Greetings and I am Scott Savoy hoping that wherever you are; your weekend is
turning out to be a gorgeous one.
Today, I’d like to share our president’s weekly editorial with you and for
this week Donna J. Jodhan laments the passing of one of her mentors, dear
friends, and sounding boards! As she says, probably one of Canada’s finest
I wish you a great weekend.
Who is the real advocate?
A tribute to the late Chris Stark
By Donna J. Jodhan
It is certainly not me and it is certainly not most of us. However, when I
think of it, the answer is just so close at hand. I can practically reach
out and grab it! I can touch it and I can feel it! So who is it? Or
should I say who is he?
His name is Chris Stark and I do not think that anyone could even think of
debating my choice here! For if we take the time to think about it; a true
advocate is one who not only walks the walk! He fights the good fight! He
gives and sacrifices all that he has in his arsenal! He is selfless, he is
never self centered, and his hand is always out there readily waiting to
help! Most of all, he is humble and never seeks to grab the limelight.
Instead, he is always willing to give others the opportunity to stand up,
speak up, and speak out!
He is generous with his time! He is kind, patient, and always willing to
share his knowledge, advice, and experiences! He is not afraid and most of
all; he is a humanitarian and a teacher!
These are the thoughts that I express as I sit here mourning the sudden
passing of my mentor, friend, and sounding board! Chris Stark was all of
these things to me and so much more! Chris Stark was much more than this to
Blind, deaf/blind, and vision impaired Canadians! We have lost probably the
best advocate that Blind, deaf/blind, and vision impaired Canadians has
Chris Stark was my inspiration, my role model, and my reason to keep on
fighting! He never complained and he always found a way to come up with a
solution! He was always professional in his approaches to problems and he
always preached to me that I should take the high road!
I will miss you Chris! I will miss your advice, friendship, wonderful sense
of humor, and mentoring. You were probably one of the finest chess players
when it came to strategies of life! I can only promise to help carry on
your legacy and to do my best to live up to your standard when it comes to
I promise to keep on fighting the good fight! To fight for a better future
for our kids and to pass on and share my knowledge with those around me. I
promise to be strong, patient, and to do my best to protect our rights as
blind, def/blind, and vision impaired Canadians.
You are in a better place now! No more pain, no more suffering, and now it
is our turn to continue what you worked so hard to accomplish! Each time we
approach a banking machine we will remember that it was through your efforts
that we can now benefit from talking banking machines.
Each time we are faced with tough and unyielding respondents whose main
objective is to use their deep pockets to thwart our efforts we will
remember that you did not falter in front of those who failed to understand
the entire picture. And each time we are faced with situations that test
our courage, passion, commitment, dedication, and determination and
sacrifice; we must and will remember what you did for us and now we must do
it for others.
You walked with me on the journey to a successful charter challenge against
the Canadian Government over their inaccessible websites and you were there
for me during our campaign for the passage of an accessible Canada Act! But
now you are gone and you won’t be coming back! I only hope that I’ll have
the strength, courage, and determination to follow in your footsteps!
Safe travels to you good friend and it will be a sunny day when we meet
again! Please save a seat at your table for me! You came into my life when
I needed help and my only regret is you did not come sooner!
From Albert Ruel:
Chris Stark April 2016
Canada and the community of citizens who are blind, deaf-blind and partially
sighted recently lost a visionary, an advocate and an activist who made a
profound and lasting difference throughout his short 72 years of life.
Through his family, I want to thank Chris Stark for those things I didn’t
take the time to thank him for during his life, to thank the Canadian Human
Rights Commission for their below recognition of those accomplishments, and
to thank Beth Robertson and her Envisioning Technologies
From Richard Marion:
Chris stark was personally committed to a number of issues. He had a very
clear idea on how people who are blind should participate in society and
worked tirelessly to do his part to ensure his view was implemented
and supported by decision makers and others in Canada and around the world.
Here are some of Chris’s victories that we now benefit from in so many ways.
The first Accessible ATM was a result of his work filing a human rights
complaint against RBC. As a result, today accessible bank machines are
usually available at all branches of all the major chartered banks and some
unions across the country.
Accessible utility bills and banking statements was another area that we now
benefit from as a result of his work. After filing actions against Bell and
other, all the telecommunications companies were mandated by the CRTC to
produce accessible billing statements. This work went on to include other
utility companies like the cable companies and I believe Ontario Hydro. (may
need to verify)
His work was not just limited to filing actions against companies for not
providing accessible services. He was committed to accessible travel and
transportation and guide dog access as well. As a result, he went to a
places around the word including the far North beyond the artic circle but
also visited Israel and Jordan as well. With all of this, he worked to be
part of the work that still goes on to ensure better access and service from
inter provincial bus services and via rail.
With all of this, he wanted to share his story with anyone who was willing
to listen and learn. His belief was that only through teaching and guiding
people would ensure we continue the work of achieving equality and that
people were completely aware of their rights and responsibilities in our
daily lives and that we were best equipped to fully participate in all
activities no matter the challenge for gaining access to places and
I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to email@example.com
Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
Learn more about Author Donna Jodhan and her campaign against bullying at
Now you can enjoy Donna’s detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting
And now her weekly podcast at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
From recipes to apps, and from 5 minutes mysteries to tips for entrepreneurs
and alerts on the latest scams
Available for download from iTunes and Google music play.
You can follow me on twitter @accessibleworld
and chat with me on Skype at habsfan0526.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authordonnajodhan
Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.