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A group of people with sight loss stand next to a pedestrian crossover with public officials in Moncton during the Fall 2023 Get on Board campaign.

CNIB springs into the next phase of the “Get on Board” transit campaign

By: Stephanie Pilon

In the fall of 2023, CNIB introduced our new strategic plan, “The Way Forward,” to influence real change for people who are blind, Deafblind, or have low vision. One of the three pillars outlined in the plan focuses on Safe and Accessible Journeys, and in October 2023, CNIB launched the “Get on Board” campaign as our first initiative under this part of the plan.

Ontario Blind Golf - Youth Initiative and Ladies of Blind Golf

Ontario Blind Golf is a blind and vision impaired sports organization that is about promoting integrity and sportsmanship, socialization and relationship building, helping our members and the blind and vision impaired community have the confidence, and perseverance to achieve whatever they want to.
CNIB and DBCS staff members Amanda Titman and Dallas Lynch use “SnoWay!” campaign-branded shovels to clear snow from an accessible parking space in front of CNIB’s Saskatoon office

“SnoWay!” campaign for accessible snow and ice removal

By: Gabriella Rabaa

In line with CNIB’s strategic commitment to Safe and Accessible Journeys, we launched the “SnoWay!” campaign this winter to educate municipalities and the public about environmental barriers caused by improper snow and ice clearing practices on sidewalks, crossings, and transit stops.
A panel of four youths sit in a line at the front of the room in the CNIB Calgary office

Kids and parents share their stories at the inaugural Alberta Access to Education Coalition Summit

By: Courtney Groot

In March, CNIB Calgary hosted the first-ever Alberta Access to Education Coalition (AATEC) Summit. The AATEC is a parent-led group advocating for equitable access to education across the province. By amplifying students' voices, AATEC ensures that both parents and children receive the support they need to excel in and out of the classroom. The Summit was born from the understanding that involving key decision-makers in this conversation is critical to ensuring the needs of students who are blind or have low vision remain on provincial and national agendas.
Two Indigenous participants sit at a table in CNIB Thunder Bay smiling. During a holiday program, they create decorations out of fresh cedar bows, dried orange slices, homemade gingerbread cookies, ribbons, bells, cinnamon sticks, and jute twine.

CNIB Thunder Bay launches Indigenous and rural education project

By: Tessa Soderberg

CNIB Thunder Bay has received a $25,000 grant from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation for a Public Education Expansion Project. The project aims to reach indigenous and rural communities in the district of Thunder Bay to raise awareness of vision loss and the supports and services CNIB offers. This includes speaking with at least 150 individuals about CNIB and vision loss, hosting events in rural and indigenous communities, and offering teaching sessions with an Indigenous Elder, teacher, or musician.
TWSI on the near side of the road in Charlottetown that has been flattened and damaged. There is no TWSI on the other side of the road.

Walking toward a more accessible built environment in Charlottetown

By: Shelley Adams

In May, CNIB volunteers and staff in Charlottetown, PEI, are hosting a community walk with city officials to highlight the built environment barriers faced by residents who are blind or have low vision. The event was planned in response to the frustrations of a resident about the ongoing accessibility barriers that she faces on one of her regular walking routes in the city.
The Toronto skyline at sunset taken from Toronto Island. The sky is a darkening rich blue, and the sunlight in yellow and gold frames the buildings and skyline. A ferry crosses the harbourfront.

Sailing on the 6ix: A night of senses

By: Keya Osborne

As we continue the work of changing attitudes about blindness through our strategic plan commitment to “Attitude is Everything”, we are highlighting the diverse cultures represented within the blindness community through experiential events. We are proud to present “Sailing on the 6ix - A Night of Senses,” the first event in the series that will showcase a cultural experience bringing the celebration of the Caribbean culture to the sight loss community.
A headshot of Jan, a middle-aged man wearing a dark-coloured sweater with hanging plants in the background.

Advocate Spotlight: Jan Zawilski

Jan Zawilski has spent four years advocating for equal access to television for Canadians who are blind or have low vision. As someone living with sight loss, Jan wants to ensure that the 1.5 million Canadians living with a visual disability have access to described video (DV), which provides television viewers with a verbal narration of what’s happening on-screen during pauses in dialogue.
Mary and John Crocker sit to pose wearing 2023 Pup Crawl medals. They are accompanied by a black Labrador Retriever wearing a CNIB Guide Dogs vest.

Mary Crocker’s five reasons to participate in Pup Crawl

The fifth annual CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl is here – and we’re overjoyed to announce that our dedicated and generous friends Mary and John Crocker are once again matching donations up to $50,000 for a fourth year in a row.
Cheri is guided outside of a building by her CNIB guide dog, Sassy, a black Labrador Retriever, who walks on her left side. Cheri’s female intervenor walks to the left of Sassy, observing her. The intervenor is wearing a winter coat.

How to Train a Guide Dog for a Handler Who Is Deafblind

In this special Q&A, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) Chelsea Magee shares how guide dogs are trained for handlers who are Deafblind.
CNIB Guide Dog Joe

Save the date for the fifth annual CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl!

Get ready! The fifth annual CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl is coming back this year on April 17 and will run for six amazing weeks. This virtual five-kilometre fundraising event is an amazing way to stay active, have fun, and support guide dogs and handlers across Canada.
Two lifeguards enjoying summer fun on the beach with guests in a youth program.

Join the CNIB Lake Joe Dream Team

We are busy building our “Summer 2024” dream team! Members of our incredible “camp crew” build skills, explore their strengths, and create life-changing experiences for people with sight loss. Roles are filling quickly, and if you are a lifeguard or a nursing student/nurse, we want to talk to you! Plus, if you’re a talented camp enthusiast who wants to learn more about our other roles, please visit CNIB Lake Joe Employment Opportunities.
Jim Cuddy performing live at CNIB Lake Joe. He is on stage, playing a guitar and singing into the microphone. Another member of his band plays guitar in the background.

The Ultimate Summer Bash: "Cookout with Cuddy 2024: The Encore"

Back by popular demand, the beloved Jim Cuddy Trio is returning for an encore performance that will have you dancing until the stars come out! Mark your calendars now: Saturday, August 17, 4-9 p.m., at CNIB Lake Joe.
Caption: Artist rendering of the new “free run and rest” area for guide dogs (south view).

Who let the dogs out?

“Run, Relief, Rest” are the three R’s that guide dog handlers and their guide dogs practice daily! In 2024, CNIB Lake Joe will be unveiling a new guide dog “free run and rest” area. This fully accessible, fenced-in enclosure will allow our hard-working guide dogs to get some well-deserved play time off-leash while at camp.
the new Freefall Extreme waterslide will be available to guests in 2024.

Thrills and Skills at CNIB Lake Joe

From Victoria Day to Labour Day, this year’s camp program provides exciting options for everyone with an adventurous spirit and a curious mind. It’s packed with opportunities to hone a new skill you’ve always wanted to develop, check new experiences off your bucket list, or simply rest and relax with friends and family.
At CNIB Lake Joe, Micheal and Danica kneel on the boardwalk with a black Labrador Retriever. Picture taken during the Orientation & Mobility/Guide Dog Immersion program at CNIB Lake Joe.

Dogs with a PAW-sitive impact!

By: Danica Frappier
CNIB National Youth Council Executive Member

As a teenager losing my sight, I never thought I would use a white cane or work with a guide dog, especially since I was scared of dogs. Now, 13 years later, I'm a skilled white cane user eagerly waiting to be matched with my first guide dog.
This image has two logos beside each other. On the left is the logo for Google Play. The logo is a black square with a triangle in the middle. The triangle is made up of the four colours that represent Google - blue, green, red and yellow. On the right is the Apple logo. The logo is a white square with the silhouette of an apple in the middle. The apple has a bite taken out of it on the right side.

New Job Interview Skills App for People with Disabilities Now Available for Download

Have you ever wished you could practice for a job interview without fear of judgment, using questions customized to your job search? Or receive meaningful feedback that helps you improve your interview skills so you’re fully prepared going into the real thing? Now you can.
An illustration of a calendar on a white background outlined in a black paintbrush-style design with yellow accents.

CNIB Ontario – Spring Programs

Our free programs are available to Canadians who are blind or partially sighted as well as their families, friends and caregivers. Explore upcoming programs offered in Ontario throughout the spring!
Three young CNIB Lake Joe staff members stand in front of the new climbing tower at Lake Joe. They are wearing helmets and CNIB Lake Joe staff shirts.

Finding a Summer Job

By: Aadim Rajan
CNIB National Youth Council Member

Finding a summer job can be challenging, but there are ways to make the process easier and increase the chances of finding a job that suits your needs and interests. In this blog post, I'll share a few tips and resources you can use to help increase your chances of finding the perfect summer job!
An APS button fixed to a pole at a crosswalk in Ottawa, with Parliament buildings in the background. The pole is surrounded by a large snowbank that reaches almost as high as the button and extends approximately a metre outward, making it impossible for pedestrians to reach it.

Say “SnoWay” to improper snow removal this winter

By: Gabriella Rabaa

Winter weather can make travel conditions treacherous for pedestrians, especially children, seniors, people using strollers, and people with disabilities. When municipalities, businesses, snow removal contractors, and homeowners fail to clear snow and ice, people who are blind or have low vision cannot safely navigate their communities and access public transit, undermining their independence and ability to carry out their daily activities.
The two doctors wearing white lab coats. One doctor holds a clipboard – the other has a stethoscope around their neck.

Improving Accessible Health Care in Newfoundland and Labrador

By: Amanda Saunders

CNIB Newfoundland and Labrador has been hosting a series of educational sessions about accessible health care with the province's current (and future!) health care providers. As part of this important work, we’ve developed new partnerships and delivered sessions to many medical professionals, dental hygienists, home care agencies, and paramedics across the province. 
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush-style design with white accents on a yellow background.

Case Summary: CNIB Intervenes in Successful BC Human Rights Case

By: Shannon Kinch

In 2018, Maria Kovacs, a guide dog handler and long-time resident of Maple Ridge, filed a human rights complaint against the City of Maple Ridge. Maria alleged that contrary to the BC Human Rights Code, the City of Maple Ridge had discriminated against her when they reconstructed three intersections within the City. The reconstructed intersections did not accommodate her sight loss. Instead, they created barriers, like a bike lane that merged with a sidewalk at a spot where a bus stop was located and roundabouts. The barriers prevented Maria from being able to navigate the intersections safely and independently with her guide dog. 
The interior of a city bus. The view is from the rear of the bus, looking towards the front. A few passengers are seated.

