CCB-BC-Yukon division Newsletter, The Observer, Winter 2021 edition

President’s Message

Hello, can you believe it!  It’s already February 2021!  In my youth, the turn of the century was far away and I thought when it happened, I would be old!  And lo and behold, we are 21 years from there and I really do not feel so old.  Although I must admit some days are better than others…  And now it’s already February, well into the new year and White Cane Week (WCW) is just around the corner.

As per our tradition, here are some jokes for you to enjoy.  First, why did the chicken go to the séance?  Second, what did the left eye say to the right eye?  And third, what did the shark say when he ate the clownfish?  Please check the end of this newsletter for the answers to these must know questions…

It is confirmed that the Division’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Zoom Friday April 30, 2021.  Once again, due to Covid, there will be no in person AGM.  Although, the hope is still to have an in-person workshop in the fall if the pandemic has abated.

In Bill Conway’s article he writes about the Division’s White Cane Week plans.  These four virtual Zoom events have already been shared on Facebook, advertised in the Sun and Province newspapers, mentioned on podcasts, talked about at Zoom meetings, shared by CCB members across Canada, posted on websites and maybe you too have shared the details with a family member or friend.  Please follow the Zoom link and join us during WCW.

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


White Cane Week (WCW)

WCW is held the first full week of February.  This year 2021 WCW is from Sunday February 7th to Saturday February 13th.


2021 White Cane Week (WCW) Virtual event

– submitted by Bill Conway, WCW Chair

The Canadian Council of the Blind(CCB) BC-Yukon Division will be hosting a week-long virtual event using the ZOOM platform.  There will be four (4) different topics scheduled for different days throughout the week and times of the day.  By spreading out the events, the committee is hoping that it attracts a good range of listeners.  The province of BC, has granted us our proclamation for White Cane Week, we are planning a special person to read it out for us.  We are posting DID YOU KNOW teasers each Monday, starting Jan. 11, on our FACEBOOK  & WEB SITE.  During the WCW-21 week, we will be posting information pertaining to blindness and related material. We will also be posting the ZOOM link on our media sites during the first week of February with a reminder each day prior to the event.  There is no advance registration for any of the scheduled events.

White Cane Week 2021 Virtual Event schedule

* Events host Fraser Hiltz

* February 7th 1:00 PM Kick Off – History of CCB & WCW

Presenter: Amy Amantea

* February 9th 10:00 AM – Evolution of Assistive Technology

Presenter: Albert Ruel

* February 11th 7:00 PM – World Blind Union

Presenter: Charles Mossop

* February 13th 11:00 AM – Life Experience A Success Story

Presenter: Betty Nobel

Keep an ear out for the ZOOM link to WCW-21, posted on our media platforms.



Membership Tidbits

submitted by Pat Chicquen

It is nearly White Cane Week.  Of course we cannot go out and talk to people about the CCB, but we have a great program on Zoom. Please Check Bill Conway’s article for more information on this.

In the Comox Valley we are planning to put CCB information in the display case at the Comox Credit Union; plus an article in the local newspaper.

Hopefully we will all get shots for the Covid 19 Virus soon and we can get back to our normal lives. Take care and stay safe.


Chapter Call In Sessions

Calling All Chapters…

– submitted by Iris Thompson

For the rough year that 2020 was, we had a very successful end by the CCB hosting a virtual Christmas party for the first time. The event was very successful with 46 participants everyone seemed to have fun. There was singing, trivia, jokes and Elvis even made an appearance and sang a few songs. With so many events being cancelled we thought we may give it a try. We had a few glitches with zoom, but now with so many people using zoom what is a call without some technical difficulties.

It was great to hear members laughing and singing Christmas tunes.  There were loads of door prizes, ranging from a google mini, gift cards and girl guide cookies . We were so pleased so many members decided to call in and share in some Christmas fun.

The first guest speaker we had for the New Year was Marty Schultz from Blindfold Games.  Marty talked about accessible gaming.  Marty is a cofounder of ObjectiveEd, which builds Expanded Core Curriculum-based games for pre-K to 12th grade students. Marty develops games for  IOS devices that are accessible for blind and low vision individuals.

