Category: CCB Newsletters

VISIONS September 2018

Sep 07 2018

Visions September 2018 TEXT | Visions September 2018 DIGITAL | Visions September 2018 DIGITAL (PDF)

 

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VISIONS

Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter

 

September 2018

 

“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision”

 

 

President’s Message++

I hope that all have had a great summer with lots of sunshine, activities with families and friends and now fired up to begin the fall season of CCB activities. I am aware that there have been many wild fires in several provinces and hoping no one has been affected.

 

As noted in the newsletter below we are all very saddened on the untimely passing of Michelle Anfinson. Michelle will be missed greatly by her family and friends in Regina and also by the many curlers she has assisted over the years at all the curling championship events that Team Saskatchewan attended. Our condolences to all her family at this difficult time.

 

Over the summer members of our committees have continued to do some work. In regard to advocacy we have been asked by CNIB to provide input on Wednesday, September 19, they have extended an invitation to our members to participate in a teleconference call hosted by CNIB. The most important items are – Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Non-Signalized Pedestrian Crossings. Contact Lui Greco, National Manager of Advocacy CNIB: lui.greco@cnib.ca. See more info in this newsletter.

 

Also, it is time to talk to your local Members of Parliament to ensure Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada passes through the legislature this fall keeping in mind any thoughts you may have for improvement to the act into the future.

 

As we realize that making Point of Sale (POS) devices more fully accessible does not exist alone within any one sector of either the disability community or the financial/payment services industry. Therefore it is necessary to do this collaboratively by bringig together payment processors, banks, stakeholders from within the disability community to move this initiative forward. This is a process that we are working on with other disability organizations.

 

A letter has been sent on behalf of CCB to The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada regarding the recent news on Greyhound services. This service affects all of Canada and is very important to our community.

 

The Bylaws committee continued to meet over the summer and will increase meeting times during the fall season. Also, the membership committee will be in full force in September.

 

It is now time to be thinking of what our chapters will be planning for 2019 in celebration of our 75th anniversary. CCB is becoming a more active organization in the prevention of blindness as well as developing programs for those of us with vision loss so we have lots to celebrate.

 

Enjoy this edition of Visions.

Louise Gillis, National President.

 

 

Announcements

 

CCB HEATH & FITNESS++

September Challenge!

 

After a successful 150 challenge in July, where we focused on getting everyone a bit more aware of how much activity they are doing…we want to launch our September Challenge.

 

Being healthy is a balance of many factors, being active, living as stress free as possible and being mindful of what we are eating.

 

For September we would love you to join our challenge and take part in “mindful eating”.  We don’t want you to count calories but what we do want you to try and do, is to write down what you eat on a daily basis.

 

Keep a list on your phone, on the fridge, wherever is easy and convenient.  The goal is to take an honest look at what we eat/drink on a daily basis.

 

Don’t judge yourself too harshly if you see a trend of maybe a bit of unhealthy eating, but rather use it as a motivator to introduce healthier choices.

 

If you already eat well, great, keep it rolling!

 

How do you know if you are eating well?

Best to keep tabs on our podcast, Facebook and Youtube channels and subscribe to our email list.  Here we will continue the discussion and give tips/ideas on best ways to eat more mindfully.

 

See below on ways to keep track of all we do!

 

HOW ARE WE DOING AFTER 1 YEAR?!!

CCB Health & Fitness is turning 1 year old!  Roughly a year ago we transitioned from our successful local Trust Your Buddy Program, over to our Nationally reaching health & fitness education program.

We want to get your opinion and thoughts on where we are now and what we can do better!

 

Some questions to consider and provide your feedback on:

  1. a) Have you learned anything in the past year?
  2. b) Do you find it easy to follow us and consume all the content we are putting out there?
  3. c) How do you best keep track of us? Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Podcast, Email list, Blog, Newsletter?
  4. d) What would you like to see Health & Fitness do either Nationally, Provincially, Locally, on an Individual basis or with chapters?

 

We NEED YOUR HELP!  In order to grow and to serve the CCB membership better, we want your honest feedback.

Ryan is excited for open, honest feedback….don’t worry you won’t hurt his feelings!

 

Simply email Ryan and let us know how the program has affected you, how you would like to see it grow AND any other programming you’d like to see us take on?

 

Do you need more info on general topics? Things like employment, travel, general coping skills, socialization, or life skills?   Perhaps we can incorporate this if the feedback shows a need.

 

The CCB is here to help you live your best life….so let us know how we can do better.

 

Thanks in advance!!

All the contact info is below.

RYAN VAN PRAET (R. Kin)

CCB Health & Fitness

National Program Manager & Coach

ccb.healthandfitness@gmail.com <mailto:ccb.healthandfitness@gmail.com>

226-627-2179

 

Go to our page: https://ccbhealthandfitness.wordpress.com

to find links to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Podcast & Email Chat List

 

Get Together with Technology (GTT) Victoria++

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in Partnership with The Greater Victoria Public Library

 

Theme: Tom’s NFB Tech Round-up – Accessible Voting in the Fall

 

Date: September 5, 2018

Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Where: Community Room, GVPL, Main Branch 735 Broughton St

 

First Hour:

Tom Dekker will give us 2 or 3 wonderful technology nuggets he picked-up/learned at the NFB Convention in July, then we’ll discuss the accessibility of the upcoming fall referendum on Proportional Representation and the Province-wide Civic Elections.

 

Second Hour:

During the second hour Corry Stuive, Albert Ruel and Tom Dekker will lead the group in discussion on any other assistive tech topic participants want to raise.  Please bring to the meeting all your other assistive technology questions, nuggets and frustrations for discussion with the group.

 

For More Information:

Contact Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or email us at GTT.Victoria@Gmail.com

 

 

News from the Hill++:

We at CCB are very pleased to see Minister Carla Qualtrough be appointed to the accessibility portfolio. The appointment of Minister Qualtrough to this portfolio bodes well for the country. Accessibility is a top priority not only for individual provinces but for the country as a whole. Congratulations!

 

 

Golfing for the Blind++

Our very own British Columbia Blind Golfer from Langley, B.C., George Thirkill, Won the Overall championship at the Western Canadian Blind Golf Championships in Winnipeg the week of July 9th to 12th. There were 21 players from all over Canada.

The championship consisted of 2 rounds Stableford matches with 4 divisions.

B1 –B2 – B3 & Seniors. The weather was some sun with winds on both days and some rain. The course was very challenging for a Blind golfer, but they managed to get some assistance from their guides on some of the tricky holes.  By the way, I was George’s Coach and guide.   George shot a 91 on the first day and a score of 85 on the second day, due to some excellent putting to win by 2 strokes.  The junior winner B3, Keifer Jones, 24yrs old from Calgary, shot a 75 & 76 to take the Junior division. Keifer is the top blind golfer in the world.  George represents Blind Golf British Columbia and at age 79 is the Top senior golfer in the world.  George along with our other top golfer from B.C., Darren Douma (member of the CCB VIBE Creston Chapter), from Creston, will be heading to Rome, Italy this year to compete in the World Blind matches and Team play competition representing Canada.

 

Gerry Nelson, President of Blind Golf Canada, said we are always looking for people that are visually impaired or Blind, or Disabled to come out and learn how to golf.  We have a Blind Training facility at the National Golf Academy in Langley at the Tall Timbers Golf Course and we can be reached at Nitrogolf@shaw.ca.  There is No Cost for the blind or disabled.

 

 

Chapter News++:

Members and friends of the Pembroke White Cane Club gather to celebrate two important birthdays.

 

The Pembroke CCB White Cane Club held a Birthday Party for two of our senior members on August 15th at a popular local bake shop. The two guests of honour were George Foss, who will celebrate his 95th Birthday in September, and Marion Jackson, who turned a young 93 on the 15th of August. Both are active members of our club providing wisdom mixed with humour to the group.     Of course there was a very yummy cake served up with a choice of beverage.

 

Lots of laughs with numerous photos taken, including this group shot.

As we all departed we all agreed that we should do this more often.

A big thank you to the staff at the bake shop.

Submitted by Gerry Frketich on behalf of the CCB Pembroke White Cane Club.

 

In Memory++:

On the morning of August 10, 2018 Michell Anfinson lost her fight with cancer, at the age of 46.  Michelle was very active in the CCB Regina Chapter, the Saskatchewan Team for the CVICC, and the Western Bonspiels.

She will be missed, and our thoughts are with Marv and the rest of their family.

 

 

Assistive Technology

 

Demo of Accessible Audible Traffic Signal in Peterborough Ontario++:

Devon Wilkins interviewed a CNIB/Vision Rehabilitation Ontario Orientation and Mobility Specialist as they demonstrate the use of an accessible Peterborough intersection. Wach here: https. //www.dropbox.com/s/s966rq25bwdxfm1/Audible%20Traffic%20Signals.mp3?dl=0

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips: Cleaning & laundry++:

Today, I’d like to talk about cleaning & laundry.

 

Wear an apron with large pockets when cleaning. The pockets may be used to hold cleaning materials such as a dust cloth and polish, or may be used to hold small items you pick up along the way and plan to return to their original storage places.  Likewise, put cleaning materials in a basket or bucket and carry it around the house with you so all materials will be handy as needed.

 

Avoid spot cleaning!  Clean the whole surface to ensure no spots are missed.  When cleaning counters, start at one end and work to the other in overlapping strips.  Use your free hand to check areas just cleaned for extra stubborn spots.  Also work in overlapping strips when dusting, vacuuming, washing floors, etc.  In large areas, you may find it helpful to divide the surface into sections such as halves or quarters, with overlapping boundaries.  Use pieces of furniture (for example, a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor), or use permanent fixtures to mark the boundaries of each section you are cleaning.

 

Transfer liquid cleaners into containers with pumps for easy use.

Containers can be filled with a funnel.  Remember that flat-sided bottles upset easily.

 

To fill a steam iron use a turkey baster, a funnel, or a squirt bottle.

 

Safety pins or Sock Tuckers (available in department stores) can be used to keep socks in pairs during washing and drying.  Some people find it helpful to buy socks in different colors, patterns or textures for sorting purposes.

 

Wash small items in a pillow case or small mesh laundry bag to keep them from getting lost.

 

To measure laundry detergent use the scoop provided. Avoid pouring directly from the box.

 

                Advocacy

 

Let’s Get It Out There++:

Tele Town Hall Committee Consultations

 

The goal of the “Let’s Get It Out There” project was to take a holistic view of issues around advocacy, respect and working more closely together. Although there have been previous efforts at coalition building, this was an opportunity through a Tele Town Hall consultation process to receive feedback and suggestions at a grass roots level.  See the Tele Town Hall Committee Mission Statement appended to this report.

 

In Canada, our history of people who are blind, partially sighted and deafblind working together is not that different from other countries. The main thing that makes Canada different is the small population spread over a vast distance that makes ongoing collaboration and communications difficult. When looking at advocacy, we have many different organizations and individuals working on issues sometimes together, but very often in isolation not knowing or trusting what each other is doing. Even today with more communications options available, because of accessibility issues of some current technology and the lack of assistive technology training, many times we are not aware of what each other are doing.

 

Although this discussion was meant to cover all ages, economics and other demographics, no effort was put into ensuring that all were adequately represented.  To recruit participants the communications avenues employed were through discussion mailing lists, Facebook Groups, Twitter feeds and newsletters known by the committee members and the organizations they interact with.  In short, we relied on word of mouth to promote the Tele Town Hall meetings, and by copying representatives of the blindness, low vision and deafblind organizations on our radar it was hoped that news of this initiative would be circulated to their respective networks.  It was noted that the first meeting had the largest number of participants, with numbers decreasing as we moved into the final two gatherings.

