Category: Uncategorized

October is Children’s vision awareness month!

Oct 23 2015

Did you know that the month of October is Children’s vision awareness month in Canada? Do you know when children should have their first eye exam? Were you aware that there is a relation between children’s vision and learning?


The MEC has visited schools in the Ottawa region since 2014 to perform over 1,162 OHIP covered eye exams to children from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Thanks to the MEC, 18% of the children tested for eye exams had one or more vision problem, and 14% of these children required prescription glasses.


As cited on the Canadian Association of Optometrists’ (CAO) website:

“61 per cent of Canadian parents mistakenly believe they would know if their child was having difficulty with their eyesight. However, many serious eye conditions do not have obvious symptoms and some eye diseases only show symptoms when the condition is advanced and difficult to treat. Conditions such as amblyopia or a “lazy eye” need to addressed when a child is young. Comprehensive eye examinations would result in 51% more children receiving successful treatment for amblyopia by age 10.”


In Ontario, children under the age of 20 years are entitled to a comprehensive eye exam every year covered by the Ministry of Health (OHIP). As per the CAO’s position statement on the frequency of eye examinations, infants and toddlers should have their first eye exam, by an optometrist, between the ages of 6 to 9 months; preschool children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of 2 to 5 years; and school aged children (from 6 to 19 years) should continue having eye exams every year.


Research also indicates a relationship between children’s learning difficulties and their vision. Experts say that almost 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually, so when children with undiagnosed vision loss have difficulty learning in school, parents and teachers believe they have a vision problem and require prescription glasses. However, nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are not the only visual disorders that can make learning more difficult. Less obvious vision problems related to the way the eyes function and how the brain processes visual information also can limit your child’s ability to learn.


The best course of action a parent can do for their child is to have them see an optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam that is covered by OHIP. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s vision, or you wish to invite the MEC to your child’s school, please contact Monica or Julie at 613-567-0311 or via email at: or

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Source: OAO – Schools – Mobile Eye Clinic Statistics – May 2015 – June 2015; CAO Policy and Advocacy position statement (dated July 31, 2013); Learning-Related vision problems

White Cane Magazine 2014

Oct 01 2015

white cane 2014

The white cane week 2014 Magazine has been released. You can view a copy by clicking here, download a copy by clicking here, download an audio copy by clicking here, or by contacting the CCB.



Newspaper Articles

Oct 01 2015 Brett Wilson_ We need..pdf Ottawa Book Club.PDF Citizen 1.PDF Citizen 2.PDF Citizen 3.PDF Dupuis-Citizen-4-15-13.pdf Brett Wilson_ We need..pdf

Vocal Eye

Oct 01 2015

Vocaleye descriptive arts society

is a non-profit organization located in vancouver, bc. we describe theatre, arts and culture for those with vision loss.

Click on a newsletter at the left to read.

About Live Audio Description

VocalEye’s Live Audio Description Program is the first of its kind in Canada. Originally a program of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, our professionally trained describers provide the visual details of live theatre performance to blind and low vision audiences in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Victoria, BC.

Theatre patrons with vision loss are given a personal receiver with a single earpiece and volume control that allows them to hear both the show and our live audio description at the same time. Our live transmission begins ten minutes before curtain with brief descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. Once the show begins, our describer transmits pertinent physical action and visual information between the lines of dialogue. Short program notes and additional description for the second act may be provided at intermission.

Mandate & Mission

VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society exists to serve individuals of all ages with vision loss in our community by:

~ providing accessible description of live theatre and other arts and cultural events

~ lowering barriers to participation in theatre, arts and cultural events

~ promoting access to theatre, arts and cultural events through education and outreach

Our Services

  • Described theatre performances for adults and young audiences in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Victoria, BC
  • Advance description, program notes and plot synopses in accessible formats
  • Touch Tours: guided tactile experiences of the production’s sets, props and costumes
  • Theatre Buddies: volunteer guides to and from the theatre
  • Sighted Guide Training: workshops in guiding techniques
  • Live Audio Subtitling
  • Described Performance Training
  • Equipment rental for description or translation purposes

For more information on our descriptive services, training or equipment rental, please submit your enquiry to

In Development

  • Live Audio Description of Dance, Opera and Festivals
  • Verbal Description of Visual Art for public art tours, galleries and museums
  • Vancouver Beyond Sight: Verbal Description of Landmarks and Architecture
  • Community Workshops in Arts and Culture for those with vision loss

For updates on all our activities and events, please join our mailing list by completing the form in the sidebar under “Subscribe” or please send an email to with “subscribe” in the subject line.


The first Live Audio Description program in Canada (called “EarSighted”) was launched by Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company’s production of The Miracle Worker in 2009. The following year, the team was invited to describe a number of performances for the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympics, including Robert LePage’s Blue Dragon.

The program was renamed “VocalEye” in 2011 and following two successful seasons became a separate non-profit society in 2012 and a Chapter of The Canadian Council of the Blind BC/Yukon, a registered charity, in 2013. VocalEye Descriptive Arts continues to provide a full season of described theatre performance in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and Victoria. Other descriptive services and programs serving the blind and partially sighted community are currently in development.


Oct 01 2015

Occasionally the Canadian Council for the Blind produces studies to accompany programs or projects.


Mobile Eye Clinic Pilot Study

Follow-Up Responses from Parents of School-Age Children in Four Eastern Ontario Schools.doc