CCB BC-Yukon Division Newsletter – Winter 2019

President’s Message

Hello, here we are once again and believe it or not we are already well into 2019!

White Cane Week has come and gone, hockey is winding down and baseball and golf are fast approaching.

By the way, why did the M&M go to school? Check the answer at the end of this newsletter. Hoping you are still okay with me sharing this – I could not resist the urge…

How is your Chapter making out selling the Division’s 50/50 Raffle tickets?
Please get out there and help to SELL SELL SELL! Remember the more tickets we sell, the bigger our pot will be!

You should have received registration information for the 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division Triennial Conference in Chilliwack at the SureStay by Best Western. Plans continue to be made for all in attendance to have a positive and memorable time – from goats, to ghosts and more. If you need the information, please let us know…

Does your Chapter need more CCB BC-Yukon Division brochures? Let us know and we will mail them to you. To help promote your Chapter, put an insert into the brochure with your Chapter’s contact information; suggest using high contrast, black lettering on a yellow background.

A quick reminder to fill out the CCB National Survey on Accessibility and Assistive Technology – it will take you 8 to 10 minutes to complete the survey and needs to be done by March 15th – at…

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/accessible-tech

Please 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.

Winter is almost done with and Spring is coming – enjoy the sun and flowers when they arrive and wherever you are…

Ann McNabb, President


Webpage News

Please remember to send your WCW pictures or any other pictures – with a detailed description and who is in the picture for labeling purposes.
Kelvin Adams kelzar@hotmail.com
and
Kathy Sanness ksanness@telus.net
would appreciate any comments or suggestions you have to offer regarding the CCB BC-Yukon Division Website – http://www.ccbbcyukon.com


Membership Tidbits

– submitted by Pat Chicquen

I have been contacting Chapters asking how they are doing and if they have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call me if you need help and I will do my best to help and if I need to I will call on the experts to help solve anything I am not sure of. Hope everyone had a successful White Cane Week.

Chapter Call in Sessions

– submitted by Pat Chiccquen and Ann McNabb

Calling All Chapters… Your next Chapter Call In Session hosts will be Geraldine Braak and Kathy Sanness on Friday March 15th at 10:00 AM. Following are the call in directions…

Dial 1-866-351-5099; when you hear “hello” press the # (pound) key and press or say 470.

An email will be sent out before the call asking for any topics you would like discussed and added to the Call In Agenda. Remember this is your time to share, receive input from other Chapters and ask questions – your news and views are important to us!


Book of Honour 2019

– submitted by Bill Conway and Ann McNabb

Do you have a member in your Chapter who goes above and beyond expectations? Someone who deserves recognition? This is your opportunity to nominate a blind/partially sighted and/or a sighted member for the CCB BC-Yukon Division Book of Honour.

You should have received the information on how to nominate someone from your Chapter for the Book of Honour, but if you have any questions or did not receive the information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to hearing about the deserving members in your Chapter.


Sports and Recreation

– submitted by Linda Hall & Lori Fry

The West Coast Blind Curling Association (WCBCA) Provincial Playdowns were held in 100 Mile House January 10th to 13th, 2019. It appears Extra funding that had to be raised contributed to the overall success of the event as it allowed the host club to provide teams from Vancouver, Kelowna and Prince George the opportunity to rent a van and hire a driver in order to transport teams to the event site as well as cover the additional expenses involved with adding an extra day to the event. This was necessary due to the Greyhound service being discontinued. A big thank you goes out to the BC Blind Sports & Recreation Association and VIASport.

All participants in this Provincial Playdowns were CCB members and the CCB was showcased well through this bonspiel. The visiting teams were very impressed with the community support that was so evident and expressed their appreciation. Local dignitaries of all levels of government were represented at the opening ceremonies and a written thank you was received by the 100 Mile House & District Blind & Visually Impaired White Cane Club from the local MLA for hosting this event in the South Cariboo.

The final outcome from the 2019 WCBCA Provincial Playdowns is as follows.

1st Place – Kelowna

Tied for 2nd Place – Prince George & 100 Mile House, but because PG defeated 100 Mile in Draw 3, PG ends up in 2nd place.

