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Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers

Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers (ASIC) is an independent, consumer-driven advocacy coalition that addresses equitable access affecting British Columbian residents who are blind, deafblind or sight-impaired. Many of our affiliate organizations are associated with widely-recognized provincial or national bodies serving the nearly three-quarter million BC residents who are affected by one of the four most common eye diseases which could potentially lead to vision loss. ASIC’s primary advocacy action plan focuses upon the 64,500 British Columbians who are currently blind, deafblind or sight-impaired.

Our mission is to collaborate with affiliate organizations and community partners to increase awareness and solidify understanding of sight-impairment issues. Our aim is to build inclusive communities for people with sight-impairment by promoting equitable access and supporting independent living.

ASIC retiring after 18 years

At a meeting held the morning of Saturday January 17th, 1998, with 20 members of the blind community present, the concept of a consumer-driven advocacy coalition was discussed and a few short weeks later, Advocates for Sight-Impaired Consumers was born. After 20 years of providing advocacy services for the benefit of British Columbians and other Canadians, after engaging a total of 122 individuals to serve on its volunteer board at different times, and after undergoing a minor amendment to its brand in 2007, the Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers Board has elected to wind down its entire operation effective May 31st, 2017. In doing so, it leaves behind a legacy of independence and access initiatives that will benefit persons who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted for generations to come. You can read this list in full and more about the changes happening to this website here at Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers calls it a day.

Timely issues of community interest

What kinds of access we've helped create

Since 1998, ASIC has approached all levels of government, public and private corporations and service providers to create awareness of the myriad of challenges and barriers impacting the independence of people who are blind, deafblind or sight-impaired. Often, service providers are utterly unaware of barriers they themselves create, and truly do not know how to make their services or venues more accessible. This is how ASIC can help.

Our philosophy encompasses both an understanding of these barriers and a proven ability to innovate collaboratively in order to reach reasonable alternatives to these barriers, resulting in improved access and independence for those of us living with vision loss.

We've successfully worked towards accessible prescription medication information. Why? Getting properly-identifiable medication in a timely manner from pharmacies can be a serious challenge for blind, deafblind and sight-impaired consumers. It's so serious that we have had two complaints before the BC Human Rights Tribunal since June 2014.

Learn more about living with this challenge!  See ASIC's recent story — Sight-Impairment a Health Hazard at the Pharmacy — featured in the Winter 2015 issue of Transition magazine, courtesy of the Disability Alliance BC.  A text-only version of this article can be found here.

A positive new milestone has been reached in regards to the ongoing challenge of receiving accessible prescription medication. Read about it at Blind Advocate Reaches Settlement with Shoppers Drug Mart.

Find out more about some past challenges we have successfully resolved through thousands of hours of volunteer efforts:

We're doing even more than before

ASIC receives requests for assistance from its constituents on a regular basis. While it’s a very big challenge to keep this site current with every request we receive, we do our best to regularly update the status of our active major projects online. Best way to learn about what makes ASIC tick — and how your world will evolve — is to sign up for our e-posts, Facebook and Twitter updates.

What is the right response to new encounters?

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