Monday April 7 2014

Access for sight impaired consumers Board Meeting Minutes

Date: Monday April 7, 2014
Location:  CNIB Boardroom, 5055 Joyce Street, Vancouver, BC
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Attendees: Rob Sleath - Chair, David Neufeld – Vice-Chair, Laura Mackenrot, Amy Amantea, Ann McNabb, Cathy Stuckenberg, Louise Johnson, Susan Flanagan, Shawn Marsolais

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM and Laura Mackenrot’s donation to cover the cost of refreshments was acknowledged and appreciation extended to her.

Agenda - Two items were added under Other Business:
8.1 Human Rights Complaint Accessible Prescriptions
8.2 CRTC Town Hall Teleconference - Louise Johnson

Motion to approve the January 20 2014 minutes - Starting time amended to 4:00 Pm. moved as amended  - Laura Mackenrot, seconded - Cathy Stuckenberg. Carried.

Treasurer’s Report –Financial statement was presented as per the confidential documents included in the board package. Motion to receive the report as presented. Moved - Susan Flanagan. Carried.

Bylaw Amendments – Move by Laura Mackenrot that Article II, Section 3, paragraph b) be amended to read:

An alphabetical list  of nominees, eligible to fill Director-at-Large or Director-with-Portfolio vacancies,  shall be presented at the annual general meeting by the Nominating Committee or other such body as may be authorized by the Board. Members shall select their nominee(s) of choice by marking a paper ballot with the aid of an accessible template.

Laura Mackenrot further moved that item d) be added under Article II, Section 3, paragraph b) which will read:

Where a Member requests a secret vote be held, two scrutineers, one or both of whom will be sighted or sight impaired, shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Members.
Laura Mackenrot further moved that Article II, Section 4’s title be amended to read:
Election of Directors with Portfolio

And that item A) be amended to read:

Directors with Portfolio shall be elected by the Board at the annual general meeting.

And that item B) be amended to read:

An alphabetical list  of nominees, eligible to fill Director-at-Large or Director-with-Portfolio vacancies,  shall be presented at the annual general meeting by the Nominating Committee or other such body as may be authorized by the Board. Members shall select their nominee(s) of choice by marking a paper ballot with the aid of an accessible template.

Laura Mackenrot further moved that item d) be added under Article II, Section 4, which will read:
Where a Member requests a secret vote be held, two scrutineers, one or both of whom will be sighted or sight impaired, shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Members.
All foregoing motions seconded  - Ann McNabb. Carried.

Summary Report from the Chair – See Appendix A - When circulating this report, it was requested the URL for ASIC’s new web site be removed as we are not yet ready for a public launch. And further, any reference to the pharmacies targeted under our Human Rights action be redacted.

Compass Card - TransLink is monitoring new card activation. Recipients of the new integrated cards are reminded to activate their card within 80 days upon receipt. It is recommended initial activation be done at one of the fare gates at a skyTrain or Canada Line station.

Disability White Paper Consultation - ASIC has responded to the Disability White Paper Consultation with a written submission on March 11, 2014. Appreciation was extended to all board members for their contribution to our response. A copy was included in the meeting package and board members are welcome to distribute to any party requesting copy of same.

Review of Outstanding Action Items

Susan Flanagan: Investigate short term investment opportunities and research options for savings/chequeing account. Prepare a written report for May meeting package.
Susan Flanagan: Obtain and pay web hosting invoice for the months of April through June.

All: Write to Minister James Moore in regards to expediting
Federal Government ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. Feel Free to adapt the letter in the January meeting package as a template. Organizational representatives are encouraged to write on behalf of their respective organizations. Please forward a copy to the Chair for ASIC's files.

CNIB is selling compass Card holders. There are up to three parts for them one is for protecting the card, one part is to go around the neck and last is retractable Lanyard.  Amy Amantea makes lanyards that resembles jewelry made with beads or she will customize to your liking.

All: Identify at least one or more blindness related barriers that impact our community or you personally by April 22, 2014 and submit to the Chair for inclusion in the May board package. Thank you to all board members who have already submitted suggestions.