Hamilton residents push back on free transit cuts

By: Ben Akuoko

Affordable access to transportation has recently become a topic of particular importance to residents of the City of Hamilton, where on January 1, 2024, the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) concluded its voluntary pay program, which allowed people with a CNIB ID card to access public transit free of charge. This change to fare policies was implemented without a thorough stakeholder consultation involving the blindness community, and many residents of Hamilton who are blind or have low vision were only alerted to the changes by a bus driver or other informal source in the months leading up to the end of the program.
Dawn Pickering smiles as she and her son, Ollie, walk to the stage for the family panel at the Parliamentary launch of CNIB’s Children’s Charter. Attendees and a large CNIB banner are visible in the background. Ollie wears a white dress shirt with a black bowtie and carries a white cane.

CNIB Launches the Charter of Rights of Children who are Blind or have Low Vision

By: Dawn Pickering

In January 2020, my son Ollie, who was battling cancer, experienced a sudden relapse that left him blind at the age of 7. Unexpectedly thrust into the world of parenting a child with vision loss, I had to learn to navigate the complex world of rehabilitation services, and I resolved to help make it easier for others to access vision loss support in future.

From the outset, I was committed to ensuring that Ollie would not only survive but also thrive with blindness. We have become involved in blindness advocacy, participating in the development of CNIB’s New Strategic Plan, The Way Forward, and are passionate about the “Our Kids Will Thrive” commitment. 
An Alberta accessible parking permit is hung on a car's rear-view mirror. The photo is taken from outside the vehicle, looking through the windshield.

Albertans locked out from Accessible Parking Permits

By: Taylor Bauer

In Alberta, people who have sensory impairments, which includes people who are blind, Deafblind or have low vision, are not eligible to receive a parking placard for people with disabilities. Unlike other provinces in Canada, Alberta stands alone in explicitly excluding people with sensory impairments from applying for a parking placard. 

The current criteria is exclusionary and has caused significant barriers to Albertans who are blind or have low vision who must navigate busy parking lots without tactile markers.
A headshot of Rilind Dragoshi smiling. He has short dark hair and wears a collared shirt in front of a white background

Advocate Spotlight: Celebrating 10 Years of the CNIB National Youth Council

In 2011, Rilind joined youth from across Canada at a “Weekend in the Woods” event in Alberta. The goal of the event was to bring together young leaders to talk about forming a council at CNIB for youth. A mere two years later, the young participants then formed what is now known as the CNIB National Youth Council.
A young girl pulls her colourful winter hat over her face.

Overcoming the Winter Blues

By: Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member 

I recently stumbled upon a video on TikTok where the creator said, “It’s okay to be less productive in January, it’s okay to feel less social, it’s okay to hibernate and take things a bit slower.” At first, I thought to myself – wow, I feel so validated – how can I change that to feel less BLAH in the winter months? The truth is, it can be really difficult to get out of the house or feel productive when it’s cold and dark outside. As someone with vision loss, I feel even more unmotivated once the snow hits the ground because it’s harder to navigate. But it doesn’t have to be all that bad! Here are five simple things you can do to help you get through the winter blues!
Laura and her CNIB Guide Dog, Toby. Indoors, Laura kneels on the ground next to Toby, a yellow lab in harness. Laura smiles and has her left arm around Toby. Laura is also wearing a Canadian Blind Hockey sweater. 

Graduates Corner – Guide Dog Gazette, Winter 2024

Although the CNIB Guide Dogs’ official graduation ceremony occurs every spring, guide dogs, buddy dogs, and ambassador dog partnerships complete their formal training and graduate throughout the year. Meet the new partnerships we’re celebrating today!
A collage of toxic foods including a cup of beer, onions, grapes, a cup of coffee, chocolate, gum, nuts. In the centre of the collage is a giant red X illustration/overlay. 

Common toxicities in pets: be aware and be prepared! – Guide Dog Gazette, Winter 2024

By: Dr. Victoria Bennett, Veterinary Advisor, CNIB Guide Dogs

Amongst the top 10 most common toxicities in pets reported to ASPCA are over the counter and prescription medications (both humans and pet), foods – especially chocolate – household chemicals (disinfection wipes and cleaners), pesticides (rodenticides), insecticides (e.g. ant traps), and plants including Marijuana. 
The front cover of CNIB’s strategic plan, The Way Forward. It features a collage of photos of people who are blind, Deafblind, or have low vision of different ages, genders, and ethnicities.

CNIB Creates a New Way Forward With 2023-2028 Strategic Plan – Guide Dog Gazette, Winter 2024

In the fall, CNIB launched its new 2023-2028 strategic plan, The Way Forward, developed to dismantle barriers and deliver limitless opportunities to all Canadians – today, tomorrow and together. 

Built on the direction and feedback of people who are blind, Deafblind, and have low vision across Canada – as well as their supporters – the strategic plan puts a magnifying glass on the societal constraints facing Canadians who are blind today, unpacks the real issues impacting the community and lays a roadmap to create effective solutions for change. 
Keely and her border collie puppy sit atop a rock on the shorelines of a lake. Keely is wearing a CNIB pup crawl racing bib and has her arm around the puppy.

Meet Keely de Vries – Guide Dog Gazette, Winter 2024

By: Keely de Vries

I started my journey with CNIB Guide Dogs in 2022 as a Dog Care and Welfare Attendant (DCW) at the CNIB Guide Dogs Canine Campus in Carleton Place, Ont. The DCW team is responsible for caring for the guide dogs in training that live on campus. From vet care to feeding, grooming to socialization, cleaning to enrichment, we aim to support the dogs to flourish in their training. Arriving at the Canine Campus marks the start of their formal training after approximately a year of living with a dedicated volunteer puppy raiser, learning basic obedience and house manners. 
A woman wearing rock climbing equipment gives a staff member a big hug after finishing her climb. She has a huge smile on her face. The text, “We’re Hiring” and a white sticker with the CNIB Lake Joe logo.

Work and play at beautiful CNIB Lake Joe!

Dream job alert! Our team at CNIB Lake Joe is on the lookout for passionate individuals to join us in a wide variety of seasonal roles. Join our team and become part of something truly extraordinary! CNIB Lake Joe is a fully accessible camp dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals impacted by sight loss.
A stack of gingerbread cookies decorated with white frosting.

Top 10 Holiday Activities for Young Adults

By: Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member

It's no secret that there are a TON of holiday activities happening in December, so what should you do? If you're as indecisive as me, let's narrow it down with our top 10 holiday activities for young adults (with little to no cost).
Lake Joe Welcome sign

Join the CNIB Lake Joe Camp Community

If you have a passion to enrich lives, make memories and build independence, apply now to join our team on the shores of beautiful Lake Joseph in Muskoka, and help change what it is to be blind!
Sam is on a Zoom screen smiling. She is wearing a black police officer cap, a multi-colour Hawaiian lei, and is holding a CNIBLakeJoe@Home branded coffee mug.

Confidence, Creativity and Connection: The Unexpected Rewards of Virtual Improv

Improv skills are as beneficial off stage as they are on stage. Acting is all about the art of communication, expression, teamwork, body awareness, and critical thinking. Theatre is a controlled environment where encounters can be planned and responses are practiced, changed and mastered. Many people join an acting class to gain confidence and make new friends. Often, a person can really find themself by acting like someone else.
Six children and youth stand at the water’s edge wearing their bathing suits, smiling with their arms outstretched. Two lifeguards stand on opposite sides.

CNIB Lake Joe 2024 Program Schedule: Apply Now!

CNIB Lake Joe is saying hello to 2024 with an incredible line-up of in-person and virtual programs. Make your New Year's resolution to get active in everything that CNIB Lake Joe has to offer!
Robyn is sitting on a leather chair reading the Braille description of a tactile sculpture she was commissioned to make by Oro-Medonte Township. The sculpture is on the table and features tactile flowers: Trilliums, Marsh Marigolds, and a Lady’s Slipper.

Advocate Spotlight: Robyn Rennie

By: Robyn Rennie

I’m a fine artist with vision loss that has impacted how I experience both the world and art. Over the past 18 years, I’ve discovered how inaccessible it is to create my own art. Even enjoying the work of other artists became inaccessible to me.
A woman standing on a curb with her guide dog, speaking to the taxi driver pulled up alongside her. 

Guide Dog Access Awareness Month 2023

By: Larissa Proctor

In support of our commitment to safe and accessible journeys, CNIB partnered with Uber Canada on a Guide Dog Access Awareness public service campaign to educate rideshare drivers on the rights of guide dog handlers and the laws that protect them.
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a thick, black paintbrush-style design.

Know Your Rights – Nova Scotia

By: Shannon Kinch

If you live in Nova Scotia and you’d like to learn more about your legal rights, CNIB has some exciting news – thanks to our community partners, the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS), the Know Your Rights Nova Scotia legal information handbooks are now here!  
Moncton residents sitting on a bus as part of CNIB’s Get on Board Campaign. 

Moncton Advocacy Voice goes Door-to-Door

By: Debbie Jeffery

Ensuring that public transit is available and accessible to everyone means removing barriers along every step of the journey, like installing accessible pedestrian signals at intersections and removing snow and ice around transit stops. Blondine Arsenault knows all about this. She has been making calls and knocking on doors to make subsidized door-to-door transportation a reality.
A hand dropping a ballot into a box; the Manitoba provincial flag appears in the background.

Manitoba Election Wrap-Up

By: Alice Clark

Throughout consultations for CNIB’s new strategic plan, The Way Forward, we heard from parents and youth that the current educational curriculum creates inequities for children who are blind or have low vision. During the recent Manitoba provincial election, CNIB sent out a survey to all parties to seek a commitment that the newly formed Government of Manitoba would work with CNIB, educators, and other stakeholders to develop and implement inclusive school programming.
Meghan introducing Elder Cheryl Chagnon – Greyeyes at CNIB’s Open House event in Calgary.

CNIB’s Indigenous Strategy

By: Meghan Mahon

My role as Lead, Indigenous and Rural Community Outreach is about making meaningful connections with indigenous communities, individuals, and organizations across Canada to work together to provide appropriate and practical services to people who are blind or have low vision within these networks. 
A group photo of participants from our Metro Vancouver Get on Board campaign.  

Get on Board Transit Campaign

By: Kat Hamilton

As part of CNIB's commitment to Safe and Accessible Journeys under our new strategic plan, we launched the "Get on Board" transit campaign in October 2023 to highlight the need for accessible public transit in Canada. Targeting buses, light rail, and ferries across 13 transit authorities, the advocacy campaign involved a secret rider survey designed to help us learn more about the level of accessibility of these transit systems. 
MP Bonita Zarrillo presenting CNIB’s accessible insulin pump petition in the House of Commons.

CNIB’s Advocacy Year in Review – 2023

By: Gabbi Rabaa

2023 was a big year for advocacy at CNIB with the launch of our new strategic plan, “The Way Forward.” In our last edition of Equalize for the year, we wanted to reflect on some of our advocacy successes. 
Angela Bonfanti and Keya Osborne

Today is World Sight Day

Don't miss CNIB’s COO Angela Bonfanti and Keya Osborne, Director of Disability Justice, live on CP24 today! They're discussing the exciting launch of our new strategic plan, The Way Forward in honour of World Sight Day. Tune in to learn about our commitments, the plan's significance, and how you can be part of this vision.
Eight people are seated on the grass on colourful yoga mats. They are all bent over with one leg stretched out. A woman is in the same pose across from them.

Sports and Independence: CNIB Lake Joe's Active Adult and Young Adult Week

Hello everyone! My name is Jake and I’m a young adult living with sight loss. I’ve always dealt with vision loss, but recently I’ve suffered a retinal detachment that has made it very difficult for me to maintain my active lifestyle. I love playing basketball, going for challenging hikes, and lifting weights. Now, I struggle to do most of those things, due to not knowing how to do it safely and properly.

Lions are “Getting on Board” to smash barriers for CNIB Lake Joe guests

With the support of Lions Club members, our dedicated “Knights of the Blind,” CNIB Lake Joe is smashing barriers to help more people who are blind or low vision get to camp.

Lake Joe On the Go! podcast: Accessibility at CNIB Lake Joe

CNIB Lake Joe is universally accessible and the only fully accessible camp in Canada for people who are blind, partially sighted, and Deafblind. In this article we interviewed Taylor Gaudon, CNIBLakeJoe@Home Virtual Program Coordinator and podcast producer, about the latest podcast that explores the accessibility features at camp that make it possible for people to enjoy camp independently with confidence.
Jim Cuddy is standing in black shirt and jeans at the campfire circle in front of white Muskoka chairs and the outdoor pizza oven. He has his arms outstretched and is smiling.

CNIB Lake Joe’s “Cookout with Cuddy” event a Sizzling Success

On Saturday, August 12, 2023, CNIB Lake Joe partnered with friends throughout Muskoka and across Canada to raise over $300K to support camp and provide transformative experiences for people with sight loss. The event was an extraordinary success thanks to the overwhelming generosity and unwavering support of donors, community partners, staff, and volunteers.
A tiny black puppy and a yellow Guide Dog in harness sit side-by-side on the ground.

Volunteer with CNIB Guide Dogs – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

Our program depends on committed volunteers who help raise, train, and board puppies with purpose, and we’re always looking for people who can care for one of our pups in their first year of training to start them on their journey to becoming guide dogs. 
Larissa and their guide dog, a yellow lab named Piper, walk along an outdoor pathway at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.

Meet Larissa Proctor – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

By: Larissa Proctor

As Manager of Guide Dog Advocacy with the CNIB Guide Dogs team, I’ve had the pleasure of empowering guide dog handlers to better understand their rights and break down barriers in our communities. As I transition into my new role as Director of Community Relations and Engagement, I’ll continue to advocate for the rights of guide dog teams in my professional and personal life.
Diane Bergeron is interviewed by a film crew at CNIB Ottawa. The crew of three holds cameras and boom microphones.

Blind Trust: A Guide Dog’s Journey – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

Earlier this year, CNIB Guide Dogs collaborated with Halter Media on a new heartwarming and insightful documentary series that tells the story of the CNIB Guide Dog program and explores the unique bond and remarkable partnership between guide dogs and their handlers.
A group photo taken by the waterfront at CNIB Lake Joe. The group consists of participants with buddy dogs. They’re raising their hands in the air.

CNIB Buddy Dog Camp – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

By: Miriam Mas, Program Lead, Buddy Dog & Ambassador Dog Training CNIB Guide Dogs

We hosted 15 children, their parents, and buddy dogs in August at CNIB Lake Joe for our second annual Buddy Dog Camp. This camp provided an excellent environment for children to explore, participate in educational and recreational activities, and forge new friendships. Parents also had the chance to connect and network with each other.
A group photo taken by the waterfront at CNIB Lake Joe. The group consists of members of the Vision Loss Rehabilitation team, the CNIB Guide Dogs team and participants of the Orientation and Mobility Immersion Program. 

CNIB Orientation & Mobility / Guide Dog Immersion Program – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

By Ben Francis, Manager, Guide Dog Training, CNIB Guide Dogs

For the third consecutive year, CNIB Guide Dogs partnered with Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada to host an orientation and mobility immersion program for 17 participants waiting to be matched with a CNIB Guide Dog. The program ran from August 27 to September 1 at CNIB Lake Joe in Muskoka, Ontario.
Guide Dog Users of Canada logo. A purple illustration of the map of Canada and three working guide dog teams.

Guide Dog Users of Canada: 25th Anniversary – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

By: Devon Wilkins, Member of the GDUC Board

One of the projects that Guide Dog Users of Canada members want to undertake in 2024 is to write the official history of our organization. For now, though, I’m happy to share what we’re all about as I know it.

The first president of GDUC in the early 90’s was Mary Spice. It was then known as the Canadian Association of Guide Dog Users—CAGDU. Following Mary’s untimely passing, the organization’s dealings with the federal government were allowed to lapse for at least a few years. When a few of GDUC’s co-founders tried to resurrect its incorporation, the government wouldn’t allow the use of the name CAGDU, and that’s how the name GDUC came to be.
Charles, a golden retriever, and his new Scottish friend, a black and white dog named Patch.

Ready, set, let’s go! – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

By: Lindsay Walkingshaw 

I started to explore the possibility of visiting Scotland last year but was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork that was necessary for my guide dog, Charles, to travel with me. This year, I decided to take the bull by the horns (or the dog by the leash!) and worked out what was required for him to fly. I needed a Great Britain Pet Health Certificate to be filled out by the vet and then completed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 
Emmett and Scout. On the shorelines of a lake, Emmett kneels on the ground next to his buddy dog, Scout, who is a long-haired golden dog. Emmett smiles and holds his white cane in his right hand and Scout’s leash in his left hand.

Graduates Corner – Guide Dog Gazette, Fall 2023

Although the CNIB Guide Dogs’ official graduation ceremony occurs every spring, guide dogs, buddy dogs, and ambassador dog partnerships complete their formal training and graduate throughout the year. Meet the new partnerships we’re celebrating today!
In a classroom, Aidan sits with a young student and shows him the magnification features on his iPhone. Aidan is holding his iPhone over a textbook.  The student intently leans-in for the demonstration.

Meet Aidan Gibbons – recipient of the 2023 CNIB National Youth Council Leadership Award!

Aidan Gibbons is this year’s 2023 National Youth Council Leadership Award recipient. Hailing from Richmond, B.C., Aidan is studying Business Management at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan). 

CNIB National Youth Council Vice-Chair Emilee Schevers had the opportunity to catch up with Aidan about what it means to be a leader, mentor and advocate. 
An Erika picht portable braillewriter from 1960.

CNIB donates artifacts to the Canadian Museum of History

CNIB has donated a collection of 101 artifacts to the Canadian Museum of History. The collection features a curated selection of resources and tools that have helped Canadians with sight loss live independent lives, including braille writers, braille readers, audiobooks, white canes, teaching tools, a talking alarm clock, braille games braille books or several other items.
Graduation Day! Emilee, in her cap and gown, smiles and proudly displays her diploma. She is standing in front of a Mohawk College Alumni branded backdrop.

From Student to Educator: A Journey of Positivity

By: Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member 

For as long as I can remember, I would spend this time of year back-to-school shopping, sending out accommodation letters, and picking my timetable. For most youth, mid-August is about preparing for the upcoming school year. But last year, for the first time, I wasn't getting ready to return to school to learn; I was getting ready to teach! So, how did I get here?
A streetcar glides along a busy city street and approaches a stop.

“Get on Board” with CNIB’s new advocacy campaign

By: Gabriella Rabaa

As part of our advocacy work to create safe and accessible journeys, we’re gathering testimonials that capture the transit experiences of people with sight loss across Canada, and we want to hear from you!
The top of a guide dog's head against a yellow background. The dog is a black lab, and its head appears halfway down the page.

Celebrating Guide Dog Access Awareness Month

By: Larissa Proctor

Held every September, Guide Dog, Access Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness about the rights of guide dog handlers, the legal responsibilities of businesses when providing service or access to a guide dog team, and to champion equal access for guide dog teams.
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush-style design with yellow accents.

Have Your Say on the Design of the Canada Disability Benefit

By: Gabriella Rabaa

On June 22, 2023, the Canada Disability Benefit Act received Royal Assent and officially became federal law. The Act lays out general expectations for the benefit, but the detailed design of the program was intentionally left out and will be established by Cabinet through regulations. The Government chose this approach to take a co-creation process for persons with disabilities in the spirit of “Nothing About Us Without Us.”
The empty interior of a bus. Rows and rows of empty seats.

CNIB Advocates for Transit Service in Fraser Valley

By: Tommy Leung

On March 20, 2023, Fraser Valley public transit workers went on strike due to a labour dispute with BC Transit and their local service provider, First Transit. This service interruption had a significant negative impact on people who are blind or low vision in these areas as many rely on public transit to access employment, healthcare services, shopping, recreation, and to fully participate in their communities.
An illustration of the green/white Ontario Health Card.

Service Ontario Accessibility Report Launched

By: Michelle Yang

Service Ontario provides health cards, driver’s licenses, registers births, marriages, and deaths, offers post-secondary student loans, and more. Although Service Ontario is a vital service for living, working, studying, and receiving healthcare in the province, several marginalized groups, including people who are blind or low vision, assert that Service Ontario often falls short of providing equitable services.
A white cane scans a sidewalk. In the background, men's shoes trail behind the tip of the cane.

