Alberta & Northwest Territories

Champions taking action for the Path to Change

In 2015, our Alberta team was thrilled to launch the CNIB Champions advocacy group, consisting of 50 CNIB clients and supporters who are passionate about the need to integrate post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy (PVLRT) into the continuum of care. Throughout the year, these Champions participated in a series of advocacy campaigns during which they met with Members of the Legislative Assembly, wrote letters and spoke at various events and forums. We will continue this important work until full PVLRT integration is achieved in Alberta.

Bringing music therapy to little ones across Alberta

For children who are blind or partially sighted, music therapy is a sensory experience that stimulates their minds and sparks their creativity. Children as young as one and two participate in the CNIB Music Therapy program once a month in Calgary and Edmonton. The music therapists incorporate song, repetition, instrument exploration, movement and relaxation into every session, allowing the children to develop their emotional and physical health as well as social skills – not to mention a love for music.

Reaching out to remote communities

Many people who live in remote communities can find the challenges of vision loss to be even more daunting as support can be difficult to reach. That’s why our specialists travelled across Alberta and the Northwest Territories last year to provide low vision clinics, assessments and rehabilitation therapy to people with vision loss in isolated communities. What’s more, many participants were then connected to additional services to help them continue to build their independence and confidence.

Meet Marlon Adarme

Marlon Adarme was an engineer at a Calgary oil and gas company until his life completely changed virtually overnight. Suddenly, Marlon lost his vision to diabetic retinopathy, and, just as quickly, he had to give up his job.

While his wife was at work and his kids were at school, Marlon spent his days at home, unsure of how to cope. His family was unable to provide the level of care he needed and considered sending him back to their home country, the Philippines, so that other family members could better care for him.

When Marlon came to our CNIB office in Calgary, he was introduced to a CNIB specialist who taught him to do things for himself again – from preparing meals, to identifying commonly used items, to navigating around his home. He was also provided with a white cane, along with training to help improve his confidence while travelling in the community.

A month later, Marlon came back to us with a smile on his face, saying not only had CNIB provided him with a better perspective on living independently, but he now felt more hopeful about keeping his family together.

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