Insight November 2016


The holidays are just around the corner, so we've crammed this month's Insight chock-full of holiday goodness! Check out this month's headlines:

Insightful Cooking

Step-by-step instructions for baking a holiday pumpkin pie

pumpkin pieNeed a few pointers on cooking with vision loss? Follow along at home as our host Wendy bakes a pumpkin pie for the holidays in this audio cooking show!

Click here to listen to Insightful Cooking: Pumpkin pie edition.

Wendy's pumpkin pie recipe: Text version

Pie shell ingredients

You can either buy a store-bought frozen pie shell OR use the following ingredients to make the shell yourself:

  • 1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (or any cookie crumb you like)
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

Pie filling ingredients

  • 1¾ cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¾ cups evaporated milk


  • Premeasure all your ingredients and put them in containers on a tray or cookie sheet beside you on your work surface. When you finish using an ingredient, set the container aside so you know you've used it.
  • When measuring dry ingredients, use your index finger to smooth the top of the cup or spoon to make sure you're getting an accurate measurement.
  • When you're cracking eggs, crack them into a smaller bowl to make sure you don't get any shell in the main mixture you're working with. If you do happen to get a bit of shell mixed in, remember that shell attracts shell. Take another piece of shell and swirl it around in the mixture to draw the stray piece to your hand. 


  • Preheat oven to 425˚ Fahrenheit.
  • Decide whether you're going to use a store-bought pie shell, or make the shell yourself.
  • To make the shell, combine graham cracker crumbs (or any cookie crumb you like), melted butter and sugar in a small bowl. Stir well, then spread the mixture over the sides and bottom of a 9" pie pan.
  • Set your pie shell aside.
  • Combine pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, eggs and evaporated milk using a blender, mixer or food processor. If you don't have one of those appliances, start with the pumpkin puree, sugar and spices and mix them in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Then add eggs and evaporated milk and whisk until smooth.  
  • Place pie pan (containing pie shell) on a cookie sheet to catch any drips.
  • Carefully fill the pie shell with the filling mixture, and place the tray in the preheated oven.
  • Bake at 425˚ for 15 mins., then decrease temperature to 350˚ and bake for another 45 mins.
  • Test for doneness by inserting the tip of a butter knife into the pie. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done.
  • Place it on a cooling rack. Cool completely and serve with generous dollops of whipped cream.

About the host Wendy Springford

Wendy Springford is a lifelong advocate for equality for people who are blind or partially sighted. As a teenager, she and her family fought hard for her to become the first blind student admitted into the mainstream Saskatchewan school system. Now a retired social worker, Wendy currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, with her family and loves to indulge in her passion for cooking.

Back to top of page

Your Shop CNIB Holiday gift guide

Thinking about holiday gifts for someone in your life with vision loss? Shop CNIB has a lot of different gift ideas to make this holiday season extra special.

  • Liquid Level IndicatorLiquid Level Indicator, $21.95

    This handy device lets people with vision loss know when hot or cold liquid being poured into a container is near the top. The buzzer sounds when liquid reaches the half-inch mark.

  • Reminder Rosie Talking Alarm Clock and Reminder Assistant, $139.95Reminder Rosie Alarm Clock

    Reminder Rosie is an easy-to-use completely hands-free, voice-activated talking clock. With revolutionary speech recognition, it easily understands conversational English. Record up to 25 personalized voice reminders for six seconds in any language using your own voice.

  • Scrabble – Braille Deluxe, $104.95Scrabble – Braille Deluxe game

    Scrabble is a classic board game, loved by all. In this version the Scrabble tiles have raised braille markings, while the game comes with both printed and audio instructions.

  • Keychain Talking Clock, $14.95Keychain Talking Clock

    An ultra-modern take on the traditional pocket watch! This attractive, compact timepiece/keychain announces the time in a clear English voice, and also displays it clearly on a black LED screen.

  • Ultraoptix Round LED 4X Magnifier, $28.95Ultraoptix LED Magnifier

    Ideal for reading fine print and maps, especially in low lighting situations. The 4X magnifier lens is unbreakable and scratch-resistant.

  • PenFriend2 Talking Labeller , $199.95
    PenFriend 2 Talking Labeller
    Never lose track of anything with the easy-to-use, pocket-sized PenFriend talking labeller. Take one of the special self-adhesive labels, record an identifying message with your PenFriend, then attach the label to a CD, food can, clothing or other item.

