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President's Message

On February 21, 1999 you elected me as the third president of this very dynamic organization. I am most honoured to serve you in this capacity. As a result of the Annual General Meeting in Victoria, the NFB:AE has undergone some changes. While many philosophical principles from the National Federation of the Blind of the United States which were brought to this country by the organization's founding members are still supported by the membership of this organization, others are not.

As you read through the pages of this magazine, you will see the transformation of the organization from where it was prior to the middle of February 1999, to what we hope the organization will become in the months and years to follow.

The members present in Victoria adopted a very progressive set of policy resolutions. The text of these resolutions is featured within this issue, beginning on page 68. As a result of the adoption of these policies, the focus of this organization has broadened somewhat from simply an organization to educate people about blindness to an organization which also advocates on behalf of blind and otherwise vision impaired persons.

While membership recruitment and public education are still very important goals, both of these ends will be achieved by pursuing well planned, well timed, and well executed advocacy events to protect existing rights and freedoms held by blind and vision impaired people. The NFB:AE will also push the envelope so that government and members of the community treat blind and vision impaired people with the respect they deserve as citizens. After all, it is very respectable to be blind or vision impaired in Canada.

I hope all readers of this magazine will assist the organization by promoting its purposes and objectives. We must not forget the past. Instead, we must use past experience as a springboard to propel this organization into the future with success, focus, and direction.

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