CNIB walk
Raising funds for seniors

Glen Vienneau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 31/00) - Making a difference for the visually impaired in our community is a goal for an upcoming walk-a-thon on June 4.

The Walk Towards Independence has been organized by the Yellowknife chapter of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). Between 50 and 60 participants are set to take part in the walk, which will depart from the Baker Community Centre and proceed for three kilometres along the Frame Lake trail.

The purpose of the walk is to help pay for an upcoming workshop for visually-impaired seniors.

Money raised from the walk will pay for a senior worker from the CNIB office in Edmonton to come to Yellowknife.

"People might learn some techniques that will help improve the independence," said Christina Vernon, CNIB regional director in Yellowknife.

The workshops are aimed at improving senior independence by teaching skills such as how to use the stove and how to organize their clothes and do laundry. The workshops will also be offering training to health care providers who work with visually-impaired seniors.

The Walk Towards Independence program took root in Ontario, then expanded to Alberta last year.

"It's a bit different in the south because people have seniors workers, it's an ongoing project. Because we have such a small population up here, it doesn't run all year long," said Vernon.

If enough funds are raised from the walk, the CNIB may also look into setting up a more ongoing program for seniors in Yellowknife.

"In a lot of other communities there's a kind of support network of seniors that come together, seniors who have visual impairment, and we don't have that here and I'm hoping that the outcome might help accomplish that," Vernon said.

"The more money we raise, the more possibilities there would be. For instance, we may be able to bring seniors from other communities into Yellowknife to be part of it."