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Canadian Council of the Blind Newsletter
“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision”
I hope that all have had a great summer with lots of sunshine, activities with families and friends and now fired up to begin the fall season of CCB activities. I am aware that there have been many wild fires in several provinces and hoping no one has been affected.
As noted in the newsletter below we are all very saddened on the untimely passing of Michelle Anfinson. Michelle will be missed greatly by her family and friends in Regina and also by the many curlers she has assisted over the years at all the curling championship events that Team Saskatchewan attended. Our condolences to all her family at this difficult time.
Over the summer members of our committees have continued to do some work. In regard to advocacy we have been asked by CNIB to provide input on Wednesday, September 19, they have extended an invitation to our members to participate in a teleconference call hosted by CNIB. The most important items are – Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Non-Signalized Pedestrian Crossings. Contact Lui Greco, National Manager of Advocacy CNIB: [email protected]. See more info in this newsletter.
Also, it is time to talk to your local Members of Parliament to ensure Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada passes through the legislature this fall keeping in mind any thoughts you may have for improvement to the act into the future.
As we realize that making Point of Sale (POS) devices more fully accessible does not exist alone within any one sector of either the disability community or the financial/payment services industry. Therefore it is necessary to do this collaboratively by bringig together payment processors, banks, stakeholders from within the disability community to move this initiative forward. This is a process that we are working on with other disability organizations.
A letter has been sent on behalf of CCB to The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada regarding the recent news on Greyhound services. This service affects all of Canada and is very important to our community.
The Bylaws committee continued to meet over the summer and will increase meeting times during the fall season. Also, the membership committee will be in full force in September.
It is now time to be thinking of what our chapters will be planning for 2019 in celebration of our 75th anniversary. CCB is becoming a more active organization in the prevention of blindness as well as developing programs for those of us with vision loss so we have lots to celebrate.
Enjoy this edition of Visions.
Louise Gillis, National President.
CCB HEATH & FITNESS++
After a successful 150 challenge in July, where we focused on getting everyone a bit more aware of how much activity they are doing…we want to launch our September Challenge.
Being healthy is a balance of many factors, being active, living as stress free as possible and being mindful of what we are eating.
For September we would love you to join our challenge and take part in “mindful eating”. We don’t want you to count calories but what we do want you to try and do, is to write down what you eat on a daily basis.
Keep a list on your phone, on the fridge, wherever is easy and convenient. The goal is to take an honest look at what we eat/drink on a daily basis.
Don’t judge yourself too harshly if you see a trend of maybe a bit of unhealthy eating, but rather use it as a motivator to introduce healthier choices.
If you already eat well, great, keep it rolling!
How do you know if you are eating well?
Best to keep tabs on our podcast, Facebook and Youtube channels and subscribe to our email list. Here we will continue the discussion and give tips/ideas on best ways to eat more mindfully.
See below on ways to keep track of all we do!
HOW ARE WE DOING AFTER 1 YEAR?!!
CCB Health & Fitness is turning 1 year old! Roughly a year ago we transitioned from our successful local Trust Your Buddy Program, over to our Nationally reaching health & fitness education program.
We want to get your opinion and thoughts on where we are now and what we can do better!
Some questions to consider and provide your feedback on:
- a) Have you learned anything in the past year?
- b) Do you find it easy to follow us and consume all the content we are putting out there?
- c) How do you best keep track of us? Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Podcast, Email list, Blog, Newsletter?
- d) What would you like to see Health & Fitness do either Nationally, Provincially, Locally, on an Individual basis or with chapters?
We NEED YOUR HELP! In order to grow and to serve the CCB membership better, we want your honest feedback.
Ryan is excited for open, honest feedback….don’t worry you won’t hurt his feelings!
Simply email Ryan and let us know how the program has affected you, how you would like to see it grow AND any other programming you’d like to see us take on?
Do you need more info on general topics? Things like employment, travel, general coping skills, socialization, or life skills? Perhaps we can incorporate this if the feedback shows a need.
The CCB is here to help you live your best life….so let us know how we can do better.
Go to our page: https://ccbhealthandfitness.wordpress.com
to find links to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Podcast & Email Chat List
Get Together with Technology (GTT) Victoria++
A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind
in Partnership with The Greater Victoria Public Library
Theme: Tom’s NFB Tech Round-up – Accessible Voting in the Fall
Date: September 5, 2018
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Where: Community Room, GVPL, Main Branch 735 Broughton St
Tom Dekker will give us 2 or 3 wonderful technology nuggets he picked-up/learned at the NFB Convention in July, then we’ll discuss the accessibility of the upcoming fall referendum on Proportional Representation and the Province-wide Civic Elections.
