BC-Yukon Winter – Spring 2016 News

British Columbia – Yukon Division

PO Box 531 , Postal Station Main, Chilliwack, BC V2P 7V5

604-795-3885 or 1-800-874-4666 or ccbbc-yukondivision@telus.net

 

Under the Distinguished Patronage of Her Honour

The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia

 

Winter/Spring 2016 News

Hello, I know I’ve said it before and for sure I’ll say it many times more over the years – how time flies – it’s already April! Our conference is less than three weeks away –       Yikes! There’s still lots to do and organize and hoping all who are planning to attend, have a memorable time; the Conference Committee and others on the ground in Kamloops have worked tirelessly on your behalf – Thank you for helping to organize an event to be proud of…

The 2016 CCB BC-Yukon Division Conference is being held in Kamloops on April 22nd and 23rd – focusing on the braille and technology workshop; and our Annual General Meeting, where we will take care of the Division’s business. Throughout the two days there will be dignitaries in attendance, giving their support and sharing their thoughts. And most importantly, there will be good food, door prizes, 50/50 draws, a silent auction and lots more activity…

This year’s workshop promises to be informative and interesting- Betty Nobel and Albert Ruel will be the facilitators – “Braille: its Past and its future and Get Together With Technology (GTT). These presentations will outline the history and development of braille reading and writing, the development of Unified English Braille and the emergence of refreshable braille technology.  We will learn how braille was used in the past, how it continues to be used and how it will be used in the future.  Betty will involve the group in some interactive activities and test their knowledge of braille.  We will all explore the value of braille in employment situations, public places, the use of braille for labeling and signage, and more…  Additionally, these sessions will include an introduction of the GTT Peer Mentoring program; discussion regarding how blindness and low vision technology integrates in our lives; and how people can find ways to engage in peer mentoring where they live. We will be given the opportunity for one-on-one or small group explorations of some of the devices that might be used on a daily basis for work, recreation and leisure offered by the attending Venders and GTT representatives. And as an extra special bonus, an optional evening session – Moonlighting with GTT – an opportunity to talk more about GTT and technology…

 

Please do not hesitate to call me or any other Division Board Member for more information or clarification…

Ann McNabb, CCB BC-Yukon Division President

 

 

///New on Facebook…

For those that don’t know, CCB BC-Yukon Division is now on Facebook! Are you not a Facebook user yet? It’s easy to sign up and it’s also FREE! To sign up, go to www.facebook.com – in two minutes or less you can be a Facebook user.

 

Once you are signed up as a Facebook user, on your homepage, in the search box at the top of your homepage, type in “CCB bc-yukon division” and hit enter. Our Division page should be displayed for you or a list should come up for you to select from.

 

In order to view all division Facebook activity and postings, you will have to click on the “LIKE” button on this page. Once you have done so, all division postings will fall onto your home page for you to view.

 

You are also encouraged to “SHARE” with all your friends on Facebook. Please also share with ALL your Chapter members! You can also post stories or information you feel may be valuable to all our Chapter members.

 

Overall, Facebook provides us with a way of communicating all division activities, also promote our provincial endeavors to others and gives us an opportunity to attract new members.

 

///Future Division Website…

The CCB BC-Yukon Division is in the process of constructing our own website; and everyone can help out by putting forth any ideas you have for our website. You are also encouraged to send in any pictures you have from White Cane Week, previous annual conferences, GTT conferences, and so forth. Our web site will have a photo gallery where these pictures can be archived. Other features for our web site can include: Get Together With Technology, Provincial Book Club, previous Book of Honour recipients, Guide Dog News, Advocacy, Sports and Recreation promotions and much much more.

 

All ideas and potential submissions are welcome and encouraged! Please forward to Darren Douma at:

thedoumas71@gmail.com

 

///Membership Tidbits…

Division Director, Bill Conway, continues his efforts to assist the North Shore Chapter with new growth. Bill will provide his guidance and expertise to the members of this chapter as they seek out additional members and a new president.

 

The membership recruitment session HELD on February 13th at the Community School on Bowen Island also served as the White Cane Week open house for the Camp Bowen Society for the Visually Impaired Chapter. This event resulted in one new member and some great exposure for this CCB chapter.

 

Upcoming on May 6th,the CCB will be hosting a membership recruitment session at the Langley Senior Recreation and Resourses Centre in order to develop a new chapter in the Langley area.

