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The Sterling Creations Winter 2016 Newsletter

Hello and welcome to the Sterling Creations newsletter, which is produced quarterly. We hope that you enjoy it and encourage you to pass it along to those who may be interested in the types of services that we offer. We welcome your feedback and invite you to give us your comments for it is only through you and with you that we can improve our services.

The Winter 2016 newsletter is also available in PDF, Word, or Plain Text formats. A complete archive of the Sterling Creations newsletters can be found here.

Table of contents

  1. Message from the President
  2. The Year in Review
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Sterling Services
  5. List of Blogs
  6. Contact Info

Message from the President

Dear readers and supporters:

On behalf of my team at Sterling Creations, I'd like to thank you for all of the support, feedback, and encouragement that you continued to give to us over the past year. It meant so much to us and I can tell you that we could not have continued to survive without it all.

This past year was a good year for the most part for Sterling Creations but during the last quarter we unfortunately lost one great client after having worked with them for the past six years and we are extremely delighted that we had the opportunity to have worked with them. However, as the year drew to a close we were very lucky to have picked up two very new and important clients.

So we are looking forward to a very exciting 2017 and we hope that we have the opportunity to continue our work with you.

We would also like to thank two of our departing support staff; Frances Moffat who was part of the web support team for the sterlingcreations.ca and sterlingcreations.com websites, as well as for Linkedin, and Imran Inger, who was part of the technical support team. We also thank John Melville of Accessible Media Inc for having given us the opportunity to work with him and his team for the past six years.

We would also like to welcome Michelle Parker, Donna Saccutelli, Mike Babcock, and Mike Ciarciello to our team!

I again wish everyone the very best for 2017 and I invite you now to read our 2016 year end review.

With very best wishes
Donna J. Jodhan
President, Sterling Creations

The Year in Review

For ease of reading, we are going to report our year in review as things happened for the month. We hope that it would be easier for you to read.

For the month of January:

Our president Donna J. Jodhan traveled to Ottawa to attend a meeting hosted by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and this was a one day meeting that brought together individuals and reps from organizations for and of the blind along with staff from the CHRC. The theme of the meeting was “working together” and it was the first of its kind which was designed to foster closer working relationships between all stakeholders. There were several follow up tele conference calls through out the year and 2017 will see a continuation of these interactions.

In January we decided to carry out a bit of reorganization to our suite of websites and we have decided to incorporate our callingallquestions.com website into our donnajodhan.com website. We are hoping to have this new piece to our donnajodhan.com website up and fully functional by the early spring. This should bring more dimension to this website and in addition it will showcase another side of our authorship.

We decided to also incorporate the Jodhan Mystery Book Club into the donnajodhan.com website and this too should bring more efficient to our suite of websites.

For the month of February:

In early February Donna traveled to Montreal to make a presentation to the Montreal chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians and her speech focused on Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières. Donna spoke about the work that she and her committee was carrying out; the call for a Canadians With Disabilities Act and she encouraged the Montreal chapter to join her campaign. Donna thanks Heather Rupert, Natalie Martiniello, and Irene Lambert for having helped to organize this event.

Earlier on in her visit, she met with a group of Quebec advocates to try and kick start a Quebec affiliate of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières.

Towards the end of February Donna traveled to Ottawa to attend a two day meeting of the Elections Canada's advisory group on accessibility issues and this meeting focused a great deal of its attention on voter access at the polls for persons with disabilities.

Some of the issues discussed included access to polls, layout of the template, voter independence when voting, training for staff at polls, plus more.

For the month of March:

In early March Author Donna Jodhan teamed up with the Glenvale players of Toronto to produce and host a dinner mystery theater. This event was held at the CNIB's Toronto offices and was sponsored by the CNIB along with the Canadian Council of the Blind.

Dinner was served followed by the play "the demise of Greedy Gumbo" and the event was a roaring success as tickets were sold out and there was standing room only at this event. What made this event somewhat unique was the audience participation that was built into it.

No one was able to guess who did it as the audience was left to guess right up until the final moment! And even then! The murderer turned out to be the least one suspected!

We thank Murry Powell, Ian White, Sue Marsh-woods, Gabriella Sharrard, and Sue Leask for their assistance along with Rhonda Grey and the CCB volunteers and Glenvale players.

Towards the end of March our president made a presentation to youngsters at a CNIB March break camp and her theme was all about encouraging her young audience to become advocates and stand up for their rights. The audience appreciated this presentation and they asked many well thought out questions.

March ended with Donna giving an interview to the Welcome to my World radio station; an Ottawa based station. She was interviewed by Kim Kilpatrick and the interview centered on the work of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières.

For the months of April and May:

These two months were marked with continuing interviews with various media outlets in support of the Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières activities; with RNIB in Britain and Accessible Media Inc and in May Donna was part of a promotional initiative for Elections Canada in which the latter went on a blitz to promote the work of its advisory group on accessibility issues.

In mid May, Donna attended a one day face to face meeting of the CNIB’s community based committee and at this meeting various community based initiatives were reviewed by this group. The meeting was chaired by John Rafferty, president and CEO of the CNIB.

