Our unique Path to Change

While post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy (PVLRT) is subsidized by CNIB donations throughout the rest of Canada, in Quebec these crucial services have been integrated within the continuum of care and funded by the provincial government for decades. Because of this, our Path to Change goals are more focused on the evolution of our charitable programs. As we move forward, we’re evaluating our Quebec services to pinpoint how we can continue to develop these offerings to improve quality of life for our clients and create a more inclusive society in our province.

A new spin on technology training

Over the past year, CNIB Quebec has completed the rebuild of its training and adaptive technology programs, which give people who are blind or partially sighted remote training in the use of computers and assistive technologies that can make a big difference in their lives. Clients now have the opportunity to access self-guided interactive webinars that allow them to go at their own pace, with follow-up training that’s tailored to a person’s abilities and level of comfort. We’re thrilled to find that this new approach to delivering technology training has resulted in increased satisfaction from those we serve.

Increasing support for caregivers and loved ones

Vision loss affects not just one person, but the whole family. That’s why we’ve developed and launched a new support program in Quebec for the loved ones and caregivers of people who are blind or partially sighted, called Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart (Les yeux du coeur). Through this program, participants learn new techniques to meet the challenges of their caregiving role, and manage the emotions they may be facing. This program breaks the isolation caregivers can sometimes feel, while allowing them to take some time for themselves.

Meet Caroline Héroux

At the age of 23, Caroline Héroux opened her eyes to a world of darkness. She’d been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy just five months earlier – and now suddenly she’d lost her sight. Although a series of operations managed to restore about 50 per cent of her vision, it remains very blurry.

Early on, the biggest challenge for Caroline was dealing with feeling embarrassed and weak about her vision loss. Because she couldn’t do as much anymore, many of her friends walked away from her – even some close friends. Then, with courage and the help of CNIB, she was finally able to overcome these challenges.

She participated in a CNIB support group and slowly but surely, rebuilt her confidence. The experience was a springboard for her: before long she was also volunteering for CNIB, leading support groups, and taking our technology training courses.

Caroline is a living testament to how transformations can happen for people who lose their sight – even when they don’t expect it. She started to use CNIB’s services, then spread her wings to enjoy a rich life and help others.

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