“The white cane is a symbol of equality, independence and pride”
The Canadian Federation of the Blind came together to fight the social and economic inequality of blind people in Canada. We came together to celebrate the achievements of blind people. If blind people have proper training, a positive attitude, and genuine opportunity, we believe blindness need not be a handicap, but is just one among myriads of normal characteristics.
The high unemployment rate and lack of opportunities for blind Canadians are not due to our blindness; they are due to social and economic inequalities in society. Like the civil rights movement, we will work to establish positive and productive roles for blind people in this country. We will work to educate the public. We will work to change what it means to be blind.
* We are not an organization speaking on behalf of blind people; rather we are an organization of blind people speaking for ourselves.
* We believe that blindness is not a handicap, but a characteristic.
* We believe it is respectable to be blind.
* We believe that with training and opportunity, blind people can compete on terms of equality with their sighted peers.
* We believe the real problem of blindness is not the lack of eyesight. The real problem is the lack of positive information about blindness and the achievements of blind people.
* To provide positive public education about blindness in order to improve the social and employment opportunities of blind people.
* To create and maintain initiatives to improve the lives and the status of blind people.
* To encourage a model of service delivery in which blindness-specific programs empower and are accountable to blind people.
* To support legislation that protects the rights of blind people, and to provide support and advocacy in cases of discrimination against the blind.
* To provide Federation settings in which blind children, youth and adults have access to mentoring with successful blind role-models.
* To act as a community resource for knowledge and positive attitudes about blindness for the benefit of teachers and parents of blind children and youth in order to enhance their social and educational opportunities.
* To increase self-confidence, travel skills, Braille literacy and independence in blind people.
* To provide opportunities for blind people to meet for support, networking and self-improvement.
“As we begin to move toward first-class citizenship (especially, as we insist upon our rights), we will inevitably provoke opposition; but we will also inspire understanding and respect”
What is the Canadian Federation of the Blind
The Canadian Federation of the Blind is a not-for-profit, grassroots organization made up of blind people speaking for ourselves.
Members of the Canadian Federation of the Blind are also members at large of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in the United States, the largest and most influential movement of blind people in the world.
Membership in the Canadian Federation of the Blind provides a common meeting ground and a sense of participation and confidence. Members gather together at annual conventions and local chapter meetings to share ideas and strategies, to pass resolutions to further the cause and to unite in our common struggle for equality.
“There is a polite conspiracy of silence about the actual abilities of blind people”
Who are the members
We are lawyers, psychologists, teachers, office workers, writers, students, mothers and fathers. We have as many talents, jobs, skills, flaws and weaknesses as does the sighted population. We encompass a range of humanity, young, old, white, black, First Nations, men, women and children