EXPO 2023

Vision Month Expo, Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program – An Update, May 2023

Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program – An Update

The Canadian Council of the Blind Vision Month Forum will took place live and virtually on Saturday, May 27 from 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST) Eastern Standard Time at the Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.

Topic:  Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program – An Update
Speakers:
David Schachow, Director, Delivery and Eligibility Review Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Health, responsible for delivery of the ADP
Dr. Jutta Treviranus, Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto
Luna Bengio, Senior Accessibility Expert and Strategic Advisor, Government of Canada
Dr. Keith Gordon, Senior Research Officer, Canadian Council of the Blind and Principal Investigator of the 2021 ADP Survey
Ian White, President of the Toronto Visionaries Chapter of the CCB
DATE: Saturday, May 27, 2023
TIME: 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST)

Conference 2023

Vision Month Conference, Vision of the Future, May 2023

VISION OF THE FUTURE
VISION MONTH CONFERENCE

The Canadian Council of the Blind Vision Month Conference took place on Tuesday, May 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST)  Eastern Standard Time at Christ Church Cathedral in the Great Hall, located at 414 Sparks Street in Ottawa, Ontario.

Topic:  New Treatments for Eye Disease – a Vision of the Future
Speakers:
The Honourable Judy Sgro PC MP, Humber River – Black Creek, Ontario
Dr. Keith Gordon, Senior Research Officer, Canadian Council of the Blind
Dr. David Maberley, Chair, University of Ottawa Department of Ophthalmology
Dr. Elise Heon, Staff Director, Ocular Genetics Program, Sick Children’s Hospital and Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Toronto
Dr. Ike Ahmed, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Utah, Director, Glaucoma & Advanced Anterior Segment Surgery (GAASS) Fellowship, University of Toronto
Dr. Larissa Moniz, Director Research and Mission Programs, Fighting Blindness Canada.
DATE: Tuesday, May 16, 2023
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST
LUNCH: Light lunch to be served from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

White Cane Magazine May 2023

White Cane Magazine May 2023

Welcome to White Cane Magazine May 2023. May has been dedicated as Vision Month. Check out this issue of White Cane Magazine to learn more about Vision Month:

  • Meet the CCB’s Person of the Year and the President’s Award recipients
  • Learn about Bill C-284, a bill that will create a national eye health strategy for Canada
  • Learn about publicly-funded health care from a senior provincial health minister
  • Learn about the impact that the pandemic has had on vision health in Canada
  • Learn about a new therapy for blinding eye disease
  • Look at AMI’s plans for another sizzling summer
  • Read about “Nothing without us” – the true meaning of inclusion
  • Read about an amazing family travelling the world before their children’s vision falters
  • Learn about the integrated Vision Loss Rehabilitation Clinic in Halifax
  • Learn about the creation of the first Indigenous braille code
  • Read about VIA Rail’s new accessibility plan
  • Learn about innovative ways that Canada’s ophthalmologists are servicing isolated areas in Canada’s North
  • Learn about the CNIB’s new strategic plan
  • Learn how to create a podcast from blind outdoorsman Lawrence Gunther

Enjoy the Read!

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Luxturna Now Available Through OHIP

The Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) applauds the Ontario Minister of Health’s announcement on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 that the Novartis treatment Luxturna® is now available through the Ontario public health plan for patients with vision loss due to inherited retinal dystrophy caused by confirmed biallelic RPE65mutations. Ontario has now joined Quebec, Alberta, and Saskatchewan for public coverage of the treatment. Nova Scotia has now confirmed funding for Luxturna through its Exception Drug Fund. Since the procedure is not performed in the Province, arranging care, is the next step for Nova Scotia’s only identified patient. 

“The CCB fully endorses Minister of Health Sylvia Jones’ decision to fund Luxturna,” stated Dr. Keith Gordon, the CCB’s Senior Research Officer. “The funding of this innovative therapy provides hope that people living with the RPE65 gene mutation will be fully able to participate in life. We commend the Ontario government for making this possible.” 

