Canada Post Review

Dear Ms. Gillis,

 

In May, the Government launched an independent, evidence-based review of Canada Post to ensure Canadians receive quality and sustainable postal services at a reasonable cost.

 

This letter is to inform you that the first phase of the review process is complete. Today, I received the discussion paper prepared by the independent Task Force I established to undertake Phase 1 of the Canada Post review.

 

During this first phase, the Task Force undertook an analysis of Canada Post’s services and current financial situation, conducted public opinion research, met with key stakeholders, and examined international best practices for postal delivery.

 

It is clear that postal services are highly important to Canadians. Canada Post is an institution that is relevant and valuable to Canadians, and part of our fabric as a nation.

 

A copy of the discussion paper can be found on the Department’s Canada Post Review website.

 

The discussion paper will help inform the second phase of the review, which is being led by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. The committee is carrying out national public consultations with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, beginning in Ottawa on September 20th. For more information on the consultations and how you can participate, please visit the committee’s website.

 

Based on its findings, the parliamentary committee will make recommendations to the Government on the future of Canada Post by December 2016.

 

This is only the beginning. A great deal of work has been done and more still needs to occur before the Government makes any decisions with respect to the future of Canada Post.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts on the review that will help ensure Canadians receive the postal services they value and need.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Judy M. Foote, PC, MP

Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Madame Gillis,

 

En mai, le gouvernement a entamé un examen indépendant fondé sur des données probantes de Postes Canada dans le but de s’assurer que la population canadienne reçoit des services postaux de qualité et durables à un coût raisonnable.

 

Je tiens à vous informer que la première étape du processus d’examen est terminée. J’ai reçu aujourd’hui le document de travail préparé par le groupe de travail indépendant que j’ai mis sur pied pour entreprendre la première étape de l’examen de Postes Canada.

 

Durant la première étape, le groupe de travail a analysé les services et la situation financière actuelle de Postes Canada, en effectuant des recherches sur l’opinion publique, en rencontrant les principaux intervenants concernés et en étudiant des pratiques exemplaires relatives à la distribution postale adoptées à l’échelle internationale.

 

Il est clair que les services postaux sont d’une grande importance pour la population canadienne. Postes Canada demeure une institution pertinente qui fait partie intégrante du tissu social de notre nation et qui tient à cœur à la population canadienne.

 

Le document de travail peut être consulté sur le site Web du Ministère portant sur l’examen de Postes Canada.

 

Le document de travail permettra d’étayer la seconde étape de l’examen, que dirige le Comité permanent des opérations gouvernementales et des prévisions budgétaires de la Chambre des communes. Le Comité mènera des consultations publiques nationales auprès de Canadiens de partout au pays, la première d’entre elles étant prévue le 20 septembre à Ottawa. Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements sur les consultations et la façon d’y participer, visitez le site Web du Comité.

 

En se fondant sur ses conclusions, le comité parlementaire soumettra au gouvernement d’ici décembre 2016 des recommandations quant à l’avenir de Postes Canada.

 

Il ne s’agit là que du commencement. Un travail considérable a été réalisé et continuera de l’être avant que le gouvernement ne prenne une décision quelconque à l’égard de l’avenir de Postes Canada.

 

Comme à l’habitude, n’hésitez pas à nous faire part de vos commentaires sur l’examen mené en vue de garantir que la population canadienne reçoit les services postaux dont elle a besoin et qui lui tiennent à cœur.

 

 

Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, mes salutations les meilleures.

 

 

 

Judy M. Foote, C.P., députée

Ministre des Services publics et de l’Approvisionnement

Press Release – International Literacy Day 2016

The Marrakesh Treaty and the Future of Literacy for the Blind and Print Disabled: International Literacy Day 2016

September 8th, 2016

Toronto, Canada: Fifty years ago, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrated the first International Literacy Day on September 8th, 1966. In honour of the anniversary, this year’s theme is “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.” For the World Blind Union (WBU), the future of literacy for the blind and partially sighted is with the ratification and effective implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Currently, over 90% of published materials are not available to the nearly 300 million people that are blind or have a print disability. Access is especially low in developing and low-income countries where less than 1% of materials are accessible. This has resulted in a global “book famine” and the World Blind Union (WBU) has campaigned for years for a Treaty that would help overcome the book famine.

