Envision BC - Summer Edition: your community newsletter


Your support makes seeing beyond vision loss possible.

CNIB Night Steps expands across BC, lands in the Yukon

Event to include two new communities and establish flagship location

Get your walking shoes ready, because CNIB Night Steps is expanding and coming to a community near you.

We’re thrilled to grow Night Steps, CNIB’s fun 5km walk under the stars that brings families and friends together for a glow-in-the-dark celebration that raises funds to support life-changing services for members of your community who are blind or partially sighted.

Building on the success of the event that launched in Abbotsford in 2013, Night Steps will now have an established flagship home in Surrey’s Holland Park (Sept. 26) — a central, accessible location for residents of the lower mainland — and will debut in Prince George (Sept. 19) and Whitehorse (Oct. 3).

Thanks to your generous support, Night Steps has raised $53,000 in just two years to support vital vision rehabilitation services in BC. With this year’s expansion, we’re looking to make a greater impact that will touch even more people’s lives.

People like Jillian… Click to read Jillian’s story.

Give the gift of empowerment and register to walk today at cnibnightsteps.ca 

For more information, email Shalon.Morrison@cnib.ca or call toll free: 1-844-810-5408.

TELUS employees give back by crafting braille books for tots

Investing in communities is good for business, and giving back can be loads of fun too. Just ask the 20 TELUS team members who spent a cloudy morning in May creating tactile picture books for young children who are blind or partially sighted as part of the annual TELUS Days of Giving program. 


Image caption: A group of TELUS team members smile while
wearing matching t-shirts that read, “We give where we live.”

CNIB assists families with infants and toddlers who are blind or partially sighted through our Early Intervention program. Picture books like the ones created by TELUS’s employees are tools that facilitate early learning and skill development, building a foundation of literacy for life. Over 40 books were carefully produced by the TELUS volunteers, each one crafted and brailled by hand.

Thank you to the TELUS employees who volunteered their morning to create these treasures for the families we serve.

Is your office interested in supporting CNIB? Contact Jennifer.Yankanna@cnib.ca to find out how.

CNIB Kids Camp makes the magic happen


For many, camp is a rite of passage. It ushers children from one stage to the next on the road to independence, and the friendships and memories formed will last a lifetime.

It’s no different for the kids who attend CNIB Kids Camp for children and youth who are blind or partially sighted. In fact, for many CNIB campers, getting to meet peers with vision loss is a first—and that experience of social inclusion and fellowship can be a life-changing event.

In July, over 40 youth with blindness or partial sight from across BC attended camp for a week-long adventure where they built confidence and forged friendships through participation in various sports and group activities.

We think it’s best to capture the magic of camp in your own words:

“The difference CNIB has made for Joshua has been huge. He has become more optimistic and less fearful because of CNIB. He’s quite a confident kid now.” - Nicole, mother of 10-year-old Joshua, CNIB client

“I’m grateful to CNIB for giving Tyler such a great start. At first, our family was lost. We had no idea where to go for help.” - Diane, mother of 16-year-old Tyler, CNIB client

“Finding out that Abby had significant vision loss was extremely difficult… I am so grateful for the support CNIB has given us.” - Jennifer, mother of 11-year-old Abby, CNIB client

To hear directly from some of our young campers,  we invite you to watch this video:

Thank you to our 2015 donors who made this year's camp possible:

Rexall Foundation
CKNW Orphan’s Fund
Variety – The Children’s Charity
Zajac Ranch for Children
The Government of British Columbia

Help send more kids from your community to CNIB’s summer camp by connecting with Theresa: Theresa.Blancaflor@cnib.ca.

CNIB signs on as community partner with new energy company that uses power for good

The people at Sponsor Energy have flipped the switch on a better, more socially conscious way of doing business, and we at CNIB have never been happier to pay our energy bills.

That’s because Sponsor Energy allocates 50 per cent of their profits to their customers’ charity of choice, and CNIB has signed on as a participant in their charity partners program.

Sponsor Energy believes in harnessing the power of everyday energy consumption in order to make our communities safer, stronger and healthier. By making the decision to switch to Sponsor Energy for power or natural gas, you can support CNIB at no extra cost to you. There is no cost to enroll your home in the customer choice program, no disruption in services from switching suppliers, and customers will still receive only one bill from FortisBC.  

For more information on how this program works and how you can support CNIB by becoming a Sponsor Energy customer, visit sponsorenergy.com.


Image caption: The Sponsor Energy logo depicts a glowing
lightbulb with a heart at its center.

Volunteer spotlight: Betty-Anne

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Abbotsford volunteer, Betty-Anne, is what the CNIB volunteer services team calls a “triple threat:” compassionate, creative and committed.


Photo caption: Volunteer Betty-Anne practices braille while also covering the Abbotsford reception desk.

As a Vision Mate, Betty-Anne was matched with a client we’ll call Mrs. Jones to protect her privacy, who lives in a long-term care facility. In addition to vision loss, Mrs. Jones lives with profound hearing loss, and—before being matched with Betty-Anne—was often frustrated with the challenge of communicating with care staff who sometimes had no option but to yell loudly at her. This was difficult and frustrating for both parties involved, and was rarely effective.

Betty-Anne took it upon herself to learn sign language and braille from CNIB’s Independent Living Skills Specialist, Brian Mackie, who had already taught these skills to Mrs. Jones. Betty-Anne became the first person (other than Brian) who could communicate effectively with Mrs. Jones.

After practicing her braille skills, Betty-Anne came up with the idea to produce the care facility’s most common instructional communications in both print and braille. Now, when a nurse or physiotherapist needs Mrs. Jones to do something, they can find the instruction on the brailled sheet and give it to Mrs. Jones so that she can read the request and understand what they are asking her to do. This has removed communication barriers and has drastically lowered frustrations.

This is just one example of the many ways Betty-Anne has helped Mrs. Jones to be independent, advocate for herself, and improve her quality of life at the long-term care facility.

Betty-Anne is one member of our extraordinary team of “triple threat” volunteers who make a difference in the lives of people in their community who are blind or partially sighted.

A heartfelt thank you to all our dedicated volunteers!

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering in BC, please email Jaishree.Narsih@cnib.ca or complete our online application form.

F.Y.Eye: fun facts!

Did you know that dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are the gold medalists of ‘eye foods’ as they contain most of the essential nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy eyes? Just one more reason to do like your mother told you and eat your greens!


Image caption: close-up of kale leaves​

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