3rd Place – 100 Mile

4th Place – Vancouver

Now onto the next event …

The Western Blind Curling Association (WBCA) 47th annual championships will be hosted by British Columbia and will take place in Kamloops March 20 – 23, 2019 at the Kamloops Curling Club. The WBCA represents the four western provinces British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and under normal circumstances, the annual championship takes place in each province on a rotational basis. Two teams from each of these provinces will visit Kamloops to compete for the western title.

This event is being co-hosted by the CCB BC-Yukon Division and the West Coast Blind Curling Association and is as large of an event as the national Canadian Visually Impaired Curling Championships (CVICC)held in Ottawa each year during White Cane Week. Results of the CVICC were published in the February 2019 edition of the CCB national newsletter.

Although the planning of these events involves a great deal of time and effort, the collaboration between the WCBCA, WBCA, VIASport, BC Blind Sports and Curl BC provides the CCB with another platform for others to become aware of who we are.

It is possible that we can take another sport to this level as arrangements are underway to host the CCB BC-Yukon Division 5 Pin Bowling Inter City Tournament to be held in Kamloops on may 25,2019 at the falcon lanes. It is a one-day event and will start at 1:00 pm. It will include teams from Kamloops, Kelowna and Chilliwack; 3 games followed by a banquet and awards presentation.

For many years, there has been a five pin bowling competition between Kamloops and Kelowna, but
this will be somewhat like the inaugural or pilot event to determine if it would be feasible to expand the tournament throughout the Division. Depending on the interest of members, funding could be sought to support a bigger event; possibly through VIASport depending on the expansion of the tournament and the grant criteria for such an event.

CCB Chilliwack Chapter

– submitted by Ann McNabb

As per usual, our chapter is happily busy.

In December, our chair yoga classes started just before our two monthly meetings and we are hoping to continue them throughout this year.

During White Cane Week we again hosted an Open House with the CNIB, who sent emails and posted invitations to clients in our area – this year it’s always a fun and busy time letting others know who we are and what we do.

Our Chapter is cohosting the Meet ‘n Greet for the 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division Conference on April 29th and we are hoping to have a good representation of our members in attendance for the three day celebration of the CCB’s 75th Anniversary.

And our bowlers are looking forward to attending Kamloops Bowling tournament in May.

CCB Comox Valley Chapter

– submitted by Pat Chicquen

White Cane Week and white snow week went hand in hand this year. We only had to cancel one of our four events. We were at two grocery stores and a pub. At the pub, they had two bands play for us. The first band learned “My White Cane” song and did a great job on it. They had door prizes and admission by donation for our club. The bar owner does this on the first Tuesday of every month to help the different charities in the Comox Valley and we have been invited back next year.

On March 19th our club is having an open house at Berwick, 1700 Comox Avenue in Comox. It starts at 9am and runs till 4pm.

CCB Dogwood Chapter

– submitted by Pat Roy

What is life without gained knowledge? Not being avid football fans our club hosted a booth at Coquitlam Centre on Sunday, February 3rd to educate the public about CCB. Unfortunately with the game on and the snowfall we did not end up finding any new members although thanks to the salesmanship of one of our volunteers we were able to sell some 50/50 tickets. We will not do that again – super bowl Sunday not selling the tickets.

On the bright side the club has become involved with the city of Coquitlam in trying to make sidewalks more accessible. We have had a meeting with the city staff and our input has been requested on a future project which is a positive step for our club.

CCB Get Together with Technology (GTT) Corner

– submitted by Albert Ruel

This is how you can use Siri to set and check your calendar appointments…

Also, I highly recommend an app called VO Calendar. It is worth the nominal cost, as it is a Voice Over accessible overlay on the iOS Calendar app that gives you a good look at daily and weekly schedules quickly and easily. Search for VO Calendar on the App Store.

To set a Calendar appointment:

1. Hold down the Home button and say to Siri, Set an appointment for February 18, 2019 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM titled, Lunch with Sally Sue. You can let go of the Home button once this process is started.

2. Siri will repeat what he has written into the appointment calendar, then he’ll ask you if you want to change anything, and if you don’t respond the appointment will remain just as he/she has repeated to you.

