CCB-Yukon division newsletter, The Observer, June 2021 edition

President’s Message

Hello, summer is almost here – the hockey playoffs are in full swing and baseball is ramping up too.  And maybe some of you will get the opportunity to get out and about either visiting or camping or hiking or boating or whatever you like to do this time of year as the sun shines more and things open up and we get closer to more people being vaccinated.  We all look forward to the day when we can shake hands or maybe even hug again!

Wow!  Letting you all know I was watching the Blue Jays earlier today and there was an ad for a Girl Guide Chocolatey Mint Cookie Blizzard at Dairy Queen!

If you enjoy the jokes or have one to share or you do not appreciate them, please let me know; there’s probably a mixed bag of opinions out there and I promise to share them with you – whether negative or positive.  In the meantime, here are some jokes for you.  First, what did the shark say when he ate the clownfish?  Second, why did the frog take the bus to work today?  And third, how many times can you subtract 10 from 100?  Please check the end of this newsletter for the answers to these must know questions…

Thank you to the CCB BC-Yukon Division members who attended and those who were delegates and represented their Chapters at our Annual General Meeting; held Friday April 30, 2021 via Zoom webinar.  We all look forward to meeting in person in April 2022.

An exciting announcement, Darren Douma, past Division Board Member and President of the VIBE BC “Abilities” Chapter has agreed to return to the Division Board.  Darren lives in Creston and as many of you know has a big interest in blind golf.  I look forward to the energy Darren will bring to our Board and am confident in his “abilities”.

Remember your Division Board of Directors is here to help you; and do not hesitate to email or call me or any other Division Board Member for more information or clarification on any matters concerning the CCB BC-Yukon Division.  Ann McNabb, President


Looking for Help

Callout for Photos!

The Division is updating our Canada Helps page and would like to highlight our members.  If you have photos, you are willing to share of yourself in action – using your cane skills, operating tech and other accessible items, walking with your guide dog, demonstrating active living skills etc.; please send them in an email as a JPEG file to Lenni at


Membership Tidbits

Tips for Promoting Membership

– submitted by Pat Chicquen

This is mostly for local use but if you are out of town, you can always talk to people with a white cane, ask if there is a Chapter in their area and if they would be interested in joining or starting one.

Things I have learnt about membership since I  joined the CCB.

Blind or partially sighted people love to chat.If you see a blind person please go and chat with them.  Explain who you are. They may be interested in joining CCB if not already a member.  Ask them for their first name and phone number and give them your business card or your name and phone number so they know who you are. Call them later in the day or next day.

Get together by phone or if possible, in person with your CNIB Rep and see if He or she is able to ask clients if they can give you their phone number to talk about CCB.

Take CCB brochures and book marks to your local library, book stores all types of eye doctors’ offices.

Encourage your club members to also watch out for people who may be interested.

Try and use all forms of media for events and information like newspaper, radio, social media and posters


Chapter Call In Sessions

Calling All Members…

– submitted by Iris Thompson

Over the past weeks, members of the CCB are continuing to call in to our Division Call In sessions.

Johnny Tai, a deaf-blind martial arts instructor joined us again.  Johnny shared some martial arts techniques with the group.  There was some discussion on personal safety when we are out and if we encounter a threat.  Johnny shared some tips on enhancing personal safety.

One week we had a discussion on concessions that are available when you have a disability.  If you live on the Island and have to travel for medical reasons to the mainland, the ferries are at a reduced rate.  You can contact BC ferries for more information.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions we had our Annual General meeting through zoom again.  Many members called in this year.  We are hoping for an in-person AGM and conference in the Comox Valley next year.  We may have a hybrid meeting next  year for those members aren’t able to make it in person.

It is great to have members call in and engage and share their thoughts on a variety of topics.  Stay tuned to our guests that will be joining us in the weeks to come.


Sports & Recreation

– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

BC Blind Sports continues to offer zoom training fitness sessions, blind ice hockey is still waiting on release safe play announcements hopefully for the fall, and dragon boating is still not in operation.  Blind tennis is still in operation at the Pine Tree Community Centre in Coquitlam.