Changing Attitudes, Changing Minds and Behaviours

By: Keya Osborne

Disability Justice is crucial in changing attitudes, addressing unconscious bias for people who are blind or low vision, and representing equity-deserving communities. This TikTok video shows a social experiment between a black man using a white cane and a white man using a white cane.
A group of staff, employer partners and come to work participants gather at the Toronto Hub for the Come to Work event.

Come to Work hits five-year milestone; here’s to the next five

When we started Come to Work five years ago, we asked Canadians with sight loss to trust us. Knowing the barriers of entry into the workplace and the stigmas attached to it, we wanted to provide guidance and confidence to potential workers just as capable as those without sight loss. And we asked employers to trust us as well. That we could provide them the types of workers they were looking for to diversify their workplaces and educate them on how accessibility isn’t as hard as they might think.
A photo of a hardcover cookbook called Made with Prema appears on a plain white background. The cover of the cookbook features a number of dishes displayed on a black, gold, and magenta saree

Giving back to CNIB through a culinary cultural love letter

Prasanna Ranganathan affectionately describes the cookbook he co-wrote with his mother Prema, Made with Prema, as a culinary cultural love letter.
Jim Cuddy

CNIB Lake Joe’s “Cookout With Cuddy” supports camp with a SOLD OUT show!

On Saturday, August 12 from 4-8pm at CNIB Lake Joe (4 Joe Finley Way, MacTier, Ontario), hundreds of guests will be joining us for a mouth-watering gourmet BBQ feast featuring unique local vendors, a live sunset performance with Jim Cuddy, tons of fun with silent and live auctions, the chance to snuggle with some furry friends in the CNIB Guide Dog puppy pit (sponsored by Mantella), and more! Event Emcees Rod Black, Canadian sports commentator and Joan Kelley Walker, philanthropist, model and television personality will ensure that this event is the party of the season!
12-year-old Gabriel sits in a colouful Muskoka chair, relaxed and smiling, surrounded by other happy CNIB Lake Joe campers and families, and two CNIB buddy dogs in yellow vests.

All Kids Deserve to Play: Meet Gabriel

When 12-year-old Gabriel went to CNIB Lake Joe for the first time, he immediately felt at home and accepted. It was, after all, the first time he found himself surrounded by other kids who are blind or have low vision.
White water ski boat on the lake with the word "Malibu" and "Wakesetter" on the side.

Wake-Up! CNIB Lake Joe’s new Wakesetter boat ushers in a new generation of blind waterskiers

We are beyond excited to announce the arrival of our brand new 2023 Malibu Wakesetter 21 LX waterski boat! This beauty was made possible thanks to incredibly generous participants in the 2022: CNIB Lake Joe Dock-to-Dock: Taste of Muskoka Event. Thank you!
The door to the CNIB Lake Joe Multi-Sensory Room. A sign reads, “This room is in use.” There is a hanging chair inside the room.

Perfect Sense: CNIB Lake Joe’s new Multi-Sensory Room

Thanks to special funding from the Enabling Accessibility Fund’s Youth Innovation grant, we were able to transform underutilized space in the Wellness Centre into a brand new Multi-Sensory Room.
Interior of a city bus. Two commuters sit and ride the bus.

Share your transit journey!

As part of CNIB’s advocacy work to create safe and accessible journeys, we’re gathering testimonials that capture the transit realities facing people with sight loss across Canada.
 A young man sits at a desktop computer. Displayed on his computer screen is a back issue of the Guide Dog Gazette.  

Become a contributor!

We’re revamping some of the content included in the Guide Dog Gazette, and we want you to be a part of it! We're looking for new contributors to help make the Guide Dog Gazette more community focused. Share your voice and perspectives by becoming a contributor!
A professional headshot of Diane Bergeron. She is smiling, sitting in In front of a white background, and wears a grey and white cardigan. 

Meet Diane Bergeron – President, CNIB Guide Dogs

Diane Bergeron is the President of CNIB Guide Dogs and plays a pivotal leadership role in the World Blind Union (WBU), serving as both Treasurer of the WBU and Chair of the WBU Women's Committee. A lifelong advocate, Diane’s unwavering passion lies in championing a world without barriers, where individuals with disabilities are recognized and embraced for their abilities.
A future guide dog puppy wags its tongue. The puppy is a yellow lab and wears a yellow CNIB Guide Dogs training vest.

CNIB Pup Crawl raises $125,000!

On behalf of the CNIB Guide Dogs team, we can’t thank you enough for supporting the fourth annual CNIB Pup Crawl! Whether you participated by running on your treadmill, walking around your neighbourhood with your furry friend, dancing in a park or donating to a pup crawl team, your encouragement and support helped make our annual five-kilometre fundraising event a tremendous success.
At a CNIB office, Penny sits in a chair. Her guide dog, Honour, a black Labrador retriever-golden retriever cross, sits at her feet. Penny pets Honour's head and smiles with joy.

Praise for puppy raisers!

It takes two years of hard work and support for puppies to become guide dogs for people who are blind or partially sighted. Committed volunteers who help raise, train, and board these puppies with purpose. As part of the CNIB Guide Dogs Class of 2023 graduation ceremony, Penny Hartin recorded a special thank-you greeting for the extraordinary volunteers who open their homes and hearts to raising a future guide dog. 
Eileen holds an 8-week-old Bridget. They stand outside against a lush green garden.

Raising Bridget

By: Eileen Zimmerman, puppy raiser with Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.

It all started with a phone call from Laura with Seeing Eye Dogs Australia in Melbourne, asking if I would be interested in raising a pup for a guide dog program in Canada. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Australian-born pups that were destined for CNIB Guide Dogs had to be raised by local puppy raisers. That’s when Seeing Eye Dogs Australia jumped in to help. Being Canadian, I was more than excited to say yes! A few days later, we picked up a beautiful 8-week-old yellow lab/retriever cross named Bridget.
Laurie sits on her living room floor with her guide dog, Bridget, a yellow Labrador retriever-golden retriever cross. Bridget wears a graduation cap and sits in Laurie’s lap. Laurie affectionately presses her face against Bridget’s fluffy face.

Graduates Corner

After completing intensive training, it was finally graduation day for the CNIB Guide Dogs class of 2023! On April 26th, International Guide Dog Day, we celebrated the graduation of nine guide dog teams, five buddy dog partnerships, and one ambassador dog. Those are 15 big reasons to celebrate! 
Abby walks along a lush green nature pathway and navigates with their white cane. Abby is turned away from the camera

Happy Deafblind Awareness Month!

By: Abby Sienko
CNIB National Youth Council Member

As a person who is DeafBlind, I bring a unique perspective to the CNIB National Youth Council and our advocacy work. While there may be similarities between the blind and low vision community, being DeafBlind is vastly different. I am proud to be a part of the National Youth Council and amplify the voices of people who are Deafblind.
Rob and a guide dog in training finding an elevator door

Making Life-Changing Partnerships Happen

In this special Q&A, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Rob Cramer shares what your support makes possible at CNIB Guide Dogs.
An open door that leads to a new apartment. A keychain dangles in the door lock.

On the hunt for student housing

By: Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member

In your first year of post-secondary studies, most students either live at home or live on campus in residence. Easy-peasy. But what happens after the first year? Where do you live, and what should you look for in a rental unit?
Eddy sits in front of a backyard garden with his guide dog. His left-hand hovers above the dog’s head as he signs “I love you” in ASL. The black t-shirt Eddy is wearing has a bold text design that reads “Deaf and loud!” 

Advocate Spotlight: Eddy Morten

By: Gabriella Rabaa

For over three decades, Eddy Morten has been a strong advocate and leader for the Deafblind community in British Columbia and beyond.  A three-time Canadian Paralympic athlete, Eddy is a founding member of the BC Association of the Deafblind and has advocated for various issues faced by the Deafblind community, including transportation, guide dog access, and increased intervenor services. 
A hand pushes a pedestrian crosswalk button to cross an intersection.

New Westminster City Officials Learn About Barriers to Access

By: Tommy Leung

In April, city officials visited CNIB Westminster to learn about the barriers faced by residents who are blind or low vision. In attendance were City councillors Jaimie McEvoy and Tasha Henderson, transportation manager Mike Anderson, and Vic Leach from The Walkers’ caucus, an advocacy group for pedestrians.
A pile of plowed snow blocks the sidewalk at a busy crosswalk

Halifax Advocates Fight for Snow Removal

By: Allison Cascanette

For people with disabilities, navigating snowy sidewalks in winter can be challenging, if not impossible. And in Halifax, where City Council has proposed an end to city-contracted residential snow removal and budget cuts for transit stop snow removal, getting around in the winter could soon become even more difficult. 
Professional headshots of Trisha Légère-Leblanc (left) and Matteya Wendling (right).

Law Students Advocate for Change

By: Shannon Kinch

Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is a national organization that works with law schools and non-profit organizations across Canada to provide free legal support to people and communities facing barriers to justice. In partnership with PBSC, we worked with their Queen’s University and University of Moncton chapters to address important issues impacting people who are blind or low vision.
Interior of a city bus. Commuters sit and stand inside the bus.

Floating Bus Stops: What You Need to Know

By: Lui Greco

Around the world, city streets and sidewalks are changing. While pedestrians once had exclusive ownership of sidewalks, that’s no longer the case with electric kick scooters and delivery robots competing for sidewalk space. And while cycling infrastructure promotes active transportation and reduces pollution and physical inactivity, it can also impact public transit users. 
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush-style design with yellow accents.

Community Advocacy Resources Launched

By: Kat Hamilton 

CNIB is advocating alongside community members across Canada to break down barriers to accessibility and create a more inclusive society for people living with sight loss. We’ve developed advocacy resources designed to support people engaging in advocacy in their local communities, whether as a formal CNIB Community Engagement Volunteer, an individual living with sight loss, or an ally who wants to help bring about change.  
An intervenor uses print on palm to communicate with a client. 

Celebrating Deafblind Awareness Month

By: Larissa Proctor

June is Deafblind Awareness Month, and in celebration, we spoke with Sherry Grabowski, Vice President of CNIB Deafblind Community Services (DBCS), to learn more about the history of DBCS, the expansion of services and what’s coming next.
Gabriel smiles, sitting next to his black Labrador retriever CNIB buddy dog, Terry, on the set of CNIB’s latest fundraising campaign commercial.

Meet Gabriel, the star of our newest fundraising campaign

"Lake Joe has given me a lot of confidence... and a lot of courage to go into the deep end and just have fun.”
Sign post with the words "help", "support", "advice", "guidance: on wooden arrow signs pointing in different directions with a blue sky in the background.

