Ann Jackson can no longer read, write or drive because of vision loss, but she has a clear vision for connecting people who live with similar challenges.
For that reason, she is passionate about boosting membership in the Victoria White Cane Club. The non-profit group will celebrate its 65th birthday with a strawberry tea on Wednesday (June 8).
“I just signed eight new members,” said Jackson, club president.
That will boost the social factor at the club’s twice-monthly gatherings held at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Victoria. Typically, about 12 people from Greater Victoria with various visual impairments have been regularly attending events.
“I just signed Dudley last year and now he’s on the executive,” Jackson said beaming, turning to first vice-president, Dudley Rose.
Members come together to hear guest speakers and enjoy musical entertainment and outings. Jackson said their events are an opportunity to meet and laugh with others who understand “because their lifestyle has changed dramatically.”
Members also share tips on improving their independence despite blindness or partial sight.
“I am completely independent,” said Rose, who is also legally blind. “The first thing I learned was that it wasn’t the end of the world, but the beginning of a new one.”
He shares that message with White Cane Club members, and hopes to inspire them to live life to the fullest.
“You’re always learning from somebody how to use these eyes that you’ve got.”
The club’s birthday tea is from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Victoria chapter of the CNIB, 2340 Richmond St. For details, please call 250-385-7687 or 250-383-3707.