Western Association of Persons with Vision Impairment

Office (778) 355-1191


VIPER was established as an accessible  Bulletin Board System (BBS) for people who are blind in February, 1989. Within months,  VIPER had about 15 blind users. In the spring of 1989, the Western Association Services of the Visually Handicapped, now the Western Association of Persons with Vision Impairment (WAPVI), offered to direct their casino funding towards VIPER operating expenses. A discussion around providing accessible computers and computer training to the blind ked to the drafting of a VIPER Project Proposal which introduced the idea of an accessible loan bank. Major grants from the P.A. Woodward foundation and the Vancouver Foundation allowed WAPVI to make the initial purchase of eight computers equipped with speech software in 1989. Since 1989, VIPER has provided North American computer users who are blind with an accessible medium to meet new friends, exchange information, transfer files, send faxes, and play text games, among other things.

In 1994 VIPER BBS was rebuilt to keep up with modern user demands, specifically the ability to send and receive Fidonet mail around the world. Over 95% of VIPER’s maintenance and upgrading happened via a phone line with a distance of five miles. In 1997, the decision was made to recreate VIPER as a fully functional Internet connected resource using Linux as a platform. After 11 months of learning, coding, and testing, the system was unveiled for public use on Wednesday July 22, 1998 at 08:00 PM.  

Credit must be given to the following individuals for their hard work and dedication:

Shawn Bishop: self-designated hacker/cracker/tester

James Cornthwaite: system security, script coder

Monty Lilburn: project coordinator/administrator: security, coder, tester, motivator

Shawn Kirkpatrick:       project head programmer: security, coder, tester, location supervisor.

Shane Wegner: project assistant programmer:  security, coder, tester.

Special thanks to Continuum Systems (www.csy.ca)  for providing VIPER with backup DNS services.

VIPER now has one incoming telephone dial-up line and several incoming telnet port connections.  We offer most traditional BBS amenities as well as some extra technology services free of charge. The best way to experience VIPER and all services offered is to contact us 

If you require more information about VIPER please email inquiries to support@wapvi.bc.ca.

If you have an account, use 604-435-2607.


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Send your donation to:

Western Association of Persons with Vision Impairment

110-5055 Joyce Street

Vancouver BC V5R 4G7