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Visually impaired clients welcomed back by CNIB at Weyburn barbecue

CNIB clients will soon be able access programs in person again

WEYBURN – The Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) wanted to “welcome back” their clients in the Weyburn area, and held a free barbecue for them at Weyburn’s River Park gazebo on Saturday.

Staff from the Weyburn Credit Union volunteered to serve the food, and entertainers provided music for those attending the barbecue.

Staff from the CNIB office in Regina were present, including Ashley Nemeth, the provincial director of the CNIB for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and her guide dog Danson.

The CNIB put on the free barbecue for their clients, to help welcome them back to in-person programs from the CNIB. The agency is one of the organizations that are part of the Weyburn Communithon fundraiser under the Regina United Way.

“Across the country, we wanted to do ‘welcome back’ events,” said Nemeth, who noted many of the programs have not been able to run or were offered virtually via programs like Zoom.

Two of these barbecue events were planned for Saskatchewan, she added, this one in Weyburn and next week in Prince Albert.

In Weyburn, there had been a peer support group that helped the visually impaired in the city and area, but it hasn’t been able to meet since before the pandemic, and now there are plans to start it up again.

Nemeth went from table to table with Danson to meet the clients who came out.

She noted she has had Danson for about three and a half years now, and the pair were among the first to graduate from the CNIB’s guide dog program. Danson is part Lab and part Golden Retriever, which Nemeth said is a good combination, and Danson is fully trained as her guide dog. She relies fully on Danson to help her, as she has fully lost her sight.