  • Large-Print Playing Cards, $5.95 Large-Print Playing Cards

    Gathering around the table for a friendly game of cards is a great way to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. These large-print playing cards feature numbers and suits that are twice as large as regular cards so that people with vision loss are able to easily see them.

  • DK Braille Counting Book, $16.95
    DK Braille Counting Book

    Learn to count with this tactile book designed especially for young readers with sight loss. Follow an adventure through the park while feeling puffy balls and sticky worms. Pages contain the number in large-print with the braille equivalent underneath colourful images and large-print text followed by tactile braille.

  • Visolux 7" HD Video Magnifier, $1,145Visolux 7" HD Video Magnifier

    The Visolux Digital HD video magnifier is equipped with the latest technology to provide the ultimate in reading comfort. The large seven-inch screen provides a wide field of view and superior image quality.

Top it off with braille holiday cards braille holiday cards

On top of these great gift ideas, why not get ahead on sending out your holiday greetings? This 10-pack of holiday cards features print and braille to help make this holiday season an accessible one!

Back to top of page

5 classic described holiday movies on TellMe TV

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas…

Looking for described holiday films you can enjoy with your loved ones this holiday season? Well look no further! Our friends over at TellMe TV, formally known as Zagga TV, have given us their top five fully described holiday films…

  • Charles Dickens' The Christmas Carol (1949)

    Vincent Price narrates this short of Charles Dickens' classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Christmas Ghosts that change his perception of life.   

  • Beyond Tomorrow (1940)

    In this long forgotten holiday fable, the ghosts of three elderly men return to Earth to reunite a young couple. Listen for the spirited rendition of "Jingle Bells" in English, Russian, German and Italian – a number guaranteed to fill you with holiday cheer!

  • Santa and the Three Bears (1970)

    When a park ranger tells two bear cubs about Christmas and Santa Claus, they want to skip hibernation to celebrate, but their mother doesn't believe in Saint Nick and wants them to sleep.

  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

    In this '60s sci-fi romp, the Martians kidnap Santa Claus so that their children on Mars will receive Christmas presents.

  • A Christmas Wish (A.K.A. The Great Rupert) (1950)

    A little squirrel with lots of charm accidentally helps two poor, down-but-not-out families overcome their obstacles.

If you're looking for a gift to give a loved one, why not give the gift of TellMe TV? Subscriptions are available for three-, six- or nine-month terms.

Back to top of page

"Wow!" of the month

Meet budding artist Holly Bennett

Holly on Santa's lap when she was a little girl  This holiday season, Holly Bennett will head from art college in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, to her home in St. John's to enjoy Christmas with her mom, Andrea, and dad, Barry.

While there's nothing unusual about a college student heading home for the holidays, Holly is no average student. Holly is in her first semester of a competitive art program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. She also has vision loss.

Holly says that she's loved drawing since she was a little girl, despite having a rare genetic condition called oculocutaneous albinism. Holly says she never doubted she couldn't create art and she's extremely proud of her work. She and her family credit CNIB with giving her the confidence to become an artist.

Brave Holly became a CNIB Ambassador when she was just five years old. Over the years, she's spokenHolly today, standing with white cane in front of boat harbour at many CNIB public education events and to television reporters about the realities of living with vision loss. She and her family also attended the CNIB Family Camp each summer as she was growing up. This summer marked the final year for the family, but Holly has left her mark for future campers. She designed a special mascot for the camp called Max, complete with costume. Holly says seeing the kid's reaction to something she created is the best memory she'll take from her 15 years at CNIB camp.

After finishing art school, Holly has plans on becoming an art teacher. Out of the hundreds of students who applied for the art course at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Holly feels very proud to be one of the 25 chosen for the program. Go Holly!

This holiday season you can help support children and teens like Holly right in your own community. Click here to make a much-needed holiday donation today

Back to top of page

Forget the perfume, forget the tie…
Do any of us really need more "stuff"? This holiday season, forget the usual presents, and give your loved one a gift that truly means something: a donation to CNIB on their behalf. Just choose your gift amount, and we'll send them a personalized holiday card from you. Make your gift now.
Back to top of page