 

Chapters are encouraged to continue their participation in the monthly chapter call in sessions as a way to communicate, share ideas and help keep BC chapters healthy and strong. This is a valuable communication and interactive resource available to members and chapters.

 

Stay tuned for the announcement of our newest chapter, coming soon…

 

///Chapter Call in Sessions…

So far the 2016 chapter call in sessions have been a big success with the sharing of valuable information. Chapter members are getting to know each other, finding out what other chapters do and/or are planning and sharing fund raising and event ideas.

 

The CCB BC-Yukon Division is continuing with the monthly chapter call in sessions in May and June and would like to invite a representative from each chapter to participate. This can be done from the comfort of your own home! An April call in session was not scheduled due to the 2016 Triennial Conference in Kamloops.

 

Remember, a representative from your chapter can be any person agreed upon by the chapter to relay information from the chapter or back to the chapter. Also this does not have to be the same person each time, anyone who wishes is welcome to participate upon letting your chapter know in advance.

If there is an interest, guest speakers can be scheduled to attend these sessions. Suggestions for topics of interest are welcome. Let’s keep the communication lines open for members of the CCB BC-Yukon Division. Thank you to all who have taken the time to participate!

The session dates will be sent to all chapters in a reminder email and are accessed via tele-conference line at 1-866-351-5099 when you here hello press the number/pound key and then the participation numbers which are different for each session. If you wish a reminder phone call rather than an email or if you require further details or assistance please contact Judy Macdonald at 250-706-0233 or by email at judymacdonaldccbassistant@yahoo.ca

 

May call in session will be held Thursday May 12th at 10:00 AM.

June call in session will be held Thursday June 16th at 10:00 AM.

 

/// Winter Spring 2016 Provincial Book Club Happenings…

– Respectfully submitted, Albert A. Ruel, CCB BC-Yukon Provincial Book Club

The BC Book Club continues to meet at 10:00 AM on the forth Saturday of each month by teleconference call for about an hour to discuss a book chosen by the group. Our latest books were the Martian by Andy Weir read during the month of February, and 1st To Die by James Patterson read during the month of March.

 

I was pleasantly surprised by The Martian as I usually avoid “Science Fiction” books; however this one was more of a comedy with a little suspense thrown in for good measure.  Although there was a good amount of science and mechanics offered in the book, the main character who narrated the book was funny and engaging.  I also found the reader to be pleasant to listen to for the entire book.

 

James Patterson can offer some really scary and gruesome tales, and he didn’t disappoint with this book.  The crimes described in 1st To Die were tragic and gruesome just as we have come to expect, as were the twists and turns in the final pages of the book.  Thankfully the Women’s Murder Club were successful in finding the killer and stopping any further murders.  If you don’t like this level of suspense or description of violence you might do well to keep looking for your next book.

 

Should you wish to join us for the next few books we’ll read between now and our summer break please contact our President, Kathy Sanness to reserve your seat on the conference call.  Kathy can be reached at, 250-395-0395, or KSanness@Telus.net.

 

The Book Club Teleconference toll free number is:

1-866-351-5099

Code #333, April 30:  Klee Wyk, Emily Karr

 

May 28:           Just One Evil Act, Elizabeth George

June 25:           Harry Potter (Tentative)

 

///                               White Cane Week (WCW)…

– Submitted by Pat Chicquen

This year, WCW was held from February 8th to 13th. It is a very important time for our members to get information out to the general public and also to visually impaired people who have not heard of the Canadian Council of the Blind and our local White Cane Chapters. There were numerous events This year, organized by our Chapters – including hosting an open house; inviting guest speakers; setting up information tables in local malls, grocery stores or seniors centers; being available for TV and radio interviews or newspaper articles; visiting schools; and going door to door to local businesses, handing out CCB information. Thank you to everyone who went out and shared information about their insight regarding vision loss. – Great work…

 

///Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award…

On behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, the CCB Bc-Yukon Division is pleased to inform you that Lori Fry, CCB BC-Yukon Division National Representative and National 1st Vice-president, has been awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in recognition of her 25 years of service to the Canadian Council of the Blind and her community.

 

Photo description… Lori Fry and His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada

 

The Presentation of Canadian Honours was held on March 4, 2016 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and was presented by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

 

When the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc became Governor General of Canada, he was determined to thank the thousands of caring people who give so much to their fellow citizens—the unsung heroes who volunteer their time, their efforts and a great deal of their lives to helping others, and who ask for nothing in return. In 1995, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award was created. The award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to help others and to build a smarter and more caring nation. The award also highlights the fine example set by these volunteers, whose compassion and engagement are so much a part of our Canadian character.