Would you like to get on board?

CNIB Lake Joe is seeking inspired leadership volunteers for the CNIB Lake Joe Advisory Board. Board members are passionate advocates, ambassadors, fundraisers and ‘friend-raisers’ who want to bring the magic of camp to people with sight loss and to meaningfully change what it means to be blind in Canada.
Male lifeguard facing the water where people with guide dogs are playing. He is wearing a yellow shirt with the word "Lifeguard" in red.

Surf ‘n’ Turf: Seasonal Staff Wanted

Our guests love CNIB Lake Joe and can’t wait to get into the water. If you have a passion for enriching lives and bringing out the best of each day for our guests on land and in the lake, please apply now to join our team.
A photo of 8 people - men, women, girls and boys - waterskiing together in line with their arm on the person behind them.

Isn’t it time you try something new? Active Adult Week / Young Adult Week at CNIB Lake Joe

Stuck in a rut? Tired of the same old boring routine? It’s definitely time for something new! CNIB Lake Joe has the perfect programs for you July 10-15.
Two youth with white canes are walking along the lakeshore at CNIB Lake Joe. A group of additional youth are walking behind them.

Kids come to camp for just $150 in 2023!

Once again, thanks to our generous supporters, we are able to further subsidize CNIB Lake Joe’s Children & Youth programs this year. Registration fees are $150/week and cover accommodations, all meals, onsite programming and ground transportation to/from select hubs in Ontario.
Karoline and her black guide dog, Raven, exit the lobby of a building. Behind them is a row of elevators.

Access Tales: Dining out with four guide dogs

By: Karoline Bourdeau

I recently visited Sambucas, an Italian restaurant in Toronto, along with a large group of friends. We had four guide dogs between us, and the service we received couldn’t have been better. The restaurant was busy when we arrived, but that didn’t stop the attentive staff from making our group of thirteen feel welcome.
Kelly and her guide dog, Maple, sit in the stands at the Mary Brown’s Centre arena.

Access Tales: Taking in a hockey game at the Mary Brown’s Centre

When an opportunity arose to attend a Newfoundland Growlers hockey game at the Mary Brown’s Centre this winter, Kelly Picco was excited but wanted to be prepared – as she had never been to a hockey arena with her guide dog, Maple. 
Mary and John Crocker pose with CNIB Guide Dog puppy, Amber, a female yellow Labrador retriever they named after last year’s Pup Crawl.

Q&A with Mary Crocker: Why we all should participate in Pup Crawl

With the fourth annual CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl just around the corner, we’re overjoyed to announce that Mary and John Crocker will be generously matching donations up to $50,000 for the third year in a row. That means every dollar raised will have twice the impact!
Salim Kassam

Celebrating CNIB Volunteers: Meet Salim

Local Calgary resident Salim Kassam loves to give back to his community. In 2014 Salim was diagnosed with Ushers Syndrome, a genetic disease that affects both hearing and sight. It was then that he originally connected with CNIB for support – and quickly fell in love with the community and cause.
Alan Bridgeman

Celebrating CNIB Volunteers: Meet Alan

As a Tech-Mate, Alan volunteers his time to work one-on-one with participants in the British Columbia area who are interested in brushing up on their assistive and accessible technology skills.
The National Youth Council at CNIB Lake Joe.

Celebrating CNIB Volunteers: The National Youth Council

In honour of National Volunteer Week, we spoke to two members of the council about their experience volunteering with the National Youth Council.
Jessica Bailey, poses at the Lake Joe waterfront. She does the American Sign Language sign for "I Love you". An icon of a hand with a heart floating above it appears in the top right hand corner.

Celebrating CNIB Volunteers: Meet Jessica

CNIB Lake Joe is lucky to have long-time volunteers, but not many are like Jess Bailey. She has been volunteering at CNIB Lake Joe for most of her life!
Some members of the CNIB National Youth Council at CNIB Lake Joe. The group poses for a photo in the lounge, standing in front of a window. From Left to right: Taylor, Alicia, Oceanne, Rilind, Caleb, Caelin, Abby, Eitel, Will and Emilee.

CNIB Lake Joe: How camp changes lives

“I always heard how “magical” CNIB Lake Joe is, but I had never been there, so I didn’t understand the hype,” says council member Curtis Ruttle. “Then I visited the camp and finally understood what all the fuss was about! I don’t know how to explain it, but the feeling of just being there was truly incredible.”
At a public charging station, a man holds an electric vehicle charger plug and charges his car.

New Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles 

By: Gabbi Rabaa 

For pedestrians who are blind or partially sighted, sound is an essential component of safe and independent navigation. Audible signals can help people to orient themselves to their surroundings, identify potential hazards, understand the flow of traffic, and determine when it’s safe to cross a street.

Recognizing the dangers that quiet hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs) pose for vulnerable road users, the Government of Canada has created the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 141. This standard requires HEV manufacturers to equip vehicles with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), which creates artificial sounds comparable to conventional vehicles. 
The 1iCollective logo An illustration of an eye with a pink outline and a blue iris. Below the eye is a peach-coloured vertical line and the text: 1iCollective.]

Sight Loss in the South Asian Community: The 1iCollective

By: Neisha Mitchell

Nav Dhillon knows first-hand that advocacy can create change. A passionate and driven advocate in both the sight loss and artificial eyes communities, Nav left her job in the corporate world and founded 1iCollective – a not-for-profit organization that aims to challenge the stigma associated with disability and advocate for supportive services for people who have experienced ocular adversities.
The legislative building in Regina, Saskatchewan

Bill 29-103 The Accessible Saskatchewan Act

By: Ashley Nemeth

In the fall of 2022, a Bill for the Accessible Saskatchewan Act was introduced into the Legislature. This is the first act of its kind in the province.

The government of Saskatchewan has been working closely with communities to engage people who have disabilities and the people who support them. This Accessible Saskatchewan Act represents the first steps in creating a more accessible and inclusive province for all residents. Bill 29-103 will make new regulations that require the government and organizations to remove barriers for people who are impacted by disability. 
 A woman sits at a CCTV and reads an enlarged document displayed on the screen.

Advocating for an Accessible Devices Program in Manitoba

By: Vivi Dabee    

In November 2022, CNIB and Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada staff met with deputy ministers from the Ministry of Families to discuss the need for an assistive devices program in Manitoba.

The meeting was a welcome opportunity to speak with government officials and share the perspectives of participants in Manitoba who have expressed the need for an assistive devices program in the province for many years. 
Marisa rides the bus. She’s wearing sunglasses, a pink winter coat and a black knitted scarf. The interior of a bus is reflected in her sunglasses.

City of Saint John reinstates free transit

By: Marisa Hersey-Misner

Access to community resources and networks is an important part of our quality of life, but for people with sight loss, these connections may only be possible if public transit is both available and accessible. Public transit allows people to actively participate in their communities, reducing social isolation.

Many New Brunswickers who are blind or partially sighted rely on public transit to travel within their communities. In 2014, when the Saint John transit board revoked the free transit accommodation that had been available to people who are legally blind since 1929, residents took note.
Martin sits on the porch steps outside his home. He’s wearing a blue polo t-shirt, jeans and sunglasses.

Advocate Spotlight: Martin Springer

By: Ben Akuoko

Martin Springer has played a pivotal role in creating more diverse and inclusive spaces for CNIB participants. A passionate volunteer, Martin has used his voice and lived experiences to host Black History Month events, facilitate informative black-themed trivia events, and create and deliver content for Black Voices United – a virtual peer group that gives participants a space to share experiences and support and hear from guest speakers. 
The Honourable David Onley joins former CNIB president Jim Sanders, former CNIB Board Chair Al Jaimeson, and other CNIB Staff for an event at our Lake Joe Camp in Muskoka, Ontario.

Remembering David Onley

By: Alice Clark

CNIB is deeply saddened by the passing of The Honourable David C. Onley, former Ontario Lieutenant Governor, journalist, and disability advocate. 

In 2007, The Honourable David C. Onley was appointed as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In this role, he served as the viceregal representative in Ontario, carrying out most of the monarch’s constitutional and ceremonial duties in the province. Onley was the first person with a visible disability to hold the role of Lieutenant Governor and used his viceregal position to help remove barriers to inclusion for Ontarians with disabilities, including obstacles to employment and housing.
A Skytrain passing across a bridge in the blue Vancouver sky.

Get Involved: Use Your Voice to Strengthen Your Community in 2023

By: Kat Hamilton 

With many cities and provinces across Canada holding elections in 2022 and 2023, some regions will be recruiting people to participate in municipal or provincial committees and help make decisions that shape the lives of residents, including people who are blind or partially sighted. 

Depending on your interests, there are a variety of committees that you can apply to be a part of. One way to get involved is by joining your local Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). Accessibility Advisory Committees are made up of residents who advise their municipal council on identifying, removing, and preventing barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. 
Lawrence and his guide dog enjoying the wintery great outdoors. They stand together on a snow-covered frozen lake.

Access Tales: On-Ice Cabin Rental Welcomes Guide Dogs

By: Lawrence Gunther

As someone who travels extensively as an outdoor adventurer, I’ve experienced occasions when my guide dog and planned visits were questioned. Thankfully, my experiences being denied access in Canada have become exceedingly rare. Still, I can never be sure how owners of outdoor tourism operations will respond to my guide dog, which is why I always have that conversation up-front. 
Blair and his black guide dog, Kelly, are outdoors standing on a patch of grass. Kelly is in harness and Blair is holding the harness handle.

Access Tales: Dining at Swiss Chalet

In 2022, Blair Young, a resident of Saint John, New Brunswick, was matched with his first guide dog, a black lab named Kelly. After completing formal training in Ottawa, Blair and Kelly returned to Saint John to begin their new life together as a working guide dog team. A first-time guide dog handler, Blair learned quickly that not everyone in his community understands the access rights of guide dog teams. Service providers often questioned him before allowing him access, and Blair became apprehensive about entering restaurants, fearing that he’d have to explain himself to everyone he encountered. That is until Blair and his wife visited a Swiss Chalet restaurant in east Saint John.
Ashley and her guide dog, Danson, cross a rural residential street.

Being partnered with a guide dog changed my life

The moment I held a harness handle in my hand for the first time, my life as a blind woman was changed forever. I had always struggled with having a desire to live my life the way I wanted and felt like something was missing. When I got my first guide dog, everything changed. 
 A directional sign posted on a utility pole. The text on the sign reads, “New Year’s resolutions.” Below the text is an arrow pointing to the right.

