National AccessAbility Week

May 29 – June 4, 2022

Imagine a Canada where no one is left out. A Canada that does not just accommodate disability, but one that is disability inclusive from the start. That is the Canada we are creating – for everyone.

The NAAW webpage is available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/national-accessability-week.html

NAAW remains a valuable platform to engage with Canadians to bring national attention to the importance of accessibility and inclusion, and to celebrate the contributions of individuals, communities and workplaces that are actively removing barriers to accessibility across the country.

You can follow and share posts from @AccessibleGC on Twitter and from Accessible Canada on Facebook. Feel free to also use the hashtags #NAAW2022 and #InclusiveFromTheStart when referencing NAAW in social media posts.

In addition, we are looking forward to seeing you at the Government of Canada’s first annual Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion which will be taking place on May 26 and May 27, 2022. If you have not already registered, please check out the Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion website to register and follow #InnovatingTogether on social media for updates.

Vision Month Summit 2022


The Vision Health Month Summit took place on Monday, May 16 from 4:00 to 5:45 pm at Christ Church Cathedral in the Great Hall, located at 414 Sparks Street in Ottawa, Ontario.

TOPIC: Preventable Blindness Through a National Vision Health Strategy
SPEAKERS: Carol Hughes, MP, Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Ontario, Assistant Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole;
Dr. Keith Gordon, Senior Research Officer, Canadian Council of the Blind;
Dr. Chad Andrews, Director of Research and Policy, College of Optometrists of Ontario;
Doug Earle, President and CEO, Fighting Blindness Canada.
DATE: Monday, May 16, 2022
TIME: 4:00-5:45 pm EST

The Summit featured expert discussion to achieving the vision health community’s calls for:

  • A National Vision Health Strategy that stresses prevention, research, treatment, and rehabilitation of vision loss, the implementation of which requires a coordinated effort on the part of federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
  • It also stresses that Health Canada establish a Vision Health Desk within the Public Health Agency to clearly focus government efforts on the prevention, research, treatment, and rehabilitation of vision loss.
  • Finally, it stresses the need for increased Vision Health Research Funding, which is presently woefully inadequate. Canada must invest to find treatments for blinding eye diseases and life-changing technologies for people currently living with vision loss.

White Cane Magazine – Vision Month Edition

White Cane Magazine cover
Reads: Vision Health Month
Inside:
CCB 2022 Person of the Year
Favourite Products and Apps
Expeirence Expo is Back
Plans for a Sizzling Summer

Welcome to White Cane Magazine. May has been dedicated as Vision Health Month. Check out this issue of White Cane Magazine to learn more about Vision Health Month and to:

  • Meet the CCB’s Person of the Year and the President’s Award recipients 
  • Update yourself on the leading technology available to those living with vision loss, including new apps and products 
  • Proceeding without us 
  • Learn about patients’ rights and policy 
  • Understand why we’re looking to the feds for leadership on eye health 
  • Scan the special section on preventable blindness
  • Read how VIA Rail is planning for a more inclusive travel experience 
  • Meet the ophthalmologists leading your eye care team
  • Learn why eye care in Canada is facing an invisible crisis 
  • Learn about how companies are redefining digital health care  
  • Go fishing with blind outdoorsman Lawrence Gunther Euteneier 
  • Look at AMI’s plans for a sizzling summer 

Enjoy the Read!

Download below

April 27, International Guide Dog Day

Leslie Yee and Guide Dog Akira.

The Joys of a Guide Dog
By Leslie Yee

A young boy around the age of eight, once asked me, “if I could have all my sight back, would I want it.”  At first, I was a little taken back. What a question and it made me really think.

I am really comfortable with my vision. I feel I do not miss anything and most importantly I would not have the company and companionship of my Guide Dog, Akira.

Akira is my first guide and it has so far been quite an adventure. He is strong, an 85-pound yellow male, intelligent and often looks at me as if to say, “the door is right here” see, {nose point}, see {nose point}, patient, very playful and is better than an alarm clock. Especially when it is dinner time.

He is now five and a half years old, and still, he will practically stand on his head just to get a kibble treat. This does make him very playful and willing to learn new and fun tricks for playtime.

Have we made mistakes? You bet.  As a new handler I am constantly learning from Akira himself, and by asking other Handlers how they might react to certain situations. So together we then tackle our problems, our  difficult situations and try again, accompanied by a lot of kibble treats.

 Akira is from Guide dogs for the Blind in the United States. It was a wonderful experience going there and getting the training I needed, meeting Akira and then learning to bond and work with him. The school did tell us all that once you have a Guide dog, you are now ambassadors for all guide dogs and handlers. They were right. Both of us receive a lot of attention. We are asked many questions, and I am given general comments on how lovely Akira is. We don’t mind though; Akira is amazing and I am happy and proud to talk about him. Not only do I feel stronger with him, he is a part of me. I am very proud and confident of him when we are out and I have confidence in the training he has received from his school.

