Happy International Day of Deafblindness

A black and white photograph of Charles (Charlie) Crane standing outside, near the corner of a building. Charlie is wearing an old-fashioned suit and is smiling at the camera, hands clasped together.
Charles (Charlie) Crane pictured in The Ubyssey (January 29, 1932). Photo credit: University of British Columbia

In Canada and around the world, today is being celebrated as the International Day of Deafblindness. Today also marks what would have been Helen Keller’s 140th birthday.

Camp Bowen has a long tradition of participants attending who are Deafblind. Local Vancouver education trail-blazer Charles (Charlie) Crane, who attended in the 1960’s, and Vancouver Island’s Got Talent winner Sky Mundell, a more recent camper, are just a few notable examples, though the list goes on.

When many people think of Deafblindness, they often associate the disability with blindness or Deafness. However, the unique challenges of blindness coupled with Deafness presents its own challenges and solutions. At Camp Bowen, we believe that with the right opportunities and with the illimination of societal barriers, people who are Deafblind can participate on terms of equality with their sighted and hearing counterparts.

In 2018, when undertaking the rebranding of the Camp Bowen Society for the Independence of the Blind and Deafblind, the Camp Bowen Society’s Board of Directors unanimously elected to include Deafblind as part of the name to recognize this unique disability on equal footing with blindness within the organization.

For more on the International Day of Deafblindness, the World Federation of the Deafblind has done a nice write-up on their website that we encourage all of you to check out.