Programs & Services

CNIB Ontario East Programs


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Peer Support

  • Adjustment to Vision Loss
  • One-to-One Peer Support & Mentorship
  • Caregiver Support Groups
  • Phone Buddies
Research indicates that peer support, talking and sharing experiences with other people reduces the isolation and depression so often felt by people with sight loss. By having interactions with others, people gain self-confidence and improve their quality of life.

Pete's Story: Pete’s vision declined soon after he was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. For this "free spirit" who enjoyed long-distance motorcycle trips with a large social club and lived in a rural community without public transit, the loss of his driver’s license was devastating. But an Adjustment to Sight Loss class turned his life around.

Peer volunteers knew just what Pete was going through and taught him how key principles such as patience, planning and perseverance could rebuild his self-confidence. Pete and his wife decided to move to the city and Pete now takes the bus to the astronomy club he’s joined – just one of the many ways he has regained a fulfilling life.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Donna.Norman@cnib.ca, 613-542-4975 ext. 5083.
  • Creates an enriching experience for both sighted volunteers and participants who are blind or partially sighted.
  • Encourages volunteers do things with, rather than for, their Vision Mate.
  • Assists with reading, computer use, shopping, recreational activities, community access, going for walks and so much more.
  • Builds connections and lasting friendships.
For some people who are blind or partially sighted, day-to-day activities, such as reading the mail or running a quick errand, can be a challenge, and feelings of isolation and loneliness can be a real problem. Vision Mates change that by connecting with participants in their own community, at times that work best for both.

Carol's Story: One of the first discoveries Carol made as a Vision Mate volunteer is that the benefits of volunteering flow two ways. Carol explains, "Most volunteers see themselves as givers – donating their time, energy and talent – but they quickly realize they are receivers – learning and growing in ways they never imagined."

We receive requests for Vision Mates on an on-going basis. Below is a list of individuals who are seeking a match:

  • Female in her 40’s who works as a translator in Arabic/English and lives on Brittany Dr., Ottawa who needs help with light shopping errands in the St. Laurent area.
  • Male in his 60’s who lives in Kanata North and would like a sighted guide during golf season and other seasonal activities.
  • Female  in her 60’s who lives in Combermere who would like a female sighted guide for light leisurely walks and help with shopping.
  • Female in her 60’s who lives in Cumberland and would like a sighted guide for help with shopping and social visits.
  • Female in her 50’s who lives in White Lake with a guide dog and would like a sighted guide for shopping, walks and social visits.
  • Female in her 90’s who lives in a senior’s residence in Kanata North and would like a volunteer for social visits.
  • Female in her 40’s who lives in an apartment on Murray St., Ottawa and would like a sighted guide for light errands and help with shopping.
  • Shy female in her early 50’s who lives with her mother in Orleans, Ottawa and would like a friendly visitor for social visits.
  • Male in his 50’s who lives in Cornwall and would like a sighted guide for light leisurely walks and help with light shopping errands.
  • Female in her 60’s who lives in Smiths Falls and would like a sighted guide for light leisurely walks and help with light shopping errands.
  • Female in her 80’s who lives in Pembroke and would like a friendly visitor for social visits.

For more information or to volunteer (Kingston area) please contact Tracy.Holland@cnib.ca, 613-542-4975 ext. 5094.

For more information or to volunteer (Ottawa area) please contact Perpetua.Quigley@cnib.ca, 613-563-4021 ext. 5002.
  • Represent CNIB at fundraising events, schools, seniors' residences and booths at various community events.
  • Promote social inclusion by raising awareness, changing perceptions and inspiring action.
  • Educate the public about what it is to be blind today.
  • Spread the word about the programs and services that CNIB provides so more people can be helped.
Ambassadors put our cause and our clients in the spotlight by giving presentations on the needs, experiences and issues faced by people with sight loss, as well as staffing information tables at community events. We provide the training that sets you up to be an effective and comfortable speaker.

Betty's Story: "I agreed to join the Ambassadors Program as it would give me an opportunity of paying CNIB back for all their assistance as a client and would involve helping others with sight loss. I was also very interested in receiving training in public speaking which would help to build my confidence and self-esteem."

"I found that after doing a presentation many people come forward to ask questions and receive information. Hearing "the facts" from a CNIB client and how their services have made a difference in our lives helps people with sight loss and family members to have a better understanding of CNIB. When we attend health fairs our information table gives CNIB a presence in their community and the informal environment encourages people to stop by and chat."

If you are interested in requesting a CNIB speaker for your event, please visit our request page.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Donna.Norman@cnib.ca, 613-542-4975 ext. 5083.

Employment Services

The Employment Center located at the Peterborough office provides specialized employment services to individuals who are blind or partially sighted and are experiencing a barrier to getting or keeping employment.

Learn about adaptive products and strategies to overcome commonly experienced barriers. We help job seekers who have a job goal in mind, those who are just exploring their options or those who need assistance to keep an existing job.

Please contact us to discuss your employment needs and circumstances. Serving Peterborough, Victoria and Haliburton counties. 

For more information please contact Warren.Northcott@cnib.ca, 705-745-6918 ext. 5240 or Jennifer.Millard@cnib.ca, 705-745-6918 ext. 5238.

Employment Ontario Logo
This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

Shop CNIB

Find helpful products for better living.

Shop CNIB offers Canada’s largest array of products and technology for better living with sight loss. Here are just a few of the products you’ll find at Shop CNIB:
  • Around the house: magnifiers of all kinds; talking watches, timers and scales; large-button phones; and colour identifiers
  • Fun stuff: braille board games, tactile dice, TV magnifiers and large-print playing cards
  • Out and about: white canes, pocket magnifiers, specialty sunglasses and talking pedometers
  • At the office: high-contrast, large-print keyboards; braillers; signature guides; and talking calculators
Click here to browse the Shop CNIB online store.