Independent Mobility

Raising Stanley / Life with Tulia, Montreal QC, November 4, 2018

Braille Literacy Canada PROUDLY PRESENTS A SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF
Raising Stanley / Life with Tulia
in Montreal November 4, 2018 – 2:30pm

https://www.segalcentre.org/en/shows/raising-stanleylife-with-tulia-

 

Proceeds from this special presentation of Raising Stanley / Life With Tulia will benefit Braille Literacy Canada’s Edie Mourre Scholarship Campaign, and every dollar raised through this event will be matched dollar for dollar by a third party donor.

While the public is increasingly aware of service dogs, very few know much about the process of raising a guide dog puppy or the reality of the working life of a guide dog.

When you see a well-behaved guide dog for the blind walking easily with their handler along crowded streets, do you ever wonder, “How was this dog raised?” or “What’s life like working with a guide dog?” or perhaps “I wonder how the dog knows where to go?”

Using art in the form of storytelling and painting, Raising Stanley / Life With Tulia celebrates and describes the journey from puppyhood to working as a guide dog for the blind to being a pampered, retired pet. Storyteller Kim Kilpatrick and visual artist Karen Bailey have collaborated to bring you on a theatrical journey using storytelling and paintings that capture the essence of the guide dog experience – the good, the funny, and the magical – in a form that entertains and educates all ages, from children to seniors.

Join us after the show for a coffee to discuss what you’ve learned and ask the burning questions that have still gone unanswered.

Sunday, November 4th, 2018
Show 2:30pm – 3:45pm (reception to follow until 4:45pm)
Tickets $25 ($20 for Students)

CinemaSpace at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts
5170, ch. de la Cote-Ste-Catherine, Montreal, QUebec

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

You may also order by phone by calling the Segal Centre for Performing Arts box office at 514-739-7944.

Copyright © 2018 Braille Literacy Canada / Littératie braille Canada, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Braille Literacy Canada / Littératie braille Canada
c/o CNIB
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8
Canada

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Advocacy, blindness, Independent Mobility, Victoria BC

Fundraiser by canadian federation of the blind : LIFE-THREATENING BIKE LANE DESIGN

canadian federation of the blind needs your help today! LIFE-THREATENING BIKE LANE DESIGN – 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…
— Read on www.gofundme.com/cfb-bike-lanes

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Advocacy, Independent Mobility

Greyhound is turning off the ignition in Western Canada and leaving persons with disabilities on 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 four 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-alberta-manitoba-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

 

Greyhound plans to continue freight delivery in northern B.C., even if passenger service ends.

Andrew Kurjata CBC News Posted: Sep 01, 2017

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/greyhound-plans-to-continue-freight-delivery-in-northern-b-c-even-if-passenger-service-ends-1.4272476

 

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Accessibility Working Group, Disability Matters, Independent Mobility

I am disabled. Bike lanes are not the problem. Ableism is. | mssinenomineblog

Full Disclosure: Last year I was appointed to the Active Transportation Advisory Council for the City of Vancouver. I had this post in my draft file and never posted it. I am sharing it now after reading the article about the poorly considered and executed bike lane design in Victoria, BC. I can no longer…
— Read on mssinenomineblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/i-am-disabled-bike-lanes-are-not-the-problem-ableism-is/

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blindness, Disability Matters, Independence, Independent Mobility

Please Submit Your Access Stories Related to the British Columbia Guide and Service Dog Act

Access Stories Related to the British Columbia Guide and Service Dog Act

 

From the time when the province of British Columbia first introduced Bill 17, which has now become the British Columbia Guide and Service Dog Act, the Canadian Federation of the Blind (along with other rights holders) has warned that some of its provisions would create access problems.  In particular, we warned that the emphasis on stopping members of the public from claiming that their pets are service dogs could lead to increased scrutiny of legitimate guide and service dog handlers.  We feared that the portion of the definition of “guide dog” that defines a guide dog as one that has been certified by the province would lead to a two tier system that would leave those from outside British Columbia unprotected.  We also raised the alarm about the stated intention to use a “graduated enforcement” strategy rather than a stringent implementation of applicable fines in cases of access denial.

 

This is a request for those of you who live in British Columbia, have visited the province, or know someone who has had difficulty because of the BC guide and service dog law.

 

We need your stories.  Because the provincial system for handling access issues has been so ineffective, government officials who need to know about problems with the new law aren’t being made aware of them.  If you’ve been asked to present identification before being allowed to access a public place or had service or access refusals, we need to know what happened, when it happened, and the end result.  Even if you were able to negotiate the issues successfully, the fact that you faced issues is extremely significant.  If you are from outside of British Columbia and were denied enforcement because you lack BC certification, we need to know that, too.  Your experience could help educate lawmakers about the unintended consequences of the British Columbia law.

