves "seniors", that the chair be a senior if possible and that both genders be represented on the committee.

  4. The terms of reference of the committee should be designed to enable them to meet the following objects:

To send a clear and ongoing message to the blind community that the NFB:AE welcomes blind seniors either as active or supporting members and affirms that their unique needs and interests will be respected.

That issues effecting senior blind will be identified and acted upon in the same way as those in the employable age and children's groups.

The proportion of seniors in the NFB:AE should increase to at least 35 percent within the next two years.

Be it resolved that these recommendations be referred to the President for implementation.

Be it further resolved that the "Senior Issues Committee" submit a progress report to the next annual general meeting of the NFB:AE.

RESOLUTION 1999-006

TELEPHONE COMPANIES TO PROVIDE TELEPHONE BILLS IN BRAILLE AND IN ELECTRONIC FORMATS

Resolution to require Telephone Companies to provide telephone bills in Braille and in Electronic Formats.

Whereas a substantial number of blind and vision impaired Canadians rely on Braille or machine readable text as their preferred format for reviewing documents; and whereas most Canadians use telephones to communicate with one another; and whereas all telephone companies render accounts to their customers on a monthly basis; and whereas many blind and vision impaired Canadians cannot read the accounts provided by telephone companies in their current form without the assistance of access technology and/or sighted readers;

Be it resolved that:

  1. The National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality calls on all telephone companies that provide local and long distance telephone services to the public, to provide telephone bills in Braille, machine readable, cassette, large print or other formats to any blind and vision impaired Canadians who may request this service;

  2. That the board of directors is authorized, if funds permit, to commence legal proceedings under the Canadian Human Rights Act or the courts against any telephone company which refuses to implement this resolution;

  3. That the board of directors shall advise all of the affected telephone companies of the substance of this resolution.

RESOLUTION 99-07 ACCESS TO BANK STATEMENTS IN ALTERNATIVE FORMATS

Resolution to Require Canadian Chartered Banks, all other financial institutions listed under Schedule II of the Bank Act, Trust Companies and Credit Unions to provide bank statements, and credit card statements in Braille, large print, Electronic formats, tape or any other format of a Choice choosing

Whereas a substantial number of blind and vision impaired Canadians rely on Braille, large print, tape, machine readable text and other formats as their preferred format for reviewing documents; and whereas most Canadians have bank accounts and/or credit cards registered with a Canadian Chartered Bank, a Schedule II bank, a Credit Union or a trust company; and whereas all chartered banks, schedule II banks Credit unions and trust companies provide statements to many of their subscribers on a monthly basis; and whereas many blind and vision impaired Canadians cannot read the statements provided by the banks, trust companies and Credit Unions that are currently provided without the assistance of access technology and/or sighted readers:

Be it resolved that:

  1. The National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality calls on all credit unions, banks and trust companies that provide bank statements and credit card statements to the public, to produce statements in Braille, large print, cassette tape, machine readable text or any other format chosen by a blind or vision impaired Canadians who may request this service;

  2. That the board of directors is authorized, if sufficient funds are available, to commence legal proceedings under provincial human rights legislation, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the courts against any bank, credit union or trust company which refuses to implement this resolution;

  3. That the board of directors shall advise all of the affected banks, credit unions and trust companies of the substance of this resolution.

RESOLUTION 99-08 BANKING MACHINES

Whereas after careful study and development audible bank machines are a reality, and

Whereas audible bank machines are currently operating successfully in several locations throughout Canada, and

Whereas access to banking through automated banking machines is being pushed by the banks as a replacement for traditional means, and

Whereas access to one's own funds is a basic right.

Then be it resolved that;

  1. The NFB:AE call on all banks, credit unions and trust companies to implement the existing audible banking technology in all new installations and develop plans to retrofit all current locations where appropriate in accordance with Canadian human rights laws.

  2. That the board of directors is authorized, if sufficient funds are available, to commence legal proceedings under provincial human rights legislation, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the courts against any bank, credit union or trust company which refuses to implement this resolution;

  3. That the board of directors shall advise all of the affected banks, credit unions and trust companies of the substance of this resolution

RESOLUTION 99-09 CASSETTE LEVY

Whereas the concerns of Canadian copyright holders surrounding the illegal duplication of copyrighted materials are well-known and fully justified; and

Whereas Canadian holders of musical copyrights have approached the Canadian Copyright Board to introduce a levy on blank audio recording media to counteract the losses resulting from unauthorized duplication; and

Whereas the Copyright Board has recently ruled that this levy is justified, and so has instituted a levy on all blank audio recording media; and

Whereas the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC), which will administer proceeds from the levy on behalf of copyright holders, has decided to postpone collection of this levy; and

Whereas blind and vision impaired people as well as private producers of alternative forms of print material are disproportionate users of blank audio recording media (typically cassette tapes)for taping books, class and meeting notes, personal notes (itineraries, Etc.) and for many other day-to-day living purposes; and

Whereas the NFB:AE contends that blind and vision impaired people are no more likely to violate copyright restrictions than any other segment of the population; and

Whereas the Copyright Board has permitted an exemption for certain non-profit organizations which apply for it but not for individuals; and

Whereas most blind and vision impaired Canadians should be able to purchase cassettes from the location of their choice without incurring the levy;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

  1. The NFB:AE calls upon the CPCC and the Canadian CopyrightBoard to recognize the unjust and disproportionate effect thisproposed levy would have on blind people and give blind and vision impaired people as well as private producers of alternative forms of print material an exemption to this levy;

  2. The membership of the NFB:AE calls on the Board to work with other consumer groups and take whatever other action is necessary to ensure that an exemption to the levy is granted to blind and vision-impaired individuals as well as private producers of alternative forms of print material in Canada.

