Natalie's story

Moncton resident doesn’t let blindness hold her back from reaching goals

Natalie FougereNatalie Fougere has been blind since birth because of a condition called optic nerve hypoplasia. Beginning to learn braille before she even started kindergarten, the Moncton resident has always been determined to reach her goals.

“People who are blind or partially sighted can do the same things as people who have full sight,” says Natalie. “We may just need a little more support and guidance along the way.”

Natalie has completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Moncton and is currently exploring her passion for languages through their accelerated translation program.

Since Natalie faces certain challenges due to her blindness, she often turns to CNIB for assistance. “Getting from point A to point B can sometimes be difficult because of obstacles like construction or snow,” says Natalie. “CNIB’s Orientation & Mobility program has taught me different techniques so that I'm able to travel safely and independently in my community.”

Natalie also finds CNIB’s Assistive Technology services very helpful. Things like screen reading programs and braille displays are pieces of technology that Natalie often uses to make materials accessible for her. CNIB’s Assistive Technology specialist answers any questions that Natalie may have about these kinds of products and introduces her to new products that may be of interest to her.

The services that CNIB provides are of interest to Natalie personally, and in her role as the New Brunswick director and executive secretary of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), an organization that offers resources for students and recent graduates with all types of disabilities.

“Everyone has their own challenges. For me, a lot of them involve my blindness,” says Natalie. “I think people need to realize that it is alright to ask for assistance. CNIB has helped me in so many ways and I will always be grateful for this.”  

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