WBU calls for increased access to braille on World Braille Day, January 4, 2023

Each year on January 4, the global blindness community comes together to celebrate Louis Braille, the inventor of the braille writing system, along with the system he invented, which would eventually go on to change the lives of blind people throughout the world.

This simple system of combining six raised dots into different patterns enables braille users to read not only books, but music notation and mathematical formulas as well. Its flexibility has also allowed it to be adapted into many languages used around the world.

“I always look forward to beginning each year with a celebration of braille and all that it has contributed to the lives of blind people”, Said Martine Abel-Williamson, President of the World Blind Union. “Not only is this an opportunity to celebrate, though, World Braille Day is also a day to take stock of what further actions need to be taken to improve access to braille”, added Abel-Williamson.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the key guiding document for the global disability movement. The CRPD outlines obligations for those countries who have ratified the Convention, including obligations regarding access to braille. Article 21 of the CRPD requires member states to ensure that information intended for the general public is in accessible formats such as braille, and article 24 requires that in the education system, students who are blind receive their education in the modes that are most appropriate to their needs, such as braille from educators who are fluent in braille.

“Despite obligations arising from international and national law, we know many blind people lack access to braille itself, to appropriate training in braille, and to technologies that facilitate the use of braille”, said Marc Workman, WBU CEO. “We take this opportunity on January 4 to call on governments around the world to commit to improving access to braille for their blind citizens both within the education system and beyond”, added Workman.

“One concrete step countries can take to improve access to braille is to ratify and fully implement the Marrakesh Treaty. Among other things, this Treaty facilitates the cross-border sharing of braille materials, which means blind people in countries with limited access to braille can gain the ability to read braille materials produced in countries with larger braille libraries”, said Kim Charlson, newly appointed chair of the WBU World Braille Council and Executive Director of the Braille & Talking Book Library at the world-renowned Perkins School for the Blind. “Although many countries have ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, full legal and technical implementation has not occurred in far too many countries throughout the world, leaving the tremendous promise of this Treaty largely unfulfilled.”

While World Braille Day will always be a day for celebration n, it must also remain a call to action until blind people across the world have full access to this life-changing tool. This January 4, we ask you to join us in both celebrating braille and calling on governments to ensure access to braille is a priority around the world.


Fridah Mlemwa

Communications Specialist, World Blind Union



White Cane Week 2023 Zoom Webinars, February 5 to 11

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

BC-Yukon Division

White Cane Week (WCW)

February 5 to 11, 2023


Please Join us!


Once again, the CCB BC-Yukon Division is planning two virtual WCW events via a Zoom Webinar


Webinar 1 – Sunday, February 5th at 1:00pm PST

Hosted by Fraser Hiltz

“About the CCB” and More

Featuring Jim Tokos, CCB National President


Webinar 2 – Friday, February 10th at 1:00pm PST

Hosted by Darren Douma

“History of the White Cane & White Cane Week”

Featuring Terry Pipkey, CCB BC-Yukon Division 3rd VP

AND “My Story”

Featuring Ruth Bieber, MEd Theatre Artist, Playwright, Author, Visual Artist




How to Connect with Us


Please click the below link to join us


(you will be asked to enter your email and name; and once connected, you will be automatically muted during the presentation)


Or join by using one tap mobile:



Or dial in:

+1 778 907 2071 or

+1 855 703 8985 (Toll Free)

Webinar ID: 864 7784 4325

Passcode: 214302


(when phoning you will need to punch in the webinar ID and password)


Contact us at ccbbc-yukondivision@telus.net before the webinar and we can call you to connect you


Or livestream on Facebook at CCB BC-Yukon Division


For more information email ccbbc-yukondivision@telus.net or call 604-795-3885 or 1-800-874-4666


Please feel free to share this document

CCB BC-Yukon Division Chapter Call-in, Open Session, February 2, 2023

To CCB BC-Yukon Division Members and Friends,


Hello, the Division’s next Call In Session is Thursday February 2nd at 10:00am an open session where you are welcome to share almost anything on your  mind.  Please feel free to share this with others who may  be interested in joining our Call In or finding out more about us.


And remember our next Division Call In is Thursday February 16th with a guest speaker to be announced.


Following is the information for connecting to our Division Call In session on February 2nd and to make it easier for you, we will send out a reminder the evening before.


