Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Winnipeg, Canada, elects first blind person to its City Council

From Global Winnipeg:

Ross Eadie (pictured) doesn't just want to be known as the first blind person to be elected to Winnipeg's city council.

“I don’t define myself as being blind," said Eadie. "I’m a family man. A person who lives in the community."

The new Mynarski councillor says his biggest challenge at city hall isn't his blindness, it's convincing the other sitting members to help solve his ward's problems.

That's not to say he won't have challenges at city hall because of his impairment.

Eadie lost his vision in his right eye at 9-years old when he was hit with a branch. He then went blind in his left eye at 24 after the prescription glasses he was wearing shattered during a scuffle.

Eadie uses audio software to maneuver on the Internet.

He says it will have to be installed on computers at city hall for him to participate in council and committee meetings. He will also need help reading last minute motions and information from community members, something that would require additional staff to help him.

City hall officials say they will find funding for extra staff if needed.