Rewriting Resolutions: A Guide to Goal Setting

By: Caleb Piche-Larocque
CNIB National Youth Council Member

New year, new you! It’s time to plan your future. With the new year kicking off, you might be thinking of going to the gym or creating a budget as your New Year’s resolution. The issue with this is that after a couple of weeks, most people end up giving up and quitting before they can see the effects. Have you ever wondered why that is? Have you ever thought of selecting something which increased your odds of sticking with it?
Canoeing on lake joe! Children and youth sit in the Voyageur canoe and hold their paddles high up in the air.

CNIB Lake Joe 2023 Program Schedule

CNIB Lake Joe is saying hello to 2023 with an incredible line-up of in-person and virtual programs. Make your New Year's resolution to get active in everything that CNIB Lake Joe has to offer!
A scavenger hunt clue is posted on the climbing wall at CNIB Lake Joe. The clue is written in braille and a young participant reads the braille clue with their hands.

Writing with Feeling at CNIB Lake Joe

Karen Brophey, Program Lead for Literacy, wanted to develop a kid-friendly braille literacy program that aligned with CNIB’s braille creative writing contest – where a group of budding writers could spend time with one another at a retreat and build their creative writing skills. Her brainchild, Writing with Feeling, was piloted at CNIB Lake Joe in September.
 A ‘help wanted’ sign hangs on a clothesline outdoors.

Live, work and play at beautiful CNIB Lake Joe

If you are passionate about enriching lives and bringing out the best of each day for our guests, please apply now to join our team. Help us create a home away from home on the shores of beautiful Lake Joseph in Muskoka and help change what it is to be blind.
A young woman pulls their luggage in the airport terminal.

Travel Tips with Taylor

By: Taylor Gaudon 
CNIB National Youth Council Member

As a partially sighted person, I have encountered many obstacles while travelling independently (mostly on domestic trips) and thought I’d some of my tips to make your next travel experience a smoother one. 
A headshot of Tina against a black background. Tina is smiling and wears glasses.

Diabetes & Sight Loss – Tina’s Story

"I’ve been living with diabetes for over 50 years and have been using an insulin pump for 12 years, as well as a continual glucose monitor (CGM) for the last year. I lost my sight when I went in for a cataract operation and my blood sugars went out of control and affected my eyes. After I lost my sight, I had to learn new techniques for everything."
Lily is outside, standing in front of two lush green trees. She is smiling and wears a floral top and sunglasses.

Advocate Spotlight: Lily Cao

“When I returned from work, I was informed that my apartment would be uninhabitable for at least a week.”

While Lily would need temporary accommodation for at least a week, the rental company only offered her a guest suite for one night.

"I researched and learned about the Ontario Human Rights Code, which explained the duty to accommodate. With an understanding of my rights, I was able to advocate for myself and receive appropriate accommodations for the entire duration of the repairs.”
A group of CNIB participants standing outside the Udupi Palace restaurant in Toronto

Taking to the Streets: Audio Described Walking Tour with JJ Hunt

In October, CNIB participants and volunteers spent an afternoon exploring the rich history, culture, and diversity of Little India with audio describer, JJ Hunt. In the heart of Toronto’s East York neighbourhood, Little India is a vibrant community with layers of history, sounds, and culinary delights. Guided by JJ, the group of 25 enjoyed a 90-minute tour of Little India’s past, present, and future.
A white cane navigates a rubber wayfinding path on a sidewalk.

Ontario launches fourth and final review of AODA

The fourth review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has begun, the last that will occur in advance of the 2025 deadline for a more accessible Ontario as set under the Act. The AODA is a provincial law that applies to government bodies, non-profit organizations, and private sector organizations, which seeks to identify and address barriers for people with disabilities. Under the law, it must be reviewed every three years to measure its effectiveness and identify existing gaps.
A hand pushes a pedestrian crosswalk button to cross an intersection.

Advocating for safer crossings in Leamington

Advocacy can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, with a lot of effort for little results. But a recent advocacy success in the town of Leamington, Ont., serves as a happy reminder that one voice can make a difference! In October, Leamington city officials were considering a proposed conversion of accessible pedestrian signals to pedestrian crossovers at Talbot Street West at Fader Avenue, Talbot Street West at MCR Drive, and Oak Street West at the Leamington Trail.
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush-style design with yellow accents

Development of Accessibility Standards in Nova Scotia

In 2017, the Government of Nova Scotia became the third province in Canada to pass accessibility legislation, preceded by Ontario in 2005 and Manitoba in 2013. Nova Scotia’s accessibility legislation has set 2030 as the target date for an accessible province. The Accessibility Directorate, who is responsible for administering the Act under the direction of the Minister of Justice, has begun the process of developing accessibility standards under the Act.
Duane Morgan, CNIB’s Vice President of Atlantic Canada, stands in front of an airport kiosk with a cameraman filming in the background.

It’s Here! Know Your Rights launches in Atlantic Canada

Know Your Rights has finally made its way to Atlantic Canada, and we couldn’t be more excited! Made possible through generous funding from Law Foundations in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario, the Know Your Rights a project that is designed to educate and empower people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind to better understand their rights, navigate their provincial legal systems, and self-advocate to challenge discrimination. 
Bob and his German Shepherd guide dog stand inside a gym. The gym is filled with workout equipment.

Guide Dog Handler Rights – Meet Bob

Ryan: How has your life changed since becoming a guide dog handler?

Bob: I’ve gone to college a few times, worked, and travelled, including going to South America. I’ve also met a lot of people and made more friends. Having a guide dog has increased my confidence and my skills, as well as kept me extremely active in addition to my daily activities. 
Stormy stands in front of a rural corn field on a sunny summer day. She wears a sundress and is holding a bouquet of graduation-themed balloons

Meet Stormy Sweetman – recipient of the 2022 CNIB National Youth Council Leadership Award!

The CNIB National Youth Council believes in recognizing youth with sight loss. That's why it created the Leadership Award to celebrate people going above and beyond to make a difference in their community. Stormy is this year’s recipient of the 2022 National Youth Council Leadership Award. CNIB National Youth Council member, Emilee Schevers, spoke with Stormy about being a young leader in their community.  
Robert and David Froom

Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award – 2022 recipient

Congratulations to Robert Froom, the 2022 recipient of The Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award – our highest public honour recognizing our passionate and dedicated volunteers.  
Two hands holding a smartphone up to a document. The phone camera is scanning the document and the seeing AI app is displayed on the phone screen. © Microsoft

Seeing AI

By: Eitel Houedakor 
CNIB National Youth Council Member

For today's youth, technology is a part of our everyday life. It’s also an empowering tool that can help to keep us informed, educated, and organized. Being an independent young adult is not easy, but even more so when you have a visual impairment. I've experienced situations where I've had to ask someone for help to read a document, giving up my right to privacy because the information I'm presented with is inaccessible. That is until I stumbled upon an app from Microsoft called Seeing AI. 
A group of guests stand on top of a waterfront dock and enthusiastically wave at the camera, showcasing their giant-cheque donation of $1,000

Making Waves! Anything is Possible at CNIB Lake Joe

This year’s signature fundraiser – the CNIB Lake Joe Dock-to-Dock: Taste of Muskoka event – gave friends throughout Muskoka and across Canada the chance to help create an enhanced accessible watersport program, including a brand new waterski boat, at CNIB Lake Joe.
A staff member helps secure a helmet for a guest standing at the base of the climbing tower at Lake Joe.

Tall Tales: CCB Rocks the Climbing Tower at CNIB Lake Joe

It was a long time coming but worth the wait! In September, CNIB Lake Joe Joe welcomed thirteen members from CCB Rocks for the first-ever climbing program specifically focused on scaling the tower. 
A beautiful autumn view of CNIB Lake Joe’s shoreline from the water. The foliage is changing colours on the trees lining the lake.

All about the Fall

Though the summer season is behind us, there’s so much to look forward to as the leaves change colour and the days become a little fresher and crisper! Shop, go virtual, and explore new employment opportunities!
Blair and his black guide dog, Kelly, are outdoors standing on a patch of grass. Blair is holding Kelly's harness.

Guide Dog Access Awareness Month – Meet Blair

To mark Guide Dog Access Awareness Month, Ryan Hooey spoke with Blair Young about his experiences as a guide dog handler. Listen to their conversation about about guide dog rights in the workplace, physical and attitudinal barriers, education, advocacy, and more.
Taylor sits at a desk. Her black guide dog, Wallace, sits at her feet. Taylor wraps her left arm around Wallace.

Guide Dog Access Awareness Month – Meet Taylor

CNIB's Ryan Hooey caught up with Taylor Bauer, a first-time guide dog handler, to chat about guide dogs in the workplace, barriers to employment, misconceptions, and advocating for your rights. Listen to their interview
A collage of two photographs featuring 2 young participants, their parents, and their accompanying buddy dogs.

Pup Dates: CNIB Lake Joe pilot program for children with, or waiting for, CNIB Buddy Dogs

By: Mariam Mas, Program Lead, Buddy Dog & Ambassador Dog Training

In August, we invited six children partnered with buddy dogs and three children waiting to be matched with a buddy dog to CNIB Lake Joe to participate in a new pilot program. 

The program was inspired by the candid friendship between Mason and Ollie that emerged last summer at CNIB Lake Joe. After witnessing Mason and Ollie's experience at camp, we wanted to offer the same opportunities for other children partnered with, or waiting for, CNIB Buddy Dogs.
A tiny golden retriever puppy plays at a grassy park. It leaps through the air with its tongue wagging.

Puppy Pointers: Training Recall and Its Importance

By: Hannah Guttormson, Apprentice Puppy Raising Supervisor, CNIB Guide Dogs

A “recall” is a specific verbal cue (most commonly “come”) that teaches the dog to return to its handler. It is a cue we want our dogs to respond to immediately.

Teaching a reliable recall is essential in dog training. It will be the most important cue a dog learns! Recall cues are mainly used in day-to-day life, but a recall cue could also save a dog’s life. 
A stack of books beside a laptop on a wooden table.

Accessible Textbook Project Comes to Life

By: Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member 

Access to post-secondary education opens a world of possibilities for personal and professional development. However, textbooks and course materials are rarely available in accessible formats – creating a significant barrier for students with disabilities. As a result, many students who are blind or partially sighted are at risk of falling behind because they encounter lengthy and/or costly delays when requesting accessible textbooks and course materials.

