Ann McNabb is the president of the B.C.-Yukon division of Canadian Council for the Blind. The CCB is holding an open house on Wednesday.

Ann McNabb is the president of the B.C.-Yukon division of Canadian Council for the Blind. The CCB is holding an open house on Wednesday.

Raising awareness about sight impairment in Chilliwack

The Canadian Council of the Blind, Chilliwack Chapter, invites the community to an open house on Wednesday, 11am–3pm, at Evergreen Hall.

Diagnosed with a hereditary retinal disorder at 18 years old, Ann McNabb has been progressively losing her sight throughout adulthood. After she was declared legally blind, she was getting on the bus with her white cane one day in the early 1990s, when she met a member of the Canadian Council of the Blind, who invited her to a CCB meeting. Although McNabb admits the group isn’t for everyone, she found confidence through it, and stuck with it for nearly two decades.

To celebrate White Cane Week, held nationally in the first week of February for nearly 70 years, the Chilliwack chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind is inviting the community to an open house Wednesday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be at Evergreen Hall (9291 Corbould Street), in the Slesse Room.

A Chilliwack native, soft-spoken McNabb now heads the BC-Yukon Division of the CCB from her hometown.

“I think (the CCB has) helped me to be more confident in myself. If I wasn’t a member of the local club, I certainly wouldn’t be doing some of the things I do at the division level,” says McNabb.

She is also a committed volunteer with the local Girl Guides of Canada, and the Chilliwack Safety Village.

CCB Chilliwack offers peer mentoring support, and club members range from people who are legally blind, to those who have absolutely no vision, like McNabb herself. The club helps members to cope, says McNabb.

“Because no matter when your vision loss comes along, or how much it is, it’s an adjustment. And being with people who are in the same group helps.”

The 30–40 members hold twice-monthly meetings, monthly lunches, and bowling nights.

In addition to bringing together people who are visually impaired and the wider community, next week’s open house will welcome an orientation specialist from CNIB, the organization that services the blind and visually impaired nationally. The specialist will consult on making a home more accessible. CNIB will also bring adaptive equipment items for sale.

Chilliwack could improve on its accessibility. Although the city sports a few audible signals at traffic lights, whose chirp announces a safe time to cross, McNabb would welcome more. And while the HandyDART provides an excellent service, “It sure would be nice if they ran more on the weekends or on the evenings,” she says. “Because you kind of get stuck, or you end up having to pay a taxi, or you just don’t go out. It limits you.”

And one way of overcoming limitations is to connect with people in similar situations.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Chilliwack firefighters watch as an O’Connor Towing operator removes a stolen Volkswagen station wagon from the Fraser River off Cannor Road in west Chilliwack on June 13, 2021. (William Snow photo)
PHOTOS: Stolen vehicle dumped in Fraser River in Chilliwack Sunday

Search and Rescue determined there was no one inside the car found upside down off Cannor Road

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read