The result of our efforts and the efforts of our partners and other stakeholders is the Marrakesh Treaty, which was adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states in 2013. The Treaty needed twenty countries to ratify in order for it to enter into force and that momentous goal was achieved earlier this year on June 30th when Canada became the twentieth ratifying country. The Treaty will officially enter into force this month, on September 30th, 2016.

The President of the WBU, Arnt Holte celebrated upon the news of the 20th ratification, remarking that “the fact that the Marrakesh Treaty is coming into force might be the most positive development for blind and partially sighted persons and their right to read since Louis Braille developed the Braille alphabet. Accessible books being shared across borders will change the world for all people with print disabilities.”

The Treaty directly addresses the book famine in two important ways;
First, it will enable “authorized entities,” such as blind persons’ organizations and libraries, to more easily reproduce works into accessible formats for non-profit distribution. Second, the Treaty will permit the same authorized entities to share accessible books and other printed materials across borders with other authorized entities, helping to end the needless and inefficient duplication of efforts.

Now that the treaty is about to enter into force, its implementation has become an important focus for the WBU and its members from all over the world. WBU’s Immediate Past President and our Right to Read Chair, Maryanne Diamond, commented on this importance: “Literacy for all is fundamental to getting an education, work and participating in the community. The Marrakesh treaty must be properly implemented to make it possible for people who are blind or have a print disability to have the same experiences as persons without print disabilities.”

Our hope is that every country will ratify the Marrakesh Treaty and then effectively implement its provisions in line with the treaty’s overarching goal of furthering the human rights of persons with print disabilities by promoting their access to literature and information. The WBU and its members will continue to work with countries that have ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to ensure that it achieves its goal.

To learn more about the Marrakesh Treaty, our Right to Read Campaign and what you can do to encourage your government to ratify the treaty, visit our Campaign Page.

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization that represents the estimated 285 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.wbu.ngo
– 30 –

For further information, please contact:
Caitlin Reid, Communications Officer, World Blind Union
[email protected]

How accessibility is driving innovation in Canada

In-person consultations to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation announced

August 23, 2016 Whitby, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, visited the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ontario, and hosted a panel with three young Canadian innovators to discuss how accessibility drives innovation. The Minister toured the centre, noting the accessibility measures in place there, which serve as an example for other communities across Canada. Minister Qualtrough also announced the schedule of the in-person consultations organized to inform planned accessibility legislation.

Minister Qualtrough participated in a dynamic discussion with the three young Canadian innovators:

Maayan Ziv, the creator of an online platform that uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint the accessibility status of locations on an interactive map;
Micah Rakoff Bellman, the designer of Lift, a height-adjustable and movable table with integrated storage that provides home cooks a comfortable and flexible work surface in the kitchen; and
Quayce Thomas, an architecture student who has developed Timsle, a Fitbit-type app that promotes healthy, active living using social networks.
Many more thought-provoking discussions such as these will happen in the next few months, as the Minister travels across the country to engage and consult with Canadians about what an Accessible Canada could look like. In-person public sessions will be held in 18 cities from September to December. Canadians are encouraged to visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada to find an in-person consultation session in their area. These sessions will provide all Canadians with an opportunity to share their ideas on how to improve accessibility and inclusion across Canada.

Canadians can also participate in the consultation exercise online at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada, and can follow @AccessibleGC and the hashtag #AccessibleCanada on Twitter and Accessible Canada on Facebook. The consultation process will run until February 2017.

