Well September has arrived. I was away for three weeks in August on a vacation to see family. I enjoyed myself but unfortunately arrived home sick, I am feeling back to normal now.
On August 23rd my daughter Elaine was my guide and driver to attend the Platinum Jubilee Celebration in Victoria, lunch with the Lieutenant Governor. I found it very interesting, Government House was very impressive, the grounds are beautiful and are open to the public.
On Friday, August 26th, Director Rose Pokeda and I travelled to Powell River for former CCB BC-Yukon Division director, Dr. Geraldine Braak’s funeral service. Gerry as she was known, was such a great person, full of life and willing to help anyone and so very knowledgeable. She will be dearly missed.
I hope everyone had a great summer and are excited to get back to meetings, activities, socials and the support and friendship of your chapter members. Take care.
– published by Powell River Peak August 19, 2022
Geraldine (Gerry) Petronella Maria Braak (van den Heuvel) passed away peacefully on August 6, 2022. Gerry was predeceased by her parents, her husband John and her siblings Hubert, Josephine and John. She is survived by her brother Bill (wife Mary); her daughter Diana (husband Craig) and son Steven; her granddaughter Rozanna and grandson Ryan (Bonnie), and great-granddaughter Kaitlyn; her nieces and nephews Elly, Steve, David, Joyce, Shauna, Jeff and Diana and their families; and so many others in Canada and the Netherlands. Gerry was born on December 2, 1936, in Brunssum, the Netherlands. In her teens, she immigrated to Canada with her family, landing in Halifax and making their way to Saskatchewan. It was in Saskatoon where Gerry met her future husband of 64 years John. They married in Kitimat, BC, and in 1960 made Powell River their family home. Gerry’s visual disability was slow to progress, becoming completely blind by the age of 52. However, her enthusiasm to change the world’s view of all disabilities was not slow. Her passion for enriching the disabled started in Powell River; she felt a local chapter of Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) was required, so became the White Cane Club of Powell River. Gerry and others created the Powell River Model Community Project for Persons with Disabilities (MCP), which has been used as a model for communities around the world. Within that purview they also started Jump Radio. Her pride and joy is a section in the local library which she worked hard to have created: Accessible Books: Talking Books for People with Print Disabilities. Gerry’s journey took her across Canada educating governments and private corporations to ensure safety of those with disabilities is a top priority. She worked directly with the Bank of Canada, on the “talking bill readers” and adding braille to bills, and with Air Canada and Canadian Airlines to ensure access for all disabled passengers was available and safe. Eventually that journey led her to the Rick Hansen Foundation, where they joined forces to continue that enrichment of the disabled. Her journey continued with her husband John, travelling all over the world with the World Blind Union; whether in Egypt, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Jamaica or Powell River, that enthusiasm and passion never waned. Gerry’s sense of power to enrich the handicapped also gave her mention with the governments of Canada and British Columbia, becoming a recipient of the Order of Canada (Officer) and the Order of British Columbia. Over the years, she received numerous “lifetime honours, including an honorary Doctor of Law degree. A “coffee table” book dedicated to 50 of the 7,000 recipients of the Order of Canada was published; Gerry was one of those selected. Through her advocate career, Gerry was a president and director of the CCB, and a director of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. With more than 30 years of dedicated work, her accomplishments are too many to mention. Thank you to all volunteers who assisted Mum over the years, whether accompanying her to meetings in Powell River or across Canada, or taking her to doctor appointments or calling her to read the newspaper to her (thank you, Susan). And those who came to her home to visit, just because they could, brought Mum great joy. She loved her daily visits from everyone. “Dear mum, sister, aunt, oma and friend, you will be dearly missed; we will love you always. Your hard work will not be forgotten, but you can rest now.” The funeral will be held at the Church of the Assumption, 7109 Glacier Street, Powell River, BC on Friday, August 26, 2022, at 1 pm.
Memorial donations are greatly appreciated to the Powell River Accessible Books: Talking Books for People with Print Disabilities (Powell River Public Library, 100-6975 Alberni Street, Powell River, BC V8A 2B8).
