New Brunswick

Making gains for seniors on the Path to Change

This year’s focus has been on integrating post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy (PVLRT) within the continuum of care, particularly as part of New Brunswick’s Home First Seniors’ Strategy. This hard work has begun to pay off, with increased funding secured from the Department of Social Development and an opportunity for funding from the Department of Health. In September 2015, CNIB joined a pilot project to provide coordinated rehabilitation to high-risk seniors. We will continue to build these partnerships as the project expands in the coming year.

Helping youth achieve success in high school and beyond

In May 2015, Francophone and Anglophone youth with vision loss from across the province participated in CNIB’s second annual youth retreat in Shediac, New Brunswick. The weekend gave these young people a chance to learn valuable skills to help them achieve success in high school and beyond. Participants had cooking competitions, volunteered for a food bank, worked on pre-employment skills, learned self-defense and shared experiences in a facilitated discussion group. Feedback was positive and the retreat is expected to grow in the years ahead.

Opening doors to employment for working-age adults

CNIB was proud to expand its services for the working-age population in New Brunswick last summer with the introduction of provincially-funded consultation services for employment counsellors, employers and post-secondary institutions. This means that individuals with vision loss facing barriers to employment can now more easily access rehabilitation, assistive technology and other supports to help them find and maintain meaningful employment – including workplace assessments, employer sensitivity training and orientation to the work environment.

Meet Lida Currie

New Brunswick resident Lida Currie has always been the type of person who thinks about others more than herself, especially when it comes to her family. So when she and four of her eight siblings found out they shared a serious eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa, Lida immediately took on the mothering role.

She gathered as much information as she could about the disease so that her siblings and she would be educated about what was to come. Next, she contacted CNIB and started not only participating in our programs, but also volunteering so she could help others.

At every step of the way, we were there for her. Our staff showed her how to get around more safely on her own as her vision declined. We also taught her how to use assistive equipment and technologies, like an iPad and specialty magnifying glass. Since then, she’s been a connection to CNIB not only for her siblings, but anyone she meets who may need our help.

“If someone says they’re losing their vision, I send them straight to CNIB,” she says. “The support is there for the asking.”

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