Minister Qualtrough also encouraged young people from across Canada to apply to participate in the National Youth Forum on Accessibility, which will take place on November 1st. This event will provide Canadian youth who have experience and expertise in disabilities and accessibility with an opportunity to engage in the policy discussion. More information is available at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

Quotes

“Today we are taking another exciting step in our discussion on accessibility. Increasing accessibility is not only the right thing to do, but it also has social and economic benefits for all Canadians. Canada is well positioned to become a global leader in innovative service delivery, technology and universal design. Together, we will reshape the landscape for Canadians with disabilities.”

– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Further Information

News Release: What does an accessible Canada mean to you?

Planned Accessibility Legislation

#AccessibleCanada

– 30 –

Contacts

Ashley Michnowski
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
[email protected]
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook

Backgrounder

Abilities Centre

The Abilities Centre is an internationally renowned, innovative community hub where people of all ages and abilities enrich their lives by engaging in social, health and cultural programs. The centre delivers sports, health and fitness, arts and culture, leading-edge research, education and life skills programming in a welcoming, positive, energetic environment. The Abilities Centre is a not-for-profit corporation and a registered charity operating in Whitby, Ontario. The centre is a 2016 winner of the Ontario David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.

Consultation to inform the development of accessibility legislation

Minister Qualtrough, Canada’s first Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was mandated by the Prime Minister to lead an engagement process with stakeholders—including Canadians with disabilities, provinces, territories and municipalities—that would inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.

The consultation process is now open, until February 2017.

Starting in September, Canadians across Canada will be able to participate in the in-person consultation engagement process. In-person public consultations are planned to take place in the following cities:

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016
Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016
Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016
Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016
Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016
Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016
Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017
Thunder Bay, Ontario / October 12, 2016
Winnipeg, Manitoba / October 3, 2016
Regina, Saskatchewan / September 28, 2016
Calgary, Alberta / October 13, 2016
Edmonton, Alberta / October 7, 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016
Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016
Iqaluit, Nunavut / September 24, 2016
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories / September 26, 2016
Whitehorse, Yukon / September 22, 2016.
For the most up-to-date information on in-person venues and dates, and to participate online, please visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

Minister Qualtrough will also participate in roundtable discussions, as well as a National Youth Forum that will engage Canadian youth with disabilities in the policy discussion.

National Youth Forum

Minister Qualtrough, as part of her mandate to consult with Canadians on the development of new accessibility legislation, will host a one-day National Youth Forum in Ottawa on November 1st 2016. The Forum will provide an opportunity for Canadian youth with disabilities to discuss what accessibility means to them, share ideas for the new legislation, connect with peers and celebrate youth leadership in building a more accessible Canada.

Applicants must:

– be between 15 and 30 years old in November, 2016;

– be residents of Canada;

– have a disability or have life, academic or work experience related to disability and accessibility; and

– demonstrate their leadership or involvement in an area related to disability and accessibility in their community, region or nationally.

The deadline to submit an application is September 15, 2016. Successful applicants will be contacted by The Office for Disability Issues in the fall.

For more information about how to submit an application to participate in the National Youth Forum please visit: Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

Innovator Bios

Maayan Ziv – Founder and CEO of AccessNow

Mayaan has a passion for creating a more accessible world for people who use a wheelchair. Mayaan created the AccessNow mobile app, which uses crowd sourcing to collect and share accessibility information all around the world.

Micah Rakoff Bellman – Winner of the 2016 annual Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA)

Micah is a student at Carleton University’s Industrial Design program. Micah has developed an invention called Lift, which is a height-adjustable, movable table which integrates storage that provides home cooks with a comfortable and flexible surface in the kitchen. The device strives to give more freedom to older individuals and people with disabilities.

Quayce Thomas, Winner of the 2015 annual Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA)

Quayce is an entrepreneur and architecture student at Carleton University, has seen his app taking the top prize in the IDeA competition in 2015. Timsle is an app that promotes healthy active living by checking in to make sure users are meeting the goals they’ve shared with their social network. This “accountability network” helps meeting academic or other goals and preventing depression.

