News & Blog posts 2022

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

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

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


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.) 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:–893643394.html


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.”

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

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:

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

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.

News Release – The B.C. government is providing a $1.35 million grant to continue to help and encourage people with disabilities apply for an RDSP

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.



For Immediate Release


May 30, 2022


Funding helps people with disabilities plan financial futures

VICTORIA – Hundreds of thousands of people living with disabilities will be supported with continued access to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).


“We should all feel confident in planning for our future,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This investment supports organizations that work tirelessly in outreach and education, making sure people with disabilities have the tools and resources they need to make sound financial decisions.”


With $1.35 million in provincial funding over three years, the Access RDSP partnership between the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), Disability Alliance BC (DABC) and Plan Institute, can provide eligible people with disabilities with the information and support they need to access the RDSP. The Vancouver Foundation will administer the funding.


For six years, the Access RDSP initiative has worked to address barriers to participation in the RDSP and Disability Tax Credit (DTC) by offering one-to-one support and workshops in communities throughout B.C. It has reached more than 6,000 families and is raising awareness of available resources. Free online tools, such as the RDSP calculator, the DTC eligibility tool and the RDSP helpline, help people with disabilities benefit from federal and provincial disability-related programs.


Government is committed to improving the lives of people living with disabilities throughout B.C. and supporting those organizations that are helping to build a more inclusive and accessible future for everyone.



Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility –

“Building a barrier-free B.C. means integrating accessibility into every aspect of our lives – and that includes financial literacy. We know that people with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the past two years, which means it’s more important than ever to have accessible and easy-to-use resources to make financial decisions.”


Neil Belanger, chief executive officer, BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society-

“Assisting individuals and families in accessing the Registered Disability Saving Plan has been a highlight for our organization. With the support of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, the RDSP Action Group, and our RDSP program partners, we have seen firsthand the positive impact on individuals with disabilities and their families as they begin the journey to greater financial security through opening an RDSP.”


Stephanie Debisschop, executive director, Plan Institute –

“Plan Institute is excited to continue the important work of reducing disability poverty through access to the RDSP. The support of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction allows us to effectively collaborate within our communities, and to provide meaningful support in reducing the barriers that are experienced by far too many British Columbians.”


Helaine Boyd, executive director, Disability Alliance BC –

“The Access RDSP program supports people with disabilities in applying for and receiving disability-related benefits, including the Disability Tax Credit and getting set up with an RSDP. By assisting people in these application processes, it improved access for people with disabilities in receiving benefits that they are entitled to, resulting in greater financial securityand planning for the future.”


Disability Alliance BC client –

“I am ever so grateful for the professional help I received by DABC. We sorted out my disability tax credit, of which I was physically unable to do on my own. This service is invaluable. The benefits available are hard to access without the knowledge and dedication of the advocates in the RDSP program, as the process is precise and complex, which means those with disabilities may not have the stamina to make their way through the applications.”


Quick Facts:

  • The Plan Institute has an RDSP and Disability Planning Helpline that is available anytime from anywhere in Canada: 1-844-311-7526.
  • The RDSP Helpline receives on average 200 inquiries per month about the RDSP program.
  • The online RDSP calculator and Disability Tax Credit eligibility toolhave assisted more than 85,000 people with disabilities.
  • The Access RDSP initiatives one-to-one supports have reached more than 1,300 people in B.C.


Learn More:

The online RDSP calculator can be found here:

The online Disability Tax Credit tool can be found here:

Information about BCANDS Indigenous Registered Disability Savings Plan Navigation Services is available on their website:

DABC’s website has more information about Access RDSP:

Learn more about the Plan Institute’s Access RDSP services:

Accessibility in B.C.:

See a short video promoting Accessibility Week:



Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Media Relations 778-974-5809


Connect with the Province of B.C.


News Release – The B.C. government is providing a $3.162 million grant to the Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults program with assistive communication technology.

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.



