Insight E-Newsletter - March 2012

Welcome to the March edition of “Insight”! This month, we look at how one innovative partnership in Montreal is generating awareness about glaucoma. Next, we look at how the CNIB Blog​ is changing the way we share information about vision health as we gear up for exciting CNIB events you won’t want to miss.

The McGill Glaucoma Information Centre: A partnership in prevention

Image of Carole Desharnais, Marc Renaud, Dorothée Janet For more than five years, CNIB’s Montreal office and the McGill Glaucoma Information Centre have partnered to provide free information sessions to raise awareness about glaucoma and promote eye health in the Montreal area. 

The team at the McGill Glaucoma Information Centre, located in the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, has already delivered sessions to more than 2,000 visitors at the hospital alone and many more at public information sessions, vision health events and association meetings. The information sessions are offered once a month in English or French and are open to any individual regardless of which hospital or clinic they normally attend. 

“The fact that we work closely with CNIB gives us great credibility in the public’s eye and has given us many more opportunities to meet with the public than we otherwise would have had,” says project manager and technician, Marc Renaud. “We’re regularly invited to attend meetings such as TechnoVision, a CNIB-run program to provide information about vision loss, or the annual public screening for World Glaucoma Day in March, organized by the Quebec Glaucoma Foundation and CNIB.” 

Renaud adds that some of the most useful tools at the team’s disposal are the brochures provided by CNIB. Featuring key information on glaucoma and details on upcoming information sessions, the brochures allow individuals affected by glaucoma to read about their condition while waiting for their eye appointments, helping them to feel more informed and in control.

“We hand out at least 5,000 or more of these brochures a year,” he says. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness and partial sight in Canadians over 65, and because symptoms aren’t present at its onset, only half are aware they have it. Strict compliance to medication, usually by prescription eye drops, can help control glaucoma and stabilize a person’s vision; however, one of the major obstacles in treatment is ensuring people follow through with their doctor’s instructions. 

The McGill Glaucoma Information Centre was created in large part to address this issue and educate individuals affected by glaucoma on the importance of proper treatment and care. 

For more information on CNIB’s partnership with the McGill Glaucoma Information Centre and other activities, visit


Five reasons why you should visit the CNIB Blog today

Looking for a resourceful hub of information on vision health, rehabilitation, research and accessibility? You need look no further than the CNIB Blog. Here are the five top reasons why you should visit our Blog every day to get informed on the latest issues affecting Canadians who are blind or partially sighted:

1. Read our compelling bloggers

From mobility specialists like Laura Layton who teaches Canadians to use a white cane with confidence, to our CNIB Library bloggers who keep us up-to-date on what’s new in the world of accessible library services, the CNIB Blog offers a wide variety of viewpoints from across the organization.

We’ve assembled a variety of experts who are passionate about vision health. With more than 30 years in their respective fields, CNIB Vice President of Research Dr. Keith Gordon and CNIB Accessibility Consultant Debbie Gillespie are among many other CNIB bloggers offering a wealth of knowledge in the areas of accessibility, disability issues, research, and vision health.

Visioncast logo

2. Listen to our engaging podcast

Visioncast is an ongoing podcast featuring issues and ideas on vision health, rehabilitation, research, accessibility, and a range of other topics to inform and educate the community we serve and support.

Listen to a recent Visioncast about online learning using adaptive technology. You can also download Visioncast episodes from iTunes!

3. Learn about new and exciting events

Whether we’re celebrating a national event like Shades of Fun, or an event such as

4. Be a part of our community

Our blog brings together voices from across CNIB and our community. It’s a place where communities from coast to coast come together to join in the conversation. “The CNIB Blog is truly an amazing resource for Canadians with vision loss,” says Debbie Gillespie. “We’re always delving into issues in order to empower people to make informed decisions affecting their daily lives.”

5. Learn more about issues affecting Canadians with sight loss

With topics like how to navigate the winter terrain with vision loss, and updates on compelling reads available in audio or braille, the CNIB Blog keeps you engaged in what’s new and important for Canadians with sight loss.

Our blog is just another way we’re working to champion an inclusive barrier-free society and educate Canadians about the importance of vision health.


Four CNIB events to get excited about this year

Visions Galas: Ignite your senses

Experience an unforgettable night of music, art and dining in the dark. Visions Galas bring together business and community leaders for extraordinary evenings of exploration, discovery and delight in support of CNIB.  Designed to stimulate and surprise, these events lead guests through unique experiences created to ignite the senses. Funds raised at your local Visions Gala benefit critical programs and services in your community, ensuring Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.  For ticket information and event details, visit and find a Visions Gala near you!

Vision Luncheons: Celebrating lunch & laughter

Taking place in communities from coast to coast during Vision Health Month in May, Visions Luncheons bring communities together for great food, a good laugh and an even greater cause. Funds raised from the 2012 luncheons will benefit CNIB programs and services for Canadians with vision loss. Last year, thousands of people attended Visions Luncheons to learn more about their eye health and how CNIB is working to make Canada a better place for people who are blind or partially sighted.

Shades of Fun

Shades of Fun logo

In Celebration of Vision Health Month, CNIB’s Shades of Fun campaign is a one-of-a-kind event that’s all about having a good time for a great cause!

Get your friends, family and coworkers involved by fundraising throughout the month of May. Then join us in celebrating on May 24, the official day for Canadians from coast to coast to don their best sunglasses, protect their eyes from UV rays and show the whole country their shades of fun!

To learn more about ways to get involved in your community, visit

CNIB Golf Classics

If you’re a golf fan or just enjoy a great afternoon with friends on the greens, you won’t want to miss CNIB Golf Classics this summer. Featuring contests for chances to win exciting prizes, great food and guest appearances, proceeds support vital CNIB programs and services for Canadians with vision loss.   In previous years, famous athletes and local personalities attended these golf events to create a star-studded golfing experience for the guests. Stay tuned to learn more!


Wikki StixShop CNIB

Wikki Stix One-of-a-Kind Creat​ables, $8.60​

There are many fun and creative uses for Wikki Stix – either as an educational tool for children who are blind or partially sighted or as a way for kids to have some artistic fun this March break! Use Wikki Stix to create tactile graphics, assist with orientation and mobility training, map concepts, music lessons or teach daily living skills. Since they adhere to almost any smooth surface with just fingertip pressure, they are easy to use and provide a colourful raised line effect. Each package contains 48 cords of assorted colours of six-inch lengths. 

To order this item or browse our catalogue of everyday living products, visit one of our 20 stores across the country or order online at


Photo of medical professional working in an officeEliminating avoidable sight loss through cutting-edge research

CNIB is committed to improving the eye health of Canadians and eliminating avoidable sight loss through research and public education. For $10 a month, you help scientists to explore the causes of blindness and vision loss, and how our eyes work and what we need to do to maintain our vision. Become a Partner in Vision.​

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