Whether it was in Vernon, as it was Thursday, May 25, or Penticton the day before and Kelowna the day before that, Vittoria Spindor was hearing the same thing from visually impaired people, or those suffering vision loss.
New easy-to-access equipment is helping them with their lives or helping them become more social.
Spindor is the community engagement coordinator with the CNIB Foundation, B.C. and Yukon Division, and she was in the Okanagan this week hosting three CNIB Mobile Hub events. The idea is to let the visually impaired sample technology equipment, together with bringing together partners for peer support, such as vision loss rehab and those with experience for the deaf blind community, which are people suffering vision and hearing loss.
“It’s been amazing,” said Spindor of the Mobile Hub during its Vernon stop at the Okanagan Regional Library. “We’ve had a lot of people coming in, asking different questions, and interested in what they can do with vision loss and blindness. Hopefully this will move forward as we’d like to visit here more often.”
One of the more popular pieces of equipment being demonstrated was the Victor Reader, a hand-held media player that plays books, MP3 and MP4 files, EPUB and many other media formats. It also has access to more than 36,000 web radio stations, different volume and speed-of-reader-voice controls, and can record voice and media with a built-in microphone or line-in.
And, certainly, one of the most popular presenters didn’t actually say a word.
Elk is a four-year-old service dog that helps CNIB Foundation program lead for peer support and advocacy Tommy Leung, who knows he plays second-fiddle to his four-legged guide.
“Elk is the star of the mobile hub, I’m known as the dog bringer,” laughed Leung, who presented a peer support program in Vernon.
“We want people to get to know each other and learn about peer support and the advocacy program, to talk about their emotions and gather resources from the community.”
The CNIB Mobile Hub encourages participants to take part in children and youth programming, recreational and social activities, learning and employment workshops, hands-on technology training and product demonstrations.
You’ll also have access to the latest breakthroughs in assistive technologies, as well as tried-and-true favourites, all available for purchase through the CNIB SmartLife store.