In 2019, the CNIB National Youth Council pledged to address this problem and find a solution to ensure that post-secondary students have equitable access to information.
An older man using a white cane exits a city bus.

Accessible Public Transit Campaign Roundup

By: Lee-Anne Thompson 

Accessible public transportation has been identified as one of the key advocacy issues for people who are blind or partially sighted from communities across Canada. This spring, advocacy leads and volunteers across the country worked together to raise awareness about the importance of accessible public transit, leading up to our campaign Week of Action from June 20-24, 2022. 
 group of guide dog handlers wearing lifejackets stand on the dock at CNIB Lake Joe with their guide dogs. Taylor crouches and poses in the foreground next to her guide dog, Wallace.

CNIB Celebrates 4th Annual Guide Dog AdvoCamp

By: Larissa Proctor

In June, CNIB welcomed 19 guide dog handlers from Canada to beautiful CNIB Lake Joe for our annual Guide Dog Advocamp!  Guests participated in various educational workshops, including Advocacy 101, Advocacy 201, Advocacy and Emotions, Advocacy and Travel, Guide Dog Access Awareness Month, Guide Dog Gear, Health and Nutrition, Play and Enrichment, and Clicker Training. In addition to these workshops, participants also enjoyed all that CNIB Lake Joe has to offer, including pontoon boat rides, rock climbing, mini golf, campfires, and dog swims! 
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.

CNIB Granted Viceregal Patronage by Governor General of Canada

By: Alice Clark 

In June 2022, CNIB received confirmation that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, granted our request for viceregal patronage.  The Governor General extends patronage to organizations aligned with the roles and responsibilities of the Governor General in recognition of their outstanding contributions to society.   
A behind-the-scenes photo of a man sitting in a chair in front of a film camera. A large production light is in the forefront of the photo, next to the Director, whose back is turned to the camera

Get Ready: Know Your Rights is coming to Atlantic Canada

By: Shannon Kinch 

With generous funding from Law Foundations in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario, as well as the support of various volunteers and collaborators, including McInnes Cooper LLP, Pro Bono Students Canada, the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS), the Public Legal Information Association of NL (PLIAN), and the Canadian Bar Association’s New Brunswick Branch, CNIB is bringing the Know Your Rights project to Atlantic Canada.
Zach reclining on the grass with his buddy dog Elsie, a golden retriever who is wearing a yellow CNIB buddy dog vest. Zach’s white cane sits on the grass next to him.

Alberta Parents and Students Mobilize for Accessible Education

By: Christall Beaudry and Zach Abdalla

In response to ongoing barriers to education for students who are blind or partially sighted, a group of Alberta students, parents, supports, and Teachers for the Visually Impaired (TVIs) gathered to discuss the challenges faced by Alberta students with sight loss and create a strategy to advocate for change.
Queens Park front exterior/building entry (the Ontario Legislative building).

Ontario Election Campaign 2022

By: Alice Clark 

On June 2, Ontarians went to the polls and voted in a new majority government. Leading to the election, CNIB launched an advocacy campaign seeking commitments from all candidates and parties to prioritize employment opportunities for Ontarians with disabilities as part of the post-pandemic economic recovery.
 Headshot of Kamini, who is smiling and wearing a red v-neck top and a white flower in her hair.

Advocate Spotlight: Creating inclusive spaces for women living with sight loss

By: Kamini Rodhan

During the peak of the pandemic, I noticed a need for a safe and supportive place where women with sight loss could connect. Our first women’s group meeting took place over Zoom in May 2021. Since then, the group has grown to include 24 women from diverse backgrounds and age groups with varying degrees of sight loss. 
Abby walks along a lush green nature pathway and navigates with their white cane. Abby is turned away from camera.

The benefits of being blind

By: Abby Sienko
CNIB National Youth Council Member

As a person who is DeafBlind (low vision), I’ve faced a lot of challenges through childhood and youth. I often encounter barriers at school, at work, and even in my post-secondary environment. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about blindness. So, I thought I would put my spin on things and tell people about some of the positive benefits of being blind! ​​​​​​​
Janna stands beside a Canadian flag outside a large outdoor event tent. She smiles and holds a pom-pom in her left hand.

2022 Braille Challenge Finals

The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or partially sighted. Ontario’s Janna Cheung and Keaton Hamilton were among the 50 competitors invited to Southern California to compete in the 2022 Braille Challenge finals.
A Photo of Shawn smiling, wearing a red CNIB Lake Joe t-shirt.

The Creator’s Walk

By: Shawn Johnson 

“I prayed this morning as I do every day,” explains Shawn Johnson, CNIB Lake Joe guest and member of the First Nations Mississauga Ojibwe. “I asked the Creator, ‘I want to hear from you,' and this is what came."
Abigail is walking on the sidewalk holding her white cane in her right hand, and holding her buddy dog's leash in her left hand.

CNIB Buddy Dog Program at Lake Joe

By: Miriam Mas
CNIB Guide Dogs, Program Lead, Buddy Dog & Ambassador Dog Training

We’re piloting a new Buddy Dog program at CNIB Lake Joe! The program was inspired by the candid friendship that emerged last summer at CNIB Lake between two young boys, Mason & Ollie. Both are recipients of a CNIB Buddy Dog.

Designed for children and youth who already have a CNIB Buddy Dog and those waiting to be matched with a Buddy Dog, the program will welcome guests to CNIB Lake Joe from August 9-11, 2022.
Josh is standing on the edge of the dock wearing a black shirt and shorts with a green life jacket. A set of blue and yellow water skiis on the dock, and he’s leaning against a wakeboard. He’s wearing sunglasses and smiling.

Register now! CNIB Lake Joe’s Dock-to-Dock: Taste of Muskoka event

Join us for the event of the summer! CNIB Lake Joe Dock-to-Dock: Taste of Muskoka on Saturday, August 13, 2 – 5 p.m. Participate on your dock, deck, patio or anywhere in Canada. 
A desk with podcast equipment on top (microphones, headphones, cables, mixer)

“CNIB Lake Joe on the Go” Podcast

The CNIBLakeJoe@Home virtual team is excited to announce our new “Lake Joe on the Go” podcast. 

Created by Amy Lord, Virtual Program Coordinator and Taylor Gaudon, Virtual Program Facilitator and podcast host, the podcast consists of short 10–15-minute episodes that anyone can listen to at home or on the go.
Llonella wears a yellow lifejacket and sits on a boat at CNIB Lake Joe.

Preparing to welcome our guests for the summer

By: Llonella Gilbert 
Communications Lead, CNIB Lake Joe

My name is Llonella Gilbert, and I’m the summer Communications Lead at CNIB Lake Joe. I’m an international student from the Bahamas and am completing a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations at Humber College.

This is my first time at a camp, and I wanted to share with our readers what goes on behind the scenes to prepare for the summer at CNIB Lake Joe.
A young man stands peering over a puddle. Their running shoes appear at the top of the image. In the puddle is a soft reflection of their silhouette.

To My Younger Self

By: Emilee Schevers & Will Honcharuk
CNIB National Youth Council Members

The twists and turns of life are not always easy to navigate. Mentors and role models are a great tool to help guide us through tough situations and meet our goals. With that in mind, we asked some of our mentors at CNIB what advice they would give to their younger selves.
A woman’s right-hand holds a set of apartment keys.

Renting your first apartment

By: Oceanne Comtois
CNIB National Youth Council Member

When I was 18, I moved out on my own into my very first apartment. It was a seedy and dingy little apartment, but it was my apartment. I felt like I had just reached this new level of independence. 

As someone who is visually impaired, adjusting to new environments and situations can be challenging and moving out on my own was definitely an adjustment. It’s been five years since I got my first apartment and now, I feel like I’ve finally got it all figured out!
Caelin smiles for a selfie photograph.

From concept to creation: Designing a logo for a new CNIB program

Meet Caelin Lloyd – a busy 17-year-old student, an active CNIB program participant and volunteer from Bridgetown, N.S. 

When Caelin heard CNIB was thinking about designing a new logo for the CNIB Learning Academy, he took it upon himself to create something spectacular. We spoke to him about his volunteer experience with CNIB and how he designed the logo.
Keaton is sitting on a boat in the water with his arm around Indy, a black Labrador-golden-retriever, who is sitting on the boat beside him.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Keaton & Indy

“It’s so cool to have my very own Buddy Dog! Indy has been a very amazing dog. When we went to our cottage in the summer, he went on the stand-up paddle board, pedal boat, and the motorboat."
Kevin wearing ice skates and sports clothing walking down a corridor with his guide dog.

Advocate Spotlight: Kevin Frost

By: Kevin Frost

My advocacy goals were to change barriers with corporations and provincial governments regarding service guide dog incidents and turn them into positive outcomes for future guide dog handlers. I also wanted to work with the federal government to improve the financial situation for individuals with sight loss or hearing loss in Canada.
Queens Park front exterior/building entry (the Ontario Legislative building

Empowering Ontario’s Talent with Sight Loss

By: Alice Clark 

Ontarians are heading to the polls on June 2 in the 43rd general election. 

To help address today’s labour market challenges, there is an important opportunity to empower Ontarians that face barriers to finding and keeping meaningful employment. Ontarians with disabilities, including sight loss, are an important reserve of skilled, qualified individuals who are ready to work. Yet people with sight loss face significantly higher levels of unemployment and underemployment than their sighted peers. 
The Lens podcast logo. A graphic-art illustration of a blinking eye outlined in a black paintbrush style design. CNIB logo. Text: The Lens.

The Lens: Living Diverse Podcast

By: Ben Akuoko 

The Lens: Living Diverse is a new CNIB podcast produced by our advocacy team and hosted by Ben Akuoko and Neisha Mitchell. The podcast will feature a variety of guests and explore intersecting identities. Join us to hear new perspectives and candid conversations about diversity and inclusion. 
An elderly person using a COVID-19 at home rapid antigen test.

Putting Accessibility to the Test

By: Catheryne Houde

As provinces scale back COVID-19 testing in clinics, many Canadians now rely on at-home rapid antigen tests – including the 1.5 million Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

We heard loud and clear from our community that people with sight loss are unable to independently read the printed instructions, administer the tests with accuracy, or verify the results of rapid antigen tests – meaning Canadians with sight loss do not have access to an important tool in the fight against COVID-19.
Interior of a city bus. Commuters sit and stand inside the bus.

