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

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



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.

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: https://www.rdsp.com/calculator/

The online Disability Tax Credit tool can be found here: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/dtc-app/

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


DABC’s website has more information about Access RDSP: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/access-rdsp/

Learn more about the Plan Institutes Access RDSP services: https://planinstitute.ca/resources/access-rdsp/

Accessibility in B.C.: gov.bc.ca/accessibility

See a short video promoting Accessibility Week: https://youtu.be/A4AXJ4ZE7yg



Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Media Relations 778-974-5809


Connect with the Province of B.C. at:news.gov.bc.ca/connect



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 doesnt 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): https://cayabc.net/

CAYA client stories: http://www.cayabc.org/client-stories

Accessibility in B.C.: http://www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

See a video promoting Accessibility Week:https://youtu.be/A4AXJ4ZE7yg



Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Media Relations 778-974-5809


Connect with the Province of B.C. at:news.gov.bc.ca/connect



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