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The Equalizer: February 2024





Membership Renewal Reminder

It’s that time of year to remind members that your annual membership is up for renewal. AEBC issues memberships according to its fiscal year. Therefore, membership runs from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. Any memberships paid on or after January 1, 2024, are valid through to March 31, 2025. Annual memberships are $10 each, and Life-Time memberships are a one-time payment of $100.



Our preferred payment method is CanadaHelps secure payment processing.

Visit this link for an accessible online form for processing your payment. If you do not wish to pay online and would prefer to e-transfer or send us a cheque, please contact us for instructions.



Book Club

We have had interest in starting a book club and so we would like to hear from you. We will choose a genre or author each month, decide on a book, read it and then gather again to talk about the book. We will also try to ensure the book is available from online libraries like CELA and available in multiple formats. If this is something you would be interested in, please e-mail Louise


Member Training: Windows Navigation with JAWS

Join us for Windows navigation training with JAWS and NVDA. Sessions will be 30 to 40 minutes with time for questions afterwards. We have two dates available for JAWS and one date for NVDA:


JAWS Training February 6th at 10 AM Pacific 1 PM Eastern

JAWS Training February 13th at 10 AM Pacific 1 PM Eastern

NVDA will be February 20th at 10 AM Pacific 1 PM Eastern


The sessions will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel if you are not able to attend. To register please e-mail


Zoom information for the February 6th training

JAWS Training with Freedom Scientific

Time: February 6, 2024 10:00 AM Pacific Time 1 PM Eastern

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 876 1345 4774

Passcode: 342959


Zoom information for the February 13th training

JAWS Training with Freedom Scientific

Time: February 13, 2024 10:00 AM Pacific Time 1 PM Eastern

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 833 4417 1575

Passcode: 163282


Zoom information for the February 20th training

NVDA Training

Link Coming Soon!


Member Training: Excel 101: Getting Past "I Don't Do Excel!"

Date & Time: Feb 27, 2024 10:00 AM Pacific; 1:00 PM Eastern

This will be a basics session--simple navigation, simple formulas, sorting, and other possible topics. The aim is to get you comfortable opening and reading an Excel workbook rather than shying away from it.


Register in advance for this meeting at the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.




Toronto Chapter

AEBC Toronto Presents: Family Fun Day Winter Trivia

Monday, February 19 1-3:30 PM


Are you ready for a blast of laughter and brain-teasing challenges? Join us for AEBC Toronto's Winter Fest fundraiser event in honour of the John Rae Memorial Scholarship Fund! This is a virtual blast filled with surprises and brain-teasing challenges where the whole gang can enjoy a fun-filled time with us! Get ready to test your knowledge and have a blast with your friends and loved ones. This trivia extravaganza is perfect for all ages, so gather your family members and prepare for an afternoon filled with laughter and friendly competition. Our trivia questions cover a wide range of topics, from pop culture and sports to history and science. So, whether you're a movie buff, a sports fanatic, or a history enthusiast, there's something for everyone! Think you know it all? Well, it's time to put your knowledge to the test and see who comes out on top. Not only will you have a chance to showcase your trivia skills, but there are also exciting prizes up for grabs! You can join one of our teams or form teams with your family members - it's up to you! Remember, the more the merrier!


AEBC Toronto “Winter Fest” Family Fun Day Trivia

·      When: Monday February 19, 2024, from 1-3:30 PM EDT.

·      Zoom room opens at 12:30 PM.

·      Cost: $20, but any amount is appreciated

·      All ticket purchases will be closed on February 17.

·      Registration: To register, send an email to Lynda Spinney at: or by calling 416-456-7117. 


Proceeds raised from this event will be directed towards a John Rae Memorial Scholarship Fund that AEBC Toronto is sponsoring for the 2024-2025 academic year where we will award a $1,000 scholarship to a Post-Secondary Student. This award will be presented in memory of Mr. John Rae, a member of AEBC whose unwavering support of this organization has been recognized for many years. John was a true advocate, someone who firmly believed in our ability to positively make changes to improve the lives of blind Canadians.


BC Affiliate

Welcome to our Fourth Annual Trivia Event: Love is In the Air!


When Valentine’s Day is past and gone,

At our trivia event, love lives on.

Join us for an afternoon of fun and prizes! 


·      When: Saturday, April 13, 2024

·      2:30 PM Pacific time: Zoom Room opens

·      3:00 PM Pacific Time Trivia starts

·      Tickets on sale starting February 26th, 2024

·      Pricing $30 starts February 26th and sales end April 10th (no additional fees) 

·      Participants from anywhere in Canada and the US welcome

·      All proceeds will support the AEBC BC Affiliate Scholarship Fund

·      Take part in our early bird draw by purchasing tickets no later than Saturday March 16, 2024 11:59 PM Pacific.


