August CNIB Saskatchewan Newsletter

8/10/2017

In this issue:

Want more information on CNIB's exciting programs and services than give us your email by calling (306) 525-2571 or email: saskatchewan@cnib.ca

Make sure to also follow the Saskatchewan page on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CNSask/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cnib_Sask

Staff Profile

For Christy Horan embracing change is at the root of teaching Independent Living Skills (ILS).

"Needs and technology change all the time for people who are blind and partially sighted. It's important to understand that learning will be a constant," she said.

"There can be a stalling period with a vision loss diagnosis, and a period of grieving that happens. The sooner a person accepts some changes, in how they do some routine tasks, the sooner a person can get back to living their life. You can still do the things you always did, just differently."

Christy has worked for CNIB for eight years. She began her career in the Winnipeg office doing orientation and mobility training and after two years transferred to the Saskatoon Office to become the ILS Specialist. 

She went to Medicine Hat College to become an intervenor for the DeafBlind then went on to train at Mohawk College for Orientation and Mobility. Christy returned to Ontario to Mohawk College in 2011 to train in ILS.

Her career path was inspired by her best friend's mom who worked with people with disabilities. With a passion for creating change and teaching new things Christy wanted a job where she wouldn't sit in an office and would allow her to be out and about in the community.

Every day she teaches daily living skills in client's homes - like cooking techniques, adaptive cleaning methods, Braille and organization tips.

Through her experiences working with her clients she has learned patience. "There is a fine line between helping and taking away someone's independence. It is difficult to watch someone struggle with a task, but it is very important for that person to learn how to adapt and change how they once did things, so they can be independent. Accomplishing small goals leads to an increase in self-confidence and into motivation for bigger life goals." 

Besides setting goals there are also useful devices like the Pen Friend that can make learning how to adapt to vision loss easier. This device records your voice onto a sticker, and that sticker can be placed on objects around the home labelling make up, clothing, spices, tools and movies that aid a person with sight loss. "This is one most useful tools. It is very user friendly and so easy to use and affordable."

But overall, she is thankful for her experiences with her clients. "Every day I am challenged to figure out new ways to adapt items for people to use. I am invited into people's homes and am able to witness their progress and change, for me that is very rewarding."

Client Profile

As a former CTV sportscaster and colour commentator Bob Huber was used to being social and independent, but when the Regina resident lost his sight his world changed.

"When you lose your eyesight a couple of things happen. The first thing you notice is there are a number of things you can't do anymore. You immediately feel like you have lost personal freedom and that is a huge adjustment," said the 64-year-old.

Bob lost his sight due to glaucoma surgery complications when he was 51 years old. Suddenly, he was reliant on others to drive him around, everyday tasks took longer and he couldn't do some tasks at all.

He felt isolated and didn't know how to navigate the world anymore due to not being able to see. "I wanted to stay in my house and not venture out. Feeling comfortable and safe at home I didn't want to venture out into a world I was not familiar with."

For a couple of years, he accepted that his life would be this way. "I found life unfulfilling but I never gave it a second thought."

It was during an appointment with his optometrist that he found out about CNIB. He began learning white cane skills, accessed the independent living skills program and learned technology skills on his Ipad. His world began to get bigger.

Huber was an avid reader before he lost his sight but hadn't been able to read since. "It was a big hole."

He was introduced to the talking book program through the CELA library services and his world began to open even further.

Then he began his involvement with the CNIB Peer Support Group in Regina and found a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate the world.

"This group is a lot of help for people like me who thought there was not a lot of help out there."

Learning new skills to cope and different ways of doing everyday tasks eased his frustration with his vision loss.

Most of all, because of the examples of others in this group, Bob no longer puts limits on what he can or can't do. "Thanks to them I have more confidence when I leave my home and the world is not such a scary place anymore." 