 

The award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad.

 

The award’s emblem represents Canadians who selflessly give of their time and energy to others.

 

The maple leaf symbolizes the people of Canada and their spirit; the heart depicts the open-heartedness of volunteers; and the outstretched hand portrays boundless generosity. The blue and gold colours, which appear on the vice regal flag, indicate the award’s connection with the governor general.

 

The Caring Canadian Award consists of a certificate and a lapel pin presented to recipients by the governor general or by lieutenant governors, territorial commissioners, mayors or partner organizations.

 

///“A Vision for the Fine-Arts”…

Over a year ago, Darren Douma, chapter president of Visual Impairment & Blind Empowerment (VIBE)-Creston Chapter, decided he wanted to sponsor a fine-arts trip to New York. Darren’s wife Brooke is the Drama and Choir teacher at the local high school. Darren and Brooke had previously taken students on fine-arts trips through the school before. Darren really wanted to share the experience of a fine arts trip to New York with students. So instead of running the trip through the school, Darren sponsored the trip through the VIBE-Creston Chapter. So over the past year, the Chapter fund-raised within the community to raise funds to off-set many costs for students to take part in this fine-arts trip. There were many smokie sales at the local grocery store, where Darren cooked up these tasty treats. Also, a “BIG” thank you to our local Overwaitea Foods store for their constant support of blind and vision-impaired endeavors. The VIBE Chapter also managed all funds for the students until the trip date. So days after attending the Sport BC awards in Vancouver, Darren was off to New York for 6 days during Spring Break. Darren’s wife Brooke, also a VIBE chapter member, and two other chaperons, took charge of 27 students and headed off to the “Big Apple”.

The 6 days were very action packed and busy times. The students visited the Umpire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the MET, Museum of Modern Art. The students also had two workshops with professional actors. One of the actors plays the Phantom, from “Phantom of the Opera”. The group also took in three broadway performances. They enjoyed all 3, but the one they most enjoyed was “Finding Neverland”. A lead in this play was Kelsey Grammar, who was part of the “Cheers” cast and “Frasier”.   It was an unbelievable performance and one the kids won’t forget anytime soon.

 

Overall, it was a great experience by all. Darren really wanted to sponsor this trip because of an appreciation for the fine-arts. With limited vision, Darren still wants to take in as much as possible. Seeing all the modern and historical art in the museums and taking in as much of the broad way shows, Darren is thankful for these moments. It was even more rewarding to share this experience with all 27 students, as they too appreciated the opportunity and had the trip of a lifetime.

 

 

///Western Blind Curling Association (WBCA) 44th Annual Championships…

– Submitted by Terry Pipkey, PGBCC

The WBCA Championships were held in Lanigan Saskatchewan from February 24 to 27, 2016. This bonspiel saw seven (7) teams compete in a round robin event over four (4) days. The two teams from BC were Prince George and Vancouver.

 

Our Prince George Blind Curling Chapter (PGBCC) joined the Prince George Seniors Curling League last September to get better competition for our curling team. We didn’t play well in our BC Provincials in Kelowna in January as we finished last in the bonspiel.

 

Thanks to the 100 Mile House Chapter, who gave us their spot to attend the Westerns in Lanigan Saskatchewan, where we earned a 2nd Place Finish. The whole team really jelled and we had a super time eating home cooked Ukrainian food like: Cabbage Rolls, Scallop Potatoes, and numerous other dessert dishes. The Lioness Club, who did all the cooking, even had these huge Puffed Wheat Squares, which took me a half hour to eat each time I had one. Our team did well on the raffles as well; we managed to win 2 Bottles of Hard stuff and three 50/50 draws. Needless to say, the team wants to go back to the Westerns ASAP. The Saskatchewan #2 team did win the bonspiel, which was a first for them. We really had a great time at this event.

