Canadian Council of the Blind

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White Cane Week takes place on the first full week of February.

This important week of raising public awareness of the challenges facing Canadians living with vision loss is marked by events sponsored by CCB chapters within their local communities. Events vary from chapter to chapter, but all focus on demonstrating the abilities – not disabilities- of people living with vision loss.

CCB chapters across the country host a variety of events including, open houses, informational forums and more in their local communities to rais awareness and provide information to the public.

Although many chapters hold public awareness events throughout the year WCW encourages CCB chapters to make a coordinated “team effort” to host events during the specific time frame of White Cane Week to maximize the impact of the information provided to the public through open houses, public forums and other educational opportunities.

White Cane Week (TM) is a registered trademark of the CCB.

Help Celebrate White Cane Week 2024 in February

On behalf of the Canadian Council of the Blind and Fighting Blindness Canada we’d like to invite you to a special conference designed to recognize Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) awareness month and the results of the Canadian Survey on Disability 2022.

Online and in-person, February 27th 2024 (EST) at the Christ Church Cathedral, The Great Hall, 414 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1R 0B2

The conference will be split into two sessions.

White Cane Week Conference 2024 Logo
View Point Session Logo, Fighting Blindness Canada a collaboration with the Canadian Council of the Blind presented by Bayer a picture of middle age man wearing glass smiling

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
View Point: Ask the Expert about Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Fighting Blindness Canada presents a special event to recognize Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) awareness month. Join us for a full morning of interactive sessions with doctors and people living with AMD to learn more about this prevalent eye condition that affects over 2.5 million Canadians. Sessions will include a presentation about AMD by retinal specialist Dr. Bernie Hurley, a lived experience panel and an opportunity for you to ask your questions directly to the doctor.

Statistics Canada Statistique Canada

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
Canadian Survey on Disability 2022

The Canadian Council of the Blind presents a panel discussion with researchers from Statistics Canada about the 2022 Canadian Survey on Disability. In this engaging session, panelists will discuss how this data was collected, why it is important and what the results tell us about the prevalence of disabilities, including seeing disabilities, in Canada.

White Cane Week 2022 in February and Vision Month in May

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as we hopefully return to norms, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) found it necessary to split White Cane Week into two separate components. While we were able to celebrate White Cane Week during the first full week of February, many of our events have been switched to May’s Vision Health Month, when we intend to host our scheduled events both virtually and in person.

May Is Vision Month

Hil Day: Virtual
Hill Day will mark the launch of a month-long federal government vision advocacy stakeholder initiative. Meetings with government officials will be held virtually, in Ottawa, and with MPs in their ridings across the country.

Vision Month Summit: Virtual and Live in Ottawa
The Vision Heath Month Summit will take place on Monday, May 16 from 4:00-5:45pm at Christ Church Cathedral in the Great Hall, which is located at 414 Sparks St. in Ottawa.
Agenda: The summit will feature a discussion on achieving the vision health community’s push for a National Vision Health Strategy, a Vision Health Desk, and increased vision health research funding, along with how best to engage Canadians and government in preventing blindness and restoring sight.

CCB Vision Month 2022 Gala Dinner: Virtual and Live in Ottawa, 6:00PM-9:30PM

The Gala Dinner will take place at Christ Church Cathedral in the Great Hall, at 414 Sparks Street in Ottawa. The White Cane Person of the Year and CCB President’s Award will be presented. Luna Bengio, Senior Accessibility Expert and Special Advisor to the Office of Public Service Accessibility at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, will be the Keynote Speaker.

Toronto Visionaries Experience Expo Consumer Show: Live in Toronto, 10:30AM-3:30PM

Experience Expo is a hands-on, interactive exposition encouraging visitors to engage directly with the services, tools, and technologies that impact the daily lives of those living with vision loss. Exhibitors will share their experience of providing creative, adaptive solutions to all aspects of life with vision loss through interactive exhibits, improving access and overcoming barriers to living a full, rich life. Our intent is to offer visitors as full of a sensory experience as is possible on the exhibition floor.

 

Experience Expo Forum: Virtual and Live in Toronto, 4:00PM-5:30PM

The CCB’s Toronto Visionaries Chapter will host its annual Experience Expo forum at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave (at Bloor West) in Toronto.
Expeience Expo Forum Agenda: A CCB event, the Forum will feature a panel of experts discussing a patient’s right to informed consent and full disclosure for whatever the treatment, including all of the informed therapies, their side effects, dosage frequency, all options, and costs (which should never influence what a patient is prescribed) before a treatment decision is made.

White Cane Week Schedule

February 9 4:00-5:30pm – Virtual WCW Expo Forum: Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program

On behalf of the Canadian Council of the Blind I would like to thank those of you who attended yesterday’s Toronto Visionaries Expo Forum on Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize for those who could not attend due to accessibility and/or technology issues. We made a mistake, and in doing so, underestimated the ability of our chosen platform, to provide access to the virtual Expo Forum for those living with vision loss, in a manner conducive with both your expectations and ours. For that we are truly sorry.

I am providing 2 different links to various elements of the Expo Forum:

The Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program can be seen in its entirety from the YouTube link below
Dr. Keith Gordon’s presentation can be viewed in pdf.

If we missed you, please take one of the opportunity’s provided to review our study’s findings and recommendations. Once again our apologies, lesson learned. I promise we’ll do better next time.

All the best,

Michael

February 22 4:00-5:30pm – Virtual WCW Preventable Blindness Summit

White Cane Week’s Summit will be an in-depth discussion by leading experts in eye health, ophthalmology and optometry on just what is preventable vision loss and blindness. The discussion will also look at the main causes of vision loss and blindness and the burden it places on Canada’s health system. The panel will discuss where we need to go in considering the state of vision health in Canada, focusing on the following issues: the inescapable reality of unmet need; eliminating the COVID-19 backlog; and a call for comprehensive eye examinations for those most vulnerable, our children and an ever increasing, aging population.

TOPIC: Preventable Vision Loss and Blindness

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Diane Van Staden (1)

SPEAKERS: Dr. Marko Popovic (2), Doug Earle (3), Dr. Keith Gordon (4)

DATE: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

TIME: 4:00-5:30 p.m. EST

Watch the event below:

(1) Dr. Diane Van Staden is an Optometrist, a public health professional and the optometry academic leader at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. She enjoys an extensive background in public health and development within the field of global eye health and her research interests include a comparison of eye health in various global regions. It is in this context that she was the author of a study published in March 2020 in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, entitled: “The Universal Eye Health Imperative for Canada: An Inescapable Reality of Unmet Need”.

(2) Dr. Marko M. Popovic MD MPH (C), Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

(3) Doug Earle President and CEO, Fighting Blindness Canada.

(4) Dr. Keith Gordon Senior Research Officer, Canadian Council of the Blind.

“Survey Report Reforming Ontario’s Assistive Device Program” can be viewed below in pdf.
Dr. Diane Van Staden’s presentation can be viewed below in pdf, Title (Reducing the burden of Preventable Vision Impairment: Addressing the inescapable reality of unmet need in Canada)
Doug Earle’s presentation can be viewed below in pdf
Dr. Keith Gordon’s presentation can be viewed below in pdf
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