West Kelowna  

Local teacher best in nation

A West Kelowna teacher has won a national award for her work with the blind and visually impaired.

Lynn Langille, who has been teaching for nearly 30 years, won the Canadian National Excellence in Teaching the Blind and Visually Impaired Award at the Canadian Vision Teachers Conference in Edmonton.

"It was quite a walk down memory lane. I'm proud of all that I've accomplished and very lucky to still be loving the work I get to do with these amazing children and professionals," said Langille.

"She is so giving and doesn't want the publicity, but it's good to be heard," said partner Daniel Thomas.

Langille's interest in this special field was piqued when she was a student at University of Kings College/Dalhousie University and volunteered at the Sir Frederick Fraser School for the Blind in Halifax in 1986-87. She took the children skating and read to them in the evenings in residence.

She knew she wanted to be a teacher of students with special needs, but that confirmed what she wanted to do.

Langille began her teaching career in Vancouver in 1998 and then moved to West Kelowna.

Her passion was further influenced by her opportunity to take children from Canada to an international space camp in Alabama. Not only did she have the chance to see her students "reach for the stars," but she met teachers of the visually impaired from across the globe.

This gave her the inspiration to create the Children's Low Vision Project of B.C., which is now in its 13th year. The effort brings together professionals trained in ophthalmology, optometry, orientation and mobility, assistive technology and education.

The team evaluates each child, prescribes and dispenses vision aids, and makes recommendations to support the child, their family and teachers.

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