Cooking is an essential life skill. For people living with sight loss, knowing how to cook can be critical to building confidence and independence.
Kitchener-Waterloo's Emer Ferguson volunteers as a cooking club facilitator. As someone with sight, she has learned a lot from people who are blind or partially sighted.
“Whether it’s using an Instant Pot, a slow cooker or setting aside more time for cooking, they’ve taught me that anything is possible in the kitchen,” says Emer.
Emer and her co-hosts, Lindsay and Barb, created the cooking group during the pandemic, and it’s grown to become an incredibly supportive community.
“I no longer see it as volunteering - it’s the place where I get to laugh, smile, and have endless amounts of fun with a wonderful group of people,” says Emer.
As a student, Emer joined the CNIB team in 2018 to support CNIB’s SCORE (Skills, Confidence, Opportunities through Education and Recreation) program.
“That experience truly changed my life. I fell in love with this organization, the community it serves, and the passionate group of individuals who make CNIB so wonderful,” says Emer. “I have spent the last three years having the best time of my life, and I can’t see a future where I am not a volunteer.”
With kindness and gratitude, Emer’s volunteer efforts extend beyond teaching cooking essentials.
"As a CNIB volunteer, you see the impact you make every week,” says Emer. “It’s hard to describe how this experience has helped me grow as a person and prepare me for my career.”
Today, Emer is attending the University of British Columbia to complete a Certificate in Orientation and Mobility – a program that prepares students to teach people with sight loss how to travel safely and independently.