3. To change anything you can say, Change the date, or change the title and he’ll ask you for the new information, after which he’ll repeat the changes and ask if you want to update it. Sadly though, you can’t delete this or any other appointments using Siri once they’re saved in the calendar.

To check for appointments:

1. Hold down the Home button and do the following, do I have any appointments on July 7th? He’ll look up that date in the current year unless you specify a different year and if there are appointments he’ll read them out to you. You can also use words like Friday, tomorrow or today. Once again, let go of the Home button once this process is started.

2. You can ask when your next Dentist/lunch/doctor’s appointment is provided you have placed that word in the title of the appointment. He will read it to you if it exists, or he’ll say he didn’t find anything in your calendar over the next two months. This doesn’t mean the appointment isn’t there, it just means that word wasn’t found in the appointment titles.

A quick primer on how to convert a Facebook photo from your iPhone/iPad containing text so that screen reader users can enjoy the learning/laughter as well. This primer supposes you are using iOS 12.x…

1. Download and install the free iOS app called Seeing AI. It’ll be your conversion tool.

2. With focus on the target photo in Facebook one finger double tap to open it.

3. Scroll through the page to find the More Button and one finger double tap to reveal a list of options, the first of which will be the Save Button. One finger double tap that button and the photo will be saved to the Camera Roll in your Photos Folder.

4. Navigate to your Photos Folder and locate the last photo saved in the Camera Roll and open it with a one finger double tap.

5. With the photo opened navigate to the bottom of the page and one finger double tap on the Share Button.

6. Scroll through the list to find Seeing AI in the list and one finger double tap to launch it. It will convert the photo and any text therein for you. If the photo contains a picture it will attempt to interpret it, and in another section of the screen it will present the converted text.

7. Copy the text to the clipboard with a three finger quadruple tap.

8. Navigate back to Facebook and locate the photo in question. You may have left it open when you navigated to the Photo Folder, so locate the Close Button and one finger double tap it. Otherwise, scroll to the original photo and perform a two finger double tap and hold to launch the edit field where you will paste the converted text.

9. In the active Edit Field you will spin your Rotor to the item called Edit, then swipe up or down with one finger to find the Paste Button and one finger double tap it to paste the text from the clipboard.

10. Once the text is pasted you can scroll to, and one finger double tap the Save Button.

Thank you in advance for making the FB world a little more accessible and enjoyable for blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind Facebook users.


CCB Kamloops Chapter

– submitted by Linda Hall

On Jan 24th Les and Laura went to the TV station to talk about White Cane Week (WCW) and arranged with City Hall to have February 3rd to 9th proclaimed white cane week in Kamloops. Many of our members visited local businesses to get door prizes donated for our WCW Luncheon on February 7th. There were 58 people in attendance and our guest speaker was Les Nolin from the CNIB office in Kamloops. On February 19th, Les, Laura and a few others went to Barnhartvale School to talk about different Visual Aids and white canes and they also played goal ball with the students.

We are hosting an Inter- City Bowling Tournament on May 25th at Falcon Lanes, 2020 Falcon Road in Kamloops. Teams from Kamloops, Kelowna and Chilliwack will be participating. We will bowl three games starting at 1:00 PM and then afterwards there will be an Awards Banquet for all the bowlers.


CCB Kelowna Blind Curlers Chapter

– submitted by Bill Mah

KELOWNA DEFENDS TITLE AT CANADIAN VISION IMPAIRED CHAMPIONSHIPS – The Canadian Vision Impaired Championships were held during White Cane Week in Ottawa. Seven teams gathered to vie for the title.

The Frank Costello rink went back as team Canada to defend the title. Team members were: lead Bill Mah, second Kelly Thom, third Rose-Ann Lyons, skip Frank Costello, sweeper Kent Stewart, on ice guide Carol Mcastocker and coach Dan Martell. Team Canada from Kelowna ended up with a record of 4-2 after the round robin portion of the spiel which put us in the semifinals. Unfortunately, we fell short in the semifinals losing to Nova Scotia which were the eventual winners of the spiel.

