NEW WESTMINISTER—CUPE National’s Equality representative for British Columbia, Conni Kilfoil, and Ontario CUPE member and Canadian Labour Congress director Ray Smith will be among the featured speakers at a unique public forum for the blind and people with low vision, to take place here on Saturday (February 23).
Sponsored by the New Westminster Lions Club in partnership with Century House Association - Low Vision Group, “Seeing Things Differently: Living with Low Vision” will address various issues of relevance to the vision-challenged.
Smith, a blind community outreach specialist at Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, will speak about workplace issues and legislation surrounding low vision and blindness. Kilfoil, who has delivered workshops throughout the province on the subject, will discuss the duty to accommodate in a labour environment. Shawn Marsolais, a niece of CUPE 409 president Marcel Marsolais, will present a Ms. Manners-style, “Top Ten Faux Pas” list in her talk about etiquette for the sighted when encountering those with low vision. Marsolais, who has two-per-cent vision, is the founder of Blind Beginnings and a high-level competitive athlete who represented Canada at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.
Also in attendance will be UBC and Vancouver General Hospital ophthalmologist Sunil Sachdeva, who will discuss recent medical research in the field. As well, a Mac Station representative will demonstrate the versatility of Apple computers for the low-visioned, while Shop CNIB (Canadian Institute for the Blind) and Aroga Technologies representatives will showcase some of the latest products designed to benefit people with low vision or blindness.
Each presentation will run from 15 to 20 minutes, followed by a 10-to-15 minute discussion. Various organizations, including CUPE BC, will have display booths at the forum.
“Seeing Things Differently” runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 23 at Century House (Douglas & Fir Rooms), 620 Eighth St., New Westminster. Admission is free.
See the event poster.