White canes a welcome gift for sight-impaired children

Victoria White Cane Society provides canes to school-aged children, an expense not covered by health plans

CNIB orientation and mobility specialist Mary Kay Kennedy

Ann Jackson tears up as she recalls meeting dozens of partially sighted and blind children for the first time at the CNIB holiday celebration last December.

“It made me very happy that I was there and our club was able to help,” she said.

Since she started losing her vision 12 years ago, Jackson has become an aggressive advocate for the blind as president of the Victoria White Cane Society, a non-profit support group for people dealing with vision impairment.

The society, which celebrates its 66th anniversary this month, recently partnered with the CNIB’s Victoria office to provide canes to school-aged children, an expense not covered by provincial health plans.

“Most of the children that we see have some vision, but many of the children need assistance,” said Mary Kay Kennedy, CNIB orientation and mobility specialist.

One of the key mobility tools for children is a cane, Kennedy said, used by children as young as two-and-a-half.

“A cane is designed to grow with your size. So, as the children get taller, the cane gets taller,” she said.

Vision can also change as a child gets older, making it necessary to purchase different types of mobility canes along the way.

Kennedy is one of three specialists who provides assessment and mobility services to the Island’s estimated 75 partially sighted and blind students.

“That number actually might be greater than that, those are the children we know of at CNIB in the school system,” she said.

Jackson said her cane serves as a safety belt, helping her navigate her daily activities with more confidence.

“It’s saved my life many times,” she said. “It’s not just for the children, it’s for anybody who is blind or partially sighted.”

The Victoria White Cane Society will celebrate it’s 66th birthday at the CNIB on Wednesday (Sept. 12), providing cake and musical entertainment for its roughly 50 members.

For more information on the society, call 250-385-3707. To donate to the CNIB, visit cnib.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Beacon Avenue pot shop dispute heading to court

The two sides are scheduled to meet in early January 2020 in a Victoria courtroom

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

Donations down, Peninsula Santa’s Helpers worry heading into final week of toy drive

Coin, toy drive supports 250 children registered with the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank

Oak Bay Police melt dozens of guns into metal cube

Set of rare dueling muskets could go to museum

Victoria Police Department taking too long to respond to emergency calls

A new report says VicPD is not meeting its 911 response targets

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Most Read