Despite the loss, we wish to acknowledge the organizing committee for their excellent work in hosting this tournament. Further, we want to pay special thanks to all of the volunteers that gave of their time, time keepers and the Lions that provided the transportation.

We would like to acknowledge a milestone with this spiel. This was the first time that AMI carried the finals live on their audio channel. Renowned announcer from TSN Vic Rauter and Norma Wick provided an audio description of the finals. It was announced that this was the first time that this happened.


CCB Port Coquitlam Visually Impaired People (VIP) Chapter

– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

Hello BC-Yukon Division Chapters, it’s Brodie the LHON warrior and cancer crusader giving you information about the upcoming 2019 national Canadian blind hockey tournament held in Toronto. Below is the info from the email that was sent out from Matt Morrow the executive director of Canadian blind hockey…

Blind Hockey community: it is time to GET EXCITED! The original, the biggest, and the best Blind Hockey Tournament in the world begins in only six weeks, when the adapted puck will drop at the seventh annual Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament. As always, the tournament is at Ryerson University’s world-class Mattamy Athletic Centre – the former Maple Leaf Gardens – in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event takes place March 22 – 24, 2019, and is presented by AMI – Accessible Media Inc. and brought to you by CNIB.

The 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament will be by far the BIGGEST event in the history of the parasport of Blind Hockey. We are expecting between 100 and 125 participants who are blind or partially sighted, who will be competing in a record five different divisions including: Children, Youth, Low Vision and Development, Open, and Select Blind Hockey Divisions. Speaking of exciting news, the 2019 Select Division will also be our biggest yet, and will feature the top 50 Blind Hockey players on the planet representing Canada East, Canada West, and USA Blind Hockey. These star-studded teams will compete in a double round-robin and provide Blind Hockey fans with eight unbelievable games throughout the weekend!

From four-year-old boys and girls who are just beginning their Blind Hockey journey, all the way to the seasoned All-Stars from across North America, the 2019 Canadian Nationals will showcase just how far the parasport of Blind Hockey has come. Whether you are a player, coach, key volunteer, partner, donor, sponsor, or just a big Blind Hockey fan: the 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament promises to be our best event yet and is not to be missed!

2018 was a monumental year for the growth of Blind Hockey. We had our first-ever European participants compete, we introduced the Children and Youth Division to Canadian Nationals, and we partnered with USA Hockey to put on the words first-ever International Blind Ice Hockey Series in Pittsburgh in October. There has never been a better time to get involved with the sport, and we are looking forward to the many exciting developments that 2019 is sure to bring, beginning with the Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament.

There are currently an all-time high of 22 Blind Hockey programs established across North America, and the exciting beginnings of Blind Hockey programs in England and Finland. If you are interested in learning more about the parasport of Blind Hockey, and how you can get involved, please email info@blindicehockey.com to be connected with a program near you.

Canadian Blind Hockey programs include: the Toronto Ice Owls, Les Hiboux de Montreal, the Calgary Seeing Ice Dogs, the Edmonton SeeHawks, the Vancouver Eclipse, the Nova Scotia See-Kings, the Newfoundland Eye-Landers, GTA Youth, ASRAB Calgary Youth, and the Canadian National Blind Hockey Team.

USA Blind Hockey programs include: NY Nightshade, Chicago Blackhawks, Washington, Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Braillers, NY Metro, Colorado Visionaries, St Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Indiana, Seattle, and the USA Blind Hockey Team.

Here is the Canadian blind hockey YouTube link to enjoy the tournament with live streaming…

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYiOpdeWTKZdgq_8aD55zsQ

And the 2019 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament Schedule will be sent to your inbox very soon.

Myself and members of the Vancouver eclipse blind hockey team are gearing up and practising with extra ice times before the tournament we are all getting pumped up for a great weekend meeting new friends, and seeing old friendships. This is my fifth tournament now and my fifth season with the Eclipse every minute I’m on the ice, and every moment I’m in the tournaments there’s a huge smile on my face with positive vibes flowing. I love being Canadian and I love hockey.

Giving all Canadian Council of the blind chapters’ supreme strength, and powerful positive vibes.