*

Starting in September, Canadians across Canada will be able to participate in the in-person consultation engagement process. In-person public consultations are planned to take place in the following cities:

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016
Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016
Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016
Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016
Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016
Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016
Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017
Thunder Bay, Ontario / October 12, 2016
Winnipeg, Manitoba / October 3, 2016
Regina, Saskatchewan / September 28, 2016
Calgary, Alberta / October 13, 2016
Edmonton, Alberta / October 7, 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016
Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016
Iqaluit, Nunavut / September 24, 2016
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories / September 26, 2016
Whitehorse, Yukon / September 22, 2016.
For the most up-to-date information on in-person venues and dates, and to participate online, please visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

2016 Email Bowling Tournament Dates Are Now Confirmed!

DATES FOR 2016 TOURNAMENTS:

◊ Sunday, October 2 to Saturday, October 8 – Lewis Miller Woods Mixed Bowling

◊ Sunday, October 9 to Saturday, October 15  – Maycourt Ladies

◊ Sunday, October 16 to Saturday, October 22  – Open Singles -Partially Sighted (Male & Female)

◊ Sunday, October 23 to Saturday, October 29 – Totally Blind Singles (Male & Female)

 

For more information on tournament rules and to download tournament entry and results forms, please visit the EVENTS: Email Bowling page or contact Bill Rizzo at[email protected].

Please also send all results by e-mail to [email protected].

Awareness Campaign Alerts Canadians to be Vigilant About Eye Health

Nine in ten Canadians agree that patients suffer when treatment decisions are influenced by drug cost

Toronto – July 12, 2016 – Estimates suggest that more than 50,000 Canadians will lose their sight every year due to conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts and refractive error.iMore than 5.5 million Canadians have a significant eye disease that could cause vision loss.ii Citing an impending crisis in vision health, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) in collaboration with several partner organizations, today announced the launch of an awareness campaign to remind Canadians, especially those 45 years and older, that they need to be especially vigilant and engaged in the health of their eyes.

Patients and physicians, in a recent survey commissioned by the IFA, reported that Canadians should have access to the most appropriate Health Canada-approved treatments for retinal and other conditions, irrespective of cost.

THE IMPACT OF VISION LOSS

CNIB, using 2013 data, estimated the direct health costs of vision loss due to AMD and diabetic retinopathy to be $1.8 billion and $412 million per year respectively.iii Add to this the cost of falls, depression, hip fractures and nursing home admissions associated with vision loss are estimated to be $25.8 million, $175.2 million, $101.7 million and $713.6 million, respectively.iv

“Vision loss is not just about a physiological loss; there is often a cascade of losses that an individual and often their spouse or relative experiences,” explains Louise Gillis, National President, Canadian Council for the Blind (CCB). “In addition to diminished independence, vision loss has also been related to higher rates of unemployment, divorce and clinical depression. Being more informed and engaged in eye health, including knowing about the full range treatments that can potentially treat and even restore vision loss is a “win-win” socially and economically.”

THE EYE SEE YOU CAMPAIGN

While sharply focussed on issues related to protecting and maintaining vision health, the Eye See You campaign also focusses on the need for individuals and families to be fully informed and educated about the treatment options available to them. The campaign addresses physicians as well, supporting their autonomy to decide the most appropriate, evidence-based treatment for their patient.

“The Eye See You campaign recognizes the critical relationship between patients, including their family and doctors in discussing treatment options, making educated choices and helping remove barriers to the most appropriate treatment and care available,” says Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing.

ADDRESSING THE ISSUE

Fortunately, many retinal conditions are treatable if the appropriate treatments are available and delivered in a timely manner.v “Timely access to the therapy is critical to maintaining vision health,” says

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Dr. Barratt. “Recent discussions about drugs used to treat retinal conditions has raised important questions about how therapies are accessed in Canada,” she continues. “Decisions to restrict access to any appropriate therapy should be based on scientific evidence and the real-word experience of stakeholders including patients, physicians and patient organizations, and not on cost savings.”