CCCB BC-Yukon Division members traditionally pay their membership dues through their Chapter. An option for independent members or for members who find it easier to pay their CCB National dues online may go to:
where you can pay either by PayPal or credit card. If you do take advantage of CCB National’s membership payment option, be sure to know your Chapter’s name. In BC independent members or members who may not be sure what their Chapter’s name is use the Festival of Friends Chapter. And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
– submitted by Iris Thompson
Come and join the newest CCB BC Chapter, The Blind Knitters/Crocheters: all abilities are welcome… whether you’ve never knit or crocheted before and you want to learn, or whether you’re a seasoned knitter or crocheter and would like to share your experiences. We can work on group projects, knit/crochet for charity, work on individual projects, or just socialize and share some laughter with some fellow knitters/crocheters.
We’ll be meeting twice a month, from 10:00am to 12:00pm, once over zoom on the 1st Monday of each Month, and once in person on the 3rd Monday of each month for those members who live in the Lower Mainland, at the City Center Library in Surrey, 1 block from the Surrey Central Skytrain Station.
City Center Library
10350 University Drive
To register for the chapter or for more information, contact:
Iris Thompson: email@example.com
***Schedule of Meeting Dates for 2022
Monday September 5 -no zoom meeting due to holiday
Monday September 19 -first in-person meeting
Monday October 3 -first zoom meeting
Monday October 17 -in-person meeting
Monday November 7 -zoom meeting
Monday November 21 -in-person meeting
Monday December 5 -zoom meeting
– submitted by Iris Thompson
At our Division Call Ins we had David Brun a dragon boat paddler from Vision Impossible. David shared his experience with Dragon Boating. David was also a team member of one of the first visually impaired dragon boat teams that was formed (Eye of the Dragon). It was very interesting to hear what it was like for him to be part of the team.
Donn Sherry and Jane Blaine from BC Blind Sports joined our call-in and talked about lawn bowling. There are many lawn bowling clubs across BC. Some of the clubs have blind and visually impaired lawn bowlers. Lawn bowling seems like it’s a very engaging and social experience.
We also had international blind golfer and Division Board Member Darren Douma from Creston BC talking to us about golfing. Darren plays a big part in the golfing community.
If you were unable to attend one of the Call Ins and would like to hear a recording email Ann McNabb for details.
– from the 100 Mile Free Press by Patrick Davies August 6, 2022
Sharon Dye and Karen Mellor seem destined to be together. The two women spent 12 years together as home support workers in Coquitlam, working closely with seniors. When retirement came around, they found themselves once again in sharing the same space – this time as volunteers for the Canadian Council of the Blind’s 100 Mile House & District Chapter White Cane Club.
The two found out about the club through their mutual friend Lori Fry 16 years ago. Dye said she initially joined to support her mother, who had macular degeneration. The resources and information the club provided were second to none, she said.
Mellor became the club secretary for a brief stint, while Dye has stayed on as the treasurer, helping the club apply for grants and ensuring all the money they get goes to the right projects.
“I enjoy making sure everything balances, that people are the paid the money when needed and that the money goes out,” Dye said. “I think it’s an important role because otherwise, you won’t know what money is available.”
Mellor has since moved on to become the club’s cheerleader of sorts. She had held the post as a primary sighted assistant for the club’s curling team, following them from game to game in 100 Mile House, Kamloops, Prince George and Vancouver. Although the curling team has disbanded, she has realized she wants to devote more time to the club.
“We’re friends. It’s not just showing up once a month. If you need me, give me a call,” Mellor said. “Whatever they need, if I can do it, I do it.”
As sighted members, Dye and Mellor run errands for members who are blind or visually impaired. They agree that their past career as home care workers prepared them for their volunteerism. Many of their past clients were also appreciative of their help.
“It was really fulfilling knowing you could help people to live their lives at home,” Mellor said. “We used to help them with shopping and take them to doctor’s appointments.”
