Our rights! Our future!

Greetings!  I’m Christian Robicheau, assistant editor at https://www.sterlingcreations.ca.  It is another gorgeous weekend shaping up and today I am pleased to introduce an editorial by our president Donna J. Jodhan.
Today, Donna has a message for us to pass on as the AGM conference of the AEBC fast approaches in Montreal. 
It is an inspirational message and I hope our readers find it to be so.
Have a great day and weekend.
Our rights!  Our future!   
As we approach the 2010 AEBC conference in Montreal, the time may have come for Blind, deaf/blind,  and vision impaired Canadians to do a bit of soul searching.  The theme of this year’s conference “Our rights, our future” could not be more appropriate and fitting words at this point in time.  It seems to me that based on what I have been observing, a new era may be upon us; the winds of change may just finally be blowing in our direction.
There is an infamous saying that goes something like this:  “Opportunity knocks only but once.”  Could this be our opportunity to reach out and grab our rights?  Could this be the time when we finally decide to take control of our destiny and our future?  Could this be the decision that we have all unconsciously made to stand up and be counted?    Are we ready to help make a difference and ensure that the future of our blind, deaf/blind, and vision impaired  kids will be a better and brighter future; one where more promises are fulfilled, where people are not afraid to speak up, and where we stand together for respect, commitment, and change?  Respect for ourselves, and for each other?
On May 03 2009, I had the privilege of being elected to the National board of the AEBC as your second vice president.  I was very humbled and very moved to have received this vote of confidence and since then I have had the opportunity to interact with so many new people and learn so many new things.  I have done my best to listen, learn, and understand and I have discovered that within our community, there is a wealth of skills, experience, and technically savvy persons; along with a growing group of doers and thinkers. 

There are battle scarred warriors who are still willing to share their knowledge.  Those who are willing to put themselves on the line if motivated enough, and finally the upcoming wiz kids who are just dying to assume their rightful places as voices and leaders of our organization.  However, we need to see more of our doers stepping forward to walk the long walk.
There will be many challenges to overcome, numerous bridges to build, and countless barriers to break down if we decide to legitimize our rights and protect our future.  It is going to be a lot of hard work but I have confidence that we can do it.  As one member so eloquently put it a few weeks ago; “Speak for yourselves.”  We need to remember that Rosa sat so that Martin could walk and that Martin walked so that Obama could run and that Obama ran so that the kids could fly!
The date of May 03 is a kind of a mixed bag for me.  Not only was I elected to be your second vice president on that date, but it was the date in 2007 when I lost my beloved big brother Robert to the clutches of cancer.  Almost every day I remember Robert’s last words to my sister-in-law and his doctor just before he left us; “Somebody do something!”  These are the words that our innocent blind, deaf/blind, and vision impaired kids are saying to us on a daily basis.  Those who are already here and those who will be here with us later on today, tomorrow, and onwards.  They are all innocent victims on the huge chessboard of life.  They have no one else to depend on but us; just as we had no one to depend on but those ahead of us and they did not let us down.  They fought for us and now we are obligated to continue the tradition.
So let us now go forward into the dawning of a new era!  It’s time for us to claim our rights and protect our future.  Stand up and be counted!  It’s time for us to believe in ourselves and if we believe then others will soon believe!
Best wishes for a wonderful spring and summer
Donna J; your second vice president
I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca 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
a weekly feature on important answers to consumers concerns
Weekly blogs for language professionals and accessibility consultants
A monthly editorial on issues on diversity
a monthly editorial on business issues and concerns
weekly editorials on accessibility issues in Canada
Editorials:  An International perspective on issues of accessibility and disability
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com (under the editorials section, an international perspective)
A general perspective on issues of access and accessibility

About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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