 

This report looks at the discussion that occurred during each of the town hall meetings and attempts to put forward some suggestions and challenges to individuals and organizations working in the sector and what that might look like. It should be noted that even though the role of service providers like CNIB was not the main goal of this discussion, it does factor into the ongoing relationships between people and organizations representing people who are blind, partially sighted and deafblind.

 

Here is a link to download the final report in MS Word format.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v7pb3krn6lxzhks/Tele%20Town%2Hall%20Final%20Report%20Protected%202018Aug17.docx?dl=0

 

 

Pedestrian Crossings and Accessibility++:

The emergence of new traffic signaling devices at a growing number of intersections are creating concern for pedestrians with sight loss. When is it safe to begin a crossing, how will marked cross walks be delineated and will drivers know how to respond to new signaling mechanisms?

 

In recent months, CNIB has witnessed a growing number of requests for advocacy support to address concerns regarding these new or different devices.

 

Clearing our Path, online since 2016, has been CNIB’s go to resource on accessible environments since it was first published in 1999. The guidelines under review for this project can be found at:

http://www.clearingourpath.ca/4.2.0-street-crossings_e.php

 

This section of Clearing Our path contains guidelines on:

  1. Curb Ramps and Depressed Curbs
  2. Islands
  3. Raised Pedestrian Crossings

*4.    **Accessible Pedestrian Signals*

  1. Roundabouts

*6.    **Non-Signalized Pedestrian Crossings*

 

*Of these, items 4 and 6 will be the primary focus of this initiative.*

 

Request for input

A working group has been struck to consider these as well as other issues surrounding accessible pedestrian signals and intersection design.

 

On Wednesday, September 19, we would like to extend an invitation to your members to participate in a teleconference call hosted by CNIB.

 

The questions we would like to have feedback for include:

  1. What are some of the new intersection and mid-block crossings tactics, structures, or devices being adopted in your area at either controlled or non-controlled intersections?

 

  1. What are any accessibility challenges posed by these tactics, structures or devices?

 

  1. What recommendations would you have that would better ensure accessibility and safety for pedestrians who are blind, deafblind or who have sight loss;

 

  1. Any additional information you wish to share relevant to Audible Pedestrian Signals, pedestrian intersections and mid-block crossings?

 

Comments from this conversation will be collected and reviewed by a national working group and any comments for change will be reflected in the sections of clearing our path sited above.

 

Alternatively, any written comments or suggestions would also be appreciated. These should be sent to lui.greco@cnib.ca no later than September 28.

Submitted by Lui Greco, National Manager of Advocacy

CNIB

 

Visually-impaired Victorians need design change to life-threatening bike lanes++:

Support our BC Human Rights case to insist that the City change its ill-conceived, life-threatening design of floating bus stops, such as along Pandora Street, that require transit users to cross a separated bike lane to get on or off buses in Victoria, BC.

 

The blind/ visually impaired have already experienced several serious incidents in Victoria (ones we know of) while crossing bike lanes. Imagine the sudden whiz of a bike past you and your guide dog’s nose or tires screeching in front of you as you step out to cross a bike lane.

 

No one wants to see the inevitable–a crash causing bodily injuries or death as a result of the City not changing this dangerous inaccessible design. Imagine your sense of confidence shaken by uncertainty and fear, knowing you cannot hear oncoming bikes as you step out to cross a bike lane. It’s Russian Roulette.

 

People ask: What’s the difference between crossing a bike lane versus crossing a street as a blind or visually-impaired person? We cross city street intersections all the time by listening to traffic flow and pedestrian signals. Vehicle traffic on roads can be heard. Bikes, on the other hand, are silent, stealthily silent, so you cannot judge when it’s safe to cross a bike lane.

 

For more information on this initiative, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/cfb-bike-lanes

 

 

In the News

 

How Running Can Help Protect Your Eyesight++:

Find out how many miles a week you should log to reap the benefits.

 

Your heart isn’t the only organ that can benefit from regular running: The more fit and active you are, the less likely you are to develop glaucoma, a serious eye disease that can damage your optic nerve and even lead to blindness, new research set to be published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds.

 

In the study researchers analyzed data from more than 9,500 people between ages 40 and 81 enrolled in a long-term study at the famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas. The researchers compared the subjects’ aerobic fitness (measured by treadmill tests) and weekly amount of exercise (reported by the subjects) to how many of them developed incident glaucoma during a nearly six-year follow-up period. The researchers specifically looked at incident glaucoma, the more common form of the condition, rather than traumatic glaucoma, which is caused by direct injury to the eye.

 

The researchers found that those who were the most active and the fittest had only half the risk of developing glaucoma as the least-active, less-fit group. Running 10 miles per week at a 10-minute mile pace would be enough to rank in the study’s fittest, most-active category.

 

This isn’t the first time scientists discovered a vision benefit to running.

This new research builds on a study published in 2009. In that study, which involved only runners, those with the highest mileage and best 10K times had the lowest rate of glaucoma, compared to lower-mileage and/or slower runners. The new study strengthens the pro-running evidence by including sedentary people as well as casual exercisers who are less active and fit than runners, and by showing that modest mileage appears to bring significant eye-health benefits.

 

So why might running lower your risk for glaucoma?

As the new study states, “intraocular pressure is the primary modifiable risk factor for glaucoma.” When pressure in your eye is too high, it can damage the optic nerve in your eye, potentially leading to glaucoma.

 

Other studies have found that a single workout reduces intraocular pressure, which the reduction is greater following more intense workouts, and that higher levels of fitness are associated with lower underlying intraocular pressure. Taken together, these findings suggest that exercise that’s frequent and intense enough to boost fitness, such as regular running, should lower intraocular pressure enough to make a significant difference.

 

And the glaucoma reduction might not be the only eye-related benefit to

running: Separate research by the 2009 study authors found that the more people ran, the less likely they were to develop cataracts during a six-year follow-up period.

 

Although few people probably take up running to help their eyes, you have to love research like this that shows just how profoundly regular running improves nearly all aspects of your health.

By Scott Douglas

 

On-line Training++:

Please find info below about some free online training courses coming in the next couple of months.  Explanations and descriptions are below.  Matt’s email is at the bottom of the message.

 

Hi everyone, first off, please share this with others, as I’ll explain later on in the message. Many of you may remember, or may have taken, the iPad training course I offered this past spring. I was really humbled and appreciative of all the positive feedback from that course, and I felt that the response to it was overwhelming.

 

I’m now excited to announce that I will be offering more free training courses for 2018-19 training season.

 

First off, I’ll be offering four major courses over the next year. They are as follows:

 

Replacing Your Traditional TV with Apple TV: four sessions, one session per week, beginning Tuesday, October 2, 2018

 

Living the Connected Digital Life: Four sessions, one session per week, beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2018

 

Learn Voiceover In and Out: eight sessions, two per week, beginning Tuesday, January 22, 2019

 

Learning Voiceover In and Out, Section B: Eight Sessions, two per week, beginning Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 

IPad for All Computing: 12 Sessions, two per week, beginning Tuesday, April 16, 2019

 

The courses which have two days per week will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All courses will be held in the afternoon, with exact start times to be decided. Plan on somewhere around 2PM or 2:30 PM Eastern.

Sessions will last for two hours.

 

As with prior courses, each course is completely free and is available to everyone, sighted and non-sighted alike. As before, courses will be held in Zoom, with an accompanying set of materials, offered as iTunes U courses, with the exception of the Apple TV and Connected Digital Life courses, which will require only small handouts rather than complete iTunes U courses.

 

I’ll provide descriptions of each course below. What I’d love is if people would start sharing this with your friends, family, co-workers, etc, and on any other relevant lists you may belong to.

Additionally, please let me know which courses interest you.

 

The Apple TV course was sort of requested by several participants in this year’s iPad course. It will be designed to offer participants an overview of what the Apple TV can do and how to use it. We will then get into various options for making the Apple TV your complete living room device, cutting the cord, streaming, etc. what about local channels? How about sports? What does it cost? How many people can watch at the same time?

On and on. We’ll answer all the questions we can, with a particular emphasis on Voiceover use as well. You do not need to own an Apple TV to benefit from this course. Even if you are just mildly interested in it and want to explore what’s out there, we’d love for you to join.

 

The Connected Digital Life will explore in-depth how to make all your devices work for you no matter where you are. We will spend lots of time on all the iCloud features and services, such as iCloud Photo Library, iTunes in the CLoud, iCloud Drive, and many more. We’ll discuss iCloud Keychain for password and credit card autofill, Apple Pay, continuity, multiple devices together, HomeKit and home automation devices, and much more. Anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod, Mac, or any combination of these devices should benefit from this course.

 

The Voiceover In and Out course is something I believe many are looking for. You’ll notice I’m offering two sections. This is because I intentionally want to keep enrollment small and look at the students to best tailor the course to individual needs. This will be perfect for anyone who has never used an Apple device and wants to learn about it, or anyone who has just gotten their first Apple device. Additionally, those who have been using Apple products for years but want further Voiceover help will also benefit. Finally, if you struggle with certain gestures, fingering, or just want advance tips and tricks, this course is for you as well. Note that as of right now, this course will primarily focus on Apple iOS including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, TVOS, Watch OS, and HomePod. Though we wil indeed explore keyboard commands and Braille displays, our primary mode of using these devices will be gestures. My most recent certifications are on the iOS side of things, and that’s what I use, so I’d prefer to not do Mac OS for now.

 

Finally, for the iPad course. You’ll notice I’ve renamed it. You’ll also notice that it’s longer than the one we did this past spring – 12 sessions instead of 8. This is because I really want to go deeper. We will be spending minimal time on learning Voiceover. If you want that, choose both this iPad course as well as the Voiceover course. In this course, we’ll do what we did last time, except much more involved. Instead of just talking for a short time about Messages, we’ll practice sending and receiving messages, use screen effects and iMessage apps, attach photos, record audio messages, and more. Instead of just discussing the calendar, we’ll create test events, modify events, use features like travel time, shared calendars, and much more. We’ll actually create short movies in Apple Clips, view a Keynote presentation together, and we will spend one whole session on file management and two entire sessions on nothing but Pages.

 

This course is for everyone, though having an iPad is strongly suggested, though you will be able to complete most of the course on your phone. We will have a prerequisite this time though – a strong familiarity with Voiceover. If you do not feel comfortable with Voiceover but would like to take this course, just also take the Voiceover In and Out course, and you’ll be fine. Even if you took the 2018 iPad course, you may wish to take the 2019 one, as it will as I’ve stated, go much deeper.

 

Again, please contact me with any questions, and please let me know which courses you’d like to take, and please share. Even though some of these are quite a ways off in the calendar yet, please start letting me know what you’d like, because creating course materials and course structure will be much better the more time I have. Shortly I will respond to those who have actually chosen specific courses, and I’ll keep in touch with you from now through the start of the courses. Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you. Take care.

I can be reached at m.jvollbrecht@comcast.net

 

REMINDERS

 

Hi Everyone!  Becky from the office here.  Membership season is here!  Here are the important dates that are listed in the package.

 

Early Bird Draw – November 2, 2018

Chapter Rebate Deadline – December 7, 2018

All 2019 Memberships Due – December 28, 2018

White Cane Week Orders Due – January 4, 2019

WCW Insurance Requests Due – January 4, 2019

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

DON’T FORGET!

Donations Received in the office in 2018 are the only ones that can be receipted for 2018.  Remember to send those donations if for your receipts.