For Immediate Release


May 30, 2022

Communication technology supports independence, participation

VICTORIA – People with severe communication disabilities will be able to access the augmentative communication technology and professional support they need to build independence and fully participate in their communities.


With $3.162 million in provincial funding, the Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA) program can continue supporting people in B.C. with communication barriers to meet their day-to-day communication needs.


“A lot of us take for granted the ability to say directly what we are thinking,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.“Assistive and augmentative communication technology, like a speaking aid, is vital to making sure every voice is heard and that people with disabilities have the chance to express their choices and participate in their own care.”


CAYA was established in 2005 and the provincewide program supports people 19 and older access and implement alternative and augmentative communication technology and strategies so that they can participate more fully in education, work and community, and make independent personal choices. This includes providing systems, strategies and tools that support communication such as symbol boards, keyboards and alphabet charts or speech generating devices.


More than 926,000 people in British Columbia are living with a disability and encounter barriers on a daily basis. With the passing of the Accessible British Columbia Act last year, government is working to improve the lives of people living with disabilities and increase opportunities to participate in their communities.


Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility –

“Being able to communicate your thoughts and needs is an invaluable part of building both independence and connection. That is why we are so proud to be able to continue our support of CAYA as they help give voice to people living with communication disabilities such as ALS or autism.”

Lois Turner, program manager, CAYA

“The Accessible British Columbia Act endeavours to remove barriers in society and the inability to communicate is a devastating barrier for adults in British Columbia whose speech doesn’t meet their daily needs. They rely exclusively on the services that CAYA provides, and we lookforward to working with the provincial government to ensure that these services continue to be available to all who need them for years to come.”

Ivy Pang, mother of CAYA client

“Curtis recently received an iPad with the Predictable communication app from CAYA… Curtis can express himself more clearly to anyone who doesn’t know him so that he can make new friends and voice his needs to new people. He can also talk about more abstract topics and express his emotions more broadly and deeply. Curtis is excited to have this tool to augment his communication with new people and to broaden his social circle via Zoom or at church.”

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2005, the CAYA program has served approximately 3,228 clients at various stages of acquiring and deploying assistive and augmentative communication technology.
  • During the past three years, CAYA has provided new or replacement communications technology to approximately 830 clients annually and has received more than 460 new service requests each year.
  • CAYA is administered under an agreement with the Vancouver School Board. Program functions and administration are done by CAYA members employed by the school board and under local contracts with each health authority.


Learn More:

Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA):

CAYA client stories:

Accessibility in B.C.:

See a video promoting Accessibility Week:



Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Media Relations 778-974-5809


Connect with the Province of B.C.


News Release – New funding supports deafblind people in B.C.

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.


News Release


Wednesday, June 1, 2022 8:30 AM

Media Contacts

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Media Relations
778 974-3851


A new initiative will improve the quality of life for British Columbians living with hearing and sight loss, which is known as deafblindness.

CNIB Deafblind Community Services, a non-profit organization that provides support to Canadians who are deafblind, will use $740,000 in provincial funding over two years to hire four specially trained staff known as intervenors to work with clients one on one.


“June is Deafblind Awareness Month in B.C., which is a good time for all of us to become more aware of the barriers that people who are deafblind face, as well as the unique services that help them better access the world around them,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This funding for intervenor services will help address communication challenges and provide critical supports for individuals who are deafblind so they can stay connected in their communities.”


CNIB Deafblind Community Services is one of Canada’s leading providers of specialized services for people who are deafblind to help them maximize their independence and engagement. The organization estimates that approximately 1,033 British Columbians are deafblind.


“While Deafblind Awareness Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions that individuals who are deafblind make in communities around B.C., it’s also a chance for us to ask if we are doing enough to address barriers for the deafblind community,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. “It’s our goal, as we continue to implement the Accessible B.C. Act, to make sure that people who are deafblind have every opportunity to work, learn and contribute to the best of their ability.”