Blind Tennis

The tennis program due to playing inside a community centre gymnasium with plenty of space for three or 4 courts set up which will give the players social distancing measures and room to play.  Every player must be a member with BC Blind Sports, and also if wanting to play tennis make sure to sign up and sign in at the front desk.  Below I will give contact info and address of the community center.

Pinetree Community Center.

1260 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC V3B 7Z4

Call +1 604 927-6960

Tennis practices, Wednesdays at 3:30 PM to 5 PM.Below is Susan Flanagan’s contact info.

Susan Flanagan, BC Blind Sports Member Services Coordinator

606 – 4980 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4K7

Tel: 604-325-8638 Toll Free: 1-877-604-8638


Web Site:


Blind Golf

– submitted by Darren Douma

Despite COVID, blind golf was still able to function by using a “cloud-like.” format in 2020.  This format encouraged players to still get out and participate in blind golf in a safe manner, and still submit competition scores.  In July, Blind Golf Canada in collaboration with BC Golf sponsorship hosted the BC Provincial Cloud Championships.  This had about 22 participants from Coast to Coast.  Additionally, in August, Blind Golf Canada hosted a North American Open Cloud Championship.  This event had over 57 participants from all over the World participating.

Again, with COVID still being an issue, all 2021 blind golf championships, along with Internal Blind Golf Association events have been postponed until 2022.  Therefore, the Western Canadian Championships will still be hosted in mid July 2022 in Calgary Alberta at the Inglewood Golf & Curling Club.  The 2022 Ontario Provincial & ISPS Handa Canadian Championships will be held in Guelph, Ontario in mid-August.

In the meantime, to provide competition opportunities, the WCBGA (Western Canadian blind Golf Association will host a 2021 Western Canadian Cloud Championship (July 10th-July 19th).  This event is open to all blind and partially sighted golfers in Canada.

Blind Golf Canada along with the Ontario Vison-Impaired Golfer’s Association will host the 2022 ISPS Handa Canadian Cloud Championships (August 5th-August 19th).  This event will also be an IBGA sanctioned event and open to all IBGA members around the world.

CCB Campbell River Chapter

– submitted by Lorraine Welch

Our Chapter has been meeting monthly on the Division’s Zoom.  In April Albert Ruel spoke about how Audiobooks came into being.  It was a very interesting talk and if anyone is interested, Albert was one of the presenters during White Cane Week in February and you can find his full presentation on the Division website.  Albert also talked about new technology, including new apps that are available now; and letting us know our local libraries have Audiobooks and will teach members how to use their Daisy readers, iPads and other tech items.  The local Librarian has also been to our club meeting, to talk about what services are available through the library.  Yesterday, I got a call from our local library giving us 31 Audiobooks to add to our in (my) house library.  The books are available to loan out and exchange.

I attended a Seniors at Home Disability Webinar and thought it would be great to invite them to our Chapter’s May zoom meeting.  And consequently, Laurie Amigo an Outreach officer for Assessment, Benefits and Service Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) spoke to us.  Lori is an excellent speaker and very knowledgeable on all disabilities and what benefits and credits are available to people with disabilities; as well as about what qualifies people and how to go about applying for the benefits.  And some useful resources and links on the topics covered during the session are included here.

+ New COVIDmeasures, including the three new recovery benefits:

+ Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB):

+ Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB):

+ Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB):

+ The Canada Caregiver Credit:

+ 5000-S5 Schedule 5Amounts for Spouse or Common Law Partner andDependants:

+ Disability Tax Credit:

+ T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate

+ RC4064 Disability-Related Information – 2020:

+ Tax credits and deductions for persons with disabilities:

+ RC4065 Medical Expenses – 2020:

+ Eligible medical expenses you can claim on your tax return:

+ Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1, Medical Expense Tax Credit:

+  My Account for Individuals:

+ Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP):

+ Get your taxes done at a free tax clinic:

+  Protect yourself against fraud:

+ Scams and fraud:

+ Report a scam to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call 1-888-495-8501

+  General Enquiries phone number: 1-800-959-8281

+ Benefits Enquiries phone number: 1-800-387-1193


CCB Comox Valley Chapter

– submitted by Pat Chicquen

We are still having monthly Zoom meetings.  In April, a local author from Courtenay, Judith McEntee McIntosh attended our meeting and read some of her book “Daddy Went to War” to us.  We found it touching and would have liked to have heard more and now some of us will buy the book.

