Champions lead the way on the Path to Change

Over the past year, our Saskatchewan team has made steady progress toward the goal of fully integrating post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy (PVLRT) within the continuum of health care. This effort has been led, in large part, by the efforts of 22 CNIB Champions across the province – individuals who are passionate advocates for equality for people who are blind or partially sighted. The result was 50 interventions or meetings with Members of the Legislative Assembly and provincial election candidates, and a commitment from the Saskatchewan Party to support PVLRT integration in the last election.

Bringing vision rehabilitation to remote Aboriginal communities

In the winter of 2016, CNIB’s Saskatoon team piloted a new Aboriginal Telehealth program to deliver rehabilitation services to isolated Aboriginal Canadians who are adjusting to vision loss in rural Saskatchewan. The pilot program served individuals across 10 Saskatchewan reserves, with sessions delivered through the Province of Saskatchewan’s Telehealth system via satellite in hospitals provincewide. For the first time since their vision loss, participants learned a number of skills and techniques required to help them lead fuller, more independent lives.

Successful eye safety campaign through strong partnerships

Through a partnership with WorkSafe Saskatchewan, CNIB delivered 90 eye safety sessions in the province over the last three years, teaching Saskatchewan residents to better protect their eyes from injury. As a result, eye injuries have moved from a top three injury down to seventh in the province. In addition, through an agreement with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, WorkSafe Saskatchewan, Weber Supply, 3M and Sherwood Coop, all organizations worked together to sell Rider-branded sun/safety glasses, with proceeds going to local CNIB services.

Meet Ashley Nemeth

“I want people to see my ability not my disability,” says Saskatchewan resident and CNIB client, Ashley Nemeth. As a CNIB spokesperson and an advocate for people with vision loss, Ashley’s mission is to break down the misperceptions society has about blindness.

Born with ocular albinism, Ashley’s journey with CNIB began when she was a teenager. After struggling with her independence as a child, she started to find her stride when we taught her how to travel with a white cane, and how to cook and shop by herself. That was just the beginning.

Now, as a mother of three children, Ashley does everything any stay-at-home mom would do. In her spare time she volunteers for CNIB, writes a fantastic blog to raise awareness about the abilities of people with vision loss, and tries to hit the slopes on her snowboard whenever she can.

“Breaking down misperceptions is the first step so that more people with disabilities have the same opportunities as people without disabilities,” she says.

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