So, if I could get all of my vision back, would I want it? I don’t think so, at least not right now. I love my Guide Dog partner and together we make a great team.

WBU Stands United with Ukraine and is Taking Action to Help

A Ukrainian flag back lit by the sun.

Dear members and colleagues,

Like nearly all governments, organizations, and concerned individuals around the world, the WBU condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This pointless war will cause tremendous suffering for people all over the world, particularly for those in Ukraine, and especially for Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted. 

War and disability are tragically linked together. This war will inevitably result in people acquiring impairments that lead to disability. How many people with disabilities will this war create? How many lives will be forever transformed due to the suffering of needless injuries? 

And not only does war cause disability, but people with disabilities always suffer more during times of emergency and conflict. Today in Ukraine and surrounding countries, those who are blind or partially sighted are experiencing unimaginable challenges, challenges that are intensified by barriers to transportation, communication, and access to information. 

The WBU calls on all governments and aid organizations involved in relief efforts to develop a disability inclusive strategy to ensure Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted are not forgotten. We are working with our partners in the region to support all those involved in the relief efforts. 

Since the start of the invasion, the WBU has been in touch with blindness organizations and blind individuals and has been exploring options to provide support to people who are blind or partially sighted in Ukraine and surrounding countries. 

In the short term, the WBU has established the Ukrainian Unity Fund. Through this fund, the WBU will collect donations and work with partners such as the European Blind Union to direct resources where they are most needed. For any individual or organization wishing to provide financial support, please contact our office at [email protected]. Donations to the Ukrainian Unity Fund can be made via credit card, wire transfer, or PayPal. 

In the medium and longer term, the WBU will work with partners to identify needs and provide appropriate supports. This conflict will no doubt have a negative impact on Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted for years to come. We can expect significant needs in areas like access to assistive technology, blindness skills training, and of course mental health supports. In the coming months, the WBU will be forming partnerships to address these and other needs that will arise. 

If you’re looking for ways to help, please consider donating to the Ukrainian Unity Fund. Every dollar raised will go directly to supporting relief efforts and helping blind and partially sighted Ukrainians get back on their feet after the crisis is over. 

Contact: 

Martine Abel-Williamson 
President, WBU
+64 21 411 042
[email protected]

Marc Workman 
Chief Executive Officer, WBU
+1 (780) 721-7040
[email protected]

White Cane Magazine – 2022

Welcome to White Cane Magazine

White Cane Magazine Cover.
  • Learn About the Your Eye Care and Preventable Vision Loss Report.
  • Read about treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
  • How blindness is 75% preventable and when caused by Diabetes 95% avoidable.
  • Recognize Optometrists as your primary eye care provider and your Ophthalmologists as the leaders of your eye care team.
  • Read how the failure to deliver a national vision care strategy is costing Canada billions.
  • Marvel as 5 people share their life experiences of living with blindness.
  • See how clinical trials lead to sight saving innovations and how research is core to Fighting Blindness Canada.
  • Read about the Canadian Council of the Blind and its advocacy for Canada’s blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted community.

Download the magazine in your prefered format below.

ADP Survey Report Findings and Recommendations

The shape of the province of Ontario with ADP written on it.

An Important Message from Your ADP Reform Working Group

Thank you for your participation and support in our efforts to reform Ontario’s Assistive Device Program (ADP). The ADP Reform Working Group is please to provide you with our “Survey Report Reforming Ontario’s Assitvie Device Program” authored by Dr. Keith Gordon, CCB’s Senior Research Officer and the study’s Principal Investigator. We invite you to take the time to review the Report’s findings and recommendations.

As the working group has stated throughout this initiative this Report was commissioned to provide Ontario’s vision loss community with the opportunity and tools necessary to enhance its efforts to reform the ADP, making it relevant to the community. To that end, we believe we achieved the survey’s primary goal, as outlined in the report’s introduction, having developed a rigorous and client-centred evidence base from which we are making recommendations to ADP governing bodies that are informative, substantive, and reflective of the needs of ontarians living with vision loss.

Your ADP Reform Working Group

The ADP Reform Working Group is led by the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) Toronto Chapter and includes the Canadian Council of the Blind’s Toronto Visionaries Chapter, the CNIB Foundation, BALANCE for Blind Adults, Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC), the FBC Young Leaders Program, the CCB’s Get Together with Technology (GTT) Program, and the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and OCAD University.

Logos: AEC, Balance for Blind Adults CCB, CNIB, FBC, OCADU.

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