Client/Staff Advice

Vision Loss can be a very scary place to find yourself. It can feel like your life is over or that you are going to be sitting in a rocking chair listening to the radio for the rest of your days. The fear you feel is real. The grief you feel is real. I am not here to discount those feelings because they are true and warranted and you will need to work through them. I know, I was there when I lost the remainder of my sight four and half years ago. However, don't go purchase a rocking chair just yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

When you experience vision loss, whether it is sudden or gradual, you will go through a grief process just as if you lost a loved one. That grief process can be different for every person. The experience has its ups and downs.

People who have sight loss have triple the risk for depression as their sighted peers. If you feel like you just can't see the light at the end of that tunnel, CNIB can help with programs like peer support. Doing it alone can seem very daunting but when you are supported everything feels more manageable.

When you lose your sight it can be scary, not knowing how to accomplish the tasks you once did, but there are skills that you can learn to be successful. CNIB can also help you with this. You will be able to cook, clean, work, have fun, be active and live a full and amazing life it just requires learning a new way to do these things.

You do not have to wait until you are "totally blind" to ask for help either, there are gadgets like magnifiers and skills that can be learned to maximize the vision that you still have which can make all those daily tasks a lot less frustrating.

During the process of accepting your vision loss, the emotions you will feel are extensive and can range from to I can do this to anger, guilt, feeling sorry for yourself, why me, and complete frustration. These are all normal feelings. It helps to acknowledge all of your feelings and seek out help in dealing with this change in your life. If you do, you will be able to take your life back and decide how you want to live it.

By Ashley Nemeth Client and Program Lead, Community Engagement 

CNIB Saskatchewan Division

Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan

CNIB has a new brand, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan, for our rehabilitation services. With a commitment to the highest standards of care, we help to enhance independence, safety and mobility for Canadians with vision loss.  While this new brand is an important change, what won't change is our services themselves, and how we provide them. For more information, visit sk.visionlossrehab.ca

CNIB is Celebrating a Birthday

Save the date. CNIB is celebrating its centenary in March of 2018. Be part of the birthday festivities and help us make an even bigger impact in our second century!

When: March 21, 2018

Where: Saskatoon, Remai Modern Art Gallery

Young Centenary Competition

CNIB clients ages six to 16 are invited to join in and celebrate CNIB's 100th Anniversary!  Share your passion while exploring the history of CNIB and how the organization has transformed over the years. 

CNIB Saskatchewan is holding a competition to showcase the talents of our kids!  Your mission is to research, produce and present a short three-to-four-minute video on the impact that CNIB has had in your life and how it has evolved over 100 years.  

For more information or to enter go to http://www.cnib.ca/en/mb-sk/programs-services/Pages/Young-Centenary-Competition.aspx


Upcoming CNIB Conferences, Events and Fundraisers

CNIB's Assistive Technology and Career Fair

This event will showcase the latest innovations in technology and the role they play in creating accessible employment for individuals with vision loss. Booths will include: Humanware, Orcam, AMI, CanadiaLog, Frontier Computing, E-sight and VFO Optelec. We will also have booths hosted by local equal opportunity employers as well as breakout sessions throughout the day on topics of interest.

Saskatoon location: September 20, 2017- CNIB Auditorium, 1705 McKercher Drive

Regina location: September 21, 2017 - Ramada 2nd floor Ballroom, 1818 Victoria Avenue

Time: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. in each location  

100 donors – 100 Years Campaign

Would you like to join CNIB in Celebrating our 100th Anniversary?  You can, by contributing to our 100 years 100 donors campaign!  Your contribution will have a lasting affect on someone who is blind or partially sighted and you will be supporting much needed programs for the blind and partially sighted.  Some of which include; kids' camps, youth leaderships, peer support and family support programs.To find out how you can participate in this fundraising campaign please call Nanette Ermel at 306-565-5411 or by email at nanette.ermel@cnib.ca.