 

You can write me at president@cfb.ca with your story.  If you have questions, phone me toll-free at (866) 670-0052.

 

Mary Ellen Gabias, President

Canadian Federation of the Blind

 

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blindness, Comparison, Disability, Independent Mobility

Letter to MP Gord Johns, Re: Draft Service Dog Standards Now Before the Canadian General Standards Board

August 1, 2017

Gord Johns, MP
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Email:
Gord.Johns@parl.gc.ca

Dear Mr. Johns:

Re: Draft Service Dog Standards Now Before the Canadian General Standards Board

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen with a vision-related disability and as a former guide dog user.

Several years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs requested that training standards be implemented before they allocated $75,000 towards lifetime training and care for each service dog provided to our Canadian veterans.

Public Works Canada, through the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) formed a committee that has now drafted standards not just for veterans’ dogs, but standards to be applied to every service dog and guide dog in Canada.

In reviewing the draft standards, it is obvious that the CGSB has completely ignored the existing standards followed in over 40 countries, including Canada, as written by the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). These excellent standards are followed and committed to by 93 guide dog schools in 32 countries.

Further, rather than ensuring that any proposed standards were consistent with current human rights legislation, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the CGSB has drafted standards that are completely contrary to any of them.

It should also be noted that Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sports and Persons with Disabilities, is currently drafting a Canadians with Disabilities Act, which will certainly take into account all the documents mentioned above.

If guide dog users do not get an exemption from these draft standards, for our dogs from schools here, the USA, and elsewhere, we will be subject to regulations that degrade us, demean us, and take away our basic human rights as citizens of Canada, as well as tourists with vision loss who might visit our beautiful country from other nations.

Here are some examples drawn from the draft standards, which are very long and very, very detailed:
· Our guide dogs would, regardless of which IGDF-compliant school they’re from, have to be retested by government inspectors.
· Inspectors would have the right to visit our homes at any time, demand financial records, obtain veterinarians’ records, etc.
· Our guide dogs would be required to perform obedience drills out of harness and off-leash – things that they are simply never expected to do.
· We would also be required to carry an identification kit containing a photograph, full name, address, name of the guide dog school, and other personal information to be presented on demand to members of the public to prove the dog’s certification.

To see what a coalition of Dog Guide users across Canada are saying about this travesty,
Please visit our Blog Hands Off Our Harnesses at,
Follow us on Twitter with the Hashtags, #HOOH or #IGDFFreeChoice
Check us out on Facebook at,

I am asking you, as my Member of Parliament, to support me and all vision-impaired people in Canada, by making your voice heard to
a) Ask that all guide dogs from IGDF-compliant schools be exempted from the draft standards now under consideration by the CGSB, or
b) Simply see that the entire draft standard is scrapped.

Thank you,

Albert A. Ruel
702 Ironwood Ave
Parksville BC V9P 2S2
Cell: 250-240-2343

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blindness, Independent Mobility

Re-Post: Blind Canadians’ Battle For Justice Needs Your Support.

Blind Canadians’ Battle For Justice Needs Your Support.

As a 50 year guide dog user I am disgusted how our protected rights are discounted. After experiencing a blatant taxi refusal and being told 15 cabs out of a fleet of 43 did not take guide dogs I felt it was vital we challenge this illegal violation of 3 laws designed to prevent exactly this scenario that the BCHRT has failed to honour.

In 1996, the Guide Animal Act of British Columbia replaced the Blind Person’s Rights Act and was updated in January, 2016 becoming The Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.
The Guide Dog Act guarantees freedom of movement absent of any barriers and is not
subject to “accommodation” or affected by the choice of mobility aid.

On Tuesday, September 19th at 10:00am the Victoria Court of Appeal will hear, over two hours, why stringent, clear protective access laws for blind citizens using guide dogs must be recognized, honoured and applied. This historic court hearing will benefit from an audience of conscientious citizens savvy to the need to protect the democratic cultural rights of the vulnerable and so your presence will make a difference.

Most of us are familiar with the importance of maintaining our legislated access rights. Most, but not all, encounters with access barriers have occurred over transportation and in particular, taxi companies. Despite clear legislation to ensure unimpeded access, guide dog users are still suffering illegal barriers. Unfortunately, at present, redress through the B.C.Human Rights Tribunal results in further injustice. It is vital we challenge this injustice to correct a bureaucratic error.

We, at the CFB, call on all of you who believe in Canadian justice to stand beside us over this difficult and hard fought appeal. Please remember that right of public access is a guaranteed right for all Canadians and to condone, accept or excuse any barrier limiting public access is a step towards conspicuous, deliberate prejudice.

We hope you are willing and able to stand with us in September at the Victoria court house when this important appeal is heard.

For further information or if we can be of help or advice please contact me at 250-479-2679, or the CFB line at 1-800-619-8789. e-mail: info@cfb.ca

Graeme McCreath, CFB Treasurer.

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