Appreciation was extended to all board members who put forth nominees for consideration at our upcoming AGM.

Laura Mackenrot /Amy Amantea – There is no current bylaws which address public sidewalk art work at present for either Vancouver or the three North Shore districts. Amy Amantea reported The North Shore Advisory Committee on Disability Issues (ACDI) group will be preparing guidelines for consideration by the three North Shore Municipalities.

David Neufeld joined meeting at 4:55 PM
Motion to adjourn the general meeting so as to conduct the business of the annual general meeting. Moved - Laura Mackenrot, seconded - Cathy Stuckenberg. Carried.

General meeting was reconvened at 5:30 PM and called to order by the Chair.

UEB Party - Louise Johnson reported on a recent event held at CNIB designed to introduce interested parties to the Unified English Braille code. The new UEB code contains several improvements such as different brackets and the period is the same regardless of where it is used. There are some aspects which long time braille users expressed some concerns about. Braille Literacy Canada has dedicated several pages on their web site to the changes in this new UEB code; refer to http://www.canadianbrailleauthority.ca/home

CRTC Town Hall Teleconference -  Louise Johnson reported on a recent teleconference in which she participated wherein callers were able to ask questions of the CRTC, AMI and AEBC representatives relating to concerns by people who are blind or sight impaired regarding their inability to access television hardware and various broadcasting issues. The CRTC will be holding hearings later in 2014 to examine issues regarding accessibility in the television broadcasting industry.

Canadian Equitable Library Access Advisory Committee - Ann McNab is now a member of this advisory committee. As of April 1, 2014 CNIB will not be enrolling new clients for library services but rather referring them to their local libraries. Existing clients as of March 31, 2014 will see no change in library service from CNIB which will continue to catalogue and distribute alternate format material through standard channels. Ontario and provinces east have bought into the CELA program while the western provinces (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) are supporting NNELS (National Network of Equitable Library Services.)  We will extend an invitation to Betty Nobel to present an unbiased comparison between CELA and NNELS at our May meeting.

Shawn Marsolais departed meeting:

Human rights complaint regarding accessible prescriptions – Included in the meeting package was the correspondence with but one national retailer which has pharmacy outlets in all their stores. Following discussion of this particular initiative and that with two other pharmacy outlets, it was moved that the Chair, on behalf of Access for Sight Impaired consumers proceed with a human rights complaint against all three parties. Moved - Louise Johnson, seconded - Ann McNabb.

Following some questions,

  • Single approach or all three parties collectively?
  • Representative complaint or individual complaint?
  • How will the results of a complaint in BC play out in other provinces?

 The answers to which will need to be addressed by our legal counsel. The Chair will discuss with legal counsel and report back in May. Motion carried.

Member Feed Back
Ann McNab reported CCB BC-Yukon Division’s Annual general meeting will be held Monday April 28, 2014 at the Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton in Langley, BC. Doors open at 8:30 AM and the formal meeting will commence at 9:00 AM. Lunch is available for $15. Rob Sleath is presenting an afternoon workshop on advocacy. 

Louise Johnson reported AEBC – Metro Vancouver chapter recently held its board elections.  The AEBC National Conference will be held in Ottawa April 25, to 27 2014

Next Meeting – Tentatively scheduled for Monday May 12, 2014 commencing at 3:00 PM through 6:00 PM.

Motion to terminate the meeting at 6:00 PM. Moved - Cathy Stuckenberg. Carried.

Appendix A
Date: April, 2014

TO: Members – Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers Board
FROM: Rob Sleath, Chair – Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers
RE: Summary report of activities

This report is provided as a summary of the activities which have taken place since the Board’s last meeting on January 20, 2014.

