Who We Work With

CNIB is a member of a large national and international community of organizations serving the needs of people with vision loss. CNIB often supports other organizations, shares expertise or provides leadership to improve the lives of people living with vision loss worldwide. Many of CNIB's employees serve on these local, national and international organizations.

Partnerships Make it Possible

These are just a few achievements CNIB has realized in cooperation with its partners in recent years:
  • A new, international standard for digital talking books that is revolutionizing the reading experience for people with print disabilities.
  • A global effort to tackle AMD, the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 50 in countries such as Canada.
  • Canadian and international standards for products, services and public spaces that are accessible for everyone.
  • Donations of assistive technology and alternative format books to numerous developing countries, such as Haiti, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
  • The development of a digital accessible library for print disabled persons in the Caribbean.

A Global Network

Some of the organizations CNIB works with on a regular basis:

Accessible Books Consortium​ (ABC)

ABC aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as braille, audio and large print - and to make them available to people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled. The ABC is a multi-stakeholder partnership, comprising WIPO; organizations that serve people with print disabilities; and organizations representing publishers and authors.​

Accessibility Standards Advisory Council

The council, part of the Accessibility Directorate of the government of Ontario, is working to set standards to achieve full accessibility in the province of Ontario by 2025 through the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). CNIB is an active member of the current transportation standards committee, and was an advocate for the AODA for many years.

AMD Alliance International (AMDAI)

AMDAI is a global coalition that strives to bring knowledge, help and hope to individuals and families around the world affected by age-related macular degeneration. CNIB is a member of AMDAI, houses its international headquarters and frequently partners with the organization on AMD education campaigns. Canadian members of AMDAI include CNIB, the National Coalition for Vision Health, the International Federation on Aging, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, the Canadian Association of Optometrists and The Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)

AER is the only international membership organization dedicated to rendering support and assistance to the professionals who work in all phases of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children and adults. CNIB is active in AER's North America/Caribbean division. CNIB also partners regularly with other national rehabilitation agencies serving people with vision loss worldwide.

Braille Authority of North America (BANA)

BANA works to assure literacy for tactile readers in North America through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics. CNIB has been a BANA member since the organization was founded in 1976.

Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO)

CAO is the professional association that represents Doctors of Optometry in Canada. It is also the national federation of ten provincial associations of optometrists and represents over 3,200 members across Canada.

Canadian Braille Authority (CBA)

The Canadian Braille Authority is dedicated to the promotion of braille as the primary medium for persons who are blind. CNIB is an active member in CBA.

Canadian Braille Literacy Foundation (CBLF)

CBLF is funded through an initial challenge grant from The National Literacy Secretariat of the government of Canada. The Foundation is administered by CNIB, and provides funding for projects and programs to promote braille literacy and to make braille publications and instruction more accessible to blind and visually impaired people.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

CIHR is Canada's premier federal agency for health research. Its objective is to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened health care system. CNIB frequently partners with CIHR in conducting applied vision health research.

Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS)

The purpose of COS is to assure the provision of optimal eye care to all Canadians by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and providing services to support its members in practice.

DAISY Consortium

The DAISY Consortium is a coalition of talking book libraries leading the worldwide transition from analog to digital talking books. Members actively promote the DAISY standard because it promises to revolutionize the reading experience for people who have reading disabilities. CNIB is a full member of the Canadian DAISY Consortium, and was instrumental in the development of DAISY technology.

Hadley School for the Blind

The Hadley School for the Blind offers more than 90 distance education courses completely free of charge. From "Braille Literacy 1" to "Birdsong Tutor," you can select from a wide variety of Hadley courses. Course materials arrive in the mail or online, and for students in the U.S. and Canada, instructors are just a toll-free call away.

Health Canada

Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstances. Health Canada is committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and to making the country's population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada, The Office For Disability Issues (ODI)

The ODI is a focal point within the Government of canada for key partners working to promote the full participation of Canadians with disabilities in learning, work and community life. ODI strives to provide leadership in this area of shared responsibility.

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)

IAPB is an umbrella organization for professional bodies, non-governmental organisations, educational institutions and interested individuals dedicated to mobilizing resources for blindness prevention activities. CNIB is an IAPB member.

International Council on English Braille (ICEB)

The purpose of the ICEB is to coordinate and improve standards for braille usage for all English-speaking users of braille. One of the ICEB's major projects has been the development of the Universal English Braille (UEB) code. CNIB is an active participant in this seven-member international body.

International Federation of Library Association, Section of Libraries for the Blind (IFLA SLB)

The CNIB Library is active in IFLA SLB, which is dedicated to improving library services worldwide for people with vision loss other print disabilities. The CNIB Library also partners with many other library organizations, such as the Canadian Library Association (CLA) [hyperlink to www.cla.ca] and other libraries for the blind internationally.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes from 157 countries, dedicated to establishing international standards for products and services. CNIB has provided expertise to ISO's technical committees on accessible pedestrian systems and tactile walking surface indicators. CNIB is also involved with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) [link to www.csa.ca] and many other Canadian organizations involved with accessible design issues.

National Coalition for Vision Health

The National Coalition for Vision Heath is a non-profit coalition of Canadian organizations and service providers of vision care industry, research, education, rehabilitation and consumers. The Coalition works to position the issues of vision loss as a priority on Canada's public health agenda. CNIB has been a member since the Coalition was founded in 1998.

Sir Arthur Pearson Association of War Blinded

As an individual Veterans' Association, SAPA has made many appearances before Parliamentary Committees on matters related to blindness resulting from military service, and has worked diligently on behalf of Canadian veterans in general. The association is active in formulating the policies and procedures of Veterans Affairs, and is a member of the National Council of Veteran Associations.


VISION 2020: The Right to Sight is a global joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide by the year 2020. CNIB is a Vision 2020 member.

The World Blind Union

CNIB was a founding member of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind which merged with the International Federation of the Blind in 1984 to form the World Blind Union. Today, the WBU represents the estimated 285 million blind and partially sighted persons from 600 organizations in over 190 countries. CNIB hosts the WBU world office in Toronto and the Regional President for WBU’s North America and Caribbean Region is CNIB Board Member, Charles Mossop.

World Braille Foundation (WBF)

CNIB helped to launch the World Braille Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to increasing the use of braille in developing countries.