<![CDATA[Greetings! I'm Scott Savoy, managing editor at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca and let us say a big hello to February. No harm in starting to wish for warmer spring days aye? Today, I have an insightful editorial to share with you written by our president Donna J. Jodhan. Donna is raising a very interesting question in her editorial and I hope that someone is listening. Enjoy your weekend. +++++++++++++++ Are we being left out? By Donna J. Jodhan In a June 2012 report that was circulated by a certain Federal Government department, employment barriers facing a certain group were outlined in detail and whereas the report stated that employment barriers facing persons with disabilities in Canada were focused on, nowhere in this report did I see a single reference to barriers being faced by blind Canadians. Over the years, as both a keen observer of matters pertaining to issues surrounding our blind community and as an advocate, I have witnessed several such incidents where issues and challenges pertaining to Blind persons have somehow either been ignored or forgotten. There appears to be a common belief/opinion shared by many experts in the disabilities studies area that too often, Blind persons and their barriers, challenges, opinions, concerns, and struggles are somehow lost in the pile. I have seen and heard several instances of ads being run on TV whereby programs for persons with disabilities are advertised and courses offered, but regrettably, Blind persons are somehow excluded from the offerings. A few years ago, I had a personal experience with an organization out in British Columbia where the organization in question placed ads on TV advertising their course offerings to persons with disabilities but when I inquired to see if they would accept Blind persons, they turned me down with reasons and excuses that were at best lame and illogical. I have had several complaints from clients and stories from friends of mine of conferences and meetings being held to discuss matters pertaining to persons with disabilities but alas! Some of the general reactions and comments were as follows. The challenges and barriers of Blind persons were never researched let alone considered. Organizers failed to provide texts of presentations and handouts in alternate formats. No provisions were made to lend assistance to Blind participants. Organizers were quite surprised to learn that Blind persons were part of the persons with disabilities community. Organizers were even surprised to learn that Blind persons were classified as having a disability. I am not going to belabor the point as I feel that you probably have the picture by now. In addition, I do not think that this problem is just a made in Canada one. It exists worldwide but it may be more prevalent in some countries than in others. What may help to address this problem/challenge may be such things as: More education about blindness, more awareness about issues, challenges, and concerns of Blind persons, and give Blind advocates and experts on blindness chances and opportunities to speak at conferences. I'm Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend. To reach me, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter. Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna's blogs and editorials. Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog A monthly editorial on issues on diversity http://www.diversityintheworkplace.ca Now you can enjoy Donna's detective DJ crime crushers Series by visiting http://www.donnajodhan.com]]>
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- Artificial or attitude? I am still trying to figure this one out and I have to admit that I may never be able to do so. This so-called artificial/attitude barrier has been around much longer than I and this is what it is. Too often, whenever someone with a disability is accompanied by either a friend or family member, they are asked if the accompanying person is a care giver. Recently, I was asked this same question when my friend accompanied me to a lab to have some tests done. The lab technician could not seem to stop herself in asking this question and she was very surprised when both my friend and I said in unison that we were friends. Why should she have been surprised? Was it that she along with so many others around us really do not expect us to have friends who accompany us to appointments? Or is it that they think we need care givers to escort us? Or is it simply that they just do not know what to ask? I do my best to be patient but sometimes I become frustrated and simply tell them that I do not need a care giver. Or I may just turn the question back to them and ask why do they think that my escort is my care giver? 99% of the time there is no response. One of my favourite memories is the day when my mom accompanied me to a pre op appointment and the medical assistant asked if mom was my nurse! On this occasion I could not help but burst into peals of laughter. My mom was speechless! After taking a-hold of myself I gently told the medical assistant that she was my mom; not my nurse. And very recently my friend and I accompanied my mom to the dentist and lo and behold! They thought my friend was a care giver and asked me for her phone number. When I told the staff that she was not our care giver but our friend they were shocked but at least had the manners to apologize. Just my two cents for today. Image: Five blue accessibility logos, hearing impaired, sign language, wheelchair, restroom with wheelchair and guide dog. To learn more about me as a sight loss coach visit www.donnajodhan.com
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