However, much like their work with those seniors, they realize their job is to support people as they continue to live their lives. Mellor said the blind and legally blind tend to be very independent and sometimes she doubts they even need her. She provides small reminders: someone is about to pass them on the sidewalk, they’re nearing a curb or about to go downhill.
Although Dye and Mellor joke that they only talk on the phone every day because they “have to,” their closeness is obvious. Both say they intend to carry on volunteering together for as long as they’re able.
“My son said to me one day to me ‘mom this is your hobby’ and I got to thinking about it and it is kind of my hobby,” Dye said. “I like it and I’ve been doing it for a long time, so I should be good at it by now.”
– submitted by Fraser Hiltz
The Vancouver Blind Curling Club will commence Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 12:00pm at the Vancouver Curling Club located in the Hillcrest Community and Recreation Centre, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way, Vancouver, BC (near Queen Elizabeth Park) a short walk from the UBC #33 bus stop at Clancy Loranger Way. Come and learn how to curl or start it again. Contact Carol, firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, Fraser, email@example.com
– submitted by Kathy Sanness
The Provincial Book Club meets by Zoom at 9:00am Pacific time, on the Fourth Friday each month; and in December, we meet at the same time on an earlier Friday. During these meetings, our members discuss a book we have chosen for the month – not one from a pre prescribed reading list. We also talk about other books we have read and share new technology that interests us.
The next four books we are reading are:
*September: Dancing After Ten by Vivian Chong
*October: Educated by Tara Westover
*November: A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton
*December: Wish You Well by David Baldacci
If you wish to check us out or join us , please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 778 484 2298 or my
cell 250 395 0395.
– submitted by Darren Douma
After a long hiatus from blind golf due to COVID. 2022 has been a busy golf season for all blind golfers. First, 10 players from across Canada attended the Nations Cup in Wadsworth, Ohio taking on Team USA in modified Pinehurst team match play. The end result was close, but the USA defeated Canada by 1 point. The next event was the AMI Western Canadian Championships in Calgary Alberta. This was well attended by 26 players along with coaches. The end results were: Overall Low Net Champions Kevin Frost Ottawa ON; Overall B3 Gross winner, Canadian and world reigning Champions Kiefer Jones Calgary AB; Runner Up Darren Douma Creston BC; Overall B2 Gross winner Derek Kibblewhite Calgary AB; Runner up Darcy Furber Winnipeg MB; Overall B1 Gross winner Gerry Nelson Meadow Lake SK; Overall Senior Champion Doug Penner Winnipeg MB; and Overall Ladies Champion Julie Moroney Victoria BC.
In August Simcoe Ontario hosted both the Ontario Provincial Championships and the ISPS Handa Canadian Open at the beautiful Greens at Renton Golf Club. This was an exceptional week of golf with exceptional weather. Prior to these events a group scramble was organized allowing volunteers, club embers, club staff, and sponsors to take part and experience firsthand what blind golf was all about. Also, the goal of Blind Golf Canada was to encourage youth to come out and there were two junior golfers aged 14 and 17 attend a practice session before participating I the group scramble. Well, a great story came out of this day with one of these juniors. The 17-year-old from nearby Brantford, who copes with vision and hearing impairments, in his first round of golf ever, made a hole-in-one on a 185 yard par three. This young man has been struggling with his self esteem and open communication with others. Following his “ace”, the young lad has received a lot of attention and support. Now, from this experience he is gained much more confidence and is interacting successfully with many people.
Also, at these Ontario events, The Blind Golf Canada Podcast has partnered with AMI and has produced two video podcasts for the first time. Previously, BGC Podcasts were only produced in audio. AMI is making a move to many more video and You-Tube options and are working with Blind Golf Canada on their podcasts as well. This is an exciting opportunity Blind Golf Canada welcomes with AMI as a major supporter of promoting the sport of blind golf in Canada. Here is the links to follow the BGC Podcasts. Subscribe with You-tube and like AMI and the BGC Podcast
Here is the first video episode:
The audio platforms are slowly being populated – Apple is here:
This page will soon have all the links to Spotify, Google, etc. https://www.ami.ca/Blind-Golf-YouTube
The Provincial results were: Overall Low Net Champion Kevin Frost Ottawa ON; Runner Up Curtis Parenteau Prince Albert SK; Ladies Champion Jan Dinsdale Northern Ireland; Ladies Runner-Up Deanna Morgan Toronto ON; Senior Champion Norm Green ON; Senior Runner-Up Reg Opersko Waterford, ON; Men’s Champion Kiefer Jones Calgary AB; and Men’s Runner-Up Darren Douma Creston BC.