During the second hour Corry Stuive, Albert Ruel and Tom Dekker will lead the group in discussion on any other assistive tech topic participants want to raise. Please bring to the meeting all your other assistive technology questions, nuggets and frustrations for discussion with the group.
For More Information:
Contact Albert Ruel at 250-240-2343, or email us at [email protected]
News from the Hill++:
We at CCB are very pleased to see Minister Carla Qualtrough be appointed to the accessibility portfolio. The appointment of Minister Qualtrough to this portfolio bodes well for the country. Accessibility is a top priority not only for individual provinces but for the country as a whole. Congratulations!
Golfing for the Blind++
Our very own British Columbia Blind Golfer from Langley, B.C., George Thirkill, Won the Overall championship at the Western Canadian Blind Golf Championships in Winnipeg the week of July 9th to 12th. There were 21 players from all over Canada.
The championship consisted of 2 rounds Stableford matches with 4 divisions.
B1 –B2 – B3 & Seniors. The weather was some sun with winds on both days and some rain. The course was very challenging for a Blind golfer, but they managed to get some assistance from their guides on some of the tricky holes. By the way, I was George’s Coach and guide. George shot a 91 on the first day and a score of 85 on the second day, due to some excellent putting to win by 2 strokes. The junior winner B3, Keifer Jones, 24yrs old from Calgary, shot a 75 & 76 to take the Junior division. Keifer is the top blind golfer in the world. George represents Blind Golf British Columbia and at age 79 is the Top senior golfer in the world. George along with our other top golfer from B.C., Darren Douma (member of the CCB VIBE Creston Chapter), from Creston, will be heading to Rome, Italy this year to compete in the World Blind matches and Team play competition representing Canada.
Gerry Nelson, President of Blind Golf Canada, said we are always looking for people that are visually impaired or Blind, or Disabled to come out and learn how to golf. We have a Blind Training facility at the National Golf Academy in Langley at the Tall Timbers Golf Course and we can be reached at [email protected] There is No Cost for the blind or disabled.
Members and friends of the Pembroke White Cane Club gather to celebrate two important birthdays.
The Pembroke CCB White Cane Club held a Birthday Party for two of our senior members on August 15th at a popular local bake shop. The two guests of honour were George Foss, who will celebrate his 95th Birthday in September, and Marion Jackson, who turned a young 93 on the 15th of August. Both are active members of our club providing wisdom mixed with humour to the group. Of course there was a very yummy cake served up with a choice of beverage.
Lots of laughs with numerous photos taken, including this group shot.
As we all departed we all agreed that we should do this more often.
A big thank you to the staff at the bake shop.
Submitted by Gerry Frketich on behalf of the CCB Pembroke White Cane Club.
On the morning of August 10, 2018 Michell Anfinson lost her fight with cancer, at the age of 46. Michelle was very active in the CCB Regina Chapter, the Saskatchewan Team for the CVICC, and the Western Bonspiels.
She will be missed, and our thoughts are with Marv and the rest of their family.
Demo of Accessible Audible Traffic Signal in Peterborough Ontario++:
Devon Wilkins interviewed a CNIB/Vision Rehabilitation Ontario Orientation and Mobility Specialist as they demonstrate the use of an accessible Peterborough intersection. Wach here: https. //www.dropbox.com/s/s966rq25bwdxfm1/Audible%20Traffic%20Signals.mp3?dl=0
CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips: Cleaning & laundry++:
Today, I’d like to talk about cleaning & laundry.
Wear an apron with large pockets when cleaning. The pockets may be used to hold cleaning materials such as a dust cloth and polish, or may be used to hold small items you pick up along the way and plan to return to their original storage places. Likewise, put cleaning materials in a basket or bucket and carry it around the house with you so all materials will be handy as needed.
Avoid spot cleaning! Clean the whole surface to ensure no spots are missed. When cleaning counters, start at one end and work to the other in overlapping strips. Use your free hand to check areas just cleaned for extra stubborn spots. Also work in overlapping strips when dusting, vacuuming, washing floors, etc. In large areas, you may find it helpful to divide the surface into sections such as halves or quarters, with overlapping boundaries. Use pieces of furniture (for example, a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor), or use permanent fixtures to mark the boundaries of each section you are cleaning.