SURVEY REACHED OUT TO INDIVIDUALS AND PHYSICIANS

Canadians insist that choice trumps cost. According to two Ipsos surveys conducted in June 2016 – one of Canadians over the age of 45 and the other among medical specialists and family physicians there is strong agreement that a physician in consultation with the patient should be able to determine the most appropriate Health Canada-approved treatments for retinal and other conditions. Cost may be a consideration but not at the expense of a person’s vision and their function.

Survey Highlights:vi

  • Canadians are virtually unanimous (97%) in agreeing (71% strongly/26% somewhat) that they ‘have a right to the best medications that are approved for use in Canada.’
  • Likewise, more than nine in ten (95%) agree (64% strongly/31% somewhat) that their physician ‘should have the right to prescribe the best medication regardless of the cost to the healthcare system.’
  • Nine in ten Canadians (90%) agree (47% strongly/44% somewhat) that ‘patients suffer when treatment decisions are influenced by the cost of a medication’, and two in three (67%) agree (18% strongly/49% somewhat) that ‘doctors feel pressure to prescribe drugs based on the cost to the healthcare system.’Most of the medical specialists and family physicians that were surveyed agreed that therapeutic recommendations based on cost containment restrict their autonomy as medical professionals to be able to determine the appropriate treatment for their patient. Three-quarters of those surveyed also say they have witnessed a patient’s health suffer at some point in the past year because they were unable to afford better medications.Survey Highlights:vii
  • More than nine in ten doctors (93%) say that ‘being unable to prescribe the most appropriate treatment because of cost is a barrier to good patient care.’
  • Nine in ten doctors (91%) agree (49% strongly/42% somewhat) that overall quality of life of patients is negatively affected when treatment choice is impacted by cost, while 90% agree (57% strongly/33% somewhat) they should be able to prescribe the most effective medication for patients regardless of cost.
  • Eight in ten doctors (83%) agree (36% strongly/47% somewhat) that the cost of certain drugs regularly prevents them from prescribing the best medication for their patients.“As a physician working with patients and their families to understand a diagnosis and to help them find the best treatment for their eye condition, it is frustrating to have to tell them that the best treatment for them might be out of reach because of what our healthcare system is willing to pay for,” explains Dr. David Wong, MD, FRCSC, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Diseases and Surgery of the Vitreous, Retina, Macula

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and Choroid, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, St. Michael’s Hospital. “This leads to outcomes as avoidable and regrettable as blindness when the right treatment at the right time is denied to patients, and could maintain their eyesight.”

For more information about the Eye See You campaign, please visit www.eye-see-you.ca

About the IFA

The International Federation on Ageing is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) with its headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Its goal is to be a global point of connection of experts and expertise that help to contribute to the dialogue on effective policy towards healthy aging.

Media contact:

energi PR
James Thayer
416-425-9143 ext 208 [email protected]

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i i http://www.cnib.ca/en/about/media/vision-loss/pages/default.aspx ii ii http://www.cnib.ca/en/about/media/vision-loss/pages/default.aspx

iii Canadian Council of the Blind, Canadian National Institute of the Blind, and the Foundation Fighting Blindness (2015). Patient Summary.

https://www.cadth.ca/anti-vascular-endothelial-growth-factor-drugs-retinal-conditions

iv Canadian Council of the Blind, Canadian National Institute of the Blind, and the Foundation Fighting Blindness (2015). Patient Summary.

https://www.cadth.ca/anti-vascular-endothelial-growth-factor-drugs-retinal-conditions

v Angiogenesis Foundation (2012). Advocating for improved treatment and outcomes for wet age-related macular degeneration.

http://www.mdfoundation.com.au/resources/Australia_AMD_Whitepaper.pdf vi Ipsos Survey, June 2016 www.ipsos-na.com
vii Ipsos Survey, June 2016 www.ipsos-na.com

PRESS RELEASE – MARRAKESH TREATY REACHES 20 RATIFICATIONS NEEDED TO ENTER INTO FORCE

From the World Blind Union – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Toronto, June 30th, 2016 – Today is an historic day as Canada became the 20th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty (full name is the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities).
The twenty ratifying countries will be able to enjoy the benefits enshrined in the treaty that are meant to extend the same access to literature and information for print disabled persons that non-print disabled persons already enjoy.

