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A yellow banner featuring an illustration of two cartoon faces outlined in a thick, black paintbrush design. Text: National Youth Council.

CNIB National Youth Council – September Updates

As youth with sight loss transition back to school, we hope everyone stays safe. CNIB’s National Youth council has been working hard all summer to offer some exciting new initiatives for youth. 

Leadership Award 

Applications for the National Youth Council Leadership Award are now open! The National Youth Council believes in recognizing youth with sight loss. That is why it created the Leadership Award to celebrate people going above and beyond to make a difference in their community, province or country. One winner is selected yearly and presented with a plaque and $250 prize. Their accomplishments are also shared across CNIB's national social media channels. To apply, visit the Leadership Award page and complete the application form. If you have any questions, please email the National Youth Council at nationalyouthcouncil@cnib.caApplications are due by Tuesday, October 13, 2020. 

Accessible Textbook Issues

Are you in post-secondary school? Have you had issues receiving your textbook or course material in an accessible material? CNIB is here to help. 

If you need our help, reach out! Call us at 1-833-GET-A11Y (1-833-438-2119). You'll need to provide us with some information about the textbook or information you need in an accessible format, what school you are enrolled in and an overview of what has been done. One of our Advocacy Leads will get in contact with you to work out a plan. 
In some instances, CNIB may be able to provide a copy of a textbook in an accessible format if all advocacy efforts have been exhausted.  

Before reaching out, please make sure you have done the following:

  • Have you told your professor or instructor that you need course content in an accessible format? 
  • Have you contacted the Accessibility Services Office on campus? They are a great resource to use. 

No student with sight loss should be receiving their textbooks or course materials days before an exam.  

Heads up – Accessible Education Survey Coming

We know that going back to school this fall may be more stressful than usual. We want to hear from you. How is your school doing, to ensure that your education is accessible? Is your online learning platform working with your assistive technology? Are you able to get course material in an accessible version? 

In a few weeks the National Youth Council, and CNIB Research Department, will be launching a survey to get your feedback on how accessible your back to school experience has been. Tell us the good, the bad and the ugly, so we can better advocate for you. Survey coming soon! 

About the National Youth Council

Youth with sight loss have a voice with the National Youth Council. It gives Council members the chance to influence change and increase awareness of issues facing young Canadians living with sight loss. The Council ensures CNIB Foundation initiatives, programs and policies reflect and respond to the needs of young people with sight loss.

Learn more about the National Youth Council

If you have questions or concerns about the transition back to school, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at

Wishing you all a great start to the school year,
-Your National Youth Council