In May, we listened to Betty Nobel’s presentation from White Cane Week.  Again, we were impressed hearing about Betty’s resilience and strength; and you can find this presentation on the Division website.

Other than our zoom meetings, there is not much happening.  But we have reserved the hall for our Christmas Luncheon in December with the hope all will be okay to meet in person by then.

We have also found a new way to get donations for our Chapter.  We set up an account at our local bottle depot and people can now drop off their returns and our Chapter gets the credit.  The bottle depot keeps track of the number of bottles turned in for us and pays us for them.  Thanks to the Reid family for setting this up for us.

Everyone stays safe and have a great summer.


CCB Provincial Book Club

– submitted by Kathy Sanness

The Provincial Book Club usually takes the summer off each year, but, like last year we are not doing so this summer.  We meet by Zoom on the fourth Friday of the month at 9AM Pacific.  Most of our members are from BC, but we also have two members from eastern Canada.

Our next three books are;

June 25th, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

July 23rd, Outfox by David Rosenfelt

August 27th, Dead Cold by Louise Perry

If anyone is interested in joining our club, or even just trying it out, please contact me by email; or on my cell at 250-395-0395 and I will give you any information you may need.  Thank you


CCB VIBE BC “Abilities” Chapter

– submitted by Darren Douma

It’s still a dream to establish this BC-inclusive chapter to invite as many of our members to join and showcase their “ABILITIES”.

Potential chapter members can make this their secondary chapter if they are a part of another chapter within the province.  This Chapter would be more specific and focused on Sports & recreation, but also embracing members other abilities in areas such as fine-arts, hobbies such as crafting & cooking, writing, or being an entrepreneur.

The point of sharing this endeavor an idea is to solicit the Division members for any ideas or suggestions.  Any feedback would be welcome and appreciated.Please contact me at: Or phone me at: 2504281807

A big thanks to the Division for the $200 toward art supplies in conjunction with the upcoming collaborative art exhibition scheduled for autumn 2021.  See notice in this newsletter, as well as further notices to follow.  Artist Ruth Bieber, Creston Chapter member is grateful for these funds, and heartily anticipates the exhibition titled Beyond the Horizon, which will take place locally at the Tilted Brick Gallery, as well as other locations depending on available funds and the pandemic.

Thank You all and stay safe!


Ruth’s Corner

– submitted by Ruth Bieber, MEd Theatre Artist, Playwright, Author, Visual Artist

A Word or Two, Regarding Ableism

I recently Googled the word ableism and was quite surprised to see several definitions. Has it become a bit of household terminology? Is that why it is sometimes misunderstood? For the purposes of this opinion piece, I’ll suggest this definition:

“Dec. 12, 2019 — Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability.” On the surface, one might assume, that only people without a disability can be accused of ableism. In my experience, this isn’t necessarily true. Note this definition does not even make reference to non-disabled people. In my book, ‘Disability Theatre from the InsideOut’, I talk about what I coin as the disability pecking order. That is to say, people with disabilities are just as capable of possessing ableist attitudes, as the so called temporarily able-bodied. The fact is, we are all variable; this is one of the latest buzz words. Here are some examples.

