Envision BC: April 2016 Your Community Newsletter


Join us for a walk under the stars at CNIB Night Steps

The road to independence for a person with vision loss can feel long and winding with a few detours along the way – but, the destination is absolutely achievable, especially with a little help from our friends.

Take the first step toward helping someone with vision loss succeed on their journey to independence by registering to participate in CNIB Night Steps.

A fun, family oriented 5 km walk under the stars, Night Steps raises vital funds for post-vision loss rehabilitation services right in your home community – services such as learning how to travel independently with a white cane, braille literacy and technology, pre-employment and independent living skills.

Did you know that in British Columbia CNIB only receives 9% of our total funding from the provincial government? By signing up for Night Steps, your support will ensure that we can continue being there for those who need us the most – people like Jillian Sloane from Dawson Creek, BC.

Night Steps events are happening across BC and in the Yukon:

Victoria, BC – June 4
Nelson, BC – June 11
Lower Mainland, BC – September 24
Prince George, BC – October 1
Whitehorse, YT – October 1

Can’t find a walk in your local community? Why not create your own through Night Steps My Way. Night Steps My Way is a self-planned walk that you can arrange to do individually or as a team, on a date and time of your choosing, while still raising funds for CNIB. Night Steps My Way walkers receive all of the same fundraising tips, access to online tools and cool Night Steps swag including t-shirts and glow-in-the-dark items.

Don’t delay – sign up today to join the fun at cnibnightsteps.ca or by calling us at 1-844-810-5408 for more info.

Getting beautified in BC

Have you ever stopped to think about how your daily routine would change if you suddenly lost your vision? Or maybe you’ve already experienced this first-hand. Many of us take the small things we do for granted that can be daunting tasks when we can no longer rely on our eyes to guide us.

Something as routine as skin care and make-up regimens need to be totally re-learned after losing one’s sight. For those of us who choose to wear make-up, applying it without vision can be intimating or, depending on the outcomes of our efforts, downright comical!

This is where one of CNIB’s Independent Living Specialists can help. Last month, CNIB Victoria hosted a make-up application workshop led by Jessica Leonard, Independent Living Specialist, and a special guest from Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Participants learned modified techniques that allowed them to apply make-up with confidence and ease.

All of the ladies who attended are beautiful with or without make-up, but their smiles revealed a boost in self-confidence thanks to their newly acquired skills.

Building a Barrier-Free BC

A grassroots movement of organizations and individuals representing British Columbia's residents with disabilities officially launched a province-wide campaign on the steps of the BC Legislature on April 6th when Barrier-Free BC called on the provincial government to 'Just Say Yes' and enact a British Columbians with Disabilities Act.

More than 600,000 people in BC have some form of disability – and that number is expected to rise dramatically over the next 15 to 20 years as the population ages.

"BC is woefully behind in honouring its commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," said Barrier-Free BC spokesperson and CNIB board member, Rob Sleath. "Ontario and Manitoba have already passed legislation, and Nova Scotia will enact its bill later this year. It's time for this government to commit to passing strong and effective legislation that will enable people with disabilities to live to their full potential," Sleath continued.

Introducing formal legislation would secure the rights for persons with disabilities around issues of accessibility, inclusion and equal opportunity.

To learn how you can get involved in the ‘Just Say Yes’ campaign, visit barrierfreebc.org.

Calling all event planner extraordinaires

Get your creative juices flowing by throwing a third party event of your imagining in support of CNIB!

Hosting your own event is a great way to engage your friends, family and community at large while raising awareness and funds for CNIB and the people we serve.

Stuck for an idea? Why not let your taste buds guide you like Alfredo del Arenal did when he hosted his first blind taco event in Vancouver last month. Alfredo – who is a client of CNIB – came up with his event idea when he realized that he wanted to give back to the organization while having some fun doing it.

A lover of great food, Alfredo decided to invite his friends and colleagues to join him for a blindfolded taco tasting to allow guests to really focus their senses on the outstanding flavours.
The event was a hit raising over $3,000 for CNIB, and now Alfredo is planning to make it an annual affair. Check out #TheBlindTaco on Facebook and Twitter to join the fun.

For information on how to plan your own third party event, contact Jennifer Yankanna at jennifer.yankanna@cnib.ca.

Volunteer Spotlight: My volunteer experience with CNIB

by Atasha Hogness

Atasha HognessVolunteering with CNIB has been a great adventure for me, and I am so grateful I took the steps to become involved with such a great organization!

It had been years since I had last volunteered, and before I reached out to CNIB I was simply going through the routines of life: school, work, repeat. It was at this time that I decided that I needed to make a change, to shake things up a bit. I wanted to become more involved in my community, to meet new people, and make a difference for someone. After stumbling upon the CNIB website in my quest to discover volunteer opportunities, I quickly decided that CNIB would be the way to do this.

Before volunteering, most people anticipate a rewarding experience, one that benefits others as well as themselves. I have found this to absolutely be the case. However, I could not have known before I started volunteering the sheer magnitude of these benefits. I have developed such a special friendship with the CNIB client I was paired with, and her enthusiasm at each visit never fails to bring a smile to my face. I was fortunate enough to have been paired with a wonderful lady who shares with me a love of good books, and our favourite weekly activity has been reading a favourite book series and enjoying a good cup of tea. Needless to say, our time spent together is one of the best parts of my week!   

Reflecting now on the past months I have been volunteering with CNIB, I cannot think of a better way to have spent my time. I take every opportunity I can to share my experience, to tell others about CNIB and the great services and volunteer opportunities they offer. The training and encouragement offered is continuous and makes a world of difference when you are just becoming involved in volunteer work. But beyond this, great support is the opportunity to learn more about vision loss, to meet truly amazing people, the potential to develop lifelong friendships, and the knowledge that you are having a positive impact on someone else's life.



Did you know that even though the iPhone operates by touch screen technology, it has built-in accessibility features for people with vision loss? Check out your iPhone’s capabilities by going to: Settings>General>Accessibility and see what it can do.

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