The writer begins by extending appreciation to Louise Johnson, Amy Amantea, Laura Mackenrot, Susan Flanagan and Anne McNabb for attending the Government’s Disability White Paper face-to-face consultations in their respective communities during January and February. Personally, I found the initial January 15 consultation to be a bit disorganized. However, subsequent face-to-face consultations were much improved, less time consuming and more efficient in their organizational structure and delivery. I trust others who also attended the January 15 meeting found subsequent community consultations to be similarly improved. Further, I appreciate the dedication and commitment by all members of our board who contributed suggestions and ideas toward the completion of our written submission in response to this rare broad community consultation. A copy of ASIC’s submission is included in your meeting package for circulation to anyone who might request same.

On March 28, the Guide and Assistance Dog Act Committee (which includes representation from both ASIC and CNIB) met with Mr. Toby Louie and Ms. Judy Klima from the Ministry of Justice in addition to Mr. Raymond Fieltsch and Mr. Ian Ross from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. The meeting was kindly facilitated by MLA and House Speaker  Linda Reid. At our meeting, Mr. Louie explained that the Ministry has some concerns with our committee’s proposals. While Mr. Louie and Ms. Klima offered some constructive suggestions on how it might be possible to move forward on some of our committee’s recommendations, (possibly through regulation and policy), it was agreed that we should write to Minister Anton to seek her input. We have written Minister Anton to request a face-to-face meeting at her earliest convenience. In the interim, Mr. Louie and Ms. Klima will draft proposed policy and regulation text for our committee’s review and evaluation by late May. As a footnote, it was interesting to learn from Mr. Raymond Fieltsch that 12 – 15 individuals/organizations (ASIC and CNIB being specifically named) had requested revisions to the current BC Guide Animal Act during the Disability White Paper consultations.

Preliminary research has begun to assess the likelihood of a successful outcome regarding a representative human rights complaint against two national and one regional pharmacy chain.
Our complaint would focus on their unwillingness to provide prescription information in a format accessible to people with print disabilities. As further information is received from legal counsel, the writer will keep the board well advised and seek the board’s approval prior to proceeding.

As a follow up to our successful human rights complaint against the City of Richmond in August 2010, the writer has instructed legal counsel to request a itemized description of all new and upgraded APS installations in the city since the signing of the HR settlement in 2010. APS installations during the past 12 months have been non-existent or minimal at best and follow up through legal counsel will serve to remind the City that we are still watching their progress on this file very carefully.

On March 29, the writer represented ASIC during a teleconference of the Consumer Access Group (CAG.) Of subsequent note were two items:

  • a motion supporting the circulation of CAG minutes of all meetings from March 29 2014 onward when requested; and
  •  notification that revised Position Statements from CAG’s November/December meeting would follow shortly.
    At time of writing, said Position Statements have not yet been received. Either way, the writer thinks it best we delay their approval until our next regular meeting so as to include the new members of our board.

As we prepare for our upcoming annual general meeting, the writer extends appreciation to Amy Amantea, Susan Flanagan, Louise Johnson Anne McNabb and Cathy Stuckenberg for identifying potential nominees. The majority of the board has indicated their preference to cast ballots for individual nominees rather than for an entire slate. This will require an amendment to our bylaws which we can address at our regular meeting on April 7. Eligible nominees are:
Amy Amantea - Representative - CNIB
Karim Damani - Member-at-large
Louise Johnson - Representative - AEBC
Quyn Lê - Member-at-large
Reed Poynter - Member-at-large
Cathy Stuckenberg - Representative – WAPVI
Angie Swain – Member-at-large
Subject to bylaw amendments, members will be given the opportunity to mark their ballot independently and privately using an accessible template.

Extensive work has been undertaken on our new web site in preparation for the public launch anticipated for early June.
While some content has yet to be updated, you are welcome to visit the site. We have established a direct link to our own Facebook business page which will permit virtually anyone to post their comments, thoughts or opinions to the page without anonymity. However, we will be monitoring the page and removing any comments which are found to be defamatory, inappropriate due to crude language, insulting, offensive or far outside the subject of blindness-related issues. In the days and weeks ahead, we will be establishing a twitter account and linking our e-mail address to our domain name. Once these final steps are taken including the updating of outdated information on the site, we will execute a public launch through our Communication Network announcing the new URL and inviting everyone to join our Facebook page and to follow us on Twitter.

Respectfully submitted,


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