I do not possess any functional vision to speak of, and I live in an open design condo. Subsequently, I find it easier and more efficient to use a systematic means of navigating my space. In other words, I touch hard surfaces, typically in a circular design in my open living area. People who can see, often find it challenging to watch, because they want me to walk right across that open space, just like they do.  This includes some folks, who see well enough to ‘eye-drop’ but are legally blind.  Any of you who can relate to my plight, will know how easily we can veer off course depending on a slight off-angling of our toes, so touching familiar surfaces is simply safer and easier. And, what about poor old Helen Keller, were there even orientation and mobility instructors around in her day? Speaking of waving my hands around, that is exactly what I do when I succumb to the conventional pressure rather than sticking to my systematic touching; that’s right I walk right across that open space and wave my hands around just before I bruise my shins on that darn coffee table. Yup, that’s me! But at least my face remains intact; and funny thing, it isn’t any easier for the ‘eye-droppers’ to watch. The truth is, so long as it works for us, and we are safe, should we have to worry about how it looks to others? Blind people will debate this point endlessly, and personally I find the discussion tiresome. And, the bigger truth about good old Helen Keller is she is well-known in the spiritual Christian Mystic circles having published many beautiful and inspiring books, so who cares if she uses her hands to make sure she doesn’t break her nose.

Upon some further reflection, another example comes to mind from years ago when I was a board member with the Calgary Independent Living Resource Centre. The people running the centre at the time were hard working, conscientious, highly educated people, with disabilities, who wanted to make sure they were never mistaken as having a developmental disability. Can you relate? As a result, many of the principles guiding the organization effectively excluded people with intellectual challenges. Namely, support partners were not allowed in any meetings, lest they takeover, I guess. At the time I was running support groups for people with developmental delay, and believe me, many of these clients often wanted their support partners present with them, because these supports commonly facilitated communication and provided a much-needed sense of security. Now, I’m just as uncomfortable as the next blind person, when being treated like I have more than one disability, but as an organization, ableism just doesn’t cut it. As so-called higher functioning people with disabilities, we might do well to check our own ableist attitudes at the door.

Now, given our current times, and being a self-professed zoomer boomer, I would be remiss if I didn’t make mention of the use of the camera during zoom sessions. As a well thought out rule, I do not use the camera. People will give all kinds of reasons as to why I should use the camera, and I do consider these reasons, but unless there is a safety issue, I choose to be camera less. The one time I did agree to use the camera, it was out of a sense of solidarity, because the person requesting self-identified as being sight impaired; obviously someone with some good residual vision. The result of my choice was a loss of personal power, replaced by a profound sense of vulnerability. In the words of leading ableist expert Gregor Wolbring from the University of Calgary, “😊 You do what you are comfortable with. But the camera is really a good example of the disabling use of ability expectations.” And no, Gregor is not blind, he’s just well researched, likes to think about things, and, really smart.  Oh, and from Gregor’s perspective, the definition above should actually be fore ‘disablism,’ but I will not revise for the purposes of this opinion piece.

A final example, lest I become too preachy, brings me back to the definition. I’m speaking of the word ‘typical’; who gets to decide that one? Here I am reminded of a dearly departed friend, who was born totally blind. Now there’s a trip to be respected, if you ask me. She was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and yes, her physicality’s were sometimes a bit off, but who gets to decide what is, or is not typical? Many of her most harsh critics were other legally blind people. And she did try, believe me, but the fact is there were as many opinions about how she should fix herself, as there were people making suggestions. Can you say confusing? Some people would tell her she should change her hairstyle, because the one she sported was too old fashioned. So, she did, only then to be told by others her hair was messy. She seemed to constantly be under scrutiny; her hair, how she walked, how she sat, and it went on and on. When I think of this dear friend I am reminded of a quote by the famous theosophist, Jacques’ Lusseyran, who makes reference to the “despotism of the sighted.”  If you want to know more about this fascinating WWII French underground hero, just look him up. He published a fascinating book titled “And There Was Light”. The man knew something about compassion, and yes, he was blind.

Note: the term ‘eye-dropping’ is one I have created in reference to the endless staring at blind people, who can’t stare back.


Definition: Ability inequity is a normative term denoting an unjust or unfair judgment of abilities intrinsic to biological structures such as the human body.

[1] Wolbring, G., Why NBIC?  Why Human Performance Enhancement? Innovation; The European Journal of Social Science Research 2008, 21 (1), 25-40

Jacques Lusseyran  and there was Light


Ruff Ruff Corner

– submitted by Bill Conway

In the last issue of The Observer, I wrote about the pilot project regarding E KICK SCOOTERS, in six communities  in British Columbia. Now the pilot project is up and running in the following communities: City of Kelowna, City of North Vancouver, City of Vancouver,  City of Vernon,  District of North Vancouver and  District of West Vancouver.

