Helping People with Vision Loss Experience Recreation and Parks

In celebration of June is Recreation & Parks Month, it’s important to recognize the contributions of the over 30 Provincial Recreation Associations across Saskatchewan. Today we are going to look at an outstanding project that one of the Provincial Recreation Associations, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Saskatchewan Division has recently completed in support of recreation and parks.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) recently completed a project in Wascana Park that saw the installation of more than 230 GPS points that speak to the BlindSquare Event app. "For CNIB the goal of this project was to make Wascana Park more accessible and inclusive for people with vision loss, which in turn enhances quality of life,” said Christall Beaudry executive director of CNIB Foundation Saskatchewan. 

The project has resulted in Wascana Park, one of the largest A woman with a guide dog is using the Blindsquare app to navigate Wascana Park.urban parks in North America, becoming accessible for people with vision loss.  While this is the largest project to date, it’s not CNIB’s first project in Saskatchewan.  They were also able to install GPS points in Regina’s Victoria Park and Central Park.  Each one of these projects has been made possible by an anonymous donor and are enhancing the lives of those that are blind or partially sighted by supporting their independent navigation of these spaces.

It’s all about making sure that parks and recreation opportunities are available to everyone. “We really wanted to ensure that our clients were able to access parks.  Breaking down barriers to the benefits of parks and recreation opportunities is very important to us,” notes Christall. 

Ashley Nemeth, the Program Lead for Advocacy with CNIB agrees, “Before the Wascana Park Accessibility Project was completed, I wasn’t comfortable walking around the park alone.  Now, I know the park has been mapped and I can feel confident that I can take my kids for a walk independently.” 

The installation of the GPS points is helping to ensure that everyone can experience the benefits of outdoor recreation. The GPS points help mark amenities such as benches, park lookouts and monuments, but they also help mark the meandering trails which can be difficult to navigate.

It’s important to recognize that this is just the beginning. The opportunity for enhancing the accessibly of parks and recreational facilities in Saskatchewan is endless. “CNIB is open to opportunities with other communities” says Christall. “If you are interested in the BlindSquare Event app and the installation of GPS points, please reach out to us”. 

Thank you CNIB for making parks and recreation accessible! 

June is Recreation & Parks Month – Live it Everyday!

For more information about the Wascana Park Accessibility Project:
Christall Beaudry, Executive Director, CNIB Foundation Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-565-5424
For more information about Saskatchewan’s Provincial Recreation Associations: