Nova Scotia & PEI

Raising our voices for rehabilitation funding

In November 2015, more than 100 people with vision loss held a rally at the Nova Scotia Legislature in response to the provincial government’s decision to cut funding for post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy (PVLRT). As a result of their advocacy, the Nova Scotia Minister of Health acknowledged that PVLRT should be treated as a health service and reinstated the funding. Meanwhile in PEI, discussions with provincial government are ongoing. In both provinces, government funding for PVLRT still does not cover the costs to deliver services to Nova Scotians and Islanders.

Reducing eye injuries across Nova Scotia and PEI

In response to an increase in eye injuries among young workers aged 15-24, CNIB’s Eye Safety Tour targeted skilled trade students at community college campuses in Nova Scotia and PEI. With the goal of creating a culture of eye safety among students entering industries with a high risk of eye injury, CNIB delivered 10 eye safety workshops to 570 participants across five Holland College campuses; and 15 eye safety workshops to 1,330 participants across all 13 Nova Scotia Community College campuses.

Helping parents gain practical skills and overcome isolation

Last year, parents from across Nova Scotia and PEI (as well as New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario) participated in CNIB’s Parenting with Vision Loss program, which is based in Halifax. By focusing on everyday parenting activities, the program enhances parents’ confidence and enables them to gain practical parenting skills. Moms and dads shared their vision loss stories, discussed the decision to have children and the public perceptions of parenting with vison loss, as well as overcoming isolation.

Meet Normand Richard

Normand Richard admits that his journey to accepting vision loss was a long one. When he was seven years old, he remembers having difficulty seeing the chalk board and reading books. It would be another 30-odd years before the PEI resident learned he had optic nerve damage – but still, he had a hard time coming to terms with it.

Another 10 years went by before Normand finally accepted help from CNIB and began his journey of moving forward. After some convincing, he allowed our staff to teach him how to walk independently with a white cane – reminding him that using a cane isn’t a symbol of weakness as he’d believed, but a tool for independence. Before long, he was learning to use a computer and he built enough confidence to enroll at the Collège de l’Acadie in PEI so he could complete his GED.

Today, Normand is learning how to cook; he has his own website and is writing a book about his life, with proceeds going to his local church.

“You have to accept your disability,” he says. “CNIB is there to help you. Nobody should think anything else.”

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