As part of White Cane Week, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) hosts the annual AMI Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship in Ottawa. Sponsored by Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), the five-day-long tournament brings together curlers from across the country — plus guides, coaches, officials, and volunteers — to celebrate the rich history of blind curling and to engage in spirited competition.
The curling championship showcases the abilities of blind and low-vision curlers in one of the nation’s most respected winter sports. Blind curling requires few modifications. Teams participate in a round robin leading to a playoff series that culminates in a championship game. With over 70 years of curling history in the blind and low-vision community, the CCB encourages members of all ages and abilities to take up the sport. Encouraging participation in sports teams and tournaments for people with vision loss is an important part of the CCB’s mandate.
Showcasing ability, not disability
The championship celebrates the opportunity for people with vision loss to share common interests and social activities, and gives athletes from around the country the chance to meet and to compete with great sportsmanship.
White Cane Week aims to publicize the abilities of people who are blind and partially-sighted, rather than emphasizing the disability that blindness itself presents. The curling championship exemplifies this perfectly.