 

 

 

www.ccbnational.net                 1-877-304-0968

ccb@ccbnational.net

VISIONS Summer 2018

Jul 30 2018

Visions Summer 2018 DIGITAL PDF | Visions Summer 2018 TEXT

Advertisment: Bell offers the Doro 824C and 824. These smartphones are designed with accessibility in mind. With your purchase of a Doro mobile device, you’ll also receive a free pair of AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones.

Click this message to learn more.

 

VISIONS

Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter

 

Summer 2018

“A lack of sightis not a lack of vision”

 

President’s Message++

Welcome to summer! I hope all members are getting to spend some relaxing time with family and friends. Many places are experiencing extreme heat so remember to drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.

 

As President of the CCB, it is a pleasure to inform you, about the proposed Accessible Canada Act. We want to thank Minister Duncan for introducing the act, as well as Minister Qualtrough for the initial steps in the process. This Act has been through the first reading and tabled until fall sitting.

 

Thank you to all of you who attended the consultations held in your communities over the past two years. We as an organization have had representation in meetings with the Ministry of Disabilities, Sports and Science on this act as well. We are pleased with the bill once passed, and any amendments that may come, will ensure that our shared spaces will be more accessible to all, job opportunities will increase and transportation improved.

 

Please read the letter from Government of Canada below for further details.

 

Minister Duncan introduces the proposed Accessible Canada Act.

Most significant progress for people with disabilities in over 30 years

June 20, 2018

Gatineau, Quebec

Employment and Social Development Canada

 

Today, following the most inclusive and accessible consultation with Canadians with disabilities and with the disability community, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, introduced the proposed Accessible Canada Act to Parliament. This historic legislation would enable the Government of Canada to take a proactive approach to end systemic discrimination of people with disabilities.

 

The goal of the legislation is to benefit all Canadians, especially Canadians with disabilities, through the progressive realization of a barrier-free Canada. The act would establish a model to eliminate accessibility barriers and lead to more consistent accessibility in areas under federal jurisdiction across Canada.

The bill outlines how the Government of Canada will require organizations under federal jurisdiction to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility, including in: the built environment (buildings and public spaces); employment (job opportunities and employment policies and practices); information and communication technologies (digital content and technologies used to access it); the procurement of goods and services; the delivery of programs and services; and transportation (by air as well as by rail, ferry and bus carriers that operate across provincial, territorial or international borders).

The Government of Canada is providing funding of approximately $290 million over six years that will further the objectives of the new legislation.

 

The act would strengthen the existing rights and protections for people with disabilities, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canada’s approval of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will do this through the development, implementation and enforcement of accessibility standards, as well as the monitoring of outcomes in priority areas. These requirements will be enforced by the new powers and enforcement measures needed to ensure compliance, and overall implementation will be monitored. No longer will Canadians with disabilities be expected to fix the system through human rights complaints, instead, new proactive compliance measures will ensure that organizations under federal jurisdiction are held accountable to ensuring accessible practices.

 

As the Government of Canada moves forward with the implementation of the proposed act, continued and meaningful participation by Canadians with disabilities will be crucial towards realizing a barrier-free Canada.

 

The Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) will be Canada’s first-ever standards development organization exclusively dedicated to accessibility issues and will be led by persons with disabilities.

 

In keeping with the objectives of the bill and respecting the Government’s approach to historic and modern treaties, we will also support the work of First Nations leaders and communities to improve accessibility on reserve.

 

While this legislation is a significant first step in ensuring a barrier-free Canada for all Canadians, the Government of Canada will work collaboratively with partners in both the public and private sectors to create opportunities for full participation by people with disabilities in their communities and workplaces, and to help change the way society thinks, talks and acts about disability and accessibility.

 

“Society benefits when all Canadians can fully participate. The proposed accessible Canada act represents the most important federal legislative advancement of disability rights in Canada in over 30 years. Thank you to the many community leaders and advocates who have worked for years and decades to make this happen. With the proposed act now in Parliament, we are one step closer to our goal: to have a truly inclusive and accessible Canada.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

 

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in improving accessibility for all Canadians. As a life-long advocate for disability rights and a person living with a disability myself, I am proud to lead a portfolio tasked with enhancing accessibility in federal buildings and establishing an accessible procurement resource centre. This important work will help ensure the goods and services purchased and offered by the Government of Canada are more accessible for all Canadians.”

– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

 

There will be some very interesting items in this newsletter for everyone to enjoy. Keep safe and enjoy the summer. If anyone is hiking, walking or doing other forms of physical activity over the summer you can submit your experiences to Ryan at CCB Health and Fitness at ccb.healthandfitness@gmail.com.

 

Happy summer

Louise Gillis, National President

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

 

 

 

Announcements

Chapter News: CCB Access & Awareness NS Chapter++

Halifax, Nova Scotia

 

On Wednesday, June 6, our Chapter held its’ third annual “White Cane and Dog Guide Walk & Reception”.  While not as warm and humid as last year’s weather, this year was fairly cool and many chilly hands and paws arrived at City Hall following the walk through some of the main streets of downtown Halifax.

The purpose of the walk is to demonstrate to the public the independence, freedom, accessibility and inclusion that our white canes and dog guides provide to us during our daily activities and while travelling throughout our communities. Refreshments were provided following the walk at Halifax City Hall and music was provided by renowned Halifax musician, Maria Alley, whose dulcet tones were the perfect background to our reception. It was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. A great time was had by all!

 

Submitted by Pat Gates, Chair, CCB Access & Awareness NS Chapter

 

Advocacy Alert++

Greyhound is turning off the ignition in Western Canada and leaving persons with disabilities on the recent announcement by Greyhound bus lines that they are closing their services to Western Canadians should be of concern to all Canadians and is most concerning to those of us who rely on that service for transportation to and from our daily activities.  This includes those of us who live with vision loss, those of us with various disabilities and those of us who cannot afford our own form of transportation. Reliable transportation is vital to our well-being, in getting from Point A to Point B, for medical appointments, for purchasing the necessities of life as well as for social activities and staying connected with family. We need to let our voices be heard on this issue so that governments will know just how vital this service is to us.

 

Your CCB National Advocacy Committee has this issue on its’ radar and will be discussing what we as blind, partially sighted and deaf/blind Canadians can do to ensure that this important item does not fall to the roadside – pardon the pun!

 

Pat Gates the side of the road, by Albert Ruel

 

 

This is not good news for persons with disabilities and those who opt to function without a Driver’s License.  Below are 3 articles related to the Greyhound Bus closure topic found on CBC News since September 2017.

 

I have been an intercity bus passenger, mostly on Vancouver Island and the BC Interior since August 3, 1978 when I had to relinquish my BC Driver’s License due to failing vision.  Other than periodic flights to some destinations, riding with others who happen to be heading my way, or sometimes recruiting people to facilitate my getting to a chosen destination, I have long relied on Greyhound to get there.  Yes, we have other options now on Vancouver Island, however neither of those other two options offer wheelchair accessible vehicles, nor their schedules often require me to spend additional nights in Hotels due to poor rural service.

 

I live in Parksville and when work keeps me in Victoria beyond 3:00 PM I am not able to get all the way home, necessitating a night in a Hotel.  Also, the earliest I can arrive in Victoria is 12:00 Noon because the first bus out of Parksville doesn’t leave until shortly after 9:00 AM.  I remember in the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s riding on Greyhound busses that were full or nearly full most of the time, and their schedules made sense.  I could leave for Victoria on the 6:30 or 7:00 AM bus, and I could leave Victoria on the 7:45 PM bus and get home to Parksville, and to Port Alberni where I lived then.

 

It’s been my experience that when Greyhound started to cut back on schedules years ago the ridership went down accordingly, to the point that they have become irrelevant to me and many passengers over time.  Also, the cost of a ticket has gone up to the point where many who live on limited incomes find it difficult to take the bus today.

 

I don’t know what the answer is, however it should be well understood that not everyone has a car in the driveway, and our ability to connect with family and our chosen communities has just been curtailed beyond reason for a country as rich and diverse as Canada.  I hope that Provincial and Federal Governments work with affected Canadians to work out solutions that will work for passengers, and that will allow Intercity and transit operators to provide transportation under profitable and sustainable models.

 

Greyhound to end all bus routes in Western Canada except 1 in B.C.

CBC News, the Canadian Press Posted: Jul 09, 2018 2:40 PM ET

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/greyhound-cancellations-albertamanitoba-saskatchewan-british-columbia-1.4739459

 

‘It’s very disappointing’: Greyhound opts to cut some rural B.C. Interior stops.

Courtney Dickson CBC News Posted: Feb 23, 2018 4:14 PM PT

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/greyhound-southern-interior-1.4549732

 

Goodbye Greyhound? The thread stitching together Canada’s North wears thin.

Yvette Brend CBC News: Posted: Sep 01, 2017

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/greyhound-bus-canada-transit-northern-routes-health-bc-1.4270314

 

CCB Chatham-Kent Chapter, in the News++

The new Chatham-Kent chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind is getting out in the community to let people know what they have to offer for folks who have visual impairments. The group set up a booth recently at Retrofest in Chatham and welcome new members to meetings the first Monday of each month.

 

Run by co-chairs Dave Maxwell and David Lachance, the local chapter meets the first Monday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the United Way office on 425 Grand Ave. W. in Chatham.

 

Based on a belief in ability, not disability, the local CCB chapter offers a variety of social and recreational activities based on the interest of its members.

 

The organization also works to improve the quality of life for persons with vision loss through awareness, peer mentoring, socializing, sports, advocacy, health promotion and illness prevention.

 

Locally, the chapter offers a Getting Together with Technology session the second Wednesday of each month at the United Way office from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The sessions help the blind and people with low vision explore access to new devices such as phones, e-readers, computer software and digital recorders with help from Matt Dierckens, a certified technology instructor.

 

“Our most important focus is the social aspect within the chapter, meaning we are there for support, social gatherings, and just all around socializing within the Chatham-Kent region,” chapter chair Dave Maxwell said in a release. “This may include field trips, barbecues, and our meetings to discuss multiple subjects. The CCB Chatham-Kent chapter is a great place for all those that may be dealing with vision loss or have been visually impaired or blind their whole life, and are looking to get out and meet some new great friends that share the same experiences in life.”

 

The local CCB chapter has a Facebook page under CCB – Chatham-Kent or for questions about the group or becoming a member, contact Maxwell by phone at 519-674-0141 or by e-mail at dmaxwell53@gmail.com.

 

Bowling++

If you enjoy Lawn Bowling and want to know more about Blind Bowls Association of Canada, go to:  www.bbacan.ca

 

A Message from Coach Nitro++

Just wanted to touch base to let you know that our very own British Columbia Blind Golfer from Langley, B.C.  George Thirkill Won the Overall championship at the Western Canadian Blind Golf Championships in Winnipeg last week July 9th to 12th. There were 21 players from all over Canada.  The championship consisted of 2 rounds Stableford matches with 4 divisions. B1 –B2 – B3 & Seniors. The weather was some sun with winds on both days and some rain. The course was very challenging for a Blind golfer but they managed to get some assistance from their guides on some of the tricky holes.  By the way, I was George’s Coach and guide.   George shot a 91 on the first day and a score of 85 on the second day, due to some excellent putting to win by 2 strokes.  The junior winner B3 Keifer Jones 24yrs old from Calgary shot a 75 & 76 to take the Junior division. Keifer is the top blind golfer in the world.  George represents Blind Golf British Columbia and at age 79 is the Top senior golfer in the world.  George along with our other top golfer from British Columbia Darren Douma (member of CCB VIBE Creston Chapter) from Creston, B.C will be heading to Rome, Italy this year to compete in the World Blind matches and Team play competition representing Canada.