Canadian Championship Results were: Overall Low Net Champion Glenn Babcock Thornhill ON; Overall Runner-Up Doug Penner Winnipeg MB; Overall Ladies Champion Jan Dinsdale Northern Ireland; Overall Ladies Runner-Up Deanna Morgan Toronto ON; Overall Seniors Gross Champion and Low Net Runner-Up Reg Opersko Waterford ON; Overall Senior Champion and Low Gross Runner-Up Doug Penner Winnipeg MB; B1 Low Gross Champion Gerry Nelson Meadow Lake SK; B1 Low Gross Runner-Up AND b1 Low Ney Champion Joe Furber Winnipeg MB; B1 Low Net Runner-Up Ronald Boef Netherlands; B2 Low Gross Champion Orlando Ramirez Florida USA; B2 Low Gross Champion and Low Net Runner-Up Darcy Furber Winnipeg MB; B2 Low Gross Runner-Up Kevin Frost Ottawa ON; B3 Low Gross Champion Kiefe Jones Calgary Ab; B3 Low Net & Low Gross Runner-Up Darren Douma Creston BC; and B3 Low Net Champion Glenn Babcock Thornhill ON.
– by Ruth Bieber
Last newsletter, I recounted my experience with attempting to sort out some of the Vancouver Island transportation idiosyncrasies. Some of you will recall my confusion regarding local transit, and having the dickens of a time getting straight answers about what was what with the bus system. There’s more where that came from, but for this newsletter I want to focus on a feel-good success story!
Many of you already know my reason for moving to the West Coast relates to some clinical trials happening at Vancouver General Hospital regarding sight restoration. Here is where I must say, that even though the transportation system here on the Island might be quirky, at least there is a transportation system. I can’t say that about all communities in BC, especially since the loss of the Gray Hound bus service. But I digress. Let us get off the Island now by turning our focus to Oceanside Air. That’s right, that wee little airport near Parksville in Qualicum Beach. For starters, I want to be clear, you won’t be flying to Europe from the QB Airport, but if all you want is to get to VGH, then Oceanside Air is the answer for folks, who live in the area! When I called the first time, and here I need to be honest, I wasn’t terribly optimistic about my prospects. Afterall, Isn’t this a service for the very rich, or for business men with travel expense accounts? And so, that might very well be the case, but turns out there’s more! Turns out there’s a family-like feeling when you call, friendly, and accommodating for sure. After the agent patiently listened to my story, and consulted with her manager, next thing I knew I was being offered a discounted airfare. Right there on the spot! The owner of Oceanside Air, Pavel, will tell you how much work it is operating an airport, but he’s not too busy to take special circumstances into account. Also, keep in mind this was a last-minute booking, which would have been financially prohibitive with a commercial airline. Can’t beat that, unless you want to start talking about my airport experience. Now, that was without a doubt the most stress-free airport experience of my entire life! Parking a car for a drop-off outside the waiting area is absolutely no problem, and waiting is an absolute pleasure while the pilot arrives and engages in some light conversation. A handful of others begin to arrive, but most are employees with only one other passenger besides me. Then it is time to walk across the tarmac, receiving excellent sight-guiding from the pilot no doubt, and before long we enter the six-seater plane. I always wonder about some people, who seem to just naturally know how to guide a blind person with ease and confidence. How do they know? Anyway, got to love it! Oh, and did I say you wouldn’t fly to Europe out of the QB Airport? Well, maybe not right away. Turns out the other passenger was going to Australia, so once landing at the lovely little South Terminal in Vancouver, he will catch a shuttle to the larger Vancouver Airport, no muss, no fuss. As for me, the friend meeting me in Vancouver could not believe how easy it was to meet me at that blessed wee South Terminal. Thus, a good time was had by all! Oh, and the best part, my flight was a same day return. That’s right, saved me from having to either arrange to spend the night with a friend, or book and hotel in Vancouver. Can’t beat that for sure! And finally, when I inquired about when to call a cab to take me back to Parksville, I was told not to worry, that Pavel will take care of that as well. And that he did. Like I say, first class service with family-like friendliness, and the whole airport to airport experience takes no time at all. Many thanks to Pavel, owner of Oceanside Air, and to all his skilled and trusted employees. I for one, will be back for sure!