I remind you that these mobility devices are silent, uninsurable, and users do not have to have a license either.  Even the infrastructure and Environment Committee, for our largest Canadian city, Toronto Ontario, recommended to the Toronto City Councilors to deny the pilot project for E KICK SCOOTERS in the City of Toronto.  The councilors did the right thing and said “NO”.  So I urge you to contact your city leaders to ban these noiseless devices, so all citizens with disabilities can walk in safety and not worry about additional obstacles in their pathway.



On April 28, 2021, Bill #6 “ACCESSIBILITY BC ACT” was introduced in the legislation of British Columbia. This accessibility legislation will set British Columbia on the path to a more accessible and inclusive province for people with disabilities and their support networks. If passed, the accessible British Columbia act will allow government to establish accessibility standards aimed at identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and inclusion. Standards will be developed in a range of areas such as employment, the delivery of services and the built environment.

“We’re committed to improving the lives of people living with disabilities, and today’s introduction of the accessible British Columbia act marks an important step in building an accessible province that works for all of us,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “To be a truly inclusive province, we must integrate accessibility into all aspects of our lives. This legislation will support the development of new accessibility standards, which will help ensure all British Columbians can participate more fully in their communities.”

The Minister is hoping that all will be completed and past during the 2022 fall sitting of the legislature.  This all started with the disability community coming out in force during the consultation phase of gathering information during 2019.  Let’s hope we were heard and the Act will benefit all citizens with a disability.

News, Views & Tips From You

Dice World

– submitted by Albert Ruel

In this article I will attempt to describe my experience playing one of the 6 accessible games that make up the app called Dice World.  Most of that experience has been using an iPhone XR, an iPhone SE and to a lesser degree an Android Tablet.

To start with, I only play two of the games available therein, which are Farkle and 1-4 24.  The other games that many other blind smart phone/tablet users play areYatzcy, Balut, Pig and Threes, however because I have no experience with them I’ll not attempt to describe them.

This article will only deal with Farkle, and an article describing 1-4 24 will be published in a later newsletter.


This game is also known as Greed, Zilch, 6 Dice or 10,000 and uses 6 dice with the goal to achieve the total of 10,000 points.  The Dice World app is free from your favourite app store, and will require you to register with a User Name and Password in order that your scores can be accumulated and metals and player levels calculated.  Once you download the app the registration screen is displayed and is accessible to screen reader and magnification users.  Of course, anything free will contain advertisements on the screen as well as opportunities to watch/listen to ads in order to accumulate additional bonus rolls.  During play other ways to add to your bonus roll count will present themselves, like achieving milestone scores and player levels.

I recommend that each blind or partially sighted player start by making adjustments to the provided accessibility features.  That will be found in the Settings portion of the app found near the bottom of the main front screen.  The items therein are Help, Dice, Sounds, Colour Customizations, Game Settings, Accessibility Settings, Social Settings, Blocked Users, Repair Game List, Feedback, Keyboard Mapping, Share and Invite, European GDPR Consent, Choose Image, followed by your User Name and Password fields.  Free users and those in the beginning player levels will have very limited access to the range of dice and sound affects available to paid users and those at higher player levels.

Accessibility features though are available to all, and in my opinion turning on the Magic Tap to Roll and to play videos are two of the most important features.  I also find that turning on in Game Headings helps me get to the different areas of the screen more efficiently while in play, and for that matter in any of the Dice World screens.

A game is started by accepting an invitation from another player, or challenging a real person or the computer to play the game of your choice.

The counting dice are ones which are worth 100 points and fives worth 50 points by themselves, and all die in 3, 4, 5 or 6 of a kind are valued as follows; 200 for 3 deuces, then they begin to double with each additional like dice.  Four twos in one roll is worth 400, 5 twos are worth 800 and all 6 dice are worth 1600.  Where it is slightly different is with the ones, whereby 3 aces rolled in a turn are worth 1000, 4 aces are worth 2000, 5 aces are worth 4000 and 6 aces are worth 8000.  Other ways to accumulate points is with a run of all 6 dice in one roll which will score 1500, and three pair in one roll will score 750.

