Accounting for Hidden Barriers and Pathways

The Intersection of Culture and Disability in Accessing Community Support Service to Seniors with Vision Loss in Canada: A Case Study

Dates: 2008 - Present
Initial Funder: Social Development Partnerships Program, Disability Component, Human Resources and Skillsl Development Canada
Current Funder: CNIB
Contact: Shampa Bose,


The problem:Seniors with vision loss from ethnically diverse communities do not seek services and supports from vision support agencies such as CNIB. In not receiving such supports, aids, and devices as they are entitled to, these seniors do not have equal opportunity or service attention, and risk increased social isolation, and vulnerability to exclusion.

The project objectives:To develop knowledge on the intersections of culture, disability, aging and vision loss by learning the barriers and successes in accessing community support services faced by seniors with vision loss from culturally diverse backgrounds. An additional objective is to create and/or strengthen collaborative relationships between CNIB and service providing organizations in two ethnically diverse communities in 3 major centres in Canada.

The expected outcomes:a) Strengthened links between ethnic community-based social service organizations serving seniors, and disability organization (CNIB); b) increased knowledge and awareness of vision health, vision loss and services and supports for people with vision loss, and their families in the South Asian and Chinese communities; c) better understanding of needs of these two ethnically diverse communities by all agencies involved; d) seniors with vision loss who are members of ethnically diverse communities will have access to aids, devices and supports equal to other Canadian seniors with disabilities.

The products:a) Framework for Collaboration created for go-forward community based relationships between CNIB and seniors’ organizations and programs in ethnic communities, and b) improved CNIB services to members of ethnically diverse communities. This project has been funded in part by the Government of Canada's Social Development Partnerships Program. The opinions and interpretations in this Web site are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada. ​​​​