Awards & Bursaries

Seeing All People Award

Blind Beginnings is proud to celebrate businesses that go above and beyond when it comes to ensuring that children who are blind or partially sighted are included in the community.

The 2020 Blind Beginnings Seeing All People Award will be presented to a deserving business at this year’s Gala Dinner & Auction on May 2, 2020.

We’re calling on you, our member families, to submit nominations on what businesses you feel stand out the most. When submitting your nomination, we’re asking you to consider the following criteria:

  • A currently active business that operates within our service area of British Columbia
  • A business that has made an independent effort to ensure your child or young adult has been included in everything the business has to offer, without being asked
  • A business that embodies the attitude of inclusiveness to everyone and ensures equitable access to enjoyment by all those in your community

We’re asking for nominations from you and all we’ll need is:

  • A written letter or email explaining why this business stands out. Tell us a story about your experience before the deadline of Friday, February 28th. Be sure to include:
  • Name of person making the nomination
  • Your relationship to child or youth who is blind or partially sighted
  • Phone number and email for person making the nomination
  • Name of Business being nominated
  • Contact person name and phone number at business
  • Reason for the nomination
  • Your willingness to participate in a short video about the business if your nomination is selected
  • Your commitment to attend our Gala on May 2nd to help present the award to the successful award recipient

Please send your written letter to:

Blind Beginnings
227 Sixth Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 3A5

or email:

Please feel free to contact Shawn at: 604-434-7243 or toll free 1-866-736-8620 if you require further information.  Looking forward to receiving your nominations

2020 Lori Sheppard Memorial Fund

The Lori Sheppard Memorial Fund was created in December of 2006 and is held in trust by the Vancouver Foundation.  Lori was an impassioned advocate who embraced life.  She was active in campaigns for the United Way, CNIB, and the 20/20 Foundation.  She was the founder and Executive Director of PAWS International and worked tirelessly to establish the biannual guide dog conference which was hosted by the charity she founded until 2017.  Lori was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a child and she became totally blind at the age of twenty-seven.  She passed away November 12th, 2005 from complications of diabetes and heart disease.

Her tenacity and capacity to bring the community together to assist other persons and organizations in need was her hallmark. The Lori Sheppard Memorial Fund was created by her friends, family and community members to both commemorate her spirit and provide support to individuals who possess great passion yet face significant barriers.

The funds may be utilized for payment of tuition fees, professional fees, purchase of adaptive equipment, or to support costs linked with the creation of a home business. 

We’re pleased to announce this year’s winners were Joshua Handford and Jake Styles. Congratulations to both!

Fund Criteria

  • Must be a BC resident
  • Must meet criteria for legal blindness or have a medical condition that could result in progressive vision loss such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Must be 16 years of age or older.

Application Form

If you meet the criteria listed above, please fill out the application form: » Bursary Application Form.

Deadline: Completed applications along with supporting documentation should be submitted no later than April 3, 2020.