Welcoming New Staff - ASL

Meet Blair Patterson!

A photo of Blair standing on a yoga mat doing a pose.

Intervenor, DBCS Toronto

My name is Blair Patterson. I am a new intervenor at CNIB Deafblind Community Services. I am a CODA (a child of deaf adults), as both of my parents are Deaf.

Currently, I work in the School Board system working with a variety of diverse learners, including people who are Deafblind, have low vision, children, and adults with a variety of needs for the last eleven years. I helped facilitate programs that taught functional language and math, communication/social skills, and life skills to help learners become more independent.

I also assisted in running the Bob Rumball Camp of the Deaf for four years. I have attended that camp since I was five years old. In my spare time, I practice Yoga and am a Certified Yoga Teacher. I also enjoy spending time with my two siblings and five nieces and nephews

I am excited to join the DBCS team and am looking forward to connecting with clients across Toronto!

Meet Akane Ricard!

Akane Ricard

Intervenor, DBCS Saskatchewan

Hello, my name is Akane Ricard, and I recently joined the DBCS family as an Intervenor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I was born and raised in Japan and both my parents are blind. I wanted to expand my world beyond the little island I grew up in. I moved to Canada 15 years ago.

The first few years of being away from my family were tough and it was incredibly hard as I did not know English when I arrived. I was ready to give up and return to a place where I could communicate with others when my mother encouraged me to take a course for fun. I saw an ad for a program that did not require extensive spoken/written English, so I enrolled in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program at George Brown College in Toronto.

It was there, strangely, English started to make sense to me. It was an interesting experience learning a spoken and written language from a visual language.

I am really looking forward to meeting and working with the Deafblind clients and community members here in Saskatchewan!