“This is another historical day for our movement,” said Arnt Holte, President of WBU. “It was a great victory when we managed to get a treaty securing accessible books for blind and print disabled persons, but the real victory was achieved today – when Canada became the 20th country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty.
The treaty will enter force in three months, on September 30th, and then millions of blind and partially sighted persons will be able to access literature and educational materials, enabling them to better participate in their society,” he added.

The WBU led the international campaign in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to achieve the development of an international treaty that would put an end to the global “book famine,” which refers to the less than ten percent of published materials being available in accessible formats and often less than one percent in developing countries. The great achievement today offers much cause for celebration for the WBU and its partners.

“After many years of hard work by countless people in the blindness community and partners from a range of sectors, we are now at the start of a new phase of our work,” said Maryanne Diamond, WBU Chair of the Right to Read campaign and a leader in the fight for the Marrakesh Treaty.

However, we still have much work to do in order to end the book famine. “As we celebrate and look to the future, we cannot forget that worldwide ratification is still a long way off,” said Ms. Diamond. “We need to continue our work together to ensure the treaty can be implemented and used by blind and print disabled people irrespective of where they live in the world,” she added.

The WBU calls for every single country to ratify the treaty, and then to effectively implement its provisions for the production and cross-border sharing of accessible works in order to achieve the treaty’s overarching goal of furthering the human rights of persons with print disabilities by promoting their access to literature and information.

To learn more about the Marrakesh Treaty, how it will help end the book famine as well as about our Ratification and Implementation Campaign and what you can do to encourage your government to ratify the treaty, visit our Campaign Page: http://www.worldblindunion.org/ English/our-work/our-priorities/Pages/right-2-read-campaign.aspx

The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations run by 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.wbu.ngo

For further information, please contact:

Caitlin Reid, Communications Officer, World Blind Union

[email protected]

When It Comes To Eye Health: Take Action, You Have A Choice

drop-cap-part of our mandate is to promote eye care and prevent blindness, as well as implement measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community, and provide employment opportunities for those with vision loss.

Vision loss is a difficult condition to manage, as it has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities, or age. What is alarming to us is that in many instances, vision loss is easily preventable and sometimes is simply symptomatic of other health issues that can be controlled. This is why as an organization, we are committed to a proactive integrated health approach for early detection — improving the quality of life for all Canadians, including you.

Eye health can often be the very lowest medical concern to be attended to for Canadians because, in the majority of cases, one does not die from eye disease. This is why it is essential for you to bring eye care to the forefront of your health, so that the best possible treatment can be provided before major problems occur. Permanent damage can occur prior to major symptoms, which is why acting now on your vision health is critical.

Read the rest of the article online Here.

Progress on Accessibility Legislation

This morning, June 22, 2016 CCB President Louise Gillis and other Canadians with disabilities attended a speech by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities. Minister Qualtrough made an important announcement on an engagement process that will lead to the passage of Accessibility Legislation.

IMG_1236 IMG_1242

CCB celebrates progress of the Right to Read campaign

On Monday, June 13, 2016 Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) had great reason to celebrate on Parliament Hill with the Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities & The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development on the passing through Commons the act to amend the Canadian Copyright Act therefore displaying Canada’s commitment to the breaking down of barriers for people with print disabilities.

Thank you to all of our CCB members who sent letters and talked with their local Members of Parliament to move this forward!

