About Us

Children enjoying the Outdoor Classroom

CNIB is engaged in advocacy and public education with the hopes of breaking attitudinal barriers and stereotypes related to vision loss. The Outdoor Classroom was built in 2008 through the generous donation of Calgary based companies, such as West Jet and Urban Systems Foundation, to extend our knowledge of how young people cope with vision loss to the larger community. To date, we have had over 700 children and 150 teachers and parent volunteers visit the classroom from schools and community groups from all over Calgary and the outside area. The key message demonstrated in the classroom is that blind and partially sighted individuals like to do all the things that their sighted peers do, but may have to find different and interesting ways to do them.

The classroom has:

  • various interactive musical components such as an hydraulophone (musical water feature), a sound bench, drums and wall xylophones to challenge the senses.

  • a tactile map.

  • Braille and large print components to further educate and develop literacy skills.

  • a task-orientated discovery station encouraging cognitive and interactive skills.

  • a winding pathway, with varying tactile materials and distinct edges for accessibility to all children.

  • a play structure that inspires the imagination, and challenges the children physically, facilitating spatial awareness and motor skill development.

  • opportunities to explore ways blind and partially sighted children travel around their environment.

Child playing with wall xylophoneChildren playing in the discovery station

Photos: Playing the wall xylophone (left) and at the Discovery Station (right).