2018 CNIB Cash Calendar

Start your Christmas shopping early! This year's calendar features photographs of CNIB Saskatchewan's rich historical legacies from CNIB offices to firsts for clients, and new campaign initiatives.  You have 186 chances to win the $30,000 which include the early bird draw of $5,000 and a grand prize draw for $3,000! Calendar cost: $30.00, 50/50: one ticket/$5.00, 3 tickets/$10.00 or 6 tickets/$15.00. Deadline for the early bird draw is January 18, 2018.To purchase call 306-525-2571.

2017 Regina Night Steps

Bring your family, friends and pets to the Fundraising Walk, in support of CNIB.Taking part is easy! Register as a team or an individual. The event takes place on September 22, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the old CNIB in Wascana located at 2550 Broad St. Regina, SK. For more information please contact Kira Kosteroski at (306) 565-5421 or email nightstep.saskatchewan@cnib.ca.

Regina Scotiabank Dining in the Dark

The event on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Delta Hotel. The evening starts at 5:30 p.m. with the reception then supper and the program to follow at 6:30 p.m. For ticket or sponsorship information please contact Kira Kosteroski at (306) 565-5421 or email kira.kosteroski@cnib.ca

Saskatoon Dining in the Dark

The event on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Delta Bessborough. The evening starts at 5:30 p.m. with the reception then supper and the program to follow at 6:30 p.m. For ticket or sponsorship information please contact Kira Kosteroski at (306) 565-5421 or email kira.kosteroski@cnib.ca.


Community Conferences and Events      

Where It's At: Assistive Technology for Children and Youth Conference on October 4 and 5, 2017 in Regina.Join Kelly Fonner and Jennifer Donais as they discuss the importance of inclusion for all students, tips for introducing and implementing technology/strategies into the classroom and working as a team. For more information or to register got to https://www.saot.ca/event/where-its-at-assistive-technology-for-children-and-youth/ or call Deb at (306) 766-0861.


CNIB Saskatchewan Programs

For information on all Southern Saskatchewan (Regina) CNIB groups and programs contact Ashley Nemeth at (306) 565-5413 or email: ashley.nemeth@cnib.ca 

For information on all Northern Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) CNIB groups and programs contact Daniel Lundy at (306) 374-4545 or email: daniel.lundy@cnib.ca 

Support Groups and Support Programs

Peer Support Group (Teleconferencing opportunities are available)
For individuals 55+ who are blind or partially sighted, this group allows participants to connect with others who are experiencing similar circumstances, to participate in social gatherings, and the opportunity to learn from guest speakers about a variety of relevant topics.

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad St. Multipurpose room 

  • When: Every second Tuesday (no meeting in July or August) 
  • Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Saskatoon location: CNIB Auditorium, 1705 McKercher Drive

  • When: Every third Tuesday (no meetings in July or August)
  • Time: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Care Partners (Teleconferencing opportunities are available)
This program is designed for family members and partners who are supporting a loved one with vision loss. This program offers participants the opportunity to share their experiences and gain coping skills.

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad St., Multipurpose Room

  • When: Thursday evenings, September 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2017
  • Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m. 

Saskatoon location: CNIB Auditorium, 1705 McKercher Drive

  • When: Wednesday evenings, January, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2018
  • Time:  6:00– 8:00 p.m.

Vision Mate Program
Our Vision Mate Program matches individuals living with vision loss with specially-trained volunteers who offer companionship and one-on-one assistance with day-to-day tasks and errands.

Vision mate volunteers assist individuals with a variety of activities, including reading mail, grocery shopping, errands, labeling and organizing household items, as well as enjoying leisure and recreational activities together – like playing cards and going for walks.

Beyond the Classroom (Teleconferencing opportunities for those outside of Regina are available)
This program will guide and support families, ensuring blind and partially sighted children and youth have access to the same educational and experiential learning opportunities as their sighted peers.   It will teach parents to navigate the school system and empower them to effectively advocate for their children changing what it means to be blind.

