Minister Qualtrough highlights the importance of vision health and supports for Canadians with vision loss at the Canadian Vision Teacher 2016 Conference

RICHMOND, BC, May 6, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and Member for Delta, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough emphasized that supports for Canadians with vision loss are key to an inclusive society. At the Canadian Vision Teacher "Seeing Beyond the Horizon" Conference the Minister spoke about the important work that the British Columbia Vision Teachers' Association has done in teaching, advocating and supporting students with vision loss for the past 30 years.

Minister Qualtrough also recognized that May is Vision Health Month. Vision Health Month is a national awareness initiative designed to educate Canadians about their vision health and eliminate avoidable sight loss across the country. She also highlighted the steps the Government is taking to help those with vision loss, illustrated through the recent tabling of Bill C-11 "An Act to Amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities). This Bill will lead to the signature of the Marrakesh treaty, which will give Canadians greater access to alternate formats of works, including braille and large-print books. 

Finally, Minister Qualtrough reiterated that in the coming months she will be leading an engagement exercise with provinces, territories, municipalities, stakeholders and Canadians that will lead to the passage of federal accessibility legislation.


"Congratulations to the British Columbia Vision Teachers' Association for everything that you're doing in support of young Canadians with vision loss. Thank you for making sure all children have a great start in life and have an equal chance to succeed."
– Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

"The Steering Committee for Seeing Beyond the Horizon 2016 is proud to collaborate with partners such as the Government of Canada in its efforts to improve the lives of children and families.  Through community participation and engagement, we can all make a difference for infants, children, youth and young adults who are blind, deafblind, or partially sighted, including those who have additional disabilities, and their families."  
Marilyn Rushton, Chair, Canadian Vision Teacher Conference 2016

Associated Links

The Marrakesh Treaty



Vision Health Month

CNIB's Vision Health Month's objective is to help protect people's vision. Approximately 75 percent of vision loss is preventable or treatable. With the support of fellow Canadians, this awareness campaign can have a significant impact on preventing vision health problems whilst providing support and treatments for those with them.

British Columbia Vision Teachers' Association

The British Columbia Vision Teachers' Association has been dedicated to teaching, advocating and supporting students with visual impairments throughout British Columbia for the past 30 years. The executive and members of BCVTA work actively in a variety of different areas:

  • to represent students with visual impairments to the Ministry of Education, advocating on their behalf
  • to provide representation to committees such as Provincial Resource Center for the Visually Impaired, Braille Priorities, and POB (Provincial Organizations in the Field of Blindness)
  • to support and contribute resources and funds to conferences relating to the education of students with visual impairments
  • to provide communication and information through the circulation of BCVTA executive minutes and local chapter minutes several times each year


The Marrakesh Treaty establishes international norms to help facilitate access for persons who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled to published works in accessible formats (e.g. braille, audio and large print books) by requiring Contracting Parties to allow for the making, distributing, importing, and exporting of adapted materials, while ensuring that the interests of copyright owners are sufficiently safeguarded.

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Ashley Michnowski, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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