The apps are available through the app store and can be purchased for a small fee. The games are free to download and you get a chance to try them out to see if you like them. Some of the games he has developed are: hangman, word games, driving game, bowling, tic tac toe, battleship game, checkers   and many more games to choose from.

The division call ins are open to all members. We welcome any ideas members have for future topics.


Please visit this issue of the Observer’s News, Views & Tips from You for more about Blindfold Games, Conundrum and Campfire Games with Google Mini.

Sports & Recreation

– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

Greetings everyone sending strength from your leaders of sports and recreation,

Blind tennis

the tennis program has started back again for 2021. We are playing tennis with safety measures as a top priority. All players must be a current member with BC Blind Sports and also sign up with the community centre for contact tracing.

Where: Pinetree community center

Address: 1260 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC V3B 7Z4

Call: +1 (604) 927-6960

When: Wednesdays at 3:30 to 5:00 PM

The above information is for blind tennis, if anyone once more details please contact Brodie. Below is his email address.

Blind hockey

The Vancouver eclipse Blind hockey team is following strict orders from the health care ministry of the province and for now the program is suspended due to COVID-19.

Walking or step challenge

The year 2021 is upon us and this year will be better than the last, the sports and recreation division would like to get people in motion so we have an activity for people of all ages and skill levels. Everyone who wants to participate and if you are doing this already this is fantastic, what we are challenging for people is to walk a certain number of steps per day anywhere from 5000 to 10,000 steps. Using a talking pedometer, or an application on your smart phone. These tools can be used to track your steps and progress.

** we are not advising or pressuring anyone to complete these challenges, only participate if you are in a safe environment**

Let’s get walking and get those counted steps so we can get in motion and compare in future chapter call in sessions.

That’s all from sports and recreation, stay safe stay strong and always be fearless.


CCB Alberni Valley Chapter

– submitted by Jean Kanngiesser

This year the COVID pandemic ruined our planned traditional Christmas lunch for Members of the Alberni Valley Chapter CCB. However, using funds from the Division’s Social Assistance fund and with the kind support of the Alberni Valley Lions Club, Gabby and Jean assembled gift bags including a Poinsettia for distribution to our Chapter Members. The Gift Bag included a box of sweet mini–Mandarin Oranges, chocolates, Nanaimo Bars, hot chocolate mix and Bob’s home-made Shortbread cookies. We varied the bags to include sugar free chocolate and non flour baked goods for members with special diets.

Wearing Santa hats, deliveries were made to the members homes, following appropriate COVID protocols of course, over the December 12-13 weekend. The Members were very pleased to receive the gifts. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all around!


CCB Provincial Book Club

– submitted by Kathy Sanness

The Provincial Book Club Meets, by Zoom, on the 4th Friday of each month at 9 AM Pacific.  We discuss a book that has been suggested by one of our members.  Below is a list of the books we will be reading for the coming months.

* For February; A Gentleman in Moscow by William Stewart Long.

* For March; The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis.

* For April; The Dutch House by Ann Padgett.

* For May; The Australians by William Stewart Long.

* For June; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

If you are interested in trying our book club out, please contact me or Albert Ruel and we can give you any information you may need. You may phone me at 778 484 2298 or on my cell at 250 395 0395, or e mail me at


CCB Vancouver Arts and Culture Lover’s Chapter

– submitted by Amy Amantea

VocalEye has started back after a holiday break with our first of the year Virtual Watch Party – January 20th. A Virtual Gallery Tour of artist Geoff McMurchy. Geoff lived with a disability and was the founder and first artistic director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture – out of this organization was the beginnings of audio description, which led to Steph Kirkland’s creation of VocalEye …way back in 2010.

Upon Geoff’s sudden passing in 2015 – friends who were also arts curators went through his home and created an exhibition of all his fantastic works. The Exhibit was displayed in person at SUM GALLERY in Vancouver and several of Geoff’s works are still available for purchase for as little as $50. The selling is to find a home for these pieces instead of the junk pile. VocalEye has taken the photos of these works and turned it into a described tour which is hosted by curator Yuri Arajs.

If you want to look at the items for purchase you can visit:

VocalEye will continue to offer weekly watch parties with a variety of accessible arts content every Wednesday evening and you can find out what’s up next on the website:

or our new hotline# 1- 833-548-3393

register for events:

VocalEye has also set up a store to sell The Blind Beader jewellery. There are just a few items, but everything here is sold as a fundraiser for VocalEye and includes the Evil t of their logo.