RESOLUTION 99-11 JOINING THE CANADIAN BRAILLE AUTHORITY (CBA)

Whereas those blind people who were fortunate enough to have been taught Braille almost universally find it an indispensable part of their daily personal and professional lives; and

Whereas there has been a dramatic decline in both the use and teaching of Braille in Canada in the last couple of decades; and

Whereas the Canadian Braille Authority (CBA) has done considerable work in the last decade to remedy this situation, both by promoting Braille and encouraging the development of standards relating to such things as Braille teaching; and

Whereas many organizations have become corporate members of the CBA, and both the CNIB and CCB have permanent seats designated to them on the CBA's board;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

  1. The membership of the NFB:AE asks the Board to investigate the process of becoming a corporate member of the CBA;

  2. provided that the above process is not inordinately difficult or expensive, the Board should take whatever steps are necessary to enable the NFB:AE to become a corporate member of the CBA;

  3. the membership asks the Board to negotiate with the

CBA with the aim of providing for the NFB:AE the same status vis-a-vis the CBA as currently held by the CCB.

RESOLUTION 99-12 MEMBERSHIP IN WORLD BLIND UNION

Whereas the World Blind Union is the only world wide organization of consumer groups of the blind and service providers for the Blind and whereas the NFB:AE is the only active national consumer advocacy group of the blind in Canada; and whereas Canada's seats on the World Blind Union are currently held by CNIB, the CCB and the Sir Arthur Pearson Association of Blinded Veterans;

Be it resolved that:

  1. The membership of the NFB:AE asks the Board of directors to investigate all of the steps that would be required to obtain observer status and/or a seat on the World Blind Union;

  2. Provided that the above process is not inordinately difficult or expensive, the Board of directors should take whatever steps are necessary to enable the NFB:AE to apply for observer status or for a permanent seat on the WBU such that the NFB:AE has the same representation as the other organizations referred to in the preamble to this resolution.

RESOLUTION 99-13 JOINING THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES

Whereas the NFB:AE passed a resolution at its convention in New Orleans which states:

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, wwhenever such participation is likely to benefit blind persons, provided that we retain our autonomy and right to independent action; and

Whereas the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is the only national, advocacy-oriented cross-disability organization in Canada; and

Whereas the CCD is routinely consulted by governments and other entities when making policy relating to disabled people; and

Whereas the CCD has many uni-disability organizations as members which successfully retain their autonomy;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

The membership of the NFB:AE ask the Board to strike a committee whose terms of reference shall include:

a) the investigation of the process of becoming an affiliated member (or joining) the CCD;

b) the preparation of a report, to be brought to the Board of directors which would outline a recommendation and that the board be empowered to render a decision.

RESOLUTION 99-15 DOCUMENTING JOBS DONE BY THE BLIND IN CANADA

Whereas the National Federation of the Blind, Advocates for Equality (NFB:AE) is an organization dedicated to helping the blind help themselves; and whereas the unemployment rate among blind Canadians is approximately 90 percent; therefore be it resolved that:

  1. Funding be sought to document the jobs blind people in Canada are currently performing and
  2. Funding be sought to support research into extensive interviews of employers who currently hire blind workers to determine the employability skills they seek and
  3. Funding be sought to develop and provide seminars for prospective employers to educate them with respect to the capabilities of blind workers and
  4. Funding be sought to support an extensive review of the federal and provincial Employment Equity Acts and such other applicable legislation `with a view to strengthening them so that equal access to employment may become a reality for the blind.

RESOLUTION 99-16 TELEVISION PROGRAMMING IN DVS FORMATTING

Whereas an increasing number of Canadians are or will be experiencing varying degrees of sight loss

Whereas television media is becoming more and more visually oriented

Whereas in order for blind Canadians to be full participants in society it is important to have access to the same range of information and entertainment services as people who are sited

Be it resolved by the NFB:AE that we support the increased availability of described video services during prime time media broadcasts.

Be it Further Resolved That:

We encourage the CRTC to ensure that 100 percent of prime time broadcasts are described by the year 2003.

Be It Further Resolved That:

We insist all cable providers and other television broadcasters be mandated to ensure that all other services are accessible to people who are blind. Services such as community information channels, television commercials etc.

