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Access for Sight Impaired Consumers (ASIC) is an independent, consumer-driven advocacy coalition registered under the BC Societies Act (Incorporation Number S0073154) that focuses on mitigating and removing inequitable access impacting British Columbian residents who are blind, partially sighted, or deafblind. Many of our partner organizations are associated with widely recognized provincial or national bodies serving the 65,000 BC residents who are affected by one of the four most common eye diseases which has already claimed or could lead to a total or partial sight loss. Our mission is to collaborate with these and other community partners to increase awareness and provide a better understanding of the systemic barriers, be they physical or attitudinal, that impact the independence and equitable access for those with sight loss. Our aim is to build inclusive communities for people with sight loss by promoting equitable access and supporting independent living through the removal of these systemic barriers.

ASIC returns after brief hiatus

Following 20 years of providing advocacy services for the benefit of British Columbians and other Canadians with sight loss, the Access for Sight Impaired Consumers Board elected to step back and take a much-needed break in May 2017. After a brief hiatus to recharge and regroup, Access for Sight Impaired Consumers returns as a non-profit society with a revitalized commitment to awareness and advocacy for the removal of systemic barriers affecting BC residents with sight loss.

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, partially sighted, or deafblind. Often, service providers are unaware of the barriers they themselves have created, 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 alternatives, resulting in improved access and independence for those of us living with sight loss.

  • Bill 6 – The Accessible British Columbia Act Receives First Reading in the BC Legislature
    On April 28 2021, the Honourable Nicolas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
    introduced (2:25.67) the
    Accessible British Columbia Act.
    When passed, this proposed legislation will set British Columbia on the path to a more accessible and inclusive province for people with disabilities. In particular, the proposed legislation will allow government to establish accessibility standards to support the identification, prevention, and removal of barriers to accessibility and inclusion.
    For more information about the proposed legislation, please visit the accessibility legislation web page where you will also find a plain language overview of the legislation and an ASL video overview.

    The BC Government wants to express its sincere thanks to the thousands of British Columbians who provided input on the development of the proposed legislation. Public engagement and consultation will remain a priority as government develops regulations and standards to address the barriers people with disabilities face.

  • Bill 6 – The Accessible British Columbia Act Receives Second Reading in the BC Legislature On April 29 2021 with debate on the bill taking place in the House on the afternoon of May 10, 2021 following a one week recess. All members who rose to comment on the Bill, regardless of political affiliation spoke in favour and support of the proposed legislation. Their comments are provided  in this Hansard recording of the
    House debate(03:35:34.59) Following which Minister Nicholas Simons moved second reading of the bill and further moved the Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House at the next sitting of the Legislature.
    We will keep you advised of the Bill’s progress as it moves through the House Committee, back to the Legislature for third reading and hopefully on to Royal ascent. We continue to urge all members of the BC Legislature to vote in support of Bill 6 once committee debate has concluded. Once passed, Government, with the assistance of a Provincial Accessibility Committee will develop regulations and standards to address the barriers persons with disabilities currently face.
  • We’ve had much more success since our inception!

What we’re doing right now

  • Our primary focus right now is on the AMD Expansion Program – which is a ‘must-read’ for all AMD patients in BC
  • Over the past several years, Access for Sight Impaired Consumers has and continues to work closely with Elections BC collaborating to design a general election process whereby persons with sight loss can independently and confidently mark their election ballot, including a choice to vote by phone. We continually raise awareness of challenges and obstacles that blind, partially sighted, or deafblind voters encountered and offer advice, options, and tools to eliminate barriers that our community faced during the general or by-election process. While the ability by members of the blind community to mark their own ballot independently and confidently has become a reality, there is still room for improvement, and we look forward to announcing a pending enhancement in the very near future.
    We were more than pleased that during the past four federal elections, Elections Canada copied and made available to its voters with sight loss many of the tools that Elections BC developed in the wake of our past work with them.
    On October 16 2022, municipal elections will be held in each of 162 towns, villages, districts and cities throughout British Columbia. We are progressing well in our goal to achieve a voting process that will enable voters with sight loss to independently and confidently mark their ballot during the civic election process. We are advocating to make all 162 municipal elections fully accessible. You can help us by writing to us, informing us as to which municipal district you reside. Whether we are advocating on behalf of just one single voter in an electoral district or a cast of thousands in others, gathering such statistics will help greatly to enhance a well-organized campaign. Keep an eye on this page or subscribe to our News Alerts for updates about this advocacy initiative.
  • what else we’re doing right now

ASIC receives requests for assistance from its constituents on a regular basis. While it’s an excessively 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  our current projects and how your world will be positively impacted is to sign up for our e-postsFacebook and Twitter updates.

Our site is evolving

We recently migrated our site onto the Word Press platform which has caused us to carefully examine each page and the many links they contain. This is a labour-intensive project. So, we ask you to be patient and understanding as we undertake this on-going process. Should you come across a broken link or any item that appears to require correction, please bring it to our attention by dropping a note to our web support team