Always walk in warrior mode faith, strength, courage.

Keep your head held high, with confidence in your stride.


CCB Provincial Book Club Chapter

Do you like to read? Do you like to talk about books? If so, you are welcome to come and join us – we meet by teleconference on the fourth Friday of the month at 9:00 AM.

For March we are reading “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith and for April we are reading “Milkman” by Anne Burns.

For information on how to join us please contact
Kathy Sanness by email at ksanness@telus.net
or call 778-484-2298
or 250-395-0395.


CCB Vancouver Arts and Culture Lovers chapter

– submitted by Amy Amantea

White Cane Week 2019

The 75th anniversary of The Canadian Council of the Blind is being celebrated all year long and across the country.

On February 4, 2019 – the annual White Cane Week event was held at Park Royal Shopping Centre for the seventh year in a row. It was our most successful event EVER!!! Once again we were stationed in Park Royal South – Centre court which is so much more visible to the public. We had a steady stream of people all day long and many people from the blind and partially sighted community that came from as far away as White Rock, by transit, just to check out the event, meet new people and feel connected to the community. I was initially a bit worried that the fresh snowfall would be a deterrent but to my surprise it didn’t seem to hold people back.

This year we captured individuals from almost 20 local organizations that provide resources, services and products to people living with sight loss. The full list of organizations is listed at the end of this report.

We had 2 draws this year, entrance was free to anyone who made a visit to each of the vendor tables. Park Royal again donated a $100 gift card and CCB GTT donated a Google Mini (which was offered to anyone who identified as having a disability as we classified it as an assistive technology device). The Park Royal gift card was won by John Ogilvie and the Googler Mini won by Kristy Kassie – both if who are members of the CCB.

We again had our lunch catered by White Spot and we had enough food to offer to guests living with sight loss who were visiting the tables. We never want to see good food go to waste so we made sure that the balance found its way to hungry tummy’s.

A BIG thank you to all those who attended and volunteered!

I was able to chat with so many people, a group of seniors with low sight noticed the yellow buttons and asked for a few to hand out to their friends. They said that they think these small buttons will change the way the live their lives in the community and that it will make other people more aware of their low sight level. One lady has been afraid to leaver her home because people “don’t get it” and with the addition of a yellow pin that she can wear, she hopes that it will boost her confidence enough to feel more comfortable. Learning about the simplest technology, like a talking clock of a liquid lever helped one senior to feel like he could gain a small amount of his independence back. And yet another man just wanted to share his story and learn tips from others with sight loss on how they express to people that just because he was blind doesn’t mean that he can’t do anything – it just means that he needs to do things differently. It was an afternoon of learning, storytelling, connecting and communicating – and I would like to think, friendship making!

Community Partners who make this event happen every year include: Park Royal Shopping Centre, White Spot–Park Royal, Second Cup–Park Royal, Canadian Council of the Blind and our dedicated volunteers. Our table venders this year included: Accessible Media Inc (AMI), Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians, BC Blind Sport and Recreation Association, BC/Alberta Guide Dogs, Blind Beginnings, The Blind Beader, The Canadian Council of the Blind, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Capilano K9 Collars, Canadian Assistive Technology, Camp Bowen Society for the Independence for the Blind and Deafblind, Camp Bowen innovation Society, Leash of Hope, Loadstone GPS, North Shore Library Services, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, West Vancouver District and VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society.


Here is what is new with VocalEye

The Vancouver Art Gallery is now offering a described tour on the first Saturday of each month from 1030 to 12. This is a pilot project that has been running since January and has thus far been quite successful. Each month a few pieces are chosen by a VAG staff member/curator and showcased as a described tour. Each month features a different selection of pieces so we have seen that there are regular attendees each month coming for the experience. At the moment this service is free f charge for VocalEye members. Registration is required through VocalEye as this service is not being advertised through the VAG resources but simply through VocalEye while still in the pilot stage. After the VAG tour there is a social lunch.