A popular item these days are custom made mask lanyards. You can support VocalEye and shot at the store by visiting:


News, Views & Tips From You

Blindfold Games

– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

Marty Schultz is the creator of blindfold games, back in 2012 he was volunteering at his daughter’s school creating a computer program, fast forward Marty and his team of computer programmers created an application four their smart phones and created a simulated audio-based game. Furthermore, the group created games for blind or visually impaired People which are unique to their own, and do not acquire any site only hearing and touch.

Also blindfold games have received various awards from Blind or partially sighted organizations in the United States, the blind fold games have created positive pathways for participants providing a greater mind and body connection.

Below is a list of various types of blindfold games.

The games are on the Apple App Store and for now only with iPhone or iPad operating systems. Each game has a help or tutorial feature explaining the finger gestures needed to operate and play the game.

You can download each game and try it as a trial and then to continue there is a specific fee for each game in American dollars.

Blindfold word games, Blindfold bowling, Blindfold bird sounds, Blindfold racer, Blindfold pool, Blindfold sound search, Blindfold AirHockey, Blindfold solitaire, Blindfold blackjack, Blindfold slots, Blindfold bingo, Blindfold song search, Blindfold sudoku, Blindfold crazy eights, Blindfold beep ball, Blindfold Horse racing, Blindfold soccer kick, Blindfold dominoes, Blindfold colour crush, Blindfold hearts, Blindfold pinball, Blindfold sea battle, Blindfold break out, Blindfold connect, Blindfold runner, Blindfold checkers and much more. Marty Schultz and his team are always looking for ideas to create new audio Games.

If you have an iPhone or iPad and want to get more games for your devices, I would suggest checking out the blindfold games.

Below is the blindfold games website.

Marty Schultz – Blindfold Games



– submitted by Robert Hebert

Love puzzles? — Conundrum is the magazine for you!

This monthly magazine will likely keep you puzzling for the next 30 days and just when you are feeling pleased with yourself — the next issue will arrive and you can start tormenting yourself all over again.

Here, you will find puzzles of just about every variety:

There are cryptic and regular crosswords as well as logic puzzles where you must correctly associate a set of clues with each situation to achieve the logical connection and outcome.

There are mathematical number puzzles and “numbers for letters” puzzles were based on a short paragraph you will identify the words containing letters A through E which should reveal themselves based on the context of the paragraph.

There are word ladders and word searches, ditlogs and scrambled word puzzles.

In word target you must see how many words you can derive from the nine letters given. The ultimate goal is to find the nine-letter word contained therein.

There are 2 different quizzes plus 2 or more brain teaser problems.

Finally, there is my favourite — sudoku. There are four levels of these ranging from easy to advanced and tough.

I use a Perkins Brailler to set up the grid to solve these. One could also use a 40-cell braille notetaker.

This magazine is available from the CELA library both in embossed braille and electronic braille text formats sousing the latter method, the puzzle will always be correctly formatted for you.

To receive your copy of Conundrum, contact the CELA library at 1-855-655-2273 or email them at


Campfire Games with Google Mini

– submitted by Albert Ruel

When Brenda and I go camping we take our technology with us, and for the purposes of this article we won’t engage in the discussion about who’s in favour of this and who isn’t.  What happens at the campground stays at the campground?  Just saying.

At any rate, the Google Mini we own now sports a cool new jacket that keeps it warm and energized.  It’s a battery pack that the Mini fits nicely into and when fully charged provides about 12 hours of running time, which is usually enough for a few days of camping and the campfire Trivia Games we might get into.

How is this accomplished?  I thought you’d never ask.  Here’s how I’ve managed to do in this regard: as long as the campsite we’re in has moderate or good cellular coverage I turn my Personal Hotspot on with my iPhone XR, and before leaving home I will have set up the Mini to use my iPhone Hotspot as its access to the internet for purposes of playing games or listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks, or for simply asking Google all manner of interesting questions and for local weather reports.  I suggest this be done in advance so the Mini will connect to the Hotspot as soon as it’s turned on at the campsite.  Note: to have your Mini connect to your iPhone Hotspot you’ll need two iOS devices in hand.  Follow the three sets of instructions below, and if you don’t have two iDevices in your home ask a family member or friend for help.

