Hi GTT Program Blog Ottawa participants. I forward this as a potential opportunity for those Ottawa residents who might be interested in participating face to face.
French to follow
En français à suivre
My name is Hillary Lorimer, I am a researcher working for the Canadian Digital Service. We are a government organization that designs and develops online government services. We are currently working with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on a new service that will help low-income Canadians access the tax benefits they are entitled to.
We want to make this service as accessible as possible. We are looking for people who are blind or low-vision who would be interested in trying an early version of this service and providing feedback on their experience.
We are scheduling research sessions starting early to mid-February. The sessions will take approximately one hour and we are offering 50 dollars as compensation for 1 hour of your time.
You do not need to have low income to participate and the research session will have no impact on your personal tax return.
If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please get in touch by calling Hillary Lorimer at 613-402-3085. You can also send an email to Hillary.Lorimer@tbs-sct.gc.ca. We get back to you with more details about the research.
Giving the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) your contact information is completely voluntary.
If you respond to this opportunity, your email address, phone number, language preference, and name will be collected by CDS and CRA. This personal information will only be used to contact you about the study.
This personal information will not be used for any “administrative purposes”. This means that it will not be used to make any decisions that affect your access to Government of Canada services.
CDS is a program within the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) of Canada.
The collection and use of your personal information by TBS is authorized by the Financial Administration Act.
The collection and use of your personal information by CRA is authorized by the Income Tax Act.
Collection and use of your personal information for correspondence is in accordance with the federal Privacy Act. Under the Privacy Act, individuals have the right of protection, access to and correction or notation of their personal information.
Opportunité de participer à la recherche : Aidez à rendre les avantages fiscaux accessibles
Je m’appelle Hillary Lorimer. Je suis chercheure et je travaille pour le Service Numérique Canadien. C’est une organisation gouvernementale qui simplifie et rend plus accessible les services publics. Nous travaillons avec l’agence du revenu du Canada (ARC) sur un nouveau service qui permettra aux Canadiens qui ont un faible revenu d’accéder aux avantages fiscaux auxquels ils ont droit, plus facilement.
Nous voulons rendre ce nouveau service le plus accessible possible. Nous cherchons donc des gens qui ont 18 ans et plus et qui s’identifient comme étant aveugles ou malvoyant pour nous donner leur avis sur la version numérique du service en utilisant des appareils d’assistance, incluant les lecteurs d’écran.
Nous planifions organiser ces séances du début jusqu’à la mi-février. La séance durera une heure et nous vous donnerons 50 dollars pour cette heure de votre temps.
Si vous utilisez des appareils d’assistance, que vous êtes intéressé ou que vous voulez simplement en apprendre plus, appeler 343.548.9468 . Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un courriel àclementine.firstname.lastname@example.orgNous vous donnerons plus de détails par la suite.
Merci beaucoup et il nous fera plaisir d’entrer en contact avec vous!
Le fait de fournir vos coordonnées à l’équipe de recherche est entièrement volontaire.
En répondant à cette opportunité, vous comprenez que votre adresse électronique, votre numéro de téléphone, votre langue de préférence et votre nom seront recueillis par le SNC. Ces renseignements personnels ne seront utilisés que pour communiquer avec vous au sujet de l’étude.
Ces renseignements personnels ne seront pas utilisés à des « fins administratives ». Cela veut dire que vos renseignements ne serviront pas à prendre des décisions qui ont une incidence sur votre accès aux services du gouvernement du Canada.
Le SNC est un programme au sein du Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor (SCT) du Canada.
La collecte et l’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels par le SCT sont autorisées en vertu de la Loi sur la gestion des finances publiques
La collecte et l’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels par l’ARC sont autorisées par la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu
La collecte et l’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels aux fins de correspondance sont conformes à la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels du gouvernement fédéral. En vertu de la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels, vous avez droit à la protection, à l’accès et à la correction ou à la mention de vos renseignements personnels.
Toute information personnelle qui pourra être recueillie est décrite dans les Fichiers de renseignements personnels ordinaires qui figurent sous Activités de sensibilisation.
Si vous avez des commentaires ou des préoccupations concernant le présent énoncé ou vos droits en matière de protection de vos renseignements personnels, vous pouvez contacter :
Le coordonnateur de l’accès à l’information et de la protection des renseignements personnels du SCT
Courriel : ATIP.AIPRP@tbs-sct.gc.ca
Téléphone : 1 866 312-1511
Vous avez également la possibilité de déposer une plainte auprès du Commissariat à la protection de la vie privée du Canada quant à la façon dont vos renseignements personnels sont traités.
The Albert A. Ruel Road to Blindness
A 21 year old man stood on the beach at the Sproat Lake Provincial Park with friends early in May of 1977, and upon gazing across the lake found the Gulf Oil sign missing from the dock-side filling station there. When this fact was shared with his companions they glanced at him with puzzled looks and said, “No Albert, the sign is still there”.