 

Gerry Nelson, President of Blind Golf Canada said we are always looking for people that are visually impaired or Blind or Disabled to come out and learn how to golf.  We have a Blind Training facility at the National Golf Academy in Langley at the Tall Timbers Golf Course and can be reached at Nitrogolf@shaw.ca.  There is No Cost for the blind or disabled.

Thank you,

Coach Nitro

 

CCB Membership Reminder++

On behalf of the CCB National Membership committee we would like to remind all chapters to make sure they have updated CCB national office of any Chapter member changes in Address’s, emails and phone numbers.

Please send in the changes so that it can be updated in the system.

 

This will ensure that all CCB chapter members are receiving all the newsletters and information send out from the National office.

 

Thank you,

CCB National Membership Committee.

 

CCB Membership Season++

Hi Everyone!  Becky from the office here.  I thought I would give you the heads up about the upcoming Membership Season dates.  Membership packages will be sent out by the end of August, so Chapter Contacts should be watching for them.  Here are the other dates that are listed in the package.

Early Bird Draw – November 2, 2018

Chapter Rebate Deadline – December 7, 2018

All 2019 Memberships Due – December 28, 2018

White Cane Week Orders Due – January 4, 2019

WCW Insurance Requests Due – January 4, 2019

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

 

 

Congratulations and Happy Birthday!++

HARRY  ARPANE, a member of the CCB Windsor/Essex Low Vision Social and Support Group, WILL  CELEBRATE  HIS  100TH  BIRTHDAY  ON  JULY  22ND.  2018. Happy Birthday!

Submitted by Helen Medel – President, CCB Windsor/Essex Low Vision Social and Support Group

 

 

Braille Literacy Canada Honours Darleen Bogart with the BLC President’s Award++

(OTTAWA, ON, June 5, 2018) — Outgoing president Jen Goulden presented the Braille Literacy Canada President’s Award to Darleen Bogart at the BLC Annual General Meeting on May 26th, 2018. Established this year, the award acknowledges individuals who have made a significant contribution to braille literacy. Darleen Bogart is the first recipient of this award.

 

Darleen was instrumental in the founding of Braille Literacy Canada (then known as the Canadian Braille Authority) and served as its first president. She is also the longest-standing member of the board of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) and she represented Canada on the International Council on English Braille (ICEB) from its founding in 1991 until 2012.

 

Darleen played an active role in the development of Unified English Braille (UEB) and has served on numerous braille-related committees and initiatives, both in Canada and around the world. Darleen received the BANA Braille Excellence Award in 2015 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in June of 2017 to honour her many years of continued leadership and dedication to the braille community.

While her list of accomplishments is lengthy, her most enduring contribution to braille is her unswerving dedication to both the code and to braille readers. Braille Literacy Canada applauds Darleen Bogart for her outstanding contribution to braille both in Canada and internationally.

 

Assistive Technology

 

Get Together with Technology Update++

GTT continues to thrive and grow. New groups are starting up across the country and more blind and vision impaired people are learning how to use technology and discover new devices to support their independence.

 

For more information on GTT, or how to get involved, please contact Kim Kilpatrick at gtt@ccbnational.net

 

CCB Tech Articles: Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Talking

Thermometer++

Hi there!  It’s Donna and today I’d like to talk about the talking thermometer.

Meet the talking thermometer

There used to be a time when dreaming of having a talking thermometer was just that; just a dream!  No more!  This nifty device has been on the market now for several years and you can find them as either stand-alone units or folded into other gadgets.

 

As an example, you may find talking thermometers that also tell you the time.  Mine tells me the time as well as both the indoor and outdoor temperatures.  It tells the time on the hour.

 

Again, it is the best of both worlds.  The advantage of a stand-alone unit may be that there are no other add-ons to it; clock, alarm, time, and so on.  The advantage of having it as part of another gadget is that you get other things with it but if that main gadget breaks or stops working then there goes the thermometer along with it.

 

Almost all talking thermometers will give you the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius versions.

 

So go out there and make friends with the talking thermometer.

 

Want some contact info?

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

 

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

 

There is also no harm in checking out http://www.independentlivingaids.com and http://www.maxiaids.com

 

 

Email Suggestions, Share from KeyWord, Find and replace, Insert a page break and much more.++

July 5, 2018 — HumanWare announces the immediate availability of BrailleNote Touch July update. Among many of the features and enhancements included in this free Update, users will immediately enjoy:

 

The ability to request for email suggestions, a more natural way to write your emails without having to remember the email address and a new efficient way to share your documents to the cloud.

 

The Touch July app updates are now available to download and brings incredible new features and enhancements.

 

 

 

In the News

 

How This Visually Impaired Runner and Guide Dog Find Their Way++

“Win, come. Come. Come close. Good girl,” said Ken Fernald, 52, as he called his guide dog, Winnie, while sitting on his deck in Binghamton, New York.

“She’s outside finding the flowers and biting them. I promised my wife I’d keep a close eye on her while I’m out here so [Winnie] doesn’t destroy all the flowers.”

 

Fernald has been legally blind since he was 8 years old, but he has also been active for most of his life. For many years, he enjoyed road cycling until his vision slowly deteriorated, so he had to adjust by riding with others and avoiding the main roads. Later, the list of safety issues grew, and Fernald switched from biking to running about 12 years ago.

 

As his vision worsened, he transitioned from running solo, to running alongside someone, to then being physically tethered to another runner.

Fernald could manage training on a track fairly well, but he grew tired of running in loops. So he did what he had to do: train a guide dog.

 

That’s how Fernald came upon Winnie, a 2-and-a-half-year-old yellow lab. The two were paired in the Guiding Eyes for the Blind program, a guide dog nonprofit based out of New York.

Winnie was specifically trained to be a runner, and Fernald said Guiding Eyes is the only guide dog school that offers a program for dogs and owners who want to run together. The cost of breeding, training, and matching a guide dog with their owner equates to $50,000, which is all funded through donations at no cost to people with visual disabilities.

 

Fernald lived at the school for three weeks so the Guiding Eyes team could teach the duo how to live and work together. Fernald and Winnie finally graduated from the program in October last year.

 

Not every dog is cut out to be a running guide dog, but if there’s one quality Winnie has, its drive.

 

“[Winnie] is just an exceptional dog,” Fernald told Runner’s World over the phone. “Very bright and very energetic. She basically does everything a guide dog does in a working environment, but just does it a lot faster.”

 

Fernald currently serves as the CEO of the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment (AVRE). Even during his long, back-to-back board and committee meetings, Winnie rests by his side. During breaks, Fernald will take her to an unused office space and throw a ball with her for 30 minutes a day, just to keep her active.

 

“She’s very competitive,” Fernald said. “If there’s someone in front of us, she wants to pass them. If we’re walking with another guide dog, God forbid, she wants to be the first dog.”

 

Fernald and Winnie ran part of the Binghamton Bridge Run Half Marathon on May 6. It was Fernald’s fifth time running the race, but the duo’s first chance running an event together. For the first 10 miles, Fernald ran alongside his future daughter-in-law, Carly (who will marry his son, Michael, in July). When he reached the crest of a hill, close to the 10-mile marker, Winnie was at the top waiting for him with his wife.

“You have to put yourself out there and take the risk. Don’t be afraid.”

It was Winnie’s first event, so amid all the crowd excitement, she took off, Fernald almost unable to keep up with her (though eventually they slowed into a comfortable pace). As they neared the finish line, Winnie sensed the communal adrenaline and picked up speed. Fernald, Carly, and Winnie completed the race in 2:14:07.

 

Fernald said many people have misconceptions about those with impaired vision, one of which being that guide dogs always know how to get to their destination, and the owner is just along for the ride. Fernald clarified that he knows where he’s going, knows when it’s safe to cross the street, and so forth, but Winnie is the one who guides him around people and obstacles to get there safely.

 

Next on Fernald’s list is to do part of a 10-miler or another half with Winnie in the fall. He’s completed the Army Ten Miler several times over the years, but because of the swell of participants (last year saw almost 26,000 runners), Fernald’s not sure Winnie would be able to handle the crowd. In the meantime, the two pals are just going to keep running.

Visually impaired or not, runner or not, Fernald just wants people to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

 

“If someone is visually impaired specifically, and they want to become active, it can be challenging,” Fernald said. “You just can’t curl up on a couch and fear life. You have to put yourself out there and take the risk.

Don’t be afraid.”

By McGee Nall

 

Blind community says bike lanes put their lives at risk. Visually impaired Victorians say the City knew of problems, built bike lanes anyway ++

Members of Victoria’s visually-impaired community have come forward with safety concerns about the Pandora bike lanes.

The biggest problem surrounds the bus stops along Pandora Avenue, which are stationed on meridians across from the bike lanes. While raised crosswalks are in place, there is no way for those with visual impairment to know when they can cross.

 

“I was standing on the bus stop island, waiting and waiting and thought ‘OK, it must be alright to go’ and I stepped out and a bike passed right in front of me,” said Linda Bartram, chair of the City of Victoria’s Accessibility Working Group, a volunteer group that aims to make policies, services, infrastructure and facilities more accessible.

 

“I don’t hear the bikes until they’re literally in front of me.”

Bartram, who is visually impaired, was using the crosswalk as part of a demonstration to Brad Dellebuur, manager of transportation and infrastructure design at the City of Victoria. During the demonstration, Bartram and a partially sighted friend tried crossing both directions, and used both a guide dog and a white cane to test how people would react. Bartram said with her dog, she waited long enough that she could hear her bus passing.

 

“If I had actually wanted to catch it, I would have missed it,” she said.

When she used her cane, she eventually heard a cyclist joke that they were “at a standoff,” because he had stopped but didn’t know to tell her to go.

Bartram said the demonstration came into fruition after the lanes were already being constructed, because the Accessibility Working Group wasn’t formed until after planning decisions for the Pandora bike lanes had been made.

“We were only asked to comment on the bike lane accessibility to the bus stops, and as a blind person I couldn’t ascertain that it would be in the middle of the road,” she said. “We’ve been told it’s too late to do much about it in terms of changing things; but obviously this group feels something does need to be done.”

 

Brad Dellabuur said that after he saw the demonstration, he realized there was a problem. “We came to the conclusion that we need to put some additional markings, which we’ve incorporated in Fort Street at mid-block crosswalks,” he said. “It’s just some additional information for cyclists that there is a legal requirement to stop.”

 

The additional “crossing ahead” signs are intended to warn cyclists that pedestrians may be ahead, and while they have been incorporated onto Fort Street, they have yet to be placed on Pandora Avenue.

 

Bartram said the additional signage would help, but that an ideal solution would be some kind of auditory signal that the visually impaired could use.

 

The difficulty spurred the Canadian Federation of the Blind to come forward with a complaint against the City with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. Oriano Belusic, vice-president of the federation, said the City’s actions have put blind peoples’ lives in danger. “It’s like playing Russian roulette,” Belusic said. “Without eye contact, you really don’t know if you’re gonna get whacked by a bike.” Belusic said his friend had his cane run over several times, and that he had personally encountered many near-misses.

“If you have a close call experience with a guide dog it could easily ruin their confidence to work, if they survive.”

 

In their claim, the Canadian Federation of the Blind is asking that the city tear up the floating bus islands, and allow busses to pick up riders from the safety of the sidewalk, noting that more signage does not do enough.

“In order for it to be safe, both parties need to be active in that safety,” Belusic said. “If I put my safety solely in the cyclist’s hands, that’s not good enough, it puts my life and my dog’s life at risk.”