Intervenors are trained to act as the eyes and ears of a person who is deafblind, making it easier for them to navigate day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping,banking and attending doctor’s appointments. Different from sign-language interpreters, intervenors relay visual information about a client’s surroundings to them using the client’s preferred communication methods, which may or may not include sign language.


“We at CNIB Deafblind Community Services are thrilled to be moving into B.C. to help British Columbians who are deafblind increase their independence and engagement with the world around them,” said Sherry Grabowski, vice-president, CNIB Deafblind Community Services. “Intervenor services are not just nice to have but are imperative to the well-being of people who are deafblind, and we could not be more pleased to be bringing this vital service to many people in B.C. who need it.”


Providing the right tools and services for people who are deafblind is just one way government supports lives lived fully with independence, purpose and dignity. Raising awareness about deafblindness and shifting people’s attitudes are important elements of removing barriers and creating a more accessible and inclusive province for everyone.


Quick Facts:

  • This is the second year that B.C. has proclaimed June Deafblind Awareness Month.
  • Helen Keller, a person who was deafblind, was known internationally for her achievements. She was born in June.


Learn More:

Canadian National Institute for the Blind in B.C.:

Deafblind Awareness Month proclamation:

Accessibility in B.C.:


Joint statement on AccessAbility Week 2022, ASIC and Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, May 29, 2022


Access for Sight Impaired Consumers


Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

For Immediate Release

May 29, 2022


Joint statement on AccessAbility Week 2022

VICTORIA – Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility, have released the following statement about AccessAbility Week:

“May 29 to June 4, 2022, is AccessAbility Week in British Columbia and in Canada. While this is the fifth year our province has celebrated AccessAbility Week, it is the first time since the introduction of the new Accessible British Columbia Act.

“This year, we recognize the many contributions people with disabilities have made toward making B.C. more accessible. We thank the individuals, communities and organizations actively removing barriers. We celebrate the steps we are taking toward a more accessible and inclusive province under the new act. This includes the recently announced Accessible British Columbia Regulation that requires more than 750 public-sector organizations to establish an accessibility committee, an accessibility plan and a feedback tool to improve accessibility.

“AccessAbility Week is a time to remember that an inclusive society is one where all people can participate equally in their communities and workplaces. Accessibility Week is also a time for government to highlight support for people with disabilities and organizations that advocate for people with disabilities.

“Again this year, government is providing $500,000 in community grants to improve accessibility and inclusion. The grants will be distributed by Disability Alliance BC (DABC) to support local accessibility projects in communities throughout B.C. DABC will issue a call for proposals on its website this summer. Projects should focus on accessible education, learning, sports and recreation, arts, culture and tourism, community participation, emergency planning and response, or accessible employment.

“People with disabilities have diverse interests, talents and experiences that contribute richly to our society, culture and economy. We all benefit when their voices are heard and listened to.

“And we are creating a new path that breaks down barriers, promotes fairness and equity, and creates a culture of inclusion.

“This Accessibility Week, we invite all British Columbians to celebrate the people who are working to achieve a barrier-free B.C.”

Quick Facts:

  • In 2021, 15 organizations received funding for accessibility projects.
  • As of 2017, there are more than 926,000 British Columbians older than 15 who have some form of disability.

Learn More:

Information about the new accessibility project grants can be found on the DABC website:

Accessibility in B.C.:

A short video promoting AccessAbility Week:


Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Media Relations 778-974-5809

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

Comox resident named Canadian Council of the Blind BC-Yukon Division president – Comox Valley Record, May 4, 2022

Comox resident named Canadian Council of the Blind BC-Yukon Division president – Comox Valley Record

Pat Chicquen has been named president of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) BC-Yukon Division.

Chicquen accepted the three-year term at the recent provincial annual general meeting. It was a natural progression after her term as vice-president.

Chicquen said her goal is to improve awareness of the CCB.

Audiobooks, AI, and humans – where do they stand? – Good e-Reader

The audiobook segment is easily the most lucrative at the moment. With demand ever on the rise, one might have the impression the voice artists are having a
— Read on