Bad eyesight overcome

“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision” is the slogan of the Canadian Council of the Blind.

  • Feb. 8, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Paul Horgen (right) and Jim Gillis are riding partners despite Horgen’s visual impairment. A tandem bicycle is the solution for them.

“A lack of sight is not a lack of vision” is the slogan of the Canadian Council of the Blind.

In keeping with this, the Comox Valley White Cane Club under the sponsorship of the CCB will be celebrating White Cane Week this year with information tables set up at the Comox Centre Mall on Feb. 9 and at the Driftwood Mall on Feb. 11.

The concept of an educational week to focus public attention on a facet of blindness and visual impairment was initiated by the Canadian Council of the Blind in 1946 and has continued ever since.

Paul Horgen, vice-president of the Comox Valley White Cane Club, has not allowed vision impairment to diminish his ability to participate fully in life.

With his seeing-eye dog Kona a constant companion, he is busily involved in the local chapter’s activities and also a member of the board for CNIB — Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

He teaches for ElderCollege at NIC, is actively involved in a committee regarding the Courtenay estuary, ran a political campaign for Jim Gillis, and, not to be hampered by vision impairment in his physical activities, gets exercise riding a tandem bike with Gillis.

Joyce Chevsky, president of the local chapter, feels there are more vision-impaired people in the Valley than the local chapter reaches at this time. She uses a compact video reader when shopping and also a Zoomtext reader on her computer and is keen for other people to learn of the technological advances that have been made in this field.

There have also been advancements made in the issues around vision impairment, such as employment retraining and equipment, that are 100-per-cent paid for by the federal government, which the local CVWCC tries to keep members apprised of.

— Comox Valley White Cane Club

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