This event celebrated an achievement that was some time in the making: after a few years of progress, Canada is set to sign on its support for the Marrakesh Treaty, joining the approximately 17 other countries that have already done so.

The Marrakesh Treaty will allow greater access to reading material for Canadians with print disabilities, and Bill C-11 will help to improve international access to copyrighted material for persons with print disabilities.

CCB has worked with the World Blind Union (WBU) and CNIB since the inception of the Right to Read campaign.  As noted on the WBU website:

The current international system does not allow for cross-border sharing, leading to the needless duplication of books, which uses up already limited resources. However, once the Marrakesh Treaty comes into force, cross-border sharing will be legal, which will help to avoid the duplication of reproduction efforts in different countries. The Treaty will also enable countries with large collections of accessible books to share them with blind and print disabled people in countries with fewer resources. Cross-border sharing is essential for combating the book famine as blind and partially sighted people are among the poorest of the poor, and organizations for the blind often do not have the resources needed to produce enough materials in accessible formats.

Blind and print disabled people want to be able to go to a bookstore or library and pick up and read the new bestseller like everyone else. Blind and partially sighted children want to be able to go to school and to become literate just as much as their sighted peers do. It has been well documented that education is the key to unlocking the future potential of children, enabling them to become gainfully employed as adults and participate effectively as students, parents, coworkers, and citizens in their communities and their families.”

Technology on a Budget Workshop Open

The Halifax based Access & Awareness NS Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind is pleased to announce that registration for its one day Workshop entitled “Technology on a Budget” is now open.  This Workshop is open to blind and partially sighted individuals, their families and supporters.  We encourage you to register early as space is limited and priority will be given to blind and partially sighted registrants.  The email address for registration is noted below. The deadline date for registration is Friday, May 27, 2016 at 4 p.m.

 

The Workshop will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the gym at the Atlantic Provinces Education Authority (APSEA), 5940 South Street, Halifax.  It’s the first building on the left as you go down the driveway and parking is available in the lot on the right side of the driveway. APSEA is an accessible location. Sighted guides will be available at the door.  Morning refreshments, a boxed lunch and afternoon beverages are free and tickets for a wide variety of door prizes can be purchased for the sum of $1.00 per ticket upon registration.

 

We are pleased to welcome, as one of our presenters, Jeffrey Stark from Kanata, Ontario.  Jeffrey manages a program for the Public Service of Canada which has been internationally recognized for the unique services which it provides to persons with disabilities, injuries, or who require technical or ergonomic adaptations in the workplace. Jeffrey is one of the founding members and lead developer for theInclusiveAndroid.com community site which provides a place to share

information, ideas, apps and tips among the community of people with disabilities who are Android users from across the world and he will be sharing his extensive knowledge and experience with us.

 

Other Workshop leaders will include well known local technology aficionados Barry Abbott from our CCB “GetTogether with Technology” program, Chris Judge, technology specialist with CNIB Halifax and Maggie Lyons-MacFarlane, a graduate student in Education at Mt. St. Vincent Universitywho will share her insights and lived experience with technology from the perspective of a student with low vision. In our panel on funding and supports, we will explore the question of what resources are available to help people with disabilities who require assistive technology.

 

This Workshop promises to be exciting and information packed so, again, please register early!

 

To register please email:  [email protected] When registering, the following information is required:

  1. Your name,
  2. Your email address or telephone number,
  3. Which workshop from each of the four concurrent sessions you wish to attend, and
  4. Whether or not you have any dietary concerns.

Attached is the Schedule for the day on which the concurrent sessions are listed. Please remember to note which sessions you wish to attend when you are registering.

 

If further information is required, please email Chapter Chair, Pat Gates, at

[email protected]

 

We look forward to meeting you there!

 

Patricia (Pat) Gates

Chair,

CCB Access & Awareness NS Chapter, on behalf

of the 2016 Workshop Planning Committee