Join Zoom Meeting



One tap mobile



Dial In

+1 778 907 2071

+1 855 703 8985 toll-free

Meeting ID: 757 940 5573

Passcode: 789456


Ways to participate:

  • click on the above yellow highlighted meeting link and automatically join
  • use one tap mobile for Smart Phones
  • call the toll-free number – you will be asked to enter the meeting ID and press pound (number key) – next you will be asked for a participant code, just press pound again – next you will be asked to enter the passcode and press pound (number key) again – then you will be asked your name and to press the pound key again – you should then be connected

or you can now ask us to dial you into the meeting – to let us know, send an email message the evening before the meeting to the following address requesting that we dial you in to the zoom meeting and we will dial you in at the designated time:

CCB BC-Yukon Division ccbbc-yukondivision@telus.net


Looking forward to hearing you,

***CCB BC-Yukon Division

PO Box 531, Postal Station Main, Chilliwack, BC V2P 7V5

T: 604-795-3885 or TF: 1-800-874-4666

E: ccbbc-yukondivision@telus.net

W: ccbbcyukon.com

Job Posting, Personal Response to Emergency Preparedness Project Manager, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, Closes February 10, 2023

Job Posting


Personal Response to Emergency Preparedness

Project Manager


The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians BC Affiliate (AEBC) invites qualified individuals to submit applications  for a part-time virtual project Manager. The successful applicant must be a resident of BC and be able to work virtually for the duration of the contract.


AEBC is a non-profit organization striving to promote accessibility and equality for persons who are blind or partially sighted or deafblind with a mandate to remove and prevent barriers to how services are provided across Canada to all consumers with those disabilities.


This short term project aims to assist British Columbians who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted with Personal Response to Emergency Preparedness (PREP.) The manager will be required to research, plan, deliver and document up-to-date practical and accessible information related to emergency preparedness. The purpose of this project, is to provide online tools which will allow individuals to prepare for emergency situations and to educate the general public on how to meet the needs of persons who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted in the event of an emergency.


The length of the contract is for a period of 10 months, with a tentative start date of  March 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. The anticipated number of hours per month is approximately forty at a rate of $33 per hour with some flexibility in the work schedule.


Along with the steering committee,  the manager will collaborate to define,  Plan and execute the project, including setting deadlines and  prioritizing tasks.


Duties and responsibilities:


  • Developing and implementing a work plan for the project,
  • planning project activities,
  • Researching accessible online resources regarding emergency preparedness,
  • Developing an online resource to assist individuals with the creation of their personal emergency preparedness plans,
  • Developing an online survey, analyzing survey results, and compiling appropriate  data,
  • Leading focus groups and analyzing the results of their deliberations,
  • Developing and leading workshops about emergency preparedness,
  • Reporting to and collaborating with the steering committee.




Two years Post-Secondary or equivalent                        .


Requirements and skills


  • Proven work experience as a Project manager or similar role.
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English .
  • Strong attention to details.
  • Excellent organizational and technical abilities.
  • Proven interpersonal and multi-tasking skills.
  • Proven knowledge of how to work with persons who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted is vital.
  • Proven Ability to plan and deliver workshops virtually.
  • Understanding of how to develop surveys to identify and draw from the experiences shared by individuals who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted,(this may include having experience with the technical aspects of developing, creating and analyzing an online survey.)

Letters of application along with resumes should be forwarded to Chantal Oakes (President)AEBC, (BC Affiliate)at  prep@blindcanadians.ca no later than February 10 2023 ,at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.


Pocket-sized 2023 uncontracted braille calendar by Joan Billesberger

Pocket-sized 2023 uncontracted braille calendar.


Measures 4 by 6 inches.

For a low price of $5.


Technology is great, but sometimes it’s just easier to have a paper copy at your fingertips.


To receive a high quality uncontracted braille calendar

Contact Joan at


Or call 604-984-4249


Calling all Knitters/Crocheters and Would be Knitters/Crocheters:

To CCB BC-Yukon Division Members and Friends,

Calling all Knitters/Crocheters and Would be Knitters/Crocheters:

A New Chapter Opportunity!


Come and join the newest CCB 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.


Our first Zoom meeting is Monday October 3rd from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Following is the Zoom connecting information and hoping you’ll join us!


Canadian Council of the Blind BC-Yukon Division is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Blind Knitters/Crocheters Chapter

Time: Monday October 3, 2022 at 10:00am Pacific Time


Join Zoom Meeting



One tap mobile



Dial in

+1 778 907 2071

+1 855 703 8985 Toll-free

Meeting ID: 817 4645 7551

Passcode: 447880


Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/ktV9wWB9y

***Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

BC-Yukon Division

PO Box 531, Postal Station Main

Chilliwack, BC V2P 7V5

T: 604-795-3885

TF: 1-800-874-4666

E: ccbbc-yukondivision@telus.net

W: ccbbcyukon.com


PuSh Festival, Outreach for Blind and Low Vision Community Committee, Vancouver BC

The PuSh Festival wants to hear from you!

The PuSh Festival is a cutting edge live performance festival which runs from January 19th to February 5th in 2023.

Would you like to have a say in which show is described, how we can reach more people and how low-vision friendly shows can be made more accessible?

Join our community committee!

The commitment is one 2-hour meeting on October 18th or 19th and selected participants will receive $50 (or a gift card if that is easier) and 2 tickets to the festival.

Apply by filling out the form at this link or over the phone.

You can contact Anika at 604-605-8284 ext 204 or by email at access@pushfestival.ca

This is the link to the form to sign up if you want that on it’s own:



Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Have a wonderful day!