Transfer liquid cleaners into containers with pumps for easy use.
Containers can be filled with a funnel. Remember that flat-sided bottles upset easily.
To fill a steam iron use a turkey baster, a funnel, or a squirt bottle.
Safety pins or Sock Tuckers (available in department stores) can be used to keep socks in pairs during washing and drying. Some people find it helpful to buy socks in different colors, patterns or textures for sorting purposes.
Wash small items in a pillow case or small mesh laundry bag to keep them from getting lost.
To measure laundry detergent use the scoop provided. Avoid pouring directly from the box.
Let’s Get It Out There++:
Tele Town Hall Committee Consultations
The goal of the “Let’s Get It Out There” project was to take a holistic view of issues around advocacy, respect and working more closely together. Although there have been previous efforts at coalition building, this was an opportunity through a Tele Town Hall consultation process to receive feedback and suggestions at a grass roots level. See the Tele Town Hall Committee Mission Statement appended to this report.
In Canada, our history of people who are blind, partially sighted and deafblind working together is not that different from other countries. The main thing that makes Canada different is the small population spread over a vast distance that makes ongoing collaboration and communications difficult. When looking at advocacy, we have many different organizations and individuals working on issues sometimes together, but very often in isolation not knowing or trusting what each other is doing. Even today with more communications options available, because of accessibility issues of some current technology and the lack of assistive technology training, many times we are not aware of what each other are doing.
Although this discussion was meant to cover all ages, economics and other demographics, no effort was put into ensuring that all were adequately represented. To recruit participants the communications avenues employed were through discussion mailing lists, Facebook Groups, Twitter feeds and newsletters known by the committee members and the organizations they interact with. In short, we relied on word of mouth to promote the Tele Town Hall meetings, and by copying representatives of the blindness, low vision and deafblind organizations on our radar it was hoped that news of this initiative would be circulated to their respective networks. It was noted that the first meeting had the largest number of participants, with numbers decreasing as we moved into the final two gatherings.
This report looks at the discussion that occurred during each of the town hall meetings and attempts to put forward some suggestions and challenges to individuals and organizations working in the sector and what that might look like. It should be noted that even though the role of service providers like CNIB was not the main goal of this discussion, it does factor into the ongoing relationships between people and organizations representing people who are blind, partially sighted and deafblind.
Here is a link to download the final report in MS Word format.
Pedestrian Crossings and Accessibility++:
The emergence of new traffic signaling devices at a growing number of intersections are creating concern for pedestrians with sight loss. When is it safe to begin a crossing, how will marked cross walks be delineated and will drivers know how to respond to new signaling mechanisms?
In recent months, CNIB has witnessed a growing number of requests for advocacy support to address concerns regarding these new or different devices.
Clearing our Path, online since 2016, has been CNIB’s go to resource on accessible environments since it was first published in 1999. The guidelines under review for this project can be found at:
This section of Clearing Our path contains guidelines on:
- Curb Ramps and Depressed Curbs
- Raised Pedestrian Crossings
*4. **Accessible Pedestrian Signals*
*6. **Non-Signalized Pedestrian Crossings*
*Of these, items 4 and 6 will be the primary focus of this initiative.*
Request for input
A working group has been struck to consider these as well as other issues surrounding accessible pedestrian signals and intersection design.
On Wednesday, September 19, we would like to extend an invitation to your members to participate in a teleconference call hosted by CNIB.
The questions we would like to have feedback for include:
- What are some of the new intersection and mid-block crossings tactics, structures, or devices being adopted in your area at either controlled or non-controlled intersections?
- What are any accessibility challenges posed by these tactics, structures or devices?
- What recommendations would you have that would better ensure accessibility and safety for pedestrians who are blind, deafblind or who have sight loss;
- Any additional information you wish to share relevant to Audible Pedestrian Signals, pedestrian intersections and mid-block crossings?
Comments from this conversation will be collected and reviewed by a national working group and any comments for change will be reflected in the sections of clearing our path sited above.
Alternatively, any written comments or suggestions would also be appreciated. These should be sent to [email protected] no later than September 28.