 

Prince George will be hosting the BC Provincial “West Coast Blind Curling Championships” early in January 2017 so; we have lots of work ahead of us. We encourage other chapters to consider “Blind Curling” as an option to exercise and socialize – its lots of fun…

 

We hope everyone has a GREAT spring and we hope to see you at the 2016 BC-Yukon Division Conference in Kamloops in late April…

 

///More of Lefty’s Story…

In our last newsletter, it was mentioned that one of our chapter members was nominated by BC Blind sports for the annual Sport BC’s “Person with a Disability” Award. Following this nomination, a Sports BC Nomination Committee voted Darren Douma as a “finalist in the PWD category. The Sport BC Athlete of the Year awards was held in March in Vancouver at the Convention Centre. Darren indicated that being at the awards dinner in Vancouver was like attending the Academy awards. There were over 600 people in attendance, and Sport BC provided everyone with a great evening of entertainment.

 

In the PWD category, Darren Douma (blind golfer) from Creston, BC was one of three finalists. The other two finalists were: Nathan Stein, (swimmer) from Maple Ridge, BC and Trevor Hirschfield, (wheelchair rugby), from Vancouver, BC; and the winner was Trevor Hirschfield. Regardless of the outcome, it was an honour for Darren to be nominated by BC Blind Sports and made a finalist by Sport BC. There were many athletes just as deserving that did not make it to the finalist stage. Despite all of Darren’s accomplishments, he has not had the opportunity to compete in the Olympics or Pan-Am Games. The other two finalists have had these opportunities, and this makes the nomination even more memorable – to be even considered for an award among the talent of these two outstanding individuals.

 

What’s next for Darren (Lefty)? The ISPS Handa US Blind Golf Championships in Tucson, Arizona from April 13th-April 18th. Hopefully, he will have some good news for us at the conference in Kamloops (April 21-24th).

 

Funding struggles – Darren Douma has been struggling the last 2 years and is seeking corporate sponsorship support in order to continue in his competitive blind golf endeavors – it is very costly to travel and compete. If anyone has any knowledge, connections, or ideas of any potential sponsorship out there, please give Darren a call. Without any future sponsorship support, Darren will be forced to give up competing in blind golf. Darren is seeking 2 or more sponsors to assist – he is not looking for a simple hand out from these sponsors. For sponsorship support, Darren would entertain a working relationship with any corporate sponsor, where he could be a spokesman for these sponsors; promote their business, products, services, etc. Any proposed sponsor could leverage a marketing opportunity to support a visually-impaired athlete to continue to compete, and also take advantage of a marketing opportunity to support blind golf. No corporation has looked at or entertained such an opportunity, and here they have an opportunity…

 

///Blind Hockey…

Hello my name is Brodie McKenzie and I am currently the president of the CCB Port Coquitlam Visually Impaired People (Poco VIP) Chapter. On March 10, 2016 me and the Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Team departed from Vancouver and arrived in Toronto Canada. The Vancouver Eclipse with other blind hockey clubs from across the nation and hockey clubs from both the west and east coast of the United States came to join our open league and the Western All-Star select league. The hockey tournament started March 11, 2016 with the opening ceremonies in downtown Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre – the old Maple Leaf Gardens.

 

Friday and Saturday were competing games for the open league teams and the select league All-Star games; Sunday was the Duard Die Championships for the bronze medal game; then there was the gold medal game. Finally, the All-Star final game best out of three series were played. I had the chance and opportunity to be a part of the Western All-Star team – the All-Star players across the nation were chosen throughout the year and are considered the best partially sighted or blind hockey players across Canada.

 

It was very exciting and the tournament was a great success.   I had the chance to meet a lot of great new faces, and of course had the pleasure of seeing old faces also. This year was a transformation for the organization; it is now the Canadian Blind Hockey Association. With this transformation, the organizations in Canada are teaming up with USA Hockey, this will bring a jumpstart to travel the world and get other countries involved so there can be a World Championship. In the next 10 years, they are hoping to achieve their goal to have blind hockey in the 2016 Paralympics.

 

I have been playing hockey for two years with the Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Team. A great group of guys and girls and I always look forward to my Friday practice at Moody Park Arena in New Westminster. I encourage everyone who is partially sighted or blind to get some skates on and of course wear helmet and full protective gear – get on the ice, get the blood flowing and stick handle a metal noisy Puck  – It’s a lot of great fun. Keep your head up and sticks on the ice. Cheers…
///Get Together With Technology (GTT) Victoria News…

Spring greetings from sunny Victoria, where daffodils and enthusiasm for adaptive technology are in full bloom… Our members trust you all had a memorable White Cane Week this past month. We’ve been busy here in Victoria.