That was the beginning of a road through confusion, anger, isolation, loneliness and discovery for me. It all began with a visit to a local Optometrist who could see that my vision wasn’t right, but that corrective lenses wouldn’t help. He then referred me to a General Practitioner, where I received a clean bill of health and an additional referral. This time to an Ophthalmologist. Immediately upon peering through the dilated pupils, Dr. McKerricher was able to see the problem, Retinal Vasculitis.
Now, you would think that all would start to improve at this point, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, CNIB, from 1918 until 1985 only served the needs of people who were “Legally Blind”, a level of vision loss I wouldn’t reach until November of 1979. The words of Dr. McKerricher still echo in my mind today, “Albert, I don’t know what has caused this and nothing we’ve tried is helping to stop it, and you’re not blind enough for me to refer you to CNIB”!
In the middle of this transition from 20/20 vision to “Legally Blind” came the Motor Vehicle Branch and it’s rules of the road. On August 3, 1978 I drove a car for the last time as my vision had reached the level at which operating a motor vehicle became too dangerous, further intensifying feelings of fear, isolation and anger. Sadly, through this period the only available guidance and support was through family and friends, but not the experienced professionals I needed at the time. Although these support systems are critically important they can often be smothering and facilitating, rather than encouraging and supportive.
With gratitude, and some trepidation I finally was able to access CNIB services in November of 1979, and the world opened up then. There I was able to meet other blind people and receive the daily living and mobility skills required to live independently in this sighted world. I learned elementary braille and began to discover technology as necessary tools of independence.
Thankfully, in 1985 CNIB’s National Board altered the course of service to visually impaired Canadians forever. They added a third prong to their Mission Statement, “To promote sight enhancement services”. This opened the door to all Canadians who were beginning to lose sight, as well as those who had a fear of vision loss to access the full range of CNIB Support and Rehabilitation Services. So now, whether it’s someone’s Mother who is experiencing Macular Degeneration, or an Uncle experiencing the affects of Glaucoma, all have the ability to seek information, guidance and support as all involved deal with the fear and anxiety that accompanies such life altering experiences.
With the help of professional Rehabilitation Workers and Employment Counselors I was able to continue traveling independently within my own community, and even more remarkably anywhere in the world I desired to go. I managed to attend College in Nanaimo and New Westminster, as well as traveling to the Mayo Clinic and to doctor’s appointments in Nanaimo and Vancouver without assistance. All of this while living with some usable vision, but not yet needing a white cane for travel.
During the mid 1980’s I was a stay-at-home Dad and did all that was required of that challenging work, from changing diapers to preparing meals, and from cutting the grass to maintaining our home. I even took a woodworking course through Alberni’s Adult Education program and built and restored several pieces of furniture. Of course the 1958 Chevy Impala in the garage was my pride and joy, and I devised ways to do much of the work it required.
I also joined and participated in many community activities, like the local Car Club, and a disability support group that catered to the needs of people with many different disabilities. Of course, continued participation in family life remained of critical importance through this period.
In 1989 a secondary condition began to extinguish the vision that remained, which set into motion a new stream of professional rehabilitation services and supports. By the spring of 1990 Glaucoma had turned out the lights completely, and the darkness I had feared so desperately was upon me. Strangely though, I found this to be a great relief rather than the tragedy I had imagined it would be.
Through several professional rehabilitation sessions, and by joining peer mentoring and advocacy groups I was able to come to terms with this strange feeling, and to learn additional skills and strategies for living with no visual cues of the world around me. This is also about the time that I decided to explore CNIB as an employer, and to see if I could provide the sort of guidance and support to others that had been my pleasure to receive. Those 14 years were a wonderful experience of ongoing discovery for me, as teaching may be the best way to solidify one’s own learning. In other words, those we assist through this transition in turn help us all as we develop best practices and improved service.
Following a 14 year career with CNIB I also served the blind community as the first National Equality Director employed by the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), and as a Basic Computer Literacy Trainer with the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). Most recently I have enjoyed coordinating the CCB’s newly launched Get Together with Technology Program in Western Canada, which brings to the fore my passion for assistive technology and the power of peer mentoring.
Without sight I have continued to travel far and wide, with trips to Conventions of and for the Blind in Anaheim California and Melbourne Australia, as well as to many events and activities in Toronto and Vancouver. Of course my work has taken me to many communities throughout Western Canada, and most particularly nearly all regions of BC and on Vancouver Island. None of which would have been possible without the services and support of organizations like CCB, AEBC and CNIB.
For most people blindness generates a fear of extended movement, both within one’s home and community, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Independence comes from personal desire and increased skill. Many community organizations can assist with both through their mentoring and skill development programs. I remember always that life has little to do with what happens to me and 100% what I do about/with it. There is a quote I like to use from the National Federation of the Blind in the USA, “With adequate skill development and opportunity blindness can be reduced to the level of a nuisance”, and nothing could be closer to the truth.
Helen Keller said many years ago, “There is nothing more tragic than someone who has sight, but no vision”. She also challenged the Lions Clubs of the world to become the “Knights of the Blind, and to take up the crusade against darkness”. I too joined a Lions Club in 1992 and continue to work on the crusade that Helen Keller began in the 1920-s.
View all posts by Albert Ruel