Throughout the year, members of Canadian Council of the Blind chapters across Canada host a wide variety of awareness events within their local communities to demonstrate the talents and capabilities of people living with vision loss.
However, the first full week in February every year has been officially designated as White Cane Week, and serves as a focal point in the year for the blind and vision impaired community to concentrate their access and awareness events.
A number of annual sporting events, open to CCB members across the country include the annual AMI Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship, Western Curling Bonspiel, the Atlantic Sports Weekend, Email Bowling and Email Cribbage. People with all levels of vision loss and varying abilities can join in these friendly competitions within their own communities or with other members in other parts of Canada.
In addition to sporting events such those above CCB members host assemblies for schools, libraries and community groups, supplying information, answering questions, dispelling myths and demonstrating how white canes and other methods are used to enhance mobility and independence. Information on the Braille alphabet and large print books are shared and people are encouraged to ask questions about vision loss and learn the Braille alphabet. Demonstrations may include guide dog owners showcasing the working relationship, teamwork and close bonds between people who are totally blind or have low vision and their guide dogs. Information tables are set up in local malls to distribute printed materials and help educate the general public about the realities of living with vision loss and the possibility for still living a full and rewarding life while facing every day challenges.
More recently, people are joining in GTT (Get Together With Technology) sessions in which people sighted, blind or with low vision demonstrate and share their knowledge and expertise about different types of technology and common electronic devices. These informative sharing sessions, whether in person or via teleconference, helps teach people with low vision to be more comfortable with technology and on how to get the most out of their electronic devices.
Blind and vision impaired people enjoy and participate with enthusiasm in all types of sports and recreational activities including curling, bowling, book clubs, swimming, ball hockey, lawn bowling and dodge-ball and even triathlon events.
As one of CCB’s slogans is “Ability not Disability” these events all demonstrate that people living with vision loss can accomplish the same things as those who are sighted. CCB members demonstrate to the general public, as well as to themselves, that they can do whatever they strive for in life with adaptation and determination