Times Colonist, February 18, 2011.
Blind people from across the province gathered Tuesday at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria for a historic demonstration to tell government and
the public There is an urgent need in B.C. and Canada for intensive training in blindness skills, such as braille, cane travel and adaptive technology. And, as a basic human right, it must be publicly funded and accountable -not offloaded to charity.
Many well-educated blind people need this type of blindness-specific training.
Three such blindness skills immersion training centres exist where people can go from six to nine months to get the best training available (Colorado
Center for the Blind; Louisiana Center for the Blind; and Blind Inc. in Minnesota).
The intensive immersion-based training at these centres equip graduates with necessary skills and self-confidence, vastly improving employability and
quality of life.
Blind people need to be given choice of where to attain this training. Presently, these three centres are where it’s at. But, government needs to
fund attendance. With proper training and opportunity blind people can compete on terms of equality with sighted peers.