May 28, 2015 the Senate of Canada declared June as Deafblind Awareness Month
across Canada. Since that momentous day, people who are deafblind and
intervenor service providers have come together to establish a National
Deafblind Awareness Committee (NDBAC). The NDBAC is made up of members from
across the country and I am very honoured to be one of the committee members.
The goal of this committee is to “share information about the unique disability
of deafblindness and the supports available through intervenor services with
members of the public”. The committee is also interested in planning and
executing an annual deafblind awareness campaign each June that is celebrated
from coast to coast. A new logo was created to reflect this ambitious goal.
the Project Lead for CNIB’s Emergency Intervenor Services Program, awareness of
the needs of people who are deafblind and the services that CNIB provides is
one of my job requirements. I have done outreach in the community promoting
awareness of the emergency service but this is an area I really need to focus on
for this year. The challenge is making the information relevant and easy to
remember. If a first responder receives training on our service and then does
not encounter a person who is deafblind for a long time after the training, the
information may be forgotten or difficult to recall.
people who are deafblind need to self-advocate and explain what their
accommodation needs are and what intervenor services means. One of the reasons
the AODA was established here in Ontario was to educate the public about the rights
of people with disabilities and their accommodation needs, so that people who
required support did not have to continually explain what their accessibility
needs were every time. With the deafblind population, their needs are probably
least known and understood by the general public. The AODA training which is
mandatory for all organizations in Ontario only touches the surface on what
organizations need to know about making services accessible for this group. I’m
working on some new outreach strategies to educate organizations about our
emergency intervenor service.
National Deafblind Awareness Month promotion and other community awareness campaigns
are so important as it brings agencies, clients and the general public together
and reaches out to people who may not have been approached by one particular
agency or by one particular individual.
Deafblind Coalition of Ontario offered to use their website as a location to
post NDBAC events taking place across Canada this June. Visit their website to
read to learn more about the exciting events taking place: www.dbco.ca.
Deafblind Services will participate at Junefest, which will take place on
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at the Ralph Thornton Centre, 765
Queen St. E., Toronto, ON. Visit the Canadian Helen Keller Centre’s website for
more information on this event. www.chkc.org I will be attending
Junefest and will have information available about the Emergency Intervenor
am also organizing an information meeting and social for clients during
Deafblind Awareness Month. This event will take place on Tuesday June 28, 2016
at the CNIB London office from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. At this meeting, clients
will have an opportunity to meet our new Provincial Director of Deafblind
Services, Sherry Malcho and receive updates on the Emergency Intervenor
Services Program review and interesting developments with the Ontario
Intervenor Services Human Resource Strategy (www.intervenorservices.ca ). For more
information on the London event contact Janine Tucker: Janine.firstname.lastname@example.org