You’re Invited! November 18 2017 Tele Town Hall


You’re Invited!

On November 18 2017, the Tele Town Hall organizing committee will continue
its series of teleconference meetings as it hosts the fourth gathering, and
the second of a series of 3 international presentations.

To capture the international focus of these upcoming Tele Town Hall
gatherings we have titled the Series, “Advocacy Without Borders”.

In November our international focus will be on the United States.

So, please put the date of November 18th in your agenda!

Date and start times across Canada

Date: November 18th, 2017

Times: 10:00 am Pacific
11:00 am Mountain
noon Central
1:00 pm Eastern
2:00 pm Atlantic
2:30 in Newfoundland

This meeting will last no longer than two hours.

Moderator: Jane Blaine.

Guest Speakers:

Mitchell Pomerantz

From February 1975, through December 2008, Mitchell Pomerantz was employed
by the City of Los Angeles in a variety of human resource and
disability-related positions including discrimination complaint
investigator, executive recruiter, and training manager. He was the first
blind person to be hired in a professional capacity by the City.

In August of 1995, Mitch became the City’s ADA (Americans with Disabilities
Act) Compliance Officer, working out of the Department on Disability. His
responsibilities included overseeing and coordinating City-wide compliance
with the ADA, as well as conducting training and providing technical
assistance to City departments on ADA and human resource-related issues. Mr.
Pomerantz was responsible for developing the City’s ADA Self-Evaluation and
Transition Plan which was given final approval and funding by the City
Council in June, 1999. Subsequently, Mitch guided the City’s implementation
of the Plan which – with limited exceptions – was completed on June 30,

Mr. Pomerantz now works as an independent ADA consultant and trainer
specializing in programmatic accessibility, Titles I, II and III of the ADA,
successful strategies for providing reasonable accommodations, and
“real-world” disability awareness. Mitch has conducted training for a wide
variety of not-for-profit and government entities including: the National
Association of ADA Coordinators; Goodwill Industries of Southern California;
Cities of Pasadena and Rocklin, California; and Tuolumne County, California.
He was a trainer for the internationally recognized “Tilting At Windmills”
attitudinal awareness program for over 25 years. Mr. Pomerantz has also
testified in legal proceedings as an “expert witness” on blindness-related

Mitch served three two-year terms (2007-2013) as President of the American
Council of the Blind, a major national consumer advocacy organization of
blind and vision impaired persons. Mr. Pomerantz is serving his second term
as Vice President of the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind
Union. He was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a term
on the California Commission on Disability Access and is currently serving
on the State Department of Rehabilitation Blind Advisory Committee as its

Mitch has been a member of the Pasadena Host Lions Club since 2008 and is
presently serving as the Club’s First Vice President.

Among his many awards, Mr. Pomerantz was a 1986 recipient of the “Mainstream
Milestones” Award given by the Los Angeles County Junior Chamber of Commerce
for “extraordinary achievement,” and in 1995 was honored with the Los
Angeles County Commission on Disabilities’ “Access Award” for his many years
as an advocate in Los Angeles and throughout the State and Nation. In 2014,
Mr. Pomerantz was inducted into the California Council of the Blind Hall of
Fame for his decades of dedicated service to blind persons and the

Mitch holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Political Science from
the University of Southern California.

john panarese
John is the Director of Mac For the Blind. He provides long distance or in
person training on all Apple products, including Mac computers, iPhone,
iPad, iPod Touch and Apple Watch. Besides being contracted to work with
several state agencies in the united states, he also works with colleges and
universities as well, and several private clients.
In addition, on his website, there are a number of audio tutorials for the
Mac and iDevices available for sale.
John brings a bit of a different perspective to our discussion in that he
will be representing the opinion of a consumer who is often required to
interact and communicate with various State Agencies across the United
States both as someone advocating for himself as well as on behalf of
He will share with us what it is like to navigate a much bigger system when
it comes to a comparison between Canada and the United States.

This Tele Town Hall meeting is being jointly sponsored by the following:
The Tele Town Hall organizing committee (Donna Jodhan, Robin East, Anthony
Tibbs, Albert Ruel, Pat Seed, Louise Gillis, Paul Edwards, Jane Blaine,
Melanie Marsden, Kim Kilpatrick, and Leo Bissonnette).

Organizations –
Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)/Get together with technology (GTT),
Citizens with Disabilities of Ontario (CWDO).
The objective of this Tele Town Hall meeting is to give participants an
opportunity to hear how consumer advocacy and rehabilitation services are
carried out in the U.S.A. and to give them a chance to ask questions of our
guest speakers.  Subsequent Tele Town Hall meetings will be similar in
format to this one.
It is our hope that participants will be able to use the information
presented to consider a possible platform for the development of our own
made in Canada advocacy initiative.
This Tele Town Hall is not meant to be used as any sort of  decision making
mechanism but rather as an open forum for constructive discussion.

If you wish to participate, please send an email to the committee at:

You will receive an email confirming your registration immediately,  then
during the week of November 12 you will receive an email with details of the
call in info along with the rules of engagement.

Registration will close at noon Eastern on November 16.

We will be posting additional announcements in the coming days.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Donna Jodhan, Robin East, Anthony Tibbs, Albert Ruel, Pat Seed, Louise
Gillis, Paul Edwards, Jane Blaine, Melanie Marsden, Kim Kilpatrick and Leo