Category: Front Page

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

Walk for Edie Mourre!

Sep 04 2018
(September 22nd, 2018 in Ottawa – 
or other dates across Canada for those interested!)

For blind children and adults, braille is the key to literacy. The Edie Mourre scholarship has been established to provide financial assistance to those within Canada who are pursuing careers as braille literacy educators or transcribers. BLC has been embarking on an ambitious goal of raising $6,500 before November 30th, 2018.  Every dollar collected before November 30th toward the Edie Mourre Scholarship Program will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to a very generous donation from one of our supporters.  If BLC raises $6,500, it will actually have raised $13,000 – enough to permanently establish the Edie Mourre Scholarship Endowment Fund to ensure that at least one applicant each year receives a grant!

Braille Literacy Canada will be hosting a “Walkathon” in Ottawa to raise funds for the Edie Mourre Scholarship Program.  The roughly six kilometer walk (one kilometer per dot!) will take us from a central downtown meeting location along Sussex Drive to the Governor General’s residence and back. We will meet at  Starbucks at the corner of Bank and Slater (129 Bank Street) at 9:30am, with the aim of heading out by 10:00am.

Don’t live in Ottawa?  Can’t join us on September 22nd but still want to participate?  No problem!  Plan a walk of your own in your local community!  When you register, let us know if you would like to be informed about other walkers in your community who you might join up with and we will help connect you with them!

TO PARTICIPATE


Step 1 – Register.  Please complete a copy of the Registration Form (included with this information packet) and email it to info@blc-lbc.ca. If you are unable to complete or email the form, please call 1-877-861-4576 to register for the walk.

Step 2 – Collect pledges! You can collect pledges in any amount from your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else willing to contribute to the cause. See the attached “general information” packet and the donation pledge form for details.

Step 3 – Turn in your pledges and walk!  Join us on September 22nd, 2018 for a 6km walk in support of the Edie Mourre Scholarship Program.  (Or walk in your local area on another day if that works better for you!)  As Braille Literacy Canada is a registered charitable organization, all donations made to BLC are tax deductible.  For online donations made via CanadaHelps, electronic tax receipts are automatically provided to donors by CanadaHelps. For all other donations of $10 or more where all of the necessary information has been provided (including the donor’s full name, mailing address, telephone number, and donation amount), a tax-deductible income tax receipt will be mailed or emailed before the end of the year.

IMPORTANT!  Please keep an eye on your e-mail and follow us on Twitter (@BrlLitCan) for the latest information about the walk, in case any last-minute changes or adjustments are required.  In the event that September 22nd is rained out, further information will be provided to all participants about a rescheduled date.

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

Liberal Funding for Reading Material for Persons with Print Disabilities.

Mar 13 2018

Dear Minister Duncan

The Canadian Council of the Blind was pleased to learn of your recent decision to ensure funding will be available for production of reading material for persons with print disabilities. Our members have been pleased with the service we have had for many years and would be in a very serious situation without that same type of service.

Our services have improved greatly with an increase in accessible materials but we still need production to continue in Canada, therefore continued funding will help here.

Production of materials as in the past needs to continue at the same rate or increase to keep up with demand. It is important that CNIB continues this great work to insure the access to the reading material we are entitled to.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter,

Louise Gillis,

National President

Canadian Council of the Blind

WBU statement for World Braille Day, January 4, 2018

Dec 18 2017

 

By Kevin Carey, Chair of the WBU, World Braille Council

 

2018 will be one of the most exciting years for braille since its invention by Louis Braille almost 200 years ago. The World Blind Union and International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) have recently released a piece of software, Easy Converter Express, which will enable teachers and others who work with blind children and adults to produce braille text from digital files with little or no training. The software is free of charge to all, but the very richest countries and it can be downloaded from www.YourDolphin.com/easyconverter-express

 

The software was developed by the WBU Technology Committee at the request of ICEVI with funding from the Royal National Institute of the Blind of the United Kingdom through a grant from Google.com

 

At the same time, the Orbit 20 refreshable braille display, developed by a consortium of WBU Members, is beginning to emerge in substantial quantities from the factory. This device, which was designed in consultation with the WBU, is a low cost refreshable braille device which acts as a book reader, a simple note taker and a terminal to tablets, phones and computers. For more information see: http://www.transformingbraille.org/

and www.YourDolphin.com

 

As we celebrate this year’s World Braille Day, January 4, it is important that we agree how to give braille a new lease of life now that we have overcome many of the technical and financial factors which have made it expensive and hard to obtain. This is also the year when we will also try to secure the future of braille music by adopting a much more co-operative approach to its production and cataloguing.

 

Braille is still, in spite of a massive increase in audio resources through internet broadcasting, the primary literacy medium for blind people; and we know that the use of braille gives a massive boost to employment opportunities. But if we are to ensure its survival we now have to do two things: we must make sure that braille as available to far more children and adults; and we must ensure that braille producers, no longer limited by the need to make hard copy braille products, produce far more braille titles for use on braille displays. The temptation will be to see expanding access to braille through cheap displays as an add-on to traditional production but the only way we will be able to afford a rapid expansion of title availability is to cut hard copy production except in those areas, like mathematics and law, where it is essential.

 

We have the technology for a massive breakthrough; now we need to win the argument about how we maximise it.

 

World Braille Day is celebrated annually in honour of the birth of Louis Braille, inventor of the reading and writing system used by millions of blind and partially sighted people all over the globe. The World Braille Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about issues facing the blind and the importance of continuing to produce works in braille, providing the blind with access to the same reading and learning opportunities as the sighted.

 

The World Blind Union believes that reading is a human right. For more information and resources about braille, please visit our resources section of  our website at: http://www.worldblindunion.org/English/resources/Pages/Braille-Information.aspx

 

———————

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization that represents the estimated 253 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations of blind people advocating on their own behalf and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. Visit our website at www.worldblindunion.org

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Terry Mutuku

Communications Officer, World Blind Union

Terry.Mutuku@wbu.ngo