– from an email dated August 24, 2022 from Rob Sleath
As we reported back in July, the 1st of June 2022 was the date Health Canada approved a new and promising medication known as Faricimab – a medication administered through interocular injections to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). This medication joins several others which have previously been approved by Health Canada. Faricimab is currently being considered by BC’s Drug Review Council for funding under the Pharmacare formulary for DME patients and your input will have a positive influence on their recommendation to the final decision makers within the Ministry of Health. Amongst the benefits of Faricimab for those being treated with interocular injections for AMD or DME is the fact Faricimab has proven to require fewer and less frequent injections into the eye than other medications. Clinical trial results submitted to Health Canada showed Faricimab was equally effective with treatments applied every 3 to 4 months which will be comforting news to those receiving more frequent monthly injections of other interocular treatments. For those who are interested, we again provide a link to Roche Pharmaceutical’s media release dated June 1, 2022.
To promote the funding of Faricimab under the BC Pharmacare formulary and to demonstrate to the Drug Review Council that such funding is critical, we are urging registered patient groups along with any and all those who are receiving interocular injections for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, their family members and/or caregivers to go on-line to the following link and complete the short 5-question “Your Voice” survey to share your lived experience receiving frequent injections to treat your DME. Last month we put out a call to those who were being treated with interocular injections for age-related macular degeneration to complete the survey at a similar link. It’s now time for those with DME and related others to share their experiences with the Drug Review Council (DRC) by quickly reviewing the DRC’s introduction/overview and then completing the Faricimab survey .
Survey responders may wish to speak to the burdens they encounter having to absorb the transportation/travel cost, inconvenience and transportation challenges associated with monthly treatments versus receiving a medication such as Faricimab which requires less frequent applications.
We encourage all registered patient groups and persons residing in BC who are receiving interocular injections for the treatment of DME, their family members and/or caregivers to complete this short 5-question survey on or before September 24, 2022. Please, this is an opportunity for our collective voices to be heard, for all those receiving these injections to come together and to have this very promising medication funded under BC’s Pharmacare formulary. Please take the 15 to 20 minutes to act now!
Lastly whether you are personally impacted by DME or not, please share this request and information with others within your networks who will benefit. Here is that link to The Roche Pharmaceutical media release regarding Faricimab .
– from an email dated August 30, 2022 from Rob Sleath
Over the past two months we have made significant progress on our accessible municipal elections file. While it may be too late in the game to claim complete success for the October 15 2022 elections, you can view our progress regarding this file to date. As our sights are now set on the 2026 election cycle, We will continue to actively follow up on this file and provide updates as this initiative progresses.
***If you wish to subscribe to our News Alerts list, you can send an email to email@example.com with “subscribe” in the subject line.
– from CELA’s Newsletter, Open Book, August 2022
Our colleagues at CNIB are working on a project to improve accessibility of graphic novels and picture books, and are looking for some input from readers and fans of graphic novels and illustrated books. They’ve asked us to pass along this invitation to participate.
In collaboration with our partners at CELA, AMI Audio, and the Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University) CNIB is currently developing a best practices guide for image descriptions in accessible picture books and graphic novels. In developing the guide, we would like to include valuable feedback from print-disabled readers through an in-depth survey. If you are a fan of accessible picture books and graphic novels, and you are interested in participating in this survey, please contact Joanne Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org. An honorarium will be provided for all selected participants.
