British Columbia & Yukon


Progress continues along the Path to Change

Over the past year, CNIB British Columbia continued down the Path to Change by laying a strong foundation for successfully integrating post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy (PVLRT) into the publicly funded continuum of care. Our efforts will continue to accelerate leading up to the next provincial election in 2017, when we’ll ask each party to formally commit to correcting the funding imbalance for PVLRT in BC. We look forward to the exciting developments that will unfold over the next year.

Helping teens prepare for the future

When we launched a pilot program in 2015 aimed at helping young adults with vision loss transition into adulthood, we had no idea what kind of impact it would have. Today, we’re thrilled that the outcomes from the Transition Peer Support Program have been so positive that we’re able to expand it to two additional regions. Young people who’ve participated in the program have reported an increase in confidence, skills and independence, and a number have gone on to enroll in post-secondary education in addition to securing employment.

Ensuring accessibility for British Columbians with vision loss

While advancements in technology can be life-changing for people with vision loss, the price tag can be prohibitive. The Ensuring Accessibility for British Columbians with Vision Loss Program bridges that gap by helping individuals access technologies thanks to investments from generous funders. In the words of 17-year-old Travis: “It’s exciting to now have the ability to read in comfort thanks to The Ruby [portable video magnifier]… I will rely on it as I enter post-secondary studies when my reading needs will increase.” This program is truly transforming lives.

Meet Maggie Wehrle

Eight-year-old Maggie Wehrle bubbles over with enthusiasm when talking about her favourite books, and can’t resist bouncing in her seat.

“Right now I’m reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but I’ve also read the whole ‘Harry Potter’ series and I just finished ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’,” says Maggie, who was born blind. “I think reading all of these books gave me the influence to write.”

Maggie, who is a BC native, took first prize for her age category in CNIB’s national braille creative writing contest last year for her story, “The Underground Festival”, a fantasy world where dragons soar and the dirt shimmers silver.

Like any new language, braille takes time and practice to learn. CNIB offers braille instruction in BC in accordance with an individual’s personal goals. Whether that means learning the basic alphabet or becoming an advanced reader of literature, CNIB helps people like Maggie get there.

“Braille is the one thing that gives me access to what other people can see,” says Maggie. “Without it, I don’t feel like I’d fit in.”


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