For the month of June:

Donna traveled to Ottawa to attend a meeting hosted by the Canadian Transportation Agency and the focus of this one day meeting was on the white paper set out by the latter to discuss issues of accessible transportation for travelers with disabilities.

The meeting was attended by stake holders from about 20 organizations and included reps from Canadian Airline and railway and ferry companies. In addition, there were reps from organizations for and of persons with disabilities and Donna represented Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières.

Donna also attended another meeting on that same day on behalf of the Elections Canada advisory group for disability issues. She along with her fellow members made a presentation to a joint committee of Federal Party members and the presentation focused on issues pertaining to elections activities.

The joint committee of Federal parties was most interested in learning more about how websites could be made more accessible to persons with disabilities.

For the month of July:

Sterling Creations launched its very first podcast called Take Another 5 and we are pleased to report by year end our podcast had managed to garner over 3000 downloaders.

We are extremely proud of our first podcast as it has managed to find its way into the daily lives of so many. There are 5 segments to Take Another 5: Kitchen Corner, Take Another 5 with Technology, Mystery Moment, In the End Zone with the Entrepreneur, and Staying Ahead of Bullies and Scams.

In the early spring and thanks to your feedback and suggestions we are going to make some exciting changes to Take Another 5 and we can't wait to share these with you. We thank Mike Ciarciello, Mike Babcock, and Donna Saccutelli for being part of our team.

Visit www.takeanother5.com to learn more.

For the month of September:

In September Donna traveled to Halifax to make a presentation to persons representing organizations of and for persons with disabilities. This event was organized by Pat Gates and Louise Gillis and Donna thanks these two ladies. Donna also met with the Mayor of Halifax; Mike Savage.

In her presentation, Donna spoke about her work as an advocate and her initiative as founder and chair of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières. The audience was very interested to learn more about the initiatives of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières and there were many questions. Donna also spoke at length about why she became an advocate and what she hopes to accomplish for the future of the kids.

In mid September the Canadian Transportation Agency invited Donna to a meeting to further discuss their wite paper and following this Donna made a submission to Minister Qualtrough’s public call for submissions on behalf of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières. Her submission focused on accessible transportation.

At the end of September Donna returned to Ottawa to attend a meeting hosted by Elections Canada and at this meeting the focus was on making braille templates more accessible to blind and vision impaired Canadian voters.

For the month of October:

In early October Donna met with Diane Rogers from the New Zealand association for the blind and she was pleased to share her experiences as an advocate with MS Rogers. She also talked about the work of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières.

In late October Donna spareheaded a small group of advocates to host a coast to coast tele town hall meeting. This was one of the first of its kind and the focus of this town hall was to discuss the following questions:

  • In order to ensure that people who are blind, partially sighted or deaf/blind continue to have a strong voice in Canada, what do you think the national consumer movement should look like in the future?
  • Canada is a small country in population. However, it is geographically quite large. would it be better in Canada to ensure that on a national level there is 1 organization of the blind working on projects and advocacy to help strengthen community activities provincially and locally?
  • National, Provincial and local organizations have tried working in coalitions. Are you aware of any activities that these coalitions have done? Would you support a more formal working relationship between the existing national organizations of the blind?
  • "Why do you think the blindness community is so fragmented in its approach to advocacy and community activities?"

The tele town hall organizing team included Richard Marion, Anthony Tibbs, Robin East and Donna Jodhan. Panelists included Richard Marion, Anthony Tibbs, Paul Edwards, Melanie Marsden, and Albert Ruel. Kim Kilpatric was the conference line coordinator and Jane Blaine was the moderator.

There were over 115 attendees and the meeting lasted for about two and a half hours. Supporting organizations included the Canadian Council of the Blind and Citizens with Disabilities Ontario. The team thanks Louise Gillis president of CCB and Pat Seed of CWDO for their support and a very special acknowledgement goes out to the late Richard Quan who helped to circulate the announcements far and wide.

For the month of November:

In mid November Donna attended Minister Qualtrough's public engagement meeting in Montreal and at the invitation of the Minister she attended a round table engagement meeting that focused on accessible transportation. Over 14 organizations for and of the blind along with airline, railway, and ferrytransportation reps attended this meeting which was hosted by the Office for Disability Issues.

In late November Donna gave yet another interview to the folks at the radio station of the RNIB and it all focused on the work of Barrier Free Canada - Canada Sans Barrières.

Other activities:

Our writing, research and accessibility teams continued to work at a torid pace to service our clients at home and abroad. We managed to expand our database of clients despite losing a few and most of our clients resided outside of Canada, in Britain and in the United States.

We continued to produce blogs and editorials for our websites at sterlingcreations.ca, sterlingcreations.com, donnajodhan.blogspot.com, and donnajodhan.com.

We started into the world of podcasting and in July we began writing and recording podcasts for takeanother5.com. These podcasts are now available in several locations including Google play music, Tune in Radio, and ACB Radio; the Internet radio station of the American Council of the Blind.