Farkle played live is usually played by 3 to 8 players, and in Dice World there exists only two options, playing against the device or another player of your choosing.  Either way, each player in turn rolls all six dice by tapping the Roll button and checks to see if they have rolled any scoring dice or combinations. (See Scoring below.) Any dice that score may be selected by tapping each one and then the player may choose to roll all the remaining dice. The player must select at least one scoring die of their choice if possible but is not required to select all scoring dice.

For example, if a player rolled 1-2-2-5-5-6 on their turn, they could select the 1 and the two 5’s for scoring, or they could choose to select only the 1. Any scoring dice that are not selected may be rerolled along with the non-scoring dice. This is done by tapping the Roll button that will be accompanied with the number of remaining dice.  Also, the game will always offer a Help button where you’ll find suggestions for the current situation.

The nice thing for Voice Over users is that the device suggests all the possible counting dice after each roll, as well as a button to select all.  Most of the time I select all counting dice then roll again, or if I’m worried about failing to score with the remaining dice I may opt to Bank my current score.  Once Banked it becomes your opponent’s turn and your score will be tabulated and displayed near the top of the screen alongside your opponent’s score.

The game ends when someone reaches 10,000 points, or the highest score at the end of the round when a player has achieved 10,000 points.  Having the last roll can be an advantage if your opponent gets to 10,000 points first, in which case you have one more opportunity to achieve more points then him/her.

One of the ways to get started with Farkle, or for that matter, any of the Dice World games is to access the Tutorials found in the Settings Menu.

You can search for opponents using their Dice World Name, or simply challenging others who are listed in the Dice World app.  If you wish to challenge me to a game of Farkle look me up using my first and last names pushed together without any spaces, and with the first letter of each name capitalized.  Here it is for you to examine:AlbertRuel

Happy Farkeling!


Free Camping: A PWD Concession in BC

– from the May 20th Division Call In

Free camping in BC Provincial Parks.  If you are receiving PWD (Persons With a Disability) benefits from the province of BC, you can get up to 14 nights of free camping at all BC Provincial Parks.  You need to go down to your local Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Office and ask for a Release of Personal Information form.  And when booking your site there is a drop-down menu to select SSCFE and the campsite fees will be waived.  You still will have to pay the booking fee, but not the daily campsite fees.  When you arrive to the campsite you must present the form with your booking confirmation.  If getting down to the MSDPR office is difficult, give them a call to see if they can mail it to you.

Seniors can also get a discount, but not during peak season (June 15th to Labour Day).  Site fees will be reduced by 50%.

Other concessions shared included:

Brodie mentioned that he only pays $10 for internet per month.  Check with your internet provider to see if they will do the same; you may need a CNIB card.

There is a vehicle insurance discount and gas tax rebate from ICBC.  The vehicle needs to have your name as one of the registered owners.  You need to apply for this.  You save your gas receipts and send them in.

Ferry costs to the mainland for medical appointments is free.

BC Ferries has a disability pass. One person in the vehicle free. Driver and car are still paid for.

You can get movie theatre discounts using your CNIB card. Access to Entertainment. Art gallery and museum discounts.  Blind are free but attendant must pay.

Blackcomb/Whistler gives discounts to the disabled as well.


Your Division Board of Directors Contact Information

Ann McNabb, President – 604-795-7230 –

Gerry Braak, National Representative – 604-485-5028 –

Pat Chicquen, 1st Vice President – 250-339-3904 –

Bill Conway, 2nd Vice President – 604-740-5896 –

Kelvin Adams, Director – 250-895-9835 –

Darren Douma, Director – 250-428-1807 –

Brodie McKenzie, Director – 604-942-4255 –

Vern Short, Director – 250-819-9152 –

Iris Thompson, Director – 604-939-1258 –


Answer to President Ann’s questions

First, this tastes a little funny.

Second, his car got toad away.

Third, once. The next time you would be subtracting 10 from 90.