/Anika Vervecken (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Accessible PuSh Coordinator

o: 604-605-8284 x204 (voice)

m: 778-223-7079 (voice/text)



IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED: Roche Pharmaceutical’s Faricimab being considered for funding under BC Pharmacare for the treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Macular Edema


Good afternoon,


Our apologies for the last minute distribution of this urgent and time sensitive call to action. Recent updates to our computers to the Windows11 operating system presented a number of unexpected challenges which took time for us to successfully overcome.


On June 1, 2022 Health Canada approved a very promising medication known as Faricimab – a medication administered through interocular injections to treat Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Macular Edema. This medication joins others which have garnered Health Canada approval and is currently being considered by BC’s Drug Review Council for funding under Pharmacare. 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 monthly injections of other effective but more frequent treatments. For those who are interested, we provide a link to Roche Pharmaceutical’s media release dated June 1, 2022 at the end of this posting.


To promote the funding of Faricimab under Pharmacare and to demonstrate to the Drug Review Council, we are urging any and all those who are receiving interocular injections for the treatment of their AMD, their family members and/or caregivers to go on-line to the following link and complete the short 5-question “Your Voice” survey and share your lived experience receiving frequent injections to treat your AMD. (we will be approaching those with DME over the next few months to gather your input as well. But for now, the DRC wants to hear from AMD patients at present.) https://surveymoh.health.gov.bc.ca/public/survey/faricimab-tbc-neovascular-wet-age-related-macular-degeneration-namd 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.


Again we apologize for the short notice but responses to the survey are required not later than Friday July 22, 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 covered under BC’s Pharmacare funding. Please take a few minutes and act now!


Lastly, please share this request and information with others within your networks who will benefit. The link to Roche Pharmaceutical’s media release regarding Faricimab can be found at:





Rob Sleath – President

Access for Sight Impaired Consumers


100 Mile House Free Press Article WCC Student Honorarium, June 20, 2022

From left: Sharon Dye and Lori Fry, of the 100 Mile House District Blind and Visually Impaired White Cane Club, present Kylie Paddison, accompanied by her mother Karen, with a post-secondary honorarium. (Patrick Davies photo – 100 Mile Free Press)

Legally blind student awarded White Cane bursary

Kylie Paddison, 17, awarded $1,000

When Kylie Paddison graduates from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary this month, she will have the distinction of being the first legally blind student to do so in the past 10 years.

Paddison, 17, was surprised to discover that last week when she was awarded a $1,000 post-secondary honorarium from the 100 Mile House & District Blind and Visually Impaired White Cane Club. She also received an additional $250 cheque from the 100 Mile House Lions Club.

“(Kylie) is very outgoing. She’s very appreciative and she understands she’s paving the way for the next students,” said Lori Fry, the White Cane Club’s director of public relations and fund development, as she presented the honorarium.

Paddison has spent her entire life dealing with achromatopsia, a condition that made her colour blind, light-sensitive and generally unable to see without special glasses.

“It’s not been terrible but I can’t play sports and I can’t ever get my driver’s license because of it,” she said. “In school, I’d have trouble seeing the board so I have to sit close to the front.”

However, she said she’s never let her limited vision stop her from succeeding at school. She is set to attend Vancouver Island University next year with an intent to study history and library services.

“People don’t really think about legally blind people and what it’s like for us,” she said. “People acknowledge that you need glasses but they don’t really think about how difficult it can be, especially when your vision can’t be corrected as much as other people. (I want people) to not forget blind people exist and acknowledge them.”

READ MORENew magnifier enhances reading for the blind

Fry, who has degenerative stickler syndrome, can remember going to school and trying to pretend like nothing was wrong with her eyesight.

She added she is thankful that technology has evolved to allow people like Paddison to bridge that gap, and said it was a privilege to give her the money.

“It’s a community effort because we raise funds in the community, we like to distribute them in the community and we have not had a student to assist in 10 years,” Fry said. “That’s why the membership was able to grant a larger amount than normal.”

Anyone looking to get involved with the club is invited to contact Fry at 250-395-2452 or odifry@shaw.ca.


100 Mile House WCC Thank You Letter to CCB BC-Yukon Division for the Banner, June 25, 2022


  100 Mile House & District

Blind & Visually Impaired White Cane Club
PO Box 1232, 100 Mile House, BC  V0K 2E0

Tel:  250-395-2452  Email:  ODIFRY@shaw.ca

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

Serving the Cariboo Since 1991


June 25, 2022


To the CCB BC-Yukon Division Board of Directors;


The 100 Mile House & District Blind & Visually Impaired White Cane Club would like to thank the Division for the gift of the new stand alone banner.

We do certainly appreciate that it is much easier to transport and easy to set up. Our chapter has already used the banner for a photo of our white cane club presenting an honorarium to a local graduating high school student who is visually impaired and going on to higher education. Our local paper printed an article and photo regarding the presentation and a copy is attached for your reference.



The 100 Mile House & District Blind & Visually Impaired White Cane Club Executive and Members.

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