Peer Support Volunteer – Regina, SK
As a former CTV sportscaster and colour commentator Bob Huber was used to being social and independent, but when the Regina resident lost his sight his world changed.
“When you lose your eyesight a couple of things happen. The first thing you notice is there are a number of things you can’t do anymore. You immediately feel like you have lost personal freedom and that is a huge adjustment,” said the 64-year-old.
Bob lost his sight due to glaucoma surgery complications when he was 51 years old. Suddenly, he was reliant on others to drive him around, everyday tasks took longer and he couldn’t do some tasks at all.
He felt isolated and didn’t know how to navigate the world anymore due to not being able to see. “I wanted to stay in my house and not venture out. Feeling comfortable and safe at home I didn’t want to venture out into a world I was not familiar with.”
For a couple of years, he accepted that his life would be this way. “I found life unfulfilling but I never gave it a second thought.”
It was during an appointment with his optometrist that he found out about CNIB. He began learning white cane skills, accessed the independent living skills program and learned technology skills on his iPad. His world began to get bigger.
Huber was an avid reader before he lost his sight but hadn’t been able to read since. “It was a big hole.”
He was introduced to the talking book program through the CELA library services and his world began to open even further.
Then he began his involvement with the CNIB Peer Support Group in Regina, which he now leads as a volunteer. There he found a wealth of knowledge on how to navigate the world.
“This group is a lot of help for people like me who thought there was not a lot of help out there which is why I wanted to give back to this group by volunteering.”
Now he helps others learn the skills that he learned in peer group that helped him cope and different ways of doing everyday tasks to ease frustration with his vision loss.
Because of the help he received from peer group, Bob no longer puts limits on what he can or can’t do and he hopes the group is doing the same for others with vision loss. “Thanks to them I have more confidence when I leave my home and the world is not such a scary place anymore. I want others that are struggling with vision loss to know it gets better.”
If Bob’s story inspires you to consider volunteering for your local CNIB Foundation, fill out the application form below.