For further information/assistance or if you wish to provide a list of up to eight people to make a team, contact Chantal Oakes. We recognize and thank the Vancouver Renfrew Lions Club for their generous sponsorship and for their support during the event.




Events Calendar

We now have an Events Calendar on our website! Trying to remember a Board meeting date or special event at one of our Chapters? Check out our EVENTS CALENDAR for posted dates and links to information you might need.


The Right to Optimal Literacy by Linda Bartram

I attended school during the late 50s and 60s and even though I was found to have significant vision loss at age 5, I received very little support during my elementary school years, beyond the provision of a large print reader and a desk at the front of the row. I learned to read print, but as the text size got smaller and the sentences longer, I soon fell behind my classmates. The option of learning Braille was never considered.


Statistics Canada Road to Accessibility

Statistic Canada has released its first multi-year accessibility action plan, "Statistics Canada: Road to Accessibility," which outlines StatCan's commitment to the principles of the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). The ACA aims to make Canada barrier-free by January 1, 2040.




Here are some of the advocacy initiatives that AEBC volunteers have been working on:


Accessibility Standards Canada: Draft Standards

Our Advocacy and Outreach Committee has been busy working on a submission on the draft standards for Information and Communication Technology.




The following is a list of public consultations or petitions currently open for submission. Make sure your voice is heard!


Accessibility Standards Canada: Standard on Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Public Review

Deadline: February 5, 2024


The Accessibility Directorate, the division of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction tasked with implementing the new Accessible BC Act, is currently developing Accessible Service Delivery and Employment Accessibility Standards, which will go for public engagement between May 2024 and July 2024. There is currently a pre-consultation questionnaire which is designed to collect information to inform governments approach to public engagement. Your feedback will support improved public participation in upcoming Accessible Service Delivery and Employment Accessibility standards engagement. This questionnaire will be open until March 31, 2024, and can be found at feel free to distribute this link to all BC residents with disabilities who may wish to participate in public consultation on these accessibility standards.





National White Cane Week 

Sunday, February 5, through Saturday, February 10, 2024

Connect with a local CCB chapter for information on local events happening during White Cane Week.


Accessible Canada — Accessible World Conference, an international event dedicated to advancing accessibility and inclusive design across various domains such as standards, policy and journalism.

Conference Details:

Event: Accessible Canada — Accessible World Conference

Date: May 27–28, 2024

Location: Concordia University, Montreal, 1450 Rue Guy, 9th floor, and online




Research team advances efforts to make science accessible to individuals with blindness or low vision.


A Kamloops group is again preparing for White Cane Week, an annual national event that seeks to raise awareness about blindness.


Ontario has an accessibility gap. Here's how to start closing it, according to advocates | CBC News















Catch up on all the latest Triple Vision podcasts.



National Public Chats: Join us every Friday at 4PM Pacific, 5PM Mountain, 7PM Eastern


BC Affiliate Public Chats: Join us Thursday Nights at 8 PM Pacific


Halifax Mid-Week Meltdown: The Halifax Chapter hosts a monthly "Mid-Week Meltdown" on the first Wednesday of every month at 8 PM Atlantic


AEBC National Board meeting dates 2024:

February 26, 2024: Special Meeting of the Members

March 18, 2024: Private Board meeting

April 15, 2024: Private Board meeting with silent members

May 27, 2024: Public Board Meeting

June 17, 2024: Private Board Meeting

July 22, 2024: Public Board Meeting

August 2024: no meeting, possibly Board opportunity session


All meetings begin at 4 PM Pacific 7 PM Eastern






The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is a national charitable organization committed to empowering blind, partially sighted, and deafblind Canadians to lead a life filled with opportunity, inclusivity, and equality. We advocate, support, and strive to make the world a better place for everyone, regardless of their visual abilities. Together, we can create a brighter and more accessible future for all.


Visit our website at and follow us on social media

Mastodon:  @blindcanadians

YouTube:  @blindcanadians 


The Equalizer committee is committed to bringing you timely and informative news from the organization. We appreciate your feedback on our newsletter or submissions for consideration. Contact us at EMAIL Newsletter.


If you are interested in becoming more involved in our advocacy work or joining any of our working committees, please reach out to EMAIL Government Relations.


If you’re not already a Member and would like to support us as a Member or Donor.


Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians

PO Box 20262 RPO Town Centre

Kelowna, BC V1Y 9H21-800-561-4774


Copyright (c) 2024 Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians


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