I participated in a 1-day fishing tournament held on the Ottawa River each year for the past 19 years. On average, over 70 legally blind fishers and 35 fishing pros with their boats participate each year. I was the first “blind” fisher ever to participate from his/her own boat. Prior to the tournament, I gave an address at the formal dinner about the Blind Fishing Boat and what it may mean for those who participate in this tournament in future – my predictions were met with thunderous applause. My participation also resulted in a special mention in the Ottawa Sun newspaper, a feature article in the Pembroke Daily Observer, and an up-coming feature article in Outdoor Canada Magazine.
So far for 2008, articles are being planned for Ontario Out-of-Doors and the “Advocates for Equality of blind Canadians annual, “Canadian Braille Monitor”. The Ottawa Citizen has also indicated their desire to publish a feature article this summer. Finally, plans are in the works to prepare a 15-minute feature about the Boat for CBC radio II.
My personal rule is that any media coverage of the Blind fishing Boat serve to demonstrate technology that works. No smoke and mirrors. There’s no rush. I’m sure the first planes built by the Right Brothers didn’t exactly fly around the world, but they did fly in the end. I want the media to be able to report on my successes and not the trials that didn’t go as expected.