 

By NICOLE CRESCENZI

 

 

 

www.ccbnational.net

1-877-304-0968

ccb@ccbnational.net

VISIONS June 2018

Jun 11 2018

Visions June 2018 DIGITAL PDF | Visions June 2018 TEXT DOCX

 

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VISIONS

Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter

June 2018

 

“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision”

 

President’s Message++

 

Now that spring will soon be changing into summer many chapters will be slowing down their activities and events. One big event that did take place in May was the annual Atlantic Sports & Recreation Weekend (ASRW).

This year the ASRW was sponsored by the CCB Sydney Chapter as everyone knows a lot of planning many months in advance has to take place with a group of individuals who work independently on varying items and then come together on a regular basis to see how it is unfolding then continue on that path or work out alternate plans. We had that process here even including “Mother Nature” to work with us and on Saturday for the outdoor events we had fantastic weather so all went very well.

We had 45 individuals with vision loss of one sort or another who took part along with their drivers, support persons and some family members. What really helps in an event like this is to have sufficient volunteers, accessible venues and persons who are properly trained in how they can help people with vision loss find their way and get to where they need to be so all events run smoothly without long wait times. I personally, along with our chapter, would like to thank all who helped make this a successful weekend. Lots of medals and ribbons were won. These are very special to each person and just the fact of being able to participate is very important whether you win or lose. Participants don’t need experience in the events just a desire to be part of all the excitement. See you all in Summerside PEI next May.

To see/hear an interview on AMI.ca with Laura Bain talking about her experience on the weekend in Sydney go to: http://www.ami.ca/category/ami-week-sports/media/ccba-sports-and-recreation-weekend

The last week of May was a very busy week as well. Braille Literacy Canada held their AGM. Also some workshops on Braille technology –what is best for the individual needs, cost, access, and how best to use the newest refreshable braille note-takers. Check out their website.

The World Braille Council also met in Ottawa. As most of us know Braille is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books, and periodicals as those printed in a visual font. It is used for all European-based languages and has also been adapted to present Arabic, and Asian languages as well. Learning to read and write in braille allows a child to be fully literate and they can excel in learning from any books published in braille form.

One of the important notes of this meeting was the shortage teachers of Braille in all countries including Canada. Another issue is teaching Braille to students with multiple disabilities and in many cases the blind student sits in the class without any education being received. The technology sector collaborated to develop universal standard for braille displays during the event.

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 253 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members are organizations of and for the blind in 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. ​The WBU Executive Committee had their meeting in Ottawa as well this week. Below are a few bits of information from that event.

{While I understand many may not be able to connect to the links below I think it is important to include them for those who can and also for others with computers to go to the websites to see more information to share with their members}. You can check out a video of WBU North America/Caribbean Regional President, Mr. Charles Mossop, welcoming members of the Executive committee, representatives from regions and international organizations to the WBU Executive Committee at http://ow.ly/m0va30kg6Rt.

Dr. M.N.G. Mani, CEO of International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) emphasizes the strong collaboration between ICEVI and WBU during the WBU Executive Committee meeting.

Ms. Donatilla Kanimba the WBU Second Vice President appeals for access and use of technologies to the benefit of people with visual disabilities. Dr. Aubrey Webson, UN Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda urges WBU to continue working within the UN system especially on SustainableDevelopmentGoals building on the promise of “leaving no one behind”.

“My first impressions here is how everyone comes from different continents to discuss issues we share together to improve the quality of lives of blind people” Ms. Nantanoot Suwannawut (Apple) from Thailand,

Each year, 37% of tourists with disabilities decide not to travel because of limited accessibility. With a strong EU AccessibilityAct that includes tourism the sector can generate revenues of almost € 90bn.

I, as President and our Executive Director, Jim Prowse accepted the Century of Change Award from the CNIB on behalf of CCB at Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa. It was presented by CNIB President and Directors at a dinner in celebrating a 100 years of changing lives CNIB.

This last several months the WBU has carried out several surveys – Barriers for Women – Empowerment and Leadership, Survey for persons with low vision, and one for Elderly Persons with results currently being compiled. These surveys have been sent out in previous Newsletters for members to complete.

In the upcoming month CCB will be preparing and providing further information on our upcoming AGM on June 27th for members.

Louise Gillis, National President

 

Announcements

 

CCB Toronto Visionaries to hold 5th Annual 5km Fund-raising Walk-a-thon & Beach BBQ! ++

 

On Wednesday, June 20th, the CCB Toronto Visionaries Chapter will host its 5th annual 5km ‘Walk-a-thon & Beach BBQ’ along the Woodbine Beach Boardwalk in Toronto.  Funds raised at this event will help support the Visionaries’ Chapter operations for the coming year.

 

The site of the Walk was selected for its accessibility, with good access to public transit, accessible washrooms, and a path that is tactile and easy to follow.  The Woodbine Beach Boardwalk is a 3km long wood plank walkway with sand on either side, following the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Toronto’s East End.  The Walk takes us from our picnic site, to the west end of the Boardwalk, where we turn and retrace about 2.5km and then return to the picnic area for a celebratory BBQ.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, all the trimmings, salads, potato chips and soft drinks will be served to all Walkers and sighted guides, free of charge, as all of the food is being donated by local merchants!  And since the only cost to our Chapter is the Parks permit, almost every dollar donated goes directly to our operating expenses.

 

In addition, the CCB Toronto Visionaries has invited other CCB Chapters active in the Toronto area and other blindness-related organizations to join us, making this a vision loss community event!  This year, the Visionaries will be joined by the Hands of Fire Blind Sculpture Group, the CCB Mysteries Chapter, and the Toronto Chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, each group raising funds for its own organization.  And the CNIB has not only lent us their BBQ, but will be transporting it to and from the picnic site!

 

But it’s more than just a blind community event.  We’ve partnered with so many other groups and organizations from the sighted community as well.  We’ve been working with City of Toronto Parks Recreation & Forestry, Toronto Public Health, and Boardwalk Place to secure the Special Event Permit.  We’ve partnered with local businesses, Bloor Meat Market, Cobs Bloor West Bakery & Nicholson’s No Frills, who are generously donating all the food for the Walk.  Our dedicated group of sighted volunteers will team up with any walker who’d appreciate an extra hand.  We’re even talking to Accessible Media Inc about the possibility of covering the Walk on AMI This Week, as part of our partnership-building strategy.  And if successful, we’ll have another tool in our communications toolkit, one that demonstrates the determination of the blind community to overcome barriers and exceed expectations.

 

The goals of this event are equally split between raising funds, bringing community partners together and encouraging member involvement.  While it is vital for us to raise money to fund our activities and events throughout the year, it is just as important to build a sense of community and encourage our members to come out, join in the fun, and set and exceed their own personal goals.  Not everyone can walk 5km and many don’t feel comfortable asking family or friends for charitable donations.  But to encourage as many people as possible to participate, we’ve made this a ‘Walk-what-you-can’ event, with members securing donations for whatever distance they think they can travel.  If you think you can walk 2km, then set your own goal and conquer it!  If walking 100meters is what you can do, secure donations to support that goal and come out and join us!

 

And if walking is not your thing, it’s perfectly okay to raise donations to participate as the cheering section!  If a CCB member, who thought their blindness meant they couldn’t possibly participate in, or contribute to, the success of our Chapter, comes out to the Walk, bringing a single donation of a few dollars, or even just coming out to cheer on the other walkers and be part of this event, then we’ve accomplished a big part of our mandate.  Its also great to know that so many of our members are out talking to their families, friends, co-workers and colleagues about the CCB and what it means to them.

 

In addition to all the community support we’ve received, our National Office in Ottawa has been enormously encouraging.  Being able to offer tax creditable receipts for donations makes a huge difference to our efforts.  Working with Mary Ellen Durkee, National’s Accountant, and the administrative team at the National Office, we’ve even been able to have donors direct funds to us through the donation link on National’s website, making online donations possible for any chapter without its own website or Pay-pal account.

 

At this year’s Walk, we’re targeting to raise a substantial portion of our annual budget to help fund the activities and programs so vital to our members throughout the year, and we’re hoping to increase the number of Walkers from last year who will come out to share our vision.  Walking with our peers, we’ll have encouraged our members to reach a little farther, strengthened the bonds between the CCB and its community partners, and we’ll have reached out to the broader sighted community for their support and to show them what we can accomplish.  We’ll be celebrating all this and more down on the Boardwalk, sharing a great BBQ on the Beach with friends on June 20th!

 

The CCB Toronto Visionaries

www.ccbtorontovisionaries.ca

 

Tele Town Hall Update++

As promised, at the end of our last tele meeting in March we committed to producing a report based on input from you over the course of our 5 tele town halls.  We are hoping to circulate these reports sometime in the summer; mid to late summer.

In the meantime, we wish you a super summer.

Signed

The tele town hall organizing committee

 

GTT Vancouver and New Westminster Meetings Agenda, The Accessible iOS Calendar App++

Get Together With Technology (GTT) New Westminster/Vancouver!

Sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind in partnership with Blind Beginnings and Vancouver Community College

 

People who are blind or partially sighted of all ages are invited to “Save the Dates” for these two sessions of the GTT Vancouver and New Westminster meetings where the Calendar App on iPhones/iPad/iPods will be demonstrated and thoroughly discussed.

 

June 2018 Theme: iOS Calendar App

 

Participants have expressed a desire to find accessible tools aimed at better organizing their busy leisure, work and volunteer lives, and one of those tools could be the great Calendar App found on the smart phones and tablets we now carry with us.  So, the upcoming GTT New Westminster and Vancouver meetings will work through the insertion of a calendar entry, how to set notifications, how to create a monthly recurring event, how to invite others to an event, and how to edit the date/time of an existing appointment.

Who Should Attend?

 

– People who would like to know what is possible to do with the iOS Calendar App;

– People who want to know how to set reminders for appointments;

– People who want to know how to invite others to their events/activities/appointments;

– People who want to know how to set recurring events like monthly meetings, birthdates etc;

– People interested in determining what other accessible Calendar Apps that are usable and accessible;

– People who want peer assistance with other assistive technology.

 

GTT New Westminster:

Date & Time: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Where: Blind Beginnings Office, 227 6th Street, New Westminster

 

For more information contact either Shawn Marsolais or Albert Ruel:

 

shawn@blindbeginnings.ca or 604-434-7243.

Albert.GTT@CCBNational.net or 250-240-2343

 

CCB Health & Fitness++:

 

THE VIRTUAL 5K!

 

On June 1st we were pleased to have 13 people from coast to coast…and actually across the pond in Europe, participate in our event.  The walk/run is to help folks aim for a fitness goal and then tackle it alongside their friends.  We are still waiting on updates from the west coast but in Chatham Ontario, we had a big group on a beautiful day!

 

Congrats to Brenda from the West coast for winning our draw prize!

We will be airing to set up some more challenges and events as the year unfolds, so keep active, send us any ideas you have in terms of a goal and stay tuned to our social media for updates

 

PODCASTS:

Just a reminder that our podcast is pumping out great content regularly and the episodes are generally 20-30mins so nothing too long but just long enough to provide some great health and fitness topics.

Everything from blood pressure, to axe throwing, we cover lots of random and useful things.  If you have a topic you’d love to learn more about, we encourage you to suggest them!!!

Simply search “The Canadian Council of the Blind” on your Apple podcast search app or anywhere you find your podcasts

 

As always, if you have questions, want to chat 1 on 1 with Ryan for some fitness advice, or any feedback at all, just drop us an email.

ccb.healthandfitness@gmail.com

 

Have an awesome day!!

 

RYAN VAN PRAET (R. Kin)

CCB Health & Fitness

National Program Manager & Coach

ccb.healthandfitness@gmail.com

226-627-2179

 

Go to our page: https://ccbhealthandfitness.wordpress.com

To find links to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Podcast & Email Chat List

 

Chapter News++

News Updates from the Peterborough Chapter

 

Hello everyone,

We have been busy here in Peterborough and would like to share some of our successes with you.