Another program that VocalEye is launching which we are referring to as a Notable Sociable. VocalEye has maybe dates of described programming and we wanted to start offering a social experience either before or afterwards. This gives members an opportunity to meet eachother, socialize, enjoy some good food and good laughs and build relationships so that groups can feel comfortable making arrangements to go to arts and cultural events on am ore regular basis. There is a guest list for people who are interested in getting the information on the social events on a frequent basis. VocalEye often purchases appy’s for the table and in smaller groups pick up the entire tab – it just depends on the event!

So, if anyone is interested in what social events are coming up surrounding VocalEye described programming please feel free to contact
Amy at 604-763-2695
or email amy@vocaleye.ca

And if you are interested in the Vancouver Art Gallery described tours you can register for these free tours with
Donna at: buddies@vocaleye.ca

Donna can also provide you with a buddy who can meet up and walk with you to the VAG if need be.

Please continue to check out the website for all the fun programming that is available this season with VocalEye.

www.vocaleye.ca

CCB VIBE Creston Blind Golf Chapter

– submitted by Darren Douma

We will be hosting four blind golfing events this July in BC…

* 2019 BC Provincial Invitational Blind Golf Championships on July 5th & 6th at Creston Golf Club in Creston BC

* 2019 Western Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships from July 8th to 10th at Bootleg Gap Golf in Kimberley BC

* CCB-VIBE Ice Breaker Tourney on July 11th – a practice round in conjunction with the ISPS HANDA Canadian Championships for the players and an opportunity for local golfers and sponsors to play in a team event with a blind or partially sighted golfer allowing us to promote our “blind golf Chapter” and drive home the message about CCB and the BC-Yukon Division – the many great benefits and supports available to the low-vision community

* 2019 ISPS HANDA Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships on July 12th & 13th at St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort in Cranbrook BC

These events will host about 50 players plus their coaches – players from Canada coast to coast, USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Israel and South Korea. With the events in the East Kootenays – Cranbrook and Kimberley – we hope to plant a seed promoting blind golf, gaining support for these events and attracting more blind golfers. Golf Canada our national association with all our provincial golf associations are focusing on “Diversity and Inclusion”; and I have been asked to sit on an advisory committee with BC Golf.

In BC, we have three new partially sighted golfers joining us and participating in our blind golf events this July. And even more exciting is that 2 of our new golfers are ladies. Overall, it’s BC adding new golfers to Blind golf In Canada. We are strong in BC with our CCB BC-Yukon Division and the same can be said for BC Golf.

At the same time, I am spreading the message hoping to attract and encourage the low vision community to be aware of all the benefits of CCB and the availability of other blind sports options – recreational or competitive. As a Director with BC Blind Sports, my focus will be on the promotion of all sports with the message of “Power of Sport”. Additionally, with our community being heavy into the fine arts, to also promote this avenue with the message of “Ability over Disability”.

Ruth Bieber

– from the Creston Valley Advance, January 2019

– written by Lorne Eckersley, Publisher

Ruth Bieber is the mother of two adult sons, has a Master’s degree in education, has a long history in the theatre, is an enthusiastic traveler and paints pictures, one of which is currently on display at the Chamber of Commerce. She is also blind.

In February Bieber will be presenting a one-woman theatrical production, To See or Not to See: Homecoming, which she wrote and produced originally as a 14-actor ensemble. Audiences will be encouraged, but not required, to wear blindfolds so they can be fully immersed into Bieber’s sightless world. As an option, she offers people who attend the first performance a $5 ticket to the second show if they want the blindfold experience as a follow-up. The presentations’ timing coincides with the end of White Cane Week, a national effort to raise awareness.

Bieber toured Alberta with To See or Not to See last year, doing 15 performances—primarily in private homes to small audiences—in 17 days. “In the dead of winter!” she said last week. “I came home to Creston and just collapsed for a while. It took an incredible amount of energy.”

To See or Not to See is a memoir that takes its audience on a journey through Bieber’s life. The multi-media solo is a soul-searching journey of adventure, discovery and ultimate forgiveness. She describes the play as “intensely personal, but universal in its dramatic and historic appeal.” Much of Bieber’s adult life has provided the basis for her one-woman show. Her Master’s degree included a specialization in rehabilitation and theatre, and she worked for many years at the University of Calgary. In the 1990s she founded InsideOut Theatre and served as its artistic director for 17 years. During that time, she spoke and performed at conferences and festivals, both nationally and internationally, including the Learned Conference in Newfoundland (1998), the High Beam Festival in Adelaide, Australia (2000) and the Come To Your Senses Conference in Toronto (2009). Her publications also reflect the evolutionary nature of this process. Her most recent publication, “Disability Theatre from the InsideOut” is available as an E-book, or in paperback.