 

We have made a major change to our monthly meeting format to meet the demands for peer instruction. We now spend the first half of the meeting addressing peer tutoring, rather than waiting until the latter half of the meeting to do this. This means that people who may be unable to stay for the entire meeting will still have the opportunity to receive assistance with their adaptive technology – so far, so good…

 

Our February meeting was dedicated to adaptive gaming, and we had a guest speaker, Aedan Staddon, speak to the group on this topic. Albert Ruel shared his knowledge of online radio stations and other media with the group at our March meeting.

 

Aside from lots of fun, accessible games, we learned lots of great commands that fall under the heading of “I Didn’t Know That.” Here are just a few of them:

 

  1. Deleting lots of text in an iPhone edit field.

Tap the delete key once and hold it down on the second tap. It will delete from the end of the field to the beginning of the field;

 

  1. If you need to check if something is level, go to the second page of the compass and you’ll find the level feature; and

 

  1. Voiceover Starter is an iPhone app/game that is super helpful with learning all the needed gestures for optimum iProduct use.

 

The Victoria GTT group meets monthly at our Downtown Victoria library branch. This has allowed us to get to know library staff and to work with them regarding accessibility. Tom Dekker met with library staff to reassess Overdrive, the library’s software system for browsing and downloading audio books. Despite a software upgrade, Overdrive is still not accessible. However, the library has now switched to an accessible program called 3M Cloud Library.

 

In addition to technology trivia, the Victoria chapter has taken on a local project to advocate on behalf of the blind community regarding improving accessible transit services for blind and visually disabled Transit users. The Victoria Division of BC Transit installed Trekker Breeze units on its buses in 2015 in an attempt to meet the needs of blind bus travellers. The system is inappropriate on many levels, and we are beginning to lobby local representatives of Transit, the union and others to revisit this decision.

 

We have also been busy working with local municipal and city politicians to lobby for support for a British Columbians with Disabilities Act. The City of Victoria was the first city in BC to pass a resolution at its Council meeting confirming its support of a British Columbians with Disabilities Act. Thanks to our members for attending the Council meeting to put a face to the blind community. The municipality of Saanich has also been approached and we’re awaiting news of their support too. Thanks to a new member, Greg Koyle, for all his assistance with the Transit issue and with the Barrier-Free BC initiative.

 

All the best for Spring 2016 from the GTT Victoria crowd!

 

///Kamloops   White Cane Chapter News…

The Kamloops  Blind  Curling  Team   wrapped  up  Team  practice  and  games  for  the  season   and  are hoping  to  build  on  their progress for  next  season; while the Kamloops  Blind  Lawn  Bowling  Team  is  eagerly  awaiting  the startup  date  for   lawn  bowling. Annually, the Kamloops Blind 5 Pin Bowling Team competes with Kelowna in a tournament – this year they are traveling    to   Kelowna on May 7th.

 

///News from the World Blind Union (WBU)…

– Submitted by Charles Mossop from Nanaimo, President of the WBU North America/Caribbean Region

Although the work of the WBU is carried out at an international level, the benefits of its work are important to blind and partially sighted people throughout the world, whether they live in the largest of cities or the smallest of communities. Two major projects are underway at the WBU at the present time. These are; first, support for the international ratification of the Treaty of Marrakesh; and, second, negotiations on the warning sound to be made by hybrid and electric vehicles.

 

The Treaty of Marrakesh – This treaty and its ratification process now occupy a position of central importance to the WBU. The treaty, once ratified and brought into force, will, in essence, allow for the free movement of materials accessible to persons with print disabilities across international boundaries without copyright restrictions. The treaty, adopted in 2014 after four years of negotiation in which the WBU was a central participant, is a United Nations instrument of agreement and therefore does not enter into force until at least twenty countries have formally ratified it. At present, sixteen countries have done so, and it is hoped the treaty will enter into force well before the end of this year. At an event hosted by CNIB in May, 2015, at which representatives of the CCB were also present, the Government of Canada announced it will accede to the treaty and implement its provisions through amendments to the Copyright Act which is currently under review. A motion to that effect was presented in the House of Commons the following day, and no objections were raised either at that time, or in the following thirty days allowed. All indications are that the new government will carry the motion forward, amend the Copyright Act as necessary and then deposit the official instrument of ratification with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the UN agency in Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for overseeing the treaty. The WBU is coordinating a worldwide program of advocacy aimed at encouraging all countries to ratify the treaty as soon as possible.