 

Our very own chapter member Devon Wilkins organizes and host a weekly radio show on Trent Radio 92.7. Devon, along with co-host Simon Treviranous of The BIG IDeA, presents this one-hour talk show to showcase all things accessible in Peterborough. The program’s goal is to bring awareness to the general public about disabilities and the barriers that result, as well as other organizations in our community assisting those with disabilities.

 

Devon and Simon are focusing on abilities, highlighting the positive stories of people with disabilities of all kinds. Congratulations to Deon and Simon for making this a success.

 

Another project of the CCB Peterborough Chapter is a program called “From the Blind for the Blind”. We are collecting any gently used visual aids that people are no longer using and then redistributing them to other folks within our community who can use the items. Often someone just needs to try out an item for a while before purchasing one. Or sometimes an item cannot be purchased because of affordability.

 

We would like to collect as much as possible so we are able to share the items with those who can use them. Our chapter member Debbie Haryett and chapter volunteer Aileen Hill have been putting a lot of work into starting this project up. They are also working with The Lions Club, which has offered storage space for us to use. In addition many of our local optometrists and doctors’ office are giving their support. A huge thank you to both ladies for doing this.

 

We also have a wonderful summer planned with picnics, local outings, boat rides on Little Lake, and much more. We just finished a tour of our newly rebuilt Peterborough Library, where we were shown the many accessible features in this lovely building, along with information about audio books and other accessible reading materials.

 

Bringing awareness of CCB to the general community is an important goal. That’s why we will be participating in Peterborough Pulse 2018 on July 21st. For this summer festival, Peterborough’s main street will be closed down for the day and community groups, clubs, businesses and other organizations will line the streets to share their stories with the public.  We, of course, will be there to talk about CCB Peterborough. It’s a fun-filled day of music, friends and laughter.

 

Later in the year, the Senior Summit will be held gain in the fall. We are looking forward to having an awareness table there to showcase CCB Peterborough.

 

We are proud here in Peterborough to be an active chapter. And soon – through our very own website – we will be able to share stories and pictures, and showcase the partnerships we have developed within our community.

 

Peterborough chapter members are happy to be active, and we believe in our Abilities not Disabilities.

 

Now Listen to Eyes On Success Podcasts on Smart Home Devices++

We recently added a new way for listeners to keep up to date with the latest episodes of Eyes On Success.

 

Now you can listen to Eyes on Success on your Alexa or google smart home devices.  Simply ask Alexa or Google to “play Eyes on Success podcast” and you won’t miss a thing!

 

We hope listeners enjoy this new capability and pass the word along to their friends.

 

The Hosts: Peter Torpey and Nancy Goodman Torpey

Check out Eyes on Success (formerly ViewPoints)

A weekly, half hour audio program for people living with vision loss.

 

Find out more about the show and get links to past episodes at:

www.EyesOnSuccess.net

Find the podcast on iTunes or use the URL:

www.EyesOnSuccess.net/eos_podcast

Find us on social media at:

 

www.facebook.com/EyesOnSuccess

(http://www.facebook.com/EyesOnSuccess)

www.twitter.com/@_EyesOnSuccess

 

Meet the talking timer++

Hi there!  It’s Donna and as mentioned previously, I would like to concentrate on the lower levels of technology and today I’d like you to meet the talking timer.

 

Ah yes!  The talking timer and over the years this precious commodity has both shrunk in size and cost.  There was a time when the talking timer was not very portable and it was also extremely clumsy and clunky in shape.  Today however, the talking timer has shrunk in both size and cost and it is even now possible for you to stuff one in your pocket or purse.

 

The cost of a talking timer has also dropped dramatically and you can now buy one for less than $20.  The nice thing about the talking timer is that there is a variety of styles and sizes for you to choose from.

Some talking timers come with a talking clock add on while others do not.  I have both.

You can get a talking timer for your kitchen or have one that clips on to your belt.  I have a talking timer/clock that gives me the option of choosing different sounds for when the timer goes off and I also have one that does not give me the option.  They are both very portable and I can clip them onto my belt.

 

You’ll have to find the one that best suits you.  Just make sure that the one you want is the one you end up with.  The talking timer is a very nifty little gadget to have.  Use it to time your cooking and baking.  Use it when you wish to time yourself while you are pedaling away on your exercising equipment or use it for anything else.  The ones that I have work with AAA batteries.

 

Of course, the talking timer is now competing with other types of talking timers that can be found on your smart devices, and on your appliances.

 

Here are a few places for you to contact if you are interested to learn more.

 

CNIB – toll free = 1800 563 2642

Frontier Computing – toll free = 1-888-480-0000

Or visit http://www.futureaids.ca

You can also call them at 1-800-987-1231

 

So have fun now with your talking timer and see you next week.

 

Spotlight on CELA++

The Centre for Equitable Library Access, CELA, is Canada’s most comprehensive accessible reading service, providing books and other materials to Canadians with print disabilities in the formats of their choice. A national not-for-profit organization, CELA serves 90% of the estimated 3 million Canadians with print disabilities in partnership with member public libraries. CELA provides access to more than 500,000 professionally produced titles to provide people with print disabilities with a quality library experience.

 

Our collection includes award winners, best sellers, fiction and non-fiction with a special emphasis on Canadian authors and stories, and favourites for kids and teens.

Patrons have access to close to 50 newspapers and 150 DAISY magazines which are available on the same day they are published.

 

CELA Services

In addition to our collection, CELA supports libraries by offering marketing materials, training and staff development opportunities. The CELA website includes a variety of tutorials and training videos to assist libraries, educators and patrons in learning and troubleshooting the technology and apps needed to access our collection. In addition, patrons can call our dedicated Contact Centre for assistance and support.

 

We provide a level of service unattainable if each individual library were responsible for providing the service within their existing capacity.

 

What’s New at CELA?

150 New DAISY Magazines Available!

 

  • Enjoy 150 of today’s most popular magazines as soon as they are published.
  • See the complete list of titles

On our new Magazines page, search the catalogue or browse by category to find your favourites.

  • Read the full text, including images, using popular DAISY apps for iOS and Android.
  • Tutorials are available on our website.

 

Books by “Big Five” audio publishers now available

Just in time for summer reading, CELA is thrilled to announce access to audiobooks by the big five publishers. Thanks to our agreement with Recorded Books, we are now able to add more popular titles, New York Times bestsellers and favourites our patrons have been requesting. New titles have already been added to our collection, including one of our most requested books, All The Light We Cannot See, current New York Times bestsellers, Little Fires Everywhere, and the High Tide Club, and the shocking memoirs by James Comey and Hilary Clinton.

 

More titles will be added in the coming weeks and months.  Look to our communications for highlights as they become available.

 

For more information or to become a CELA member contact:

members@celalibrary.ca or 1-855-655-2273

 

 

Assistive Technology

Great news! The world’s best print-reading app for the blind and print-disabled is now even better, KNFB Reader Version 3.0, from the National Federation of the Blind and Sensotec NV++

 

KNFB Reader 3.0 represents the continued evolution of over forty years of text recognition technology. It now has more features for a wider variety of users than ever.

 

Since its first release in 2014, KNFB Reader has been allowing users all over the world to get access to print anytime and anywhere. The latest version of this award-winning app sports a new look and feel to help you work better and faster. Navigation within the app is easier, with tabs at the bottom of the home screen to access key functions quickly and easily. The enhanced cloud support for Dropbox, GoogleDrive and OneDrive allows easy access to all your documents when and where you need them.

 

KNFB Reader 3.0 now reads ebooks and documents in the increasingly popular ePub format, as well as PDFs (image or text, tagged or untagged). This makes it ideal for students and professionals who must read content in multiple formats from multiple sources. The app is also customizable, so that people with different reading needs can tailor its settings to meet those needs. Now able to recognize and read documents in over thirty languages, KNFB Reader 3.0 is a comprehensive reading solution for people who are blind or who have low vision, dyslexia, or other reading differences.

 

KNFB Reader 3.0 is a free update for existing customers. For new customers, the app is now available for USD $99.

 

To learn more about KNFB Reader 3.0, visit www.knfbreader.com

 

If you already have the app and love it, help us spread the word to others. You can also follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KNFB-Reader-1454343774846792/?nr and Twitter https://twitter.com/knfbreader to join the conversation about KNFB Reader 3.0.

 

Foundation Fighting Blindness RESEARCH NEWS++

RNA Therapies for Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRDs)

Dr. Mary Sunderland recently participated in a tremendously inspiring meeting, hosted by ProQR, a company that is creating new sight-saving treatments and planning a new clinical trial for people living with Usher Syndrome.

 

Read more at: https://ffb.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cd4791060c94bfb5970956f29&id=5d1ea2d382&e=fef32467b9

In the News

 

Ford Develops Smart Window Prototype For

Blind Passengers — Feel the View!++

 

Ford has developed a prototype smart window, allowing blind passengers to feel the passing landscape outside.

 

The ‘Feel the View’ technology was created by an Italian startup, Aedo in collaboration with Ford. The prototype uses vibrations to give a blind or partially-sighted passenger a sense of the scenery outside.

 

The technology takes pictures of the passing scenery from the outer side of the window. The images captured are then converted into high-contrast black and white pictures. These monochrome images are then reproduced on the glass using special LEDs. On touching the images, the various shades of grey vibrate at different intensities up to the range of 255. These vibrations allow the blind passengers to touch the scene and rebuild the landscape in their mind.

 

As the finger moves over the different parts of the image, different intensities of vibrations provide haptic feedback to the person using the technology.

 

The smart window technology also has an AI voice assistant, which uses the car’s audio system to give the passengers a context of what they are feeling.

 

A Ford spokesperson stated, “We seek to make people’s lives better and this was a fantastic opportunity to help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving. The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple – and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones.”  This technology of the Smart Windows is part of Ford’s Advanced Research. The company has no plans of introducing it in the market anytime soon. This might be part of Ford’s autonomous vehicle program to research how a vehicle will interact with its passengers when travelling.

By Rahul Nagaraj

 

Virgin Atlantic Launches In-Flight Entertainment for Passengers Who Are Blind++

Virgin Atlantic has recently begun offering specially adapted iPads which provide audio descriptions for films and programming. For example, the recorded narration will explain what is happening during gaps in a film’s dialogue.

 

The technology was designed by the tech firm Bluebox and was tested by Guide Dogs for the Blind. Passengers can specially request the iPad from the flight crew prior to takeoff. The service is available on all aircraft providing travel to various destinations, including North America.

Source: https://coolblindtech.com/virgin-atlantic-launches-in-flight-entertainment-for-blind-travelers/

 

 

www.ccbnational.net

1-877-304-0968

ccb@ccbnational.net

VISIONS April 2018

Apr 05 2018

Click here to download the PDF of Visions April 2018 DIGITAL

 

Please support our sponsor Bell by learning about their accessibility programs here.

 

VISIONS

Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter

 

 

April 2018

“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision”

 

Announcements

 

President’s Message++

 

Welcome Spring! As we “spring” forward in time let us spring into action in several ways. It is time to become more active physically now that we have sidewalks that are clear and easier access to travel we can participate in CCB Health & Fitness activities with Ryan as our guide. Ryan can provide individual fitness plans to help improve our physical and mental health so please read the article in this newsletter to find out how to get involved.