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad St., Regina, Multipurpose Room

  • When: Every third Tuesday of the month, September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19, January 16, February 20, March 20
  • Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Saskatoon location: CNIB Auditorium, 1705 McKercher Drive

  • When: Every third Thursday of the month, September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 18, February 15, March 15
  • Time:  6:30– 8:00 p.m.
Youth Leadership (Teleconferencing opportunities for those outside of Regina are available)

This program is designed for to provide youth who are blind or partially sighted opportunities to develop leadership, advocacy, and compensatory skills in a social setting with the goal of building self-esteem, confidence, social and community engagement, and self-efficacy (empowerment).

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad St., Multipurpose Room

  • When: Every second Tuesday of the month in September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12, January 9, February 13, March 13, April 10, May 8, June 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

Saskatoon location: CNIB Auditorium, 1705 McKercher Drive

  • When: Every third Thursday of the month, September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19, January 16, February 20, March 20, April 17, May 15
  • Time:  6:30– 8:00 p.m.

Family Fun Days
These days provide opportunities for families (in which one or more individuals has vision loss) to meet with others for a fun activity.

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad St.

Saskatoon location:CNIB Auditorium, 1705 McKercher Drive

  • When: October 29 – Halloween Party, February 12 – Valentines Party 
  • Time: 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. 

CNIB Sports and Recreation Programs 

Fitness Program
For adults ages 18+, provides a variety of physical activity options for blind and partially sighted participants.  Each week the group will embark on a new adventure from spin classes and goal ball, to yoga to judo and everything in between.

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad St. or alternate location 

  • When: Every Wednesday Evening from October to November (8 weeks) October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22 
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Times could vary based on instructor/venue availability

Saskatoon location:  CNIB, 1705 McKercher Dr. or alternate location

  • When: Every Wednesday Evening from October to November (8 weeks) October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22 
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Times could vary based on instructor/venue availability

Arts and Culture Night
Budding artists ages 18+, who are blind or partially sighted. Join volunteers at a CNIB Centre for an evening of arts and crafts such as painting, sculpting and socializing. Art supplies are provided.

Also included in this program are cultural experiences/activities which could include, learning a new instrument, taking a cooking class, taking in the symphony, going to a tactile art exhibit or a museum or going as a group to a musical performance.

Regina location: CNIB, 2160 Broad Street or alternate location

  • When: Thursday evenings (January to March) January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saskatoon location: CNIB, 1705 McKercher Dr., in the auditorium

  • When: Friday evenings (February to March) February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Yoga: Individuals who are blind or partially sighted age 16+ learn basic yoga to help them to increase their activity levels and help with flexibility and balance.

Regina location: CNIB 2160 Broad St.

  • When: Wednesday evenings September and October  September 13, 20,27 October 4,11
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
  • Future classes TBD – Limit of 10 per class

For ongoing information on CNIB's and community recreational programs in Saskatchewan go to www.cnib.ca/en/mb-sk/programs-services/leisure/Pages/default.aspx


Community Associations, Groups, Sports and Recreation Programs

Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB): The CCB is a national self-help consumer organization whose membership consists of persons who are blind, deafblind, or who have significant vision loss. They offer social, recreational, informational, and awareness-building programs. Cribbage will start in the fall after Thanksgiving.  For more information on the CCB Moose Jaw White Cane Club and the CCB Regina Chapter, contact the Regina CNIB office at 306-525-2571.

Canadian Deafblind Association (Saskatchewan Chapter): The organization is committed to assisting all persons who are deafblind to achieve, with intervention, the best quality of life. For further information on the Saskatchewan Chapter contact Dana Heinrichs, Executive Director at cdba.sk@shaw.ca or by phone at 306-374-0022.

Regina Sensing Art Program: This is a group that makes it possible for people with vision loss to experience and enjoy art no matter their vision. Meet in the gallery for a quick tour and then head up to the programming room for act activities. 

