The "Public Eye"

Noun. public eyepublic eye - a focus of public attention; "he enjoyed being in the limelight"; "when Congress investigates it brings the full glare of publicity to the agency".

Say what you will, the news is what counts when it is information you need.

I am extremely humbled and honoured to have been chosen as the CCB's 2017 person of the year!

Canadian Council of the Blind Presents Donna Jodhan with the 2017 Person of the Year Award

The Canadian Council of the Blind is extremely pleased to present the 2017 Person of the Year Award to Donna Jodhan. Ms. Jodhan is the founder of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières. She is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, audio mystery writer, podcaster, and law student. She lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. Ms. Jodhan has showed strength and determination throughout her life.

“As a young woman, I took nothing for granted and my parents and my grandmother drummed it into my head that the world owed me nothing,” she said. “I had to earn everything that I wanted. My blindness was not to be used as an excuse and it was with this handbook of learning in mind that my mind was made up at an early age that in order to live a happy life I had to fight for my independence.”

In 2012, after a six year long legal battle, she and her supporters scored a landmark victory against the Canadian Government over their inaccessible websites; that is, websites that were not accessible to blind Canadians because of web content that is difficult to read, PDF files that cannot be read by blind persons, and inaccessible forms. In short, websites where blind Canadians had to depend on sighted help to obtain information in a timely manner.

She has been an entrepreneur since 2000 and the president of her company, Sterling Creations, since its inception. Before becoming and entrepreneur, she worked at the Royal Bank of Canada, IBM Canada, and the Bank of Montreal.

Ms. Jodhan is a graduate of McGill University of Montreal with a master's degree in Business administration and a diploma in management. She holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Concordia University of Montreal, a Microsoft systems engineering certification, and a Novelle network administration certification. In addition, she is a certified French to English translator with said certification from the University of Toronto.

She is an author and has written 3 books: Secrets to Financial Success, Untapped Wealth, and Untapped Wealth Discovered. She is also the author of the Detective DJ Crime Crushers series - three seasons and a 12 Days of Christmas box set.

Some of her awards include:

  • The council of Canadians with disabilities (CCD) National award 2010. Nominated by Citizens with Disabilities of Ontario. In recognition of her valued contribution to the Disability Rights movement in Canada.
  • Backbone Magazines 2010 top 15 Canadian Digital Media professionals.
  • City of Toronto 2008 Unsung Hero Award: On the International Day of People with Disabilities 2008, Ms. Jodhan was among eight citizens honored and recognized for "Outstanding Achievements and Contributions".

She is a past president and second vice president of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) and a past communications director of Canadian Blind Sports Association. Ms. Jodhan believes in strong social and advocacy organizations such as the CCB and AEBC.

“These organizations are instruments that can be utilized to have our voices heard,” she states. “Strength lies in numbers and organizations such as these can offer great volume in voice as opposed to individuals.”

When she is not working or writing, she spends her time with her family and she takes time to pursue some of her favorite pastimes; ice skating, playing chess and blind tennis, composing on her electronic keyboard, cooking, and enjoying nature.

When asked about what she looks forward to for the future of Canadians who are blind and vision impaired, she responded, “I am looking forward to the enactment of a Canadians with disabilities Act,” she said. “This will be truly a great base from which we can build meaningful strategies.”