RESOLUTION 99-17 ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT AND CORPERATE WEBSITES

Whereas the world-wide web (WWW) is now one of the principal ways by which information is made available to the public by governments and corporations; and

Whereas the WWW is particularly important for blind people since we do not usually have access to such common sources of information as printed advertisements, billboards, brochures and pamphlets; and

Whereas the lag time for putting information from the WWW into alternative formats such as tape or Braille is often greater than the lifetime of that information; and

Whereas the Treasury Board of the Government of Canada has established guidelines for making websites accessible for blind and vision-impaired people;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

  1. The NFB:AE calls upon all governments and corporations to implement the guidelines on web accessibility established by the Treasury Board;

  2. The membership of the NFB:AE calls upon the Board to establish effective procedures by which information relating to these guidelines and other pertinent standards can be made available to the designers of governmental and corporate websites;

  3. If resources permit, the membership calls upon the Board to lodge complaints against corporations or government departments or agencies that refuse to make their websites accessible in the appropriate forum.

RESOLUTION 99-18 SPECIAL NEEDS DEPARTMENTS AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Whereas more and more blind and vision impaired people are enrolling in courses and other programs at Canadian community colleges and universities; and whereas the staff members in the special needs departments at many Community Colleges and Universities are not fully familiar with the steps that are required to produce or obtain text books in Braille, tape, large print or in electronic form; and whereas many special needs departments have not established procedures to enable blind and vision impaired students to obtain examination questions in Braille or the format of the students' choice;

Be it resolved that:

  1. The membership asks the board or a committee comprised of members to design a seminar to be presented to special needs staff on the identification and implementation of strategies to ensure that blind and vision impaired students have access to text books, examinations and other course materials in alternative formats;

    1. The NFB:AE work collaboratively with NEADS and other student organizations to carry out the substance of this resolution.
  2. The NFB:AE call on community colleges and universities to provide a computer lab containing all of the equipment necessary for blind and vision impaired students to access their course materials in the format of their choice.

RESOLUTION 99-19 RECRUTMENT OF ITINERENT TEACHERS

Whereas NFB:AE recognizes the vital importance of successful role models in a student's development, and

Whereas the best educators of students who are blind are teachers who are themselves blind, and

Whereas the vast majority of teachers of blind students are sighted,

Be it resolved that:

  1. Training programs for itinerant teachers will actively recruit and give priority to qualified applicants who are blind and 2. The NFB:AE board of directors circulate resolutions to provincial ministries of education and affected school boards responsible for hiring itinerant teachers.

  2. Be it resolved that the NFB:AE provide assistance to the individuals and entities referred to in clause (2) of this resolution by identifying qualified itinerant teachers when new itinerant teachers are being hired.

99-21 REMOVING QUARENTINE RESTRICTIONS ON GUIDE DOGS

Whereas many Canadians travel from place to place both inside and outside of Canada with their guide dogs; and whereas some guide dog users are denied access to certain countries because of quarantine restrictions;

Be it resolved that:

  1. The NFB:AE collaborate with other groups of blind consumers throughout the world to remove quarantine restrictions and other barriers that would preclude guide dog users from travelling to other countries with their guide dogs; and
  2. The board of directors be instructed to lobby the United States government to grant Canadians the same quarantine exemptions when they travel to Hawaii as U.S. residents.

RESOLUTION 99-24 MINORITY GROUP INVOLVEMENT

Whereas the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality, (NFB:AE) is an organization dedicated to helping blind people achieve their potential, and whereas the NFB:AE wishes to be an inclusive organization, therefore be it resolved that the NFB:AE reach out to blind individuals from other cultures who have emigrated to Canada and to blind people of first nations ancestry.

And be it further resolved that:

These individuals be consulted as to how the NFB:AE can be of assistance to them and be it further resolved that the NFB:AE take steps to encourage members of first nations and minority populations to become members of the NFB:AE.

RESOLUTION 99-25 MENTORING PROGRAM FOR FAMILIES WITH BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN

Resolution to Establish a Mentoring Program For Families With Blind Or Vision Impaired Children

Whereas the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality is concerned about the welfare of blind and vision impaired children in Canada;

and Whereas the BCYPA has made application to become a division of the NFB:AE;

and Whereas members of the BCYPA have, from time to time, contacted blind and vision impaired members of the NFB:AE to request assistance with regard to such matters as the educational and socialization needs of their blind and vision impaired children;

And whereas other BCYPA members may request similar assistance from the NFB:AE membership in the future;

Be it resolved that:

  1. The President of the NFB:AE establish a mentorship program under which families with blind and vision impaired children may be paired with individual blind and vision impaired members of the NFB:AE;

  2. Participation in The program referred to in clause 1 of this resolution is completely voluntary for both families of blind and vision impaired children and NFB:AE members;

  3. Matters discussed between the families and the blind or vision impaired mentors will be kept confidential except as prescribed by law unless both parties consent to disclose any information obtained in the mentorship relationship to other members of the BCYPA or the NFB:AE; and

  4. The President of the NFB:AE shall place an advertisement in the Canadian Blind Monitor and the BCYPA newsletter to advise the membership of both organizations of the existence of the mentoring program.

ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.