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

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

Central Saanich police respond to 419 calls in July, including speeding motorcyclist

Police chase deemed too risky, biker tracked down the next day

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Sidney salon closes citing persistent lack of staff

Housing, transit continue to affect workers on Saanich Peninsula

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

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

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read