Submitted by Lui Greco, National Manager of Advocacy
Visually-impaired Victorians need design change to life-threatening bike lanes++:
Support our BC Human Rights case to insist that the City change its ill-conceived, life-threatening design of floating bus stops, such as along Pandora Street, that require transit users to cross a separated bike lane to get on or off buses in Victoria, BC.
The blind/ visually impaired have already experienced several serious incidents in Victoria (ones we know of) while crossing bike lanes. Imagine the sudden whiz of a bike past you and your guide dog’s nose or tires screeching in front of you as you step out to cross a bike lane.
No one wants to see the inevitable–a crash causing bodily injuries or death as a result of the City not changing this dangerous inaccessible design. Imagine your sense of confidence shaken by uncertainty and fear, knowing you cannot hear oncoming bikes as you step out to cross a bike lane. It’s Russian Roulette.
People ask: What’s the difference between crossing a bike lane versus crossing a street as a blind or visually-impaired person? We cross city street intersections all the time by listening to traffic flow and pedestrian signals. Vehicle traffic on roads can be heard. Bikes, on the other hand, are silent, stealthily silent, so you cannot judge when it’s safe to cross a bike lane.
For more information on this initiative, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/cfb-bike-lanes
In the News
How Running Can Help Protect Your Eyesight++:
Find out how many miles a week you should log to reap the benefits.
Your heart isn’t the only organ that can benefit from regular running: The more fit and active you are, the less likely you are to develop glaucoma, a serious eye disease that can damage your optic nerve and even lead to blindness, new research set to be published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds.
In the study researchers analyzed data from more than 9,500 people between ages 40 and 81 enrolled in a long-term study at the famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas. The researchers compared the subjects’ aerobic fitness (measured by treadmill tests) and weekly amount of exercise (reported by the subjects) to how many of them developed incident glaucoma during a nearly six-year follow-up period. The researchers specifically looked at incident glaucoma, the more common form of the condition, rather than traumatic glaucoma, which is caused by direct injury to the eye.
The researchers found that those who were the most active and the fittest had only half the risk of developing glaucoma as the least-active, less-fit group. Running 10 miles per week at a 10-minute mile pace would be enough to rank in the study’s fittest, most-active category.
This isn’t the first time scientists discovered a vision benefit to running.
This new research builds on a study published in 2009. In that study, which involved only runners, those with the highest mileage and best 10K times had the lowest rate of glaucoma, compared to lower-mileage and/or slower runners. The new study strengthens the pro-running evidence by including sedentary people as well as casual exercisers who are less active and fit than runners, and by showing that modest mileage appears to bring significant eye-health benefits.
So why might running lower your risk for glaucoma?
As the new study states, “intraocular pressure is the primary modifiable risk factor for glaucoma.” When pressure in your eye is too high, it can damage the optic nerve in your eye, potentially leading to glaucoma.
Other studies have found that a single workout reduces intraocular pressure, which the reduction is greater following more intense workouts, and that higher levels of fitness are associated with lower underlying intraocular pressure. Taken together, these findings suggest that exercise that’s frequent and intense enough to boost fitness, such as regular running, should lower intraocular pressure enough to make a significant difference.
And the glaucoma reduction might not be the only eye-related benefit to
running: Separate research by the 2009 study authors found that the more people ran, the less likely they were to develop cataracts during a six-year follow-up period.
Although few people probably take up running to help their eyes, you have to love research like this that shows just how profoundly regular running improves nearly all aspects of your health.
By Scott Douglas
Please find info below about some free online training courses coming in the next couple of months. Explanations and descriptions are below. Matt’s email is at the bottom of the message.
Hi everyone, first off, please share this with others, as I’ll explain later on in the message. Many of you may remember, or may have taken, the iPad training course I offered this past spring. I was really humbled and appreciative of all the positive feedback from that course, and I felt that the response to it was overwhelming.
I’m now excited to announce that I will be offering more free training courses for 2018-19 training season.
First off, I’ll be offering four major courses over the next year. They are as follows:
Replacing Your Traditional TV with Apple TV: four sessions, one session per week, beginning Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Living the Connected Digital Life: Four sessions, one session per week, beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Learn Voiceover In and Out: eight sessions, two per week, beginning Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Learning Voiceover In and Out, Section B: Eight Sessions, two per week, beginning Tuesday, February 19, 2019
IPad for All Computing: 12 Sessions, two per week, beginning Tuesday, April 16, 2019
The courses which have two days per week will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All courses will be held in the afternoon, with exact start times to be decided. Plan on somewhere around 2PM or 2:30 PM Eastern.
