The Cause

CNIB's mission is to ensure all Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunity to fully participate in life.
The CNIB Foundation depends entirely on charitable funding to provide programs and services that address the social and emotional needs of people dealing with sight loss. CNIB Ontario's programs focus on children and youth, as well as adults of working age and seniors, building their confidence and advocacy skills to ensure they receive the accommodations and consideration they need and deserve to reach their potential.
CNIB has been changing lives for a century, but there is still so much to do. There are far too many barriers in the way of people with sight loss and an unlimited number of issues to be addressed.
Consider the following:
  • Half a million Canadians live with significant sight loss
    • 52 per cent of CNIB’s clients are over the age of 80
    • Percentage of Canadians 65 or older to double in the next 25 years
  • 5.5 million Canadians have one of the four major age-related eye diseases – age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts
  • Higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes also places more Canadians at risk of developing sight loss in the future
  • Almost one third of Canadians with sight loss are under 25 years of age
  • Only 65 per cent of students with sight loss graduate from high school, compared to 81 per cent of the sighted population
  • Only one third of working age people with sight loss are employed
  • 50 per cent of people with sight loss have annual incomes of $20,000 or less
Living with sight loss presents considerable risks. Compared to the sighted population, people with sight loss have:
  • Up to five times as much difficulty with daily living
  • Three times as much clinical depression
  • Twice as much social dependence
  • Twice the risk of falls and premature death
  • Four times the risk of serious hip fractures
Additional demonstrations of the impact of sight loss on quality of life:
  • People with sight loss are admitted to nursing homes three years earlier on average.
  • 62 per cent of older adults with sight loss report they seldom leave their homes for recreation or leisure.
  • Children and youth who are blind or partially sighted are significantly less fit and physically active than their sighted counterparts in the population.