We continued to write for www.theblindpost.com (from the pages of Donna's travel diary) and for Dan Thompson's Friday fines (In the End Zone with the Entrepreneur and weekly scams) and we also wrote an article for the E Access bulletin monthly newsletter. This article was titled "the website divide" and we thank Tristan Parker for having given us the opportunity to write for his newsletter.

Our year closed with Accessible Media Inc having purchased one of our 12 days of Christmas box set episodes for broadcasting on Christmas Day. This episode is called “Santa’s secret toy shop” and was scheduled to have been broadcasted at midnight on Christmas Eve.

So with all of these activities having taken place for 2016 you are probably wondering now what’s on the drawing board for Sterling Creations for 2017? Well, we could probably tell you to stay tuned but we are going to give you a sneak peak.

We have some exciting changes planned for our podcast which we hope to initiate by the early spring. We are presently negotiating with potential partners to engage in consulting services and we are planning to move into the courses arena; to develop a course for entrepreneurs.

Of course, one never knows with our unstoppable and dynamic president. Who knows what she may have up her sleeve! Never a dull moment with our fearless leader!

This is it for now!
With very best wishes for a terrific 2017
The Sterling Creations team

Acknowledgments

Sterling Creations would like to thank the following persons:

  • Aaron Di Blasi - web developer for donnajodhan.com
  • Michelle Parker - web support for sterlingcreations.ca and sterlingcreations.com, and support for Linkedin
  • Sambhavi Chandrashekar - Linkedin support
  • Jamie Brown of Lumasis - website hosting
  • Dee Scott - blog support for donnajodhan.blogspot.com
  • Dena Patrick – technical support for Facebook and Twitter
  • Donna Saccutelli – technical support for takeanother5.com
  • Mike Babcock – technical and marketing support for takeanother5.com
  • Mike Ciarciello – producer of the take another 5 podcasts
  • Blair Stainton – producer of our audio mysteries

Sterling Services

Our Accessibility Services

Meet our accessibility team! Made up of a hard working group of very dedicated professionals.

This team offers compliance and evaluation services. They can help you to test and evaluate your websites for W3C compliance. They are experienced at what they do and some of their tasks include:

  • Accessible website design and development.
  • Accessible website testing and evaluation.
  • Accessible content development.
  • Creation of user testing, technical support, high level, and detailed evaluation documents.
  • Managing of user testing teams.
  • User and technical support.
  • Hardware and software evaluations of access technology.
  • Presentations, seminars, and workshops.

Meet our research services team! Our newest edition.

This team can help you to research info on all kinds of topics. From simple subjects to the more complicated ones, this team can do it.

At the present time the research team is heavily involved in helping clients to research info for some very complicated Human Rights cases and in addition, they are assisting several authors to find ways to market their books.

They also offer their research services to home businesses, small businesses, and to individuals.

Some of their tasks include:

  • Researching of requested info.
  • Producing well-written documents containing the requested info.

This team can carry out Internet, phone, and library research on your behalf.

Meet our writing team! Known as the one-stop writing shop.

This team is probably the busiest of our groups. Working with authors, students, and marketing personnel from companies of all sizes.

Some of their tasks include:

  • Proofreading and editing.
  • Copy writing.
  • Re-writes.

The writing team can help you to enhance and expand your articles, blogs, newsletters, online magazines, and web content.

They can also help you to write product reviews and for those having problems crafting their papers in English, they are here to help you edit and format your work.

Meet our translation team! Made up of translators and language coaches.

This team works in English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin. They are heavily involved in the translation of storybooks for kids into several languages.

Their language coaches are also heavily involved in helping business professionals and new Canadians to become more proficient at writing and speaking English.

Our dynamic team of translators and language coaches can help you to improve and translate your articles, blogs, emails, faxes, newsletters, and online magazines. In addition, they offer services to help you improve your phone conversation.

Some of their tasks include:

  • Translation.
  • Language coaching.
  • Transcription.
  • Proofreading and editing.

To learn more about our accessibility activities, visit sterlingcreations.ca.

To learn more about how you can use our research and writing services to help you be successful in your endeavors, visit sterlingcreations.com.

List of Blogs

The following is a list of websites where you can read blogs and editorials written by Donna J. Jodhan:

Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all
donnajodhan.blogspot.com

Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures
sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk

Weekly articles and editorials on issues about accessibility
sterlingcreations.ca/blog

The latest news about Author Donna Jodhan
sterlingcreations.ca/news

Ask an expert – how you can make your products and services more accessible
sterlingcreations.ca/askanexpert

Editorials:

From the pages of Donna's travel diary
theblindpost.com

The new and exciting detective series starring Donna Jodhan as Detective DJ:
donnajodhan.com

Ask an author:
sterlingcreations.ca/askanauthor

Author Donna Jodhan's podcast
takeanother5.com

From the pages of Donna's travel diary
theblindpost.com

From Dan’s tips: You can subscribe to Dan's Tips by sending an email to Dmt031073@gmail.com with SUBSCRIBE FRIDAY FINDS in the subject line.

Contact Info

To contact us by email: Please send your email to info@sterlingcreations.ca.
To contact us by phone: Please give us a call at (416) 491-7711.
Web: www.sterlingcreations.ca
For Author Donna Jodhan: www.donnajodhan.com