A man holds a child up to see the night sky.
Continue reading “Luxturna Now Available Through OHIP”

Robert Just Interview on Manitoba Morning

In the middle is  table with the CCB banner spread across with Wendy and
white cane to the right and Runa with Guide dog Steller to the left.
Runa, Guide Dog Steller, and Wendy at a Toronto Visionaries Info Table.

Robert Just from CCB Toronto Visionaries Chapter had the opportunity to be interviewed all about White Cane Week on Manitoba Morning. You can find their conversation below. It has been broken into to parts to make the download shorter.

Robert Just on Manitoba Morning Part 1
Robert Just on Manitoba Morning Part 2
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White Cane Week Comes to a Close

It is with great honour that I wish to congratulate the many Chapters who took the opportunity of White Cane Week 2023, to celebrate their abilities.  I have personally been involved with many different activities; but it is always gratifying to me to see the many powerful ways our grass root Chapters partake to truly identify what White Cane Week continues to stand for, a celebration of abilities that we should all be proud of.

Thank you to everyone for your contributions, as you continue to make us proud as an Organization. 

Jim Tokos

A man walking down a street with a white cane.
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White Cane Week – Technology

Today, technology helps those who are blind/low vision to live full, independent lives.

Braille above a doorbell.

Low Tech

  • Brightly-coloured and differently-textured bands that can be used to identify bottles and jars.
  • Sock sorters for laundry. Clothespins for shoes and matching gloves
  • Magnets, sticky dots and puff-paint to be used to make items more tactile
  • Heavily-lined note pads, thick-tipped markers and large phone books, large-print and braille greeting cards. Braille and large-print playing cards and game pieces. Braille and large-print calendars. Braille paper and labels
  • Tactile measuring cups/spoons, and other kitchen gadgets
  • Perkins Braillers, slates and styluses, braille label makers
  • Magnifiers and lighting
  • Braille books and print/braille books
  • Tethers used for running
  • Monocular and binocular devices for distance viewing
  • White canes
A pile of various technology including a braille display, bone conductive headphones, a laptop, an iPad, and tablet.

High Tech

  • Screen-reading/magnification software on computers and phones
  • Electronic Braille displays
  • Sight-enhancement glasses such as occutech, ORCAM
  • Sight substitution wearables such as EnVision glasses
  • Services such as Aira and BeMyEyes
  • Apps created for the blind-low/vision, print-disabled community, such as Blind Square, Voice Dream Reader/Writer/Scanner, Surround Sound, Be Specular
  • Reading devices, such as Victor Streams, and wayfinding devices, such as Trekkers
  • Audio-described TV services such as Rogers Ignite, AMI Audio/TV, descriptive soundtracks available at movie theaters
  • Audio books
  • Note takers for recording on a phone, a dedicated device.
  • Location devices such as Way Around tags
  • Medical devices such as ScripTalk and talking health monitoring devices and apps
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White Cane Week – Blind Sports

Just like people with sight, those who are blind or have low vision participate in a variety of sports! This isn’t a full list of course. Do you participate in a sport not listed? Please comment on our social media posts to spread the word.

Facebook
Twitter

Two runners competing in a 10K race in the snow.  Both in brightly coloured shirts, one with Guide written on the back, the other with Blind Runner.

Fitness and individual sports

  • Downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with the assistance of sighted guides
  • Spinning: a group fitness class done on a stationary bike, led by an instructor who describes the cadence (speed) and amount of tension used during the class.
  • Swimming: Swimming in pools within lanes with ‘tappers’ (people stationed at the ends of the pool) who tap the swimmer on the head to indicate the ends of the lane. Outdoor swimming with the help of buoys and tethered sighted guides.
  • Running: on a treadmill, or with the assistance of a sighted guide—sometimes runner and guide use a tether to maintain contact.
  • Triathlon: Swimming while tethered to a sighted guide, tandem biking and running while tethered.
  • Group fitness classes where the exercises are described, called out and done in one place. This includes ‘aerobics,’ weights, yoga, Pilates and other classes that can be done in a group!
  • Blind Golf
  • Rock climbing
  • Speed skating
  • Wrestling
  • Water skiing
  • Horseback riding

Team Sports

  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Curling
  • Dragon boating
  • Bowling
  • Goalball
  • Beep ball
  • Darts
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