After a two-year stint in New York City, Bieber moved to Kelowna, where she took up painting, curated “Just Imagine”, an exhibition of works by blind artists, and developed art gallery appreciation programs for people with vision impairments. She is also a freelance writer and active with the Creston chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind, where she often collaborates with the president, Darren Douma, who is active in blind golf and other sports.

The Creston performances are part of a larger tour that Bieber has been making through Southern BC. To See or Not to See will be presented at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church on Saturday, February 9th at 7 pm and Sunday, February 10th at 3 pm. Musician and friend Shelli Hutcheson will provide technical and sound support.


Walking into White Cane Week in Kamloops

– from Kamloops This Week February 5th, 2019

– written by Todd Sullivan

You’ve probably seen them around Kamloops — men and women sporting a white cane. You probably even know those using the canes are visually impaired and that they’re able to get around independently thanks to that white cane. But you might not know what it’s like to have that impairment or the challenges faced by those who have lost or are losing their vision. For White Cane Week in 2019 KTW felt it important to tell readers the stories of the people behind those canes. These people include Surander Singh, a financial consultant at IG Wealth Management who sits on the board of the Canadian Council Of The Blind.

Singh noted this is the 75th anniversary of White Cane Week, which began with the council. Kamloops’ White Cane Club marked its 25th anniversary in 2018.

Singh started to lose his sight in 2008. “I was 42 at the time when I got glaucoma and it came on really quick,” he said. “Once the optic nerve is damaged, there’s no reversing it.”

Fortunately, as a certified financial planner, he was working in an industry in which he could continue his career with the help of technology. “I remember my original director telling me, he says, ‘You know what, we’ve got a good disability program here. If you happen to go on disability and you’re not able to do your job, there is disability,’” Singh recounted. “And I said, ‘Well, that’s not happening. I’m not going on disability.’”

Singh explained that IG Wealth Management (previously Investors Group) has been incredibly supportive of his desire to continue to work, as have his customers. But more than anything else, he said, it was while talking to others with vision problems that helped him overcome the worst of what he faced. “When I got introduced to some individuals within the Canadian Council of the Blind organization, as well as the CNIB [Canadian Institute for the Blind], I was able to get some help,” Singh said.

“And, unbelievable, when you start to connect with the individuals within the blind community, they understand you and you get to understand them, and it allows you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. “Pardon the pun,” he added. “Talking to people with vision problems helped me to be able to understand how to deal with the loss of sight.”

There are a few events planned for White Cane Week. Presentations will be made at local schools, with information provided about the use and types of white canes, braille, low-vision devices and games — such as goalball — specifically designed for the blind. The White Cane Luncheon will be held on Wednesday at Desert Gardens Community Centre downtown. There will be door prizes donated by local businesses and Les Nolin of the CNIB will be the guest speaker.

His presentation will deal with vision loss rehabilitation, the CNIB Foundation and the guide dog and Phone-it-Forward programs.


Your CCB BC-Yukon Division Board of Directors

Ann McNabb, President
   604-795-7230
   ann4council@telus.net

Lori Fry, National Representative
   250-395-2452
   ODIFRY@shaw.ca

Gerry Braak, 1st Vice President
   604-485-5028
   gbraak@shaw.ca

Pat Chicquen, 2nd Vice President
   250-339-3904
   patchicquen@hotmail.com

Bill Conway, Director
   604-740-5896
   5122wac@telus.net

Kelvin Adams, Director
   250-895-9835
   kelzar@hotmail.com

Linda Hall, Director
   250-376-4900
   lhall12@shaw.ca

Kathy Sanness, Director
   778-484-2298
   ksanness@telus.net


Answer to President Ann’s question

because he wanted to be a Smartie…

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