Eye-Opening Profiles: Graeme McCreath: Advocate, Author, Physiotherapist

CrosswalkHere's the first in our series of Eye-Opening Profiles, this one on Graeme McCreath, who became blind at age 9 and lived in residential schools for the blind until age 19. He is a true inspiration for what is possible, as he successfully created and navigated a lifelong career as a physiotherapist. … despite being blind.

Over the years, he has advocated for his own life, as well as those of all blind and visually impaired individuals. He also authored a book, “The Politics of Blindness” of which Michael J. Prince, Author of “Absent Citizens. Disability Politics in Canada” said “Graeme McCreath's book challenges longstanding prejudicial stereotyping and the charity based approach to meeting basic needs of blind Canadians. He presents an agenda of reform that is practical and progressive, some will say radical, for improving the status of blind people.”

The bottom line is Mr. McCreath wants to see parity for blind individuals. His book discusses the infrastructure needed to allow visually impaired individuals to enter the workforce and the need for government to persuade employers to have an open mind.

As an advocate, Mr. McCreath is active in speaking out for the rights of vision impaired and blind individuals. In 2013, the court upheld a complaint that allowed him to have an early start in the Times Colonist 10k, which he ran with a sighted friend.

In 2018 he filed a discrimination complaint against Bluebird Cabs after he experienced discrimination with his guide dog. He said he knows of several blind people in other cities who have had difficulty with taxis while using guide dogs.

More recently, in December 2021, Mr. McCreath spoke out again. “Blind people such as myself often ponder, when opening the front door to venture out, who, where or when the next violation of our dignity and rights will occur.” This time he is speaking out about discrimination against blind people regarding new bike-lane design in the City of Victoria. They are utilizing "floating" bus stops which pose a danger to vision impaired individuals, along with being difficult to find from the sidewalk.

Mr. Creath’s voice is important in having these issues heard. Do you think more work needs to be done in this area? Let us know your thoughts! Write us at info@sdcb.org.

"Blind people's lives threatened by bike-lane design"

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | View Post