  • Where: Dunlop Art Gallery, Central Branch of the Regina Public Library 
  • When: The last Saturday of the month.
  • Time: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Regina and Saskatoon Tech Ease Drop-in/Getting Together with Technology Group: This is a group run by VIRN (Vision Impaired Resource Network) in collaboration with CCB. Each week a different pre-determined topic is discussed and explored around technology and how it can enhance the lives of those with vision loss. Friends and family are welcome as well as those living with any degree of vision loss.

Regina location: Central Branch of the Regina Public Library, Outreach unit

  • When: The last Saturday of the month.
  • Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Saskatoon location: Downtown Library Saskatoon Public Library, Outreach unit

  • When: The fourth Saturday of every month, starting Sept 23.
  • Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saskatchewan Blind Sports Association (SBSA) was founded in 1978 and is a volunteer based not-for-profit organization that facilitates provincial, national and international sports opportunities for Saskatchewan residents who are blind or partially sighted. The following are (but not limited to) the core sports that SBSA facilitates: Dragon boating, goalball, lawn bowls, curling, bowling, and golf. For more information call 1(877) 772-7798 or email sbsa@shaw.ca or visit www.saskblindsports.ca

Saskatoon White Cane Social Club: Socialize and meet new friends while you enjoy refreshments, games and music. Refreshments.   The Saskatoon Lion drivers are available to drive you to the meeting and bring you home. For more information or to arrange a driver call Howard at 306-361-4664.

  • Where: CNIB, 1705 McKercher Dr., in the auditorium
  • When: The third Wednesday of every month, starting on September 20.
  • Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

New Technology and Rate plans

Sasktel Discount Rate Program

Through CNIB's stewardship, SaskTel has created a Wireless Accessibility Credit ($15 Wireless Credit) for customers who identify as Blind, Deaf, or hard of hearing. The Wireless Accessibility Credit provides customers with the flexibility to choose a converged rate plan with a data bucket that best suits their data consumption needs. The credit was created to offset the costs of components of a plan that a customer may not able to use. A Self-declaration form must be filled out by customer (or rep on behalf of customer) in order to receive the credit. You can find the form here

http://www.sasktel.com/special-needs/vision-solutions

U of S Engineering Students Develop New White Cane Technology

Last year a group of electrical engineering students contacted Christy Horan from the Saskatoon CNIB office to develop accessible items for the blind. Over the last year they have worked with a focus team of CNIB clients and have built a cane to assist cane users to be able to walk in a straight line. The cane will buzz when veering off intended path of travel, the group (appropriately names Line of Sight) presented the cane back in March and have been approved to continue research and development. Here is a link to their final project video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyF_rq-6LUE

Saskatchewan Polytechnic Students Develop Accessible VR Game

Teresa Aho from the CNIB Regina office worked with two Saskatchewan Polytechnic students to help develop a virtual reality game for youth with vision loss. "Everyone wants to play video games and it really doesn't take that much work to make something more accessible," said Josh Couse, one of the students who made the game... The pair demonstrated the game at the CNIB Regina Family Fun Day in the spring. Braun said the game was fun to build, but the most rewarding part was seeing kids actually playing it. You can read about the story in the Leader-Post here Read the full story.


Volunteer Opportunities

Do you want to help us change what it is to be blind today? Our volunteers are what make this organization thrive.

We are currently looking for volunteers for the following:

Regina Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Night Steps – A variety of event positions exist that could suit your expertise.
  • Program Facilitators – We are running new programs in the fall and the curriculum has been developed. We are looking for one person for Care Partners and one for Beyond the Classroom.
  • Assistive Technology and Career Fair – Need two volunteers to help with directing people and the registration table.

Saskatoon Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Program Facilitators – We are running new programs in the fall and the curriculum has been developed. We are looking for one person for Care Partners and one for Peer Support.
  • Program volunteers for the new programs starting in the fall.
  • Assistive Technology and Career Fair – Need five volunteers to help with the registration table, sighted guide and other duties. 

If any of these opportunities sound like something you would like to try please contact Ashley Nemeth at ashley.nemeth@cnib.ca or call (306) 565-5413.

Thank you to our partner:

​​​​​ AMI Logo

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