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Convention Resolutions 2000

It has been our organisation's custom to date to print the full text of the resolutions passed at the NFB:AE convention in this publication, and we may yet do so. However, this year, we have decided to publish a summary of their content and some background information on why the resolutions came forward. The first five resolutions were passed as a group. They dealt with policy decisions made by the Board of Directors during the past year. It was necessary for these decisions to be ratified by the members. These resolutions included the information that: * a chapter can apply for funding to put on a special event. An application form to be used will be designed; * 10% of funds raised by chapters will be sent to the National Office and the National Office will prepare all tax receipts; * members funded to attend conferences other than the NFB:AE convention must send a written report within 30 days of the end of the conference to the National Office and must write an article about the conference for The Canadian Blind Monitor within 90 days of the end of the conference; * members funded to attend any conference, including the NFB:AE, convention must submit receipts within 30 days of the end of the convention; * a membership card will be designed that will contain a members name, membership number, and status as an active or supporting member; * the NFB:AE will not release the names, addresses or format choices of the NFB:AE members to any third party, except as required by law or with the members consent.

The other resolutions were dealt with individually. One resolution expressed a clear policy statement that the NFB:AE would not contribute to any foreign organisation unless the board deems it advisable. Two others dealt with the importance of advocating for intervene services for deaf-blind Canadians. The NFB:AE will work with other organisations to advocate for increased funding for such services and will remember the needs of deaf-blind Canadians in all of its activities.

Health care has been a topic of discussion in many homes and businesses across the country. A resolution was passed that directs the board to strike a committee which would draft an organisational and a political position on health care as it relates to blind and other vision-impaired persons in Canada.

It is important for the NFB:AE to set an example in the blind community. A resolution passed which directs the organisation to provide all information which it distributes to members in their format of choice.

Another resolution expressed the view that any government publication coming to Canadian mail boxes with information about a telephone number where information in French can be requested, should include a similar insert in Braille and large print indicating where alternate format versions can be obtained upon request.

One of the concerns that impacts blind and vision-impaired consumers is the inconsistency of the availability of and training in the use of adaptive technology. A resolution passed which directs the board to organise advocacy efforts on behalf of all blind, deaf-blind and vision-impaired Canadians to develop consistency in the provision of and training in the use of adaptive technology.

The NFB:AE membership indicated that it wanted the institution in all provinces and territories in Canada of an ID card with the same status as a drivers license, which will indicate the person has a disability but not include an affiliation with any disability organisation.

In Europe there is a tactile symbol that identifies products that are hazardous. Although there is no such symbol in use in Canada, a resolution passed which directs the board to advocate for a similar tactile label to be placed on genetically modified foods. The NFB:AE will contribute to the advocacy on this issue along with many other organisation's in the world.

Two other resolutions were not reviewed by the membership due to lack of time. Their content included: providing funding for members in rural areas to meet and perhaps form chapters and indicating that the board should be directed to organise a meeting of all consumer groups in Canada to discuss common issues. While these resolutions will not be considered until our next convention, the board will take time to consider their content and recommend action where advisable.

As chair of the Resolutions Committee for the Convention, I would like to thank all those who submitted resolutions for consideration. Involvement of the membership at large is so important. The resolutions are one way in which the NFB:AE can take direction and initiate action.