 

Hybrid and Electric Vehicles – WBU continues to be active in the pursuit of an International Technical Regulation (ITR) governing the numerous issues surrounding the sound to be made by vehicles when under electric power. Dr. Frederic Schroeder of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in the US, and WBU’s First Vice President, spearheads the effort on behalf of WBU. Two major areas of disagreement have emerged: the question of whether the sound should be permanent or left to the driver’s discretion, and whether the sound should be emitted when the vehicle is stationary, or only when it is in motion. European and Japanese manufacturers have so far taken the position that the sound should be left up to the driver, and should cease when the vehicle stops. That position is clearly unacceptable, and negotiations continue in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Region of the WBU and the European Blind Union (EBU). The good news is that in North America, vehicle manufacturers have accepted that the sound must be permanent, whether the vehicle is in motion or at rest. This addresses our concerns here, but there is much work to be done to convince other manufacturers to accept the same view. One possible avenue is to advocate that all vehicles sold in North America, regardless of where they are actually made, must conform to the higher standard, but even if we are successful in that step, blind and partially sighted persons living outside North America will still be in danger.

 

///Barrier-Free British Columbia…

How you can add your voice and support our campaign – you can support the Barrier-Free BC campaign in several ways…

* Visit the Barrier-Free BC web site at Barrier-Free BC and read the founding principles and “Just say Yes” Action Kit.

* Visit the Add Your Voice page and sign up as a supporter.  You can choose to have your name published along with other supporters on the Barrier-Free BC website, receive updates such as these, or simply register your support by completing the online form.

* If you represent an organization and you wish to register your organization’s support, you can send an email to us at barrierfreebc@gmail.com and we will be delighted to acknowledge your support on our website. Alternately, if you are affiliated with an organization, bring the Barrier-Free BC campaign to the attention of the Executive Director and/or the board chair. Encourage them to visit our web site and add the organization’s support to our campaign.

* You can make a significant contribution by spreading the message by word of mouth, writing to, placing a telephone call or visiting your MLA and/or even writing to the Premier or provincial party leaders. The “Just say Yes” Action Kit provides detailed information on what you might ask or say when speaking with your MLA or his/her assistant. It also provides some suggestions when emailing or tweeting your MLA.

* Follow Barrier-Free BC on Twitter – @barrierfreebc and re-tweet postings along to your followers. Encourage all your followers to add their voice to the Barrier-Free BC campaign.

 

///Orbit Braille Reader…

On March 24, 2016 in Toronto, the new Orbit braille reader was launched at the Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference IN San Diego, California. The Orbit braille reader is the first ever affordable refreshable braille reader that is portable. Until now, braille displays cost on average around $3,000, putting them out of reach for many people – not just in Canada, but around the world. In contrast, the new Orbit braille reader will retail for under $400, providing an important new option for people who are blind or partially sighted to access literacy at an affordable cost. A refreshable braille display is a device that allows a person who is blind or partially sighted to read the contents of a display, like a computer, a text line at a time as a line of braille characters.

 

In addition to CNIB contributing to the research and development funding, expertise and testing, Diane Bergeron, Executive Director, Strategic Relations and Engagement, CNIB, was a member of the product development committee which provided input on design and testing in Canada. “Reading is one of the daily human activities affected most profoundly by vision loss, and it’s absolutely critical to the success of a person who is blind or partially sighted living in a sighted world,” said Bergeron. “Early childhood literacy can have an impact on a person’s commitment to education, ability to work and level of personal satisfaction in life.”Braille continues to be an important tool for people who are blind or partially sighted, despite advances in technology. Reading braille helps teach basic literacy skills like spelling, grammar, sentence structure and comprehension in a way that audio cannot help with. Simply hearing the words “there” and “their” won’t teach you how “they’re” spelled.

 

The Orbit braille reader works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and can read files stored on an SD card inserted in the reader. The Orbit braille reader can read translated, formatted braille (BRF) files, translated, unformatted brailled (BRL) files, portable embosser format (PEF) files and text (TXT) files.

 

CNIB is the exclusive supplier of the Orbit braille reader in Canada, which will be available in the fall from Shop CNIB at www.shopcnib.ca.

 

*** Please feel free to make contact with your Division Board…

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

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

Darren Douma, Director – 250-428-8715 – thedoumas71@gmail.com

Lori Fry, Director/National Rep – 250-395-2452 – ODIFRY@shaw.ca

Terry Pipkey, Director – 250-562-1892 – pipkeyt@shaw.ca

Donna Rekve, Director – 604-483-4220 – dkrekve@outlook.com

 

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