The next three sections of the article give step by step instructions, as well as links to the articles from which I garnered the information.


How to Turn Your Phone Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

With a few taps, you can turn your smartphone into a source for internet that laptops, tablets, and other phones can use. Here’s how to turn your phone into a hotspot.

To set up a personal hotspot on your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), go to Settings > Personal Hotspot > Allow Others to Join and toggle it to on (if you don’t see Personal Hotspot in Settings, tap Cellular > Personal Hotspot). Make note of the Wi-Fi password.


How to Set Up the Google Home Mini by Dan Moren

Two iOS devices are required for this task, the iPhone whose Hotspot will be accessed, and an iPad/iPod/other iPhone that will do the Google Home App connection.  Before following the below steps, make sure the Hotspot is turned on in the iPhone you’ll use when away from your home Wi-Fi, then follow these steps using the second iDevice.

Download the Google Home app for your smartphone or tablet that will be used to connect your Mini to the iPhone Hotspot and launch it.

Plug in the Google Mini nearby.

  1. The first screen of the app should automatically detect the Home Mini. (If it doesn’t, tap the Device button in the top right and then tap the Add New Device button to get instructions on how to find the device.) Tap Set Up.
  2. If you’ve connected to the correct device you should hear a sound from the Mini. Tap Yes in the app.
  3. Choose the room where your Google Home Mini will be located, then tap Next.
  4. Select your iPhone’s Hotspot Wi-Fi network and tap Next.
  5. Enter the password for your Hotspot network and tap Connect.
  6. Review the privacy information. When you’re done, tap Next.
  7. If you want personalized results, follow the instructions to train the Google Home Mini to recognize your voice. (If you’ve already trained another Google Home to recognize your voice, you can just tap Yes I’m In.) Once training is complete, tap Continue.
  8. Google Home Mini lets you select between several voices; you can play samples of each and decide on the one you want. When you’ve chosen one, tap Next.
  9. Enter your address if you want to get customized local data for traffic, weather, and other services. The Google Mini will think it’s at your home address because it’s using the iPhone’s Hotspot network and not a local Wi-Fi network.
  10. Review the information you’ve entered and optionally put in a payment method if you want to use Google Home Mini to make purchases. When you’re finished, tap Next.
  11. Tap Continue.
  12. The final screen gives you some sample commands you can give. Tap Finish Setup when ready. You’re all set!


Rechargeable Battery Base for Home Mini by Google (1st Gen)

Price:     CDN$ 24.99 on

Amazon sells a variety of battery packs for the Mini and for general use, of which this is one, and so might your local Source or Best Buy.

Aesthetic Design – Aesthetically pleasing design with a wonderful silicone soft touch coating, takes nothing away from the audio quality, even adds an extra protection for your Mini. A cool accessory to have for Home Mini. (Google Mini is NOT included and does NOT work with Nest Mini)

Enjoy Home Mini Anywhere – Comes with a wrist strap, you can easily carry or hang Mini from room to room while cleaning, or in the washroom while taking a bath to enjoy Home Mini experience. The Mini feels secure so no worries about it falling out.

Easy to Use – Easy to install and remove. The precise openings on the case allow for easy access to all buttons and port, four LED battery indicator lights indicate battery level at a glance.

True Portability for Home Mini – 7800mAh battery provides up to 12 hours of run time (depends on its working status), so you can bring it where ever in the house or outside without having to search for electricity outlet. (within your wifi range)


Why God Made Moms

– submitted by Vern Short

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

  1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
  2. Mostly to clean the house.
  3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

  1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
  2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
  3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

  1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
  2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

  1. We’re related.
  2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?

  1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
  2. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
  3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

  1. His last name.
  2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
  3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

  1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
  2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
  3. My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?

  1. Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goof ball.
  2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
  3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between moms and dads?

  1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
  2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
  3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
  4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

  1. Mothers don’t do spare time.
  2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

  1. On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
  2. Diet. You know, her hair. I’d diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

  1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that.
  2. I’d make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
  3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.


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 –

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, to get to the other side.

Second, between you and me, something smells.

Third, this tastes a little funny.