Support for this project is thanks to eBOUND, a nonprofit organization that assists independent Canadian publishers in creating accessible digital books. eBOUND received funding for this project through Department of Canadian Heritage.
– from and email dated August 30, 2022 on behalf of CNIB’s National Youth Council
Students across the country are heading back to college and university in the next few weeks, and we want to help make sure every student with sight loss has access to their textbooks and course materials in their preferred alternate format.
Are you a student with sight loss at a post-secondary institution? Are you encountering barriers with accessing your textbook or course materials in an accessible format? CNIB can help.
It’s important your instructor and your institution understand you require textbooks and course materials in accessible formats. Before reaching out to CNIB, please ensure you’ve taken the following self-advocacy steps:
*Ensure your professor or instructor understands you require textbooks and course materials in accessible formats. Explain what you need in as much detail as possible and ask for clear timelines as to when you can expect the materials.
*If you encounter barriers with your professor or instructor, contact the college or university’s accessibility services office.
*Review CNIB’s Know Your Rights website. You’ll find plain language legal information and resources for many provinces that empower people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind to better understand their rights.
Connect with us
If you have exhausted these avenues, contact CNIB’s advocacy team by filling out our online form. This will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete, and one of our Advocacy Leads will follow up with you to develop a plan. If you need our help to fill out this form, or have other questions, reach out! Call us at 1-833-GET-A11Y (1-833-438-2119).
– submitted anonymously
I gotta work on sleeping!
– from NIH News in Health, April 2021
Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. There’s more to good sleep than just the hours spent in bed, says Dr. Marishka Brown, a sleep expert at NIH. “Healthy sleep encompasses three major things,” she explains. “One is how much sleep you get. Another is sleep quality—that you get uninterrupted and refreshing sleep. The last is a consistent sleep schedule.”
Sleep Myths and Truths
How much sleep you need changes with age. Experts recommend school-age children get at least nine hours a night and teens get between eight and 10. Most adults need at least seven hours or more of sleep each night.
There are many misunderstandings about sleep. One is that adults need less sleep as they get older. This isn’t true. Older adults still need the same amount. But sleep quality can get worse as you age. Older adults are also more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep.
Another sleep myth is that you can “catch up” on your days off. Researchers are finding that this largely isn’t the case.
“If you have one bad night’s sleep and take a nap, or sleep longer the next night, that can benefit you,” says Wright. “But if you have a week’s worth of getting too little sleep, the weekend isn’t sufficient for you to catch up. That’s not a healthy behavior.”
Getting a Better Night’s Sleep
*Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
*Get some exercise every day. But not close to bedtime.
*Go outside. Try to get natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes every day.
*Avoid nicotine and caffeine. Both are stimulants that keep you awake. Caffeine can take 6–8 hours to wear off completely.
*Don’t take naps after mid-afternoon. And keep them short.
*Avoid alcohol and large meals before bedtime. Both can prevent deep, restorative sleep.
*Limit electronics before bed. Try reading a book, listening to soothing music, or another relaxing activity instead.
*Create a good sleeping environment. Keep the temperature cool if possible. Get rid of sound and light distractions. Make it dark. Silence your cell phone.
*Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy again.
Remember your Division Board of Directors is here to help you. Do not hesitate to email or call for more information or clarification on any matters concerning the CCB BC-Yukon Division.
Pat Chicquen, President – 250-339-3904 – email@example.com
Darren Douma, 1st Vice President – 250-428-1807 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelvin Adams, 2nd Vice President– 250-895-9835 – email@example.com
Ann McNabb, Past President – 604-795-7230 –firstname.lastname@example.org
Fraser Hiltz, Director – 604-379-0035 – email@example.com
Terry Pipkey, Director – 250-562-1892 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rose Pokeda, Director – 250-334-8565 – email@example.com
Vern Short, Director – 250-819-9152 – firstname.lastname@example.org