About the Canadian Organization of the Blind and Deafblind

A blind woman in a blue sweater sitting on a couch with a young girl in a pink dress on her lap. They are sharing a print/Braille book.
Jocelyn and Eva reading a print/Braille story.. Photo credit: Victor Mendez.

Looking for COBD’s Bowen Island Centre for the Blind and DeafBlind Capital Project, visit the project website.

The Canadian Organization of the Blind and DeafBlind (formerly the Camp Bowen Society) is a federal, grassroots, not-for-profit, charitable organization (charity #: 722057312RR0001), headquartered on beautiful Bowen Island, British Columbia, that operates the Camp Bowen summer independence camps, Foundations of Independence Canada-wide blindness/DeafBlindness skills training, virtual blindness/DeafBlindness skills training, and national outreach programs benefiting people who are blind and DeafBlind from across Canada. It also facilitates the Access Bowen Island, a program for people with disabilities on Bowen Island, BC.

Our Philosophy

The Canadian Organization of the Blind and DeafBlind promotes the following statements of principle:

  1. We are not an organization speaking on behalf of blind and DeafBlind people; rather we are an organization of blind and DeafBlind people speaking for ourselves;
  2. We believe that with training and opportunity blind and DeafBlind people can compete on terms of equality with their sighted and hearing peers;
  3. We believe that blindness and DeafBlindness are not handicaps, but characteristics;
  4. We believe it is respectable to be blind or DeafBlind;
  5. We believe the real problem of blindness and DeafBlindness is not the lack of eyesight and/or hearing. The real problem is the lack of positive information about blindness and DeafBlindness and the achievements of blind and DeafBlind people.

Our Objectives

The objectives of the Canadian Organization of the Blind and DeafBlind are:

  1. To provide opportunities for blind and Deafblind children, youth, and adults to meet for recreation, peer support, networking, and learning;
  2. To operate independent living and employment skills training programs for people who are blind and Deafblind;
  3. To establish and operate national recreation, training and meeting centres (based on the structured-discovery learning instructional model) which provide education and other specialized services for the blind and Deafblind in order to relieve conditions (societal and otherwise) associated with blindness and Deafblindness;
  4. To break down societal barriers for people who are blind and Deafblind by having them lead public education initiatives on blindness, deafblindness, and inclusion;
  5. To promote the well-being and dignity of people who are blind or Deafblind in general as well as that of people with disabilities residing on Bowen Island, British Columbia;
  6. To undertake activities ancillary to the above-mentioned charitable purposes.

Our History

The legacy of Camp Bowen, our oldest program, dates back to the early 1960’s.

Read our history

Our Team

Projects as ambitious as ours require a dedicated and passionate team.

Meet our team