Sessions will last for two hours.
As with prior courses, each course is completely free and is available to everyone, sighted and non-sighted alike. As before, courses will be held in Zoom, with an accompanying set of materials, offered as iTunes U courses, with the exception of the Apple TV and Connected Digital Life courses, which will require only small handouts rather than complete iTunes U courses.
I’ll provide descriptions of each course below. What I’d love is if people would start sharing this with your friends, family, co-workers, etc, and on any other relevant lists you may belong to.
Additionally, please let me know which courses interest you.
The Apple TV course was sort of requested by several participants in this year’s iPad course. It will be designed to offer participants an overview of what the Apple TV can do and how to use it. We will then get into various options for making the Apple TV your complete living room device, cutting the cord, streaming, etc. what about local channels? How about sports? What does it cost? How many people can watch at the same time?
On and on. We’ll answer all the questions we can, with a particular emphasis on Voiceover use as well. You do not need to own an Apple TV to benefit from this course. Even if you are just mildly interested in it and want to explore what’s out there, we’d love for you to join.
The Connected Digital Life will explore in-depth how to make all your devices work for you no matter where you are. We will spend lots of time on all the iCloud features and services, such as iCloud Photo Library, iTunes in the CLoud, iCloud Drive, and many more. We’ll discuss iCloud Keychain for password and credit card autofill, Apple Pay, continuity, multiple devices together, HomeKit and home automation devices, and much more. Anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod, Mac, or any combination of these devices should benefit from this course.
The Voiceover In and Out course is something I believe many are looking for. You’ll notice I’m offering two sections. This is because I intentionally want to keep enrollment small and look at the students to best tailor the course to individual needs. This will be perfect for anyone who has never used an Apple device and wants to learn about it, or anyone who has just gotten their first Apple device. Additionally, those who have been using Apple products for years but want further Voiceover help will also benefit. Finally, if you struggle with certain gestures, fingering, or just want advance tips and tricks, this course is for you as well. Note that as of right now, this course will primarily focus on Apple iOS including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, TVOS, Watch OS, and HomePod. Though we wil indeed explore keyboard commands and Braille displays, our primary mode of using these devices will be gestures. My most recent certifications are on the iOS side of things, and that’s what I use, so I’d prefer to not do Mac OS for now.
Finally, for the iPad course. You’ll notice I’ve renamed it. You’ll also notice that it’s longer than the one we did this past spring – 12 sessions instead of 8. This is because I really want to go deeper. We will be spending minimal time on learning Voiceover. If you want that, choose both this iPad course as well as the Voiceover course. In this course, we’ll do what we did last time, except much more involved. Instead of just talking for a short time about Messages, we’ll practice sending and receiving messages, use screen effects and iMessage apps, attach photos, record audio messages, and more. Instead of just discussing the calendar, we’ll create test events, modify events, use features like travel time, shared calendars, and much more. We’ll actually create short movies in Apple Clips, view a Keynote presentation together, and we will spend one whole session on file management and two entire sessions on nothing but Pages.
This course is for everyone, though having an iPad is strongly suggested, though you will be able to complete most of the course on your phone. We will have a prerequisite this time though – a strong familiarity with Voiceover. If you do not feel comfortable with Voiceover but would like to take this course, just also take the Voiceover In and Out course, and you’ll be fine. Even if you took the 2018 iPad course, you may wish to take the 2019 one, as it will as I’ve stated, go much deeper.
Again, please contact me with any questions, and please let me know which courses you’d like to take, and please share. Even though some of these are quite a ways off in the calendar yet, please start letting me know what you’d like, because creating course materials and course structure will be much better the more time I have. Shortly I will respond to those who have actually chosen specific courses, and I’ll keep in touch with you from now through the start of the courses. Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you. Take care.
I can be reached at [email protected]
Hi Everyone! Becky from the office here. Membership season is here! Here are the important dates that are listed in the package.
Early Bird Draw – November 2, 2018
Chapter Rebate Deadline – December 7, 2018
All 2019 Memberships Due – December 28, 2018
White Cane Week Orders Due – January 4, 2019
WCW Insurance Requests Due – January 4, 2019
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Donations Received in the office in 2018 are the only ones that can be receipted for 2018. Remember to send those donations if for your receipts.