 

Another way to spring forward is through “advocacy”. Advocacy does not stand alone, but rather, it needs people to take action to get things done in a non-aggressive way. That is to say that we work with organizations, industry, government, etc. to help find appropriate solutions to issues at hand. Some concerns that we have been active in working to find solutions for are VIA Rail – to make the train stations and new cars better suited to needs of those traveling with disabilities. We continue to support the need for accessible library materials for persons with print disabilities. We are working on Point of Sale (POS) devices with two other organizations, banks, industry, and businesses. There are a number of drug and therapeutic items that we continue to be active with as well. CCB has been working with WBU to find what the barriers are that prevent individuals from becoming leaders in a global sense as well as in Canada then look for ways to change or reduce the barriers.

 

There are other initiatives that CCB continues to work on both nationally and at our individual chapter level. If you have items that you need assistance with finding a solution for, you may notify our National Office and they will pass it on to our committee.

 

By springing into action we can build a stronger and healthier body to help us meet the everyday challenges we face individually as well as an organization. Positive thoughts support and understanding will help us along the way.

 

Louise Gillis, National President.

 

CCB Health & Fitness Monthly Update++:

 

 

Good day all newsletter readers!  In our attempt to keep you better informed on the CCB Health & Fitness program and all that is happening, we will look to post a monthly update.  Certainly we encourage you to reach out to Ryan Van Praet, the Program Manager, if you have any questions, suggestions for video or podcast topics, or if you want to offer up your abilities as a “local champion” (see below).  So with that, here is a brief update on all things health, fitness and fun!

 

1) Local Champions

We are still and always looking for local champions to contact Ryan and be added to the list.  Local Champs are essentially ambassadors

to the Health & Fitness programs within their community.  You need no special training or knowledge, just a desire to promote health and fitness and physical activity within your community.  You will convert information about our program and then will pass along any questions or comments from your group, back up to Ryan.  This allows great flow of questions, information, inspiration and networking!  Get on the list today!

 

2) #eyeammore

The EYE AM MORE campaign is designed to get everyone thinking about who they are as individuals.  Our commonalities are our visual impairments, however we are all unique and capable of great things.  Submit a few words or a short video on who you are MORE than just someone with vision loss.  We can share your story to everyone through our videos or podcasts, inspiring other by how cool you are and getting them to think about what makes them awesome too!  Self-esteem is key to being motivated to be active and aim big!   Email your story or video to Ryan today!

 

 

3) Virtual Run

June 1st – Our second ever virtual 5k run/walk is going to be held on Friday June 1st.  Ryan will host his event at about 6pm EST and encourages you to run or walk 5k, with friends, family, your community, at roughly the same time.  Cost is $30 and you get a cool CCB Health & Fitness trucker hat.

Log onto the blog or contact Ryan to get Registration link.  Deadline to ensure a hat is May 6th, but you can register right up until June 1.   WIN a Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor that interacts with your smart device, or a gift card, if you are the lucky name drawn.

 

4) “Peercast” to launch

In an attempt to further engage our members and drive discussions on how to live a kick butt lifestyle while dealing with vision loss, we are starting a new show on the Podcast channel.  Currently on “The Canadian Council of the Blind” podcast Ryan hosts the Health & Fitness show but will be starting the Peercast Show very shortly.  An interview style discussion on various topics on living with blindness, how to thrive, how to support each other and more.  It’s all about engagement and this show will be designed to present a topic then wait for your comments and considerations.  Subscribe to the podcast, listen to all the content we have up already, it won’t put you to sleep, we promise!

 

5) Coaching calls

Ryan is always accepting coaching calls if you need some personalized coaching towards your fitness goal, just shoot him an email or give him a call to set up a time to chat…all FREE to you!

 

Tons of ways to follow us and contact us.  Please like, follow, subscribe, share and comment on all our social media content.  We want you to engage with us!

 

Facebook – search “CCB Health & Fitness”

Youtube – search “CCB Health & Fitness”

Podcast – search “The Canadian Council of the Blind”

Twitter – @ccb_healthfit

Email list – email ccbhealthandfitness+subscribe@groups.io

Blog: https://ccbhealthandfitness.wordpress.com

Newsletter – email Ryan to be added at: ccb.healthandfitness@gmail.com

Call: 226-627-2179

 

 

Introducing Canadian Assistive Technology Ltd.++:

Canadian Assistive Technology was founded by Steve Barclay and now, after a year of operation employs Ryan Fleury for Technical Support and Rob Mineault for Sales and Marketing Support.  All three were former employees of Aroga Technologies and have many years of experience with assistive technology.  Rob, Ryan, and Steve are also the hosts of the AT Banter Podcast, which offers news and insights about all manners of assistive technology, as well as human interest stories from the community of people who use it.

 

The company focuses primarily on cutting edge technologies for people who are blind or visually impaired, but also carries products for people with physical and communication limitations.

 

Included in our product lineup are some of the leading manufacturers in the world including:

Ablenet, AI Squared, ALVA, Duxbury Systems, Dolphin, Enhanced Vision Systems, Eschenbach, Freedom Scientific, Handitech, Hartgen Consultancy, HIMS, Humanware, Iris Vision, Innovation Rehabilitation, KNFB, Low Vision International, Optelec, Orcam and Right-Hear.

 

Our mission is to provide the highest level of service and support for our clients.  We maintain a demo pool of equipment which people can arrange to borrow and try before making a purchasing decision. We offer a 30 day no-questions asked money back guarantee on all of our hardware based low vision aids and we cover all of our products with lifetime toll-free technical support.  We try to ensure that hardware warranty and non-warranty repairs can be conducted in Canada and work with our servicing partner, Chaos Technical Services, owned by Rick Chant another past Aroga veteran.  As part of our standard terms we will also cover all shipping costs for any product we have sold that needs to go in for warranty repair.

 

We are passionate supporters of Braille and all efforts to promote Braille literacy.  Our free Unified English Braille chart, developed in conjunction with Cay Holbrook and the vision teacher training program at the University of British Columbia, is used as a resource by educators all over the English speaking world.

 

Our free Low Vision Guide, developed in conjunction with Enhanced Vision Systems is used as an education piece by Optometrists and Ophthalmologists all across the country.  This guide and the Braille chart are also available by download from our website.

 

If you or a loved one are investigating assistive technology options, please call us and explore our website.  We have many years of experience in helping people find the right solutions for their needs.

Visit www.canasstech.com or email steve@canasstech.com and phone 1-844-795-8324

 

Librarians Seek Reading Recommendations++:

 

Hello, my name is Sabina and I work as a librarian with the National Network for Equitable Library Service, commonly known as NNELS. We produce books in accessible formats for Canadian readers with print disabilities. I am writing to you because we are looking for book recommendations.

 

Specifically, we are looking for readers’ favourite children’s picture books: either those people read as children, or those they enjoyed in adulthood.

 

We are looking for these book recommendations because librarians and volunteers have been asking for an easy way to record books for us, and we finally have a way to invite them to do just that. Volunteer-recorded audiobooks are available for free download from our website for any Canadian with a print disability. And who knows where they will go from there: they might be enjoyed by a reader on the other side of the country or on the other side of the world.

 

In March, we completed a project with support from the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), and others to create twelve recording kits. Each kit contains a headset microphone, a USB key for saving files, and links to online instructions. With a kit, and a deal with a local public library, volunteers can record a book. Kits can be loaned and sent to any library in Canada for the cost of shipping.

 

These recording kits are not a magic wand that will suddenly turn all the stories into audiobooks. Rather, they are a small piece of a large puzzle. We hope the kits will remind librarians in communities of all sizes about the importance of accessibility, literacy, and reading. And we hope they bring people the joy that comes from learning and making something new.

 

In a fragile and sometimes fractured world, one of the very best things we can do is make the time to share stories. And as a librarian who loves children’s books, I would argue that what makes us human, and what reminds us of who we might become, can be found in the stories we share with children. We hope these kits are the beginning of something good. Maybe someone in your own community will surprise you with a wonderful recording. Maybe you will read a book that your great-great-grandchild will hear.

 

We are looking for books that tell the story through the words rather than the illustrations, do not have any chapters, and that are well-written, as these work best for audio recordings. If you have something to recommend, please call 1-888-848-9250, option 5, or email books@nnels.ca. For more information about the project, please visit https://nnels.ca/volunteer/record

 

We appreciate the significant contribution of the CCB and their support throughout the project.

 

 

 

Script Ability will be coming to a Sobeys location near you soon++:

Please advise our CCB National office of a Sobeys location near you which you would like to carry the equipment to provide this service. This way they can preorder supplies so that when the program is launched the equipment will be available right away. There is no additional cost on your prescription for this service. This is an initiative that CCB has been working with Sobeys to provide to their pharmacy customers (both old& new). For more information, please contact 1-877-304-0908.

 

 

GTT Edmonton Meeting Invitation, Google Home Voice Assistant, April 9, 2018++:

 

You are invited!  Blind and low vision GTT participants meet monthly to learn about and share their experiences using assistive technologies in their daily lives at home, school, or at work.

Agenda for the Next Edmonton GTT Meeting:

Date: Monday April 9, 7pm to 9pm.

Location: Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton. You must enter from the back door. If you arrive late the door may be locked. Please ring the bell to the right of the door.

Theme: Google Home Voice Assistant

During the first half hour Wanda will demonstrate how she and Dave use their Google Home voice assistant speaker to get answers to everyday questions, play songs, make phone calls, and more by simply using their voice.

The remainder of the meeting will be devoted to you. Bring your questions, and any tech you need help with – for example, iPhones, laptops or DAISY players.

 

Who Should Attend?

Any blind or low vision person who is interested in learning how assistive technologies can help them lead more independent lives.

 

For More Information contact:

GTT.Edmonton@gmail.com or 780.990.8448


 

Please support our sponsor Bell by learning about their accessibility programs here.

Visually impaired singer takes on world++:

There was a great article that was in the Chronicle Herald on CCB Blind Sports Nova Scotia member Tarah Sawler.

 

To read the article, please visit:http://thechronicleherald.ca/thenovascotian/1555874-visually-impaired-singer-takes-on-world

 

The article talks about Tarah’s passion for music and some of her experiences as a straight A first year university student with a visual impairment.

 

On another note, Tarah will be leading the Nova Scotia Junior girls at the Canadian Junior Goalball Championships in Halifax on April 7 & 8 at the Halifax Independent School.

 

Advocacy

 

Support the Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act++:

 

Groups like the CCB work hard to maximize opportunities for people with disabilities. Yet sometimes, government seems to stand in the way. As you know, when people with disabilities start earning income, they not only pay taxes, but also face sharp clawbacks of their income, medication, housing, and other supports — meaning they can lose more than they gain from getting a job, earning a raise, or working more hours.

 

It is a story Linda Chamberlain knows all too well: “After three decades of battling schizophrenia and homelessness and poverty, Chamberlain finally got a job,” wrote former Toronto Star reporter Catherine Porter. As a reward, the government boosted Linda’s rent almost 500% and cut her disability payment, making her $260 per month poorer because she got a job.

So she had to quit her job and remain poor.

 

She is not alone. “According to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, there were over 650,000 disabled individuals aged 15 to 64 who were not in the labour force at the time of the survey and either used to work or indicated they were capable of working. Of these, roughly 94,000 reported that if they were employed, they felt that they would lose additional support. About 82,300 individuals reported that they expected their income to drop if they worked,” according to Statistics Canada.

 

The Bill

The Opportunity for Workers with Disabilities Act would allow workers with disabilities to gain more in wages than they lose in clawbacks and taxation. It does this through three steps:

 

  1. Measurement

The bill would require that Finance Canada calculate how much people with disabilities in each province lose in taxes and benefit clawbacks as a result of each additional $1,000 of income earned up to $30,000.

