Insight E-Newsletter - December 2011

Welcome to the December edition of “Insight”! This month, as many gather together this holiday season, we look at how planned gifts are an easy and impactful way to make a difference in the lives of people with sight loss. Next, as the year comes to a close, we share our best moments and key milestones from 2011. Finally, we take a look at the growing prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and ways to save your sight if you have diabetes. As always, we welcome your feedback at

Four reasons why you should consider a planned gift this holiday season

Photo of a senior woman and Vision MateThe holiday season is always about the spirit of giving, whether it’s to your family, friends, or community. What better time to consider a planned gift?

CNIB has received significant support through planned, or legacy gifts over the past decade. These gifts have gone directly to vital services for Canadians of all ages who are blind or partially sighted – services like emotional support, the CNIB Library and independent living support, which empower Canadians with the skills to do everyday activities like travelling and cooking after a loss of sight.

A planned gift is the thoughtful creation of a gift for the benefit of CNIB in the future as part of an estate or financial plan. The following reasons explain why planned giving is an easy, and impactful way to ensure your leave a lasting legacy for the future.

1. Planned giving is easy

Anyone can donate to CNIB through a planned gift. No matter how big or small, your gift will make a significant impact in the lives of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

It’s easy to leave a planned gift to CNIB. By contacting CNIB, our legacy giving specialists will personally guide you through the process. We can provide information and support in the steps that it takes to create a legacy gift.

“Many people, CNIB clients included, may have felt compelled to give back to the organization over the years, but may not have had the resources with which to do so. A planned gift is the perfect opportunity to give back in the way they’ve always wanted,” says Ed Sluga, National Director of Planned Giving at CNIB.

2. Your planned gift will benefit millions of Canadians with vision loss

Researchers estimate that today more than one million Canadians are blind or partially sighted. Within 25 years the number of Canadians with sight loss is expected to double. These are staggering figures.

From creating a bright future for kids with one-on-one children’s services, to funding research for a better tomorrow, your legacy gift to CNIB will help people with vision loss lead more active, fulfilling lives.

3. Your legacy gift entitles you to significant taxation benefits

Did you know that your legacy gift not only benefits Canadians with sight loss, but entitles your estate to significant tax relief? By leaving a planned gift you can offset, or diminish, amounts owing to the Canadian Revenue Agency.

4. Your gift will leave a lasting mark on your community

Legacy giving makes up a significant portion of our funding; we rely on these gifts to maintain vital support services for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Your donation, if you choose, can be directed to programs and services directly benefiting people with vision loss in your community.

“By leaving a legacy gift, in essence, you become a philanthropist,” says Sluga. “Whether CNIB has supported you, a close friend or family member, a planned gift is an excellent way to express your philanthropic intent.”

To learn more about planned giving, and how to support us, visit us at

For more information on legacy giving, email or call the CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.


EZ Health Oracle talking glucose meter helps those with diabetes save their sight

Image of Oracle logoDid you know more than 9 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes?

People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, a condition affecting half a million Canadians, in which elevated blood glucose levels cause vessels in the retina to swell and leak. New blood vessels may also grow, causing further damage. Without treatment, diabetic retinopathy can advance to permanent vision loss or even blindness, usually in both eyes.

What’s more, nearly all Canadians with type 1 diabetes, and 60 per cent of those with type 2, develop some form of diabetic retinopathy during the first 20 years they have the disease. Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and smoking.

Controlling your blood sugars can help reduce the risk of developing vision loss due to retinopathy. To assist newly diagnosed diabetics, the elderly, and those with vision problems, the EZ Health® Oracle® talking glucose meter enables everyone with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels.

The product has a revolutionary speaking function that lets people hear, as well as see, their glucose levels. With fast results, a large screen, and digital functionality, the Oracle® meter is a must-have for any diabetic with limited vision.

Marilyn, a 55-year-old woman living with type 2 diabetes, swears by her glucose meter: “I haven't been able to check my blood glucose because I have a real phobia about pricking my finger. I recently went to see a diabetic nurse at the hospital. She knew of my phobia before I went and ordered [me] an Oracle meter. I love it. I can now check my blood sugar and it doesn't even hurt. I actually look forward to doing it because I have never known what my sugar level is, except for when I get lab blood work done,” she says.

For more information on the EZ Health™ Oracle™ blood glucose monitoring system, please go to or


2011: A year in review

Making Vision Health a Priority

This past May welcomed Vision Health Month – a month-long public awareness campaign educating Canadians about vision health and ways to limit avoidable sight loss in Canada. Activities included a celebrity sunglasses auction, community fundraisers and Shades of Fun, an event that encourages thousands of people across the country to wear their sunglasses throughout the month of May to protect their eyes from UV damage.Photo of Victoria Chan, winner of 2011 iFactor

Celebrating Musical Talent

This year we were pleased to discover the musical talent of Victoria Chan of Markham, Ontario, who was this year’s iFactor winner. The competition, now in its third year, showcases talent from Canadians of all ages who are blind or partially sighted, culminating in a live finale at our Lake Joseph Centre in Muskoka, Ontario. Performances from the iFactor finale can be viewed on CNIB’s YouTube channel.

Promoting the Right to Read

Now even more Canadians with print disabilities will have the right to read. This year, the CNIB Library achieved a significant milestone when it received more than $7 million from the Government of Canada towards two years of operating costs. The funding also provided a critical injection to help the Library revitalize its technological infrastructure to preserve its vast repository – a collection unlike any other in Canada – for the future.

Capturing the Importance of Glaucoma Awareness

After receiving 128 submissions from across Canada, Tara Miller of Winnipeg was declared the winner of our national Eye Remember photo contest with her submission “Fortuitous Twilight.” Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, the contest not only showcased the talent of Canadians with vision loss, but promotes the importance of early detection for glaucoma and overall vision health.

Lake Joseph Turns 50!

This past August, our Lake Joseph Centre, nestled in tranquil Muskoka, Ontario, reached an important milestone - serving 50 years as a fully accessible recreational facility for people of all ages living with vision loss. Past campers, staffers and donors reunited for this special occasion and helped us commemorate the event by creating our Pathway to Independence - a walkway that represents the inspiring journey each of our clients embark upon.



Holiday gift ideas for family, parents at Shop CNIB

Photo of daughter and fatherWhile it may be inevitable that our parents will need stronger eyeglasses as they grow older, significant vision loss caused by eye disease may be assisted by products available at Shop CNIB. With the largest selection of better living products for people with vision loss, Shop CNIB offers great gift ideas for the holiday season! Choose from talking devices, like watches and calculators, to stocking stuffers, such as large-print playing cards and sock organizers. Shop CNIB offers the ideal gift for parents with sight loss who wish to continue doing things they enjoy that require fine vision skills.

To ensure your gift arrives by December 24, order by December 14 at or by December 6 to guarantee availability at one of our store locations.


Image of a CNIB client and Orientation & Mobility specialist walking outsideMonthly Giving - Become a Partner in Vision

Learning to travel alone with vision loss doesn’t have to be scary; in fact, it can be a liberating experience, and CNIB’s caring specialists will be there every step of the way. You can help thousands of Canadians see beyond vision loss this holiday season and throughout the New Year. Become a Partner in Vision today.

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