Calculations of the clawbacks would include lost benefits like income assistance, housing, medications, and so forth, and would use publicly available tax and benefit rules, not any person’s private tax and benefit information.

 

  1. Action if the calculation finds that people with disabilities are losing more than they gain due to clawbacks, the Finance Minister would have to consider changes to the Working Income Tax Benefit Disability Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension, or any federal tax measure that would ensure people with disabilities always benefit from their work.

 

If the Minister deemed that provincial taxes and clawbacks were the cause of the problem, he would consult with the province to remedy it.

 

  1. Enforcement The Opportunity Act would attach another condition to the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act requiring provinces to arrange their taxes and transfers so that people with disabilities never lose more than they gain from working.

 

Conclusion

This bill will only pass with the help of respected organizations like the CCB. So, if you agree that governments should reward rather than punish the work of people with disabilities, please add your voice to the Opportunity Act.

 

Here are three things you can do to help pass the bill:

Please encourage your local Members of Parliament to vote for the Opportunity Act. And ask your friends, family, and supporters to do the same.

Use #OpportunityAct on social media when endorsing and discussing the bill.

 

Please email my office a few sentences endorsing the bill that we can use for social media and other communications that will build momentum towards its passage. You can email Pierre.Poilievre.A2@parl.gc.ca.

 

Thank you for your help. Together, we can empower Canadians with disabilities to get ahead through their talents and work — because, as Dr. Martin Luther King put it, “all labour has dignity.”

 

Sincerely,

Hon. Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P.

 

 

World Blind Union Survey++:

The WBU Low Vision Working Group is working on initiatives to encourage more engagement of persons with low vision or partial sight in the work of the WBU and our members.  In order to do that we want to know more about the present situation both for organizations and for individuals who have low vision.

 

Please visit the below link to complete a survey for individuals who are partially sighted or have low vision. We ask you to encourage as many low vision or partially sighted persons as you can to complete the survey.

 

The deadline for completing the survey and returning them to us at penny.hartin@wbu.ngo  is April 30th.

 

The survey can be found at:

http://ccbnational.net/fresco/surveys-from-the-world-blind-union/

 

Many thanks for your assistance.

Penny Hartin

Chief Executive Officer and

Chair WBU Low Vision Working Group

 

 

In the News

 

Usability Tester Showcase: Bruce Turner’s Story — Knowbility++:

 

Fellow CCB GTT Members and Participants–Here’s a story about one of our own, Bruce Turner of the GTT Victoria Chapter.

 


Bruce Turner’s Story — Knowbility

For several years now, Knowbility has recruited people with disabilities to participate in usability studies. During that time, we’ve added hundreds of people from across the United States and beyond to our AccessWorks user testing panel, which partners testers with disabilities with companies interested in improving the accessibility and usability of their products.

 

So, when a popular Canadian media company reached out to our AccessWorks team with a request for Canadian testers with different disabilities, we were prepared. Bruce Turner was one of these testers, and we’re proud to share his experience.

 

Born with retinitis pigmentosa and profoundly deaf, Bruce uses a variety of assistive technologies to get things done. He uses ZoomText, a screen magnification program to change the color scheme on his computer. Bruce prefers his text to be white on a black background.

 

To be more productive on the phone, Bruce uses a relay service. An operator types what is heard on the line, Bruce reads it, and then he responds. It was with this suite of technology and the marvels of off-the-shelf video conferencing software that Bruce successfully completed the usability study. The retired civil servant credits today’s tech in playing a role in promoting social and economic integration.

 

“If I didn’t have this technology in front of me I don’t think I would be doing as well as I am,” Bruce said. “This technology I wish the heck I had when I was younger. I like the fact that I can do email, I can go online, I can do my banking, I can talk to people, I can communicate.”

 

Bruce says he enjoys learning how to accomplish tasks online, for example, the steps that are needed to arrive at a website’s homepage.

 

“It’s like playing a brand-new game for the first time, not knowing what to do, but simply getting there and getting my feet wet and see what I can do,” Bruce said.

 

Bruce first heard about AccessWorks via a post on the website of Get Together with Technology (GTT), a program run by the Canadian Council of the Blind. Though at first leery about the program’s claims—that people with disabilities could earn extra money working as usability testers—GTT’s Albert Ruel reassured him that Knowbility could be trusted.

 

“Bruce did a great job! He provided us with a different perspective. He actually helped us to consider other ways of communicating….and we actually did it….we were so thrilled. We learned so much and as a result, we feel very confident going into it!” Marine Menier, AccessWorks Project Manager, said.

 

Bruce was born and raised in Kamloops, British Columbia. He graduated from the University of Victoria in 1973 and worked for the Canadian federal government for 35 years. As a child, he attended school alongside people of many different ethnicities and varying abilities. He feels that this has influenced his attitudes towards inclusiveness.

 

“The way I look at the word inclusiveness is getting along with people who have all kinds of disability,” he said. “People who are blind, people who are low vision, people who are deaf, we all share a little bit of everything.”

 

He considers Knowbility’s usability tester program a force for good, both for companies that need knowledge about the accessibility of their products and for people with disabilities who want to help make websites more accessible.

 

“The AccessWorks program also increases the self-esteem of those who participate, and that is an important benefit,” he added.

 

Now retired, Bruce lives with his wife in Victoria, British Columbia.

In addition to reading online articles from ZDNet and GTT to learn about the latest tech, he enjoys photography, gardening, and taking walks along the Gorge Waterway, a scenic inlet near his home.

By Marine Menier

 

 

Deaf-Blind Runner Showcased in the Media:++

Gaston Bedard, marathon runner, was on television on March 27.

 

The interview took place at the CTV studio, in Ottawa. Gaston chatted about guiding in the Ottawa Race Weekend coming up May 26 and 27, 2018; in which Gaston is registered in the Scotiabank Ottawa Half marathon.

 

The idea is that everyone can participate, it’s easy to walk, jog and guide. Full participation is everything.

 

The CTV interview clip is called, Race Weekend for Everyone.

 

We were third in the CTV interview along with our host Annette.

From left to right, in the interview video:

Michel, Annette, Gaston and Christopher.

 

Please visit the CTV video clip at:

https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1356965

 

Gyms must do more to accommodate people with disabilities++:

 

Advances in modern medicine have led doctors to a better understanding of the benefits of exercise in managing a broad range of chronic conditions, from multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and epilepsy. Unfortunately, traditional gyms aren’t designed with this end use in mind. Sure, there’s bound to be an automatic door opener for people with mobility issues, maybe even a wheelchair lift or a ramp, but that tends to be the extent of the services provided to make fitness accessible to all.

 

Irony of ironies: Where most gyms fail is in serving people with physical disabilities or chronic medical conditions – in other words, people who, in many cases, literally need to work out to save their lives.

 

I work for a not-for-profit facility that prides itself on inclusiveness and diversity. Forgive me if I sound a little too Hands Across America, but I love the fact that my gym – our gym – can serve as a home away from home for everyone, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or income.

 

But of course, even idealistic wonderlands have their blind spots.

 

A couple of months ago, I had a conversation with a member of our gym that left me feeling like an ignorant fool. This young woman told me about her medical condition, explained how basic movement is painful and how she often has to rely on mobility assistance devices. Her doctor recommended yoga as a gentle means of managing this condition, but our yoga studio is on the second floor of the building, and the elevator doesn’t allow for direct access. She would have to take the stairs in order to participate, which, given her condition, is not an option.

 

Many physical disabilities are easily identifiable for fitness professionals, as are the solutions to the challenges they pose. Some, however, are harder to identify. Take, for example, the guest that dropped by our gym with an unmarked service dog trained to detect seizures. In Ontario, it’s not required for these sorts of service animals to wear identifying harnesses or vests; if a person has a doctor’s note recommending the use of the animal, and that animal is well-behaved, it’s a violation of their rights to deny them access to services and facilities. Of course, when our members saw someone jogging on our indoor track, furry friend in tow, they assumed this dog was simply a pet. Our staff was equally confused.

 

Granted, this sort of thing isn’t a common occurrence, but it does illustrate how ill-informed – and ill-prepared – businesses are when it comes to addressing non-physical disabilities.

 

Thankfully, we have people like Dr. Darren Ezer, co-owner, along with his wife, Lianne, of the Live Well Exercise Clinic in Toronto. Live Well is a medicinal fitness franchise that specializes in small group fitness classes for people with chronic diseases, physical disabilities and mental illnesses.

 

With 14 locations across British Columbia and Ontario, Live Well is

striving to meet the needs of those who may not feel welcome at commercial gyms by delivering evidence-based exercise programs specific to each individual’s condition in a fun and positive environment.

 

“We’re very different from places like GoodLife,” Ezer said. “Our members find gyms filled with young, fit people intimidating. We offer a huge service by providing group-based exercise with a peer group that looks familiar and specialized equipment that’s truly accessible.”

 

A new Live Well location is scheduled to open in Oakville, Ont., this year. It’s my hope that more fitness pros and gym owners will take after this example and begin offering a broad range of programs and services for everyone, not just the young, jacked and tanned.

 

Otherwise, unifying ideals such as diversity and social inclusion lose their power and become nothing more than buzz words for virtue-signaling poseurs.

 

As for my gym, I’m happy to report that steps are being taken to ensure the next noble service animal that pays us a visit will be welcomed with open and understanding arms.

 

Paul Landini is a personal trainer and health educator at the Toronto West End College Street YMCA.

 

You can follow him on Twitter @mrpaullandini.

By PAUL LANDINI, Globe and Mail

 

 

 

Assistive Technology

Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Identifying Money:++

 

Hello there, I’m Donna Jodhan and I’d like to talk about IDENTIFYING MONEY and I have some great tips for you re how you can go about dealing with your money.  Dollar bills, coins, and cheques.

 

PAPER CURRENCY

There are many different ways to identify bills and it really doesn’t matter how you do it as long as your method works for you.

 

Here are some tips.

Some individuals prefer to separate bills by denomination, placing them in different sections of their purse or wallet. You can purchase a special                          billfold which has different sections for different bills. You can fold your bills in a special way for easy identification. For example:

-Leave five dollar bills completely unfolded.

– Fold ten dollar bills in half lengthwise.

-Fold twenty dollar bills in half, end to end.

-Fold fifty dollar bills end to end, then lengthwise.

-Fold hundred dollar bills in half and in half again.

-When you receive money from others, ask what each bill is and fold it right away or put it in a special section of your wallet so you will be able to recognize it later.  Take your time, don’t be hurried.

 

An electronic bank note reader is available (through the CNIB) to identify paper currency. The device is easy to use.

Insert a Canadian bank note, push the button at the front of the device, and the reader will announce by voice (in either English or French) the denomination of the bill.

 

COINS

Coins can be identified by touch.

Select one coin at a time and use a fingernail or your fingertips to feel the different sizes and edges of each coin:

-A dime has a serrated edge.

-A nickel has a smooth edge.

-A quarter has a rough grooved edge and is larger and thicker than a nickel.

-A dollar coin (loonie) has an eleven-sided smooth edge and is larger and thicker than a quarter.

-A two dollar coin (toonie) is larger than a loonie. The edge of the coin alternates from rough to smooth.  The centre of the toonie is gold in color and the outer edge is silver.

A special purse or coin organizer with separate slots for nickels, dimes, and quarters may be a useful item.

 

CHEQUES

Large print/tactile cheques are available from your bank. You may find it helpful to make your own cheque template with sections cut out for date, cheque amount, and so on.

 

So have fun now with your money!

 

 

Canadian Council of the Blind

www.ccbnational.net    1-877-304-0968   ccb@ccbnational.net

VISIONS March 2018

Mar 14 2018

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