We Are Passengers: Grassroots Transit Advocacy

By: Debbie Jeffery

In 2014, the City of Saint John cancelled the free transit accommodation given to people who are blind. 

We Are Passengers, a New Brunswick advocacy group, has prepared a private members bill to be introduced to the New Brunswick Legislature. If passed, this bill would offer free transit for those who are blind throughout New Brunswick in municipalities with sustainable public transit.
The Back view of a young woman riding the bus and sitting in a chair.

Next Stop, Accessibility for All Passengers

By: Christopher Gordon

As more cities introduce automated stop announcements, the days of relying on bus or streetcar drivers for verbal stop announcements are behind us in many places. That is of course if the announcements are working properly. 
A black and white photograph of Ben walking in a forest. He holds his white cane up in the air near his waist.

Creating White Cane Awareness

By: Kaitlyn McMartin 

Over the last couple of months, I’ve worked on a white cane awareness project with five other students enrolled in the Environmental Health Promotion course at Western University. 

Our course focuses on the environment as an important factor that predicts our health outcomes. Accessibility is a large part of our environment, and inaccessibility creates barriers for people in our communities. 
Screenshot of Champions for Change video title slide. A photo of woman’s face overlaid with a yellow foreground. The text: “Champions for Change” appears in the centre of the screen in black.

Champions for Change: Behind the Scenes

By: Sarah Besseau 

In April, we launched the Champions for Change video series, which educates the public about sight loss and helps community members build their advocacy skills. The four-part series explores tips for self-advocacy and systemic advocacy, tips from policymakers, and common sight loss myths. The videos offer insights from people with sight loss about their real-world advocacy experiences and advice from people who make the policies that shape our daily lives. 
A young woman sits at a desk in a school library and reads a braille book.

From student to student: tips for organizing your study space and time

By: Emilee Schevers & Will Honcharuk
CNIB National Youth Council Members

It’s that time of year again - exams are approaching, the school year is winding down, and we’re all wondering where the time went! Whether you’re trying to find missing course notes or that major assignment from last semester, we put together some tips to help you organize your time and space and hopefully feel less overwhelmed.
A yellow graphic of hands holding a white heart outlined in black.

CNIB thanks volunteers

Our sincere thanks to the thousands of volunteers who put their hearts into driving CNIB's mission forward every day. In the last year, more than 4,000 volunteers have contributed 110,000 hours to help us boost participation in the world, unleash the power of technology, and drive achievement and equality. Plus, our volunteer puppy raisers – a 24/7, 365-days-a-year commitment – contributed more than 350,000 volunteer hours.
The Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award. A tactile bronze medallion with a sculpted design of a closed eye.

Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award – 2021 recipients

Congratulations to Mark Kelly and Dan O’Brien, the 2021 recipients of The Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award – our highest public honour recognizing our passionate and dedicated volunteers. 
A guide dog and its handler at a graduation ceremony. The handler pets his golden retriever guide dog. The dog is wearing a graduation cap.

CNIB Guide Dogs' class of 2022 graduates on International Guide Dog Day

As part of CNIB Guide Dogs' class of 2022, 16 Canadians who are blind or partially sighted graduated with their guide dogs – International Guide Dog Day – after completing intensive training. 
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: Guide Dog Check-ups

With warmer weather well on its way, its time to think about spring veterinary care for your dogs.
Several future guide dog puppies pose together for a photo. One of the puppies is wearing a yellow CNIB Guide Dogs vest. The text, “The CNIB Pup Crawl is back!” appears on top of the image.

Dollars for Dogs: Pup Crawl

Get excited…the 2022 CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl is back! The best part? Every dollar you raise will be matched up to $50K!

We’re thrilled to announce that the third annual CNIB Pup Crawl is back and is launching today, on April 27, in honour of International Guide Dog Day. This virtual five-kilometre fundraising event is an amazing way to stay active, all while supporting guide dogs and their handlers across Canada. 
Abigail walks on the sidewalk holding her Buddy Dog Lindsay’s leash in her left hand; Lindsay is wearing a gentle leader; Abigail’s mother follows behind, also holding onto a leash.

Pup-dates: Buddy dogs and gentle leaders

On occasion, some people may wonder why CNIB Buddy Dogs use a head halter such as a halti, or gentle leader, so we've compiled some FAQs.

What is a halti, a gentle leader? They are head halters used on dogs, similar to a horse using a halter, making it possible to handle a large, strong animal in a gentle way.
Larissa is sitting in a chair across from another person in a coffee shop by the window with her guide dog Piper laying on the floor at her feet.

Access Tales: Discrimination – can they do that?

We know it is against the law to deny access to a person because they are accompanied by a guide dog, but did you know it is also against the law to discriminate against someone for that same reason?
Four people with their Guide Dogs are standing against a wall at an underground Toronto city subway stop.

Inside Scoop: CNIB Guide Dogs introduce unique class concept

It was an exciting day in the evolving history of CNIB Guide Dogs. October 25th marked the commencement of the first group training class for guide dog handlers since November 2019. It was also the first class based in downtown Toronto for CNIB Guide Dogs. 
 A dog hiding under a blanket on the floor peeks his nose and paws out from underneath.

Puppy Pointers: Preparing your puppy for fireworks

Did you know that more dogs go missing during fireworks displays than any other time of year? The loud booming, crackling, and hissing as the fireworks burst in the air can be very stressful and frightening for puppies, and they may panic and run away from their owners as a natural flight response.  You can help your puppy stay calm and safe during fireworks by preparing your puppy ahead of time and taking precautionary measures.
Seven 2021 seasonal staff members waving from the fencing on the waterfront.

Help Wanted - Work and play at beautiful CNIB Lake Joe

If you have a passion for enriching lives and bringing out the best of each day for our guests, please apply now to join our team. Help us create a home away from home on the shores of beautiful Lake Joseph in Muskoka and help change what it is to be blind.
Three girls painting at a crafts table set up outside on the lawn.

Everything you need to know to get ready for camp

Check out our new webpage dedicated to sharing everything you need to know to get ready for camp! This page is specifically designed to help prepare for your stay at CNIB Lake Joe, including sample camp schedules, packing lists, site maps, photo galleries, videos, etc.
Julien is kneeling on the floor with a dog biscuit that reads ‘Happy Birthday!’ next to his Buddy Dog, Victor, who is laying on the floor to Julien’s left; Julien is standing on a leafy path in the woods on a walk with his Buddy Dog, Victor, standing to his right.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Julien & Victor

“Since I was matched with Victor in September 2021, I love that I have a special friend in him and someone I can always cuddle or play with. At first, I was worried that he would jump on me, but I soon realized that Victor is very calm and quiet, which I really like. We love to play hide and seek and chase each other around the yard, and also love nature walks and trips to the dog park."
Taylor sits in the grass with her arm around her Guide Dog, Wallace, who is laying in her lap in a sunny park; Taylor is kneeling on the sidewalk with her arm around Wallace who is seated to her right.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Taylor & Wallace

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. Because of the pandemic, my wait time was almost two years before I was finally matched with Wallace in July 2021. These two years were filled with anticipation and worry, as Wallace would be my first guide dog. I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to work out – or if a guide dog would actually help me because I am partially sighted. Little did I know, this would be the greatest gift of all!"
Rylan being guided by Belle while walking in a mall; Rylan and Belle at a hockey game posing in their seats with a mascot.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Rylan & Belle

“My guide dog, Belle, and I are a dynamic duo who love going to Tim Hortons and hockey games! We were matched in October 2021, and I was overwhelmed with excitement. Meeting Belle, a yellow Labrador retriever, was the icing on the cake. We are well-suited for each other because she is a bit more introverted like me and loves our one-on-one cuddles.” – Rylan  
Jane is smiling and sitting on a deck outdoors, with Sparkie standing beside her and kissing her face, and Scout is sitting on Jane’s lap, and looking up at Sparkie; Jane is standing with Sparkie who is sitting at her feet on a leash in front of a park map.

Raising Sparkie

For over a year, Jane and Sparkie bonded as obedience training and socialization became part of their daily routine. 

“Our day often started with me asking Sparkie, ‘What shall we do today?’ and he always let me choose,” says Jane.   

Sit, down, stand, wait, under, come. With Jane’s help, Sparkie eagerly mastered his training cues. From traveling on public transit to having outings with friends, Jane and Sparkie made time for both training and play.   
Abigail is walking on the sidewalk holding her white cane in her right hand, and holding Lindsay’s leash in her left hand while Lindsay is walking beside her wearing her bright yellow Buddy Dog vest, and Lindsay’s mom is walking behind them holding onto a secondary leash; Abigail is kneeling on the grass next to her yellow Lab Buddy Dog, Lindsay.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Abigail & Lindsay

“My Dad did some research and learned that even though I’m too young for a guide dog, I may be able to have a CNIB Buddy Dog! After wanting a dog for a long time, getting one was like a dream come true. Along came my new furry friend, Lindsay – a yellow Lab who turned three in September."
Lucas Burk (left) sits on a couch and holds his iPad with both hands. He is wearing glasses and a blue t-shirt. Ryan Burk (right) lays on a couch on his stomach and plays a game with his iPad. The iPad is leaning against the couch.

CNIB's Phone it Forward program connects family during Paralympics

Before Amy Burk left to compete for Team Canada in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games, her sons, Lucas (7) and Ryan (3) received two iPads through CNIB’s Phone It Forward program.

“When you’re gone for a month at a time, it’s easy for the family to miss one another. Having their own iPads meant the boys weren't tied to a specific schedule, and we could connect at all hours,” says Amy. “If Ryan was having a tough day, or Lucas needed help with something that dad or grandma couldn’t help him with, they could still grab an iPad and call mom.”
Jodi is sitting on a bench in a gazebo outdoors. Shadow, a black Labrador-golden-retriever mix, is sitting on the ground in front of her.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Jodi & Shadow

“Shadow has a personality that just makes you know everything will be alright. When I was matched with Shadow in July 2021, I was quite nervous – mostly about “What if I don’t do this properly?” At 52 years old, Shadow is my first guide dog, but the CNIB Guide Dogs’ trainers and Shadow all made me feel at ease.”
A graduation photo of Danica Frappier. She is smiling and wearing a graduation gown with a stole in blue, yellow and gold accents.

Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Access Postsecondary Education

By: Danica Frappier
CNIB National Youth Council Member

In September of 2021, I began studying for my Master of Social Work. This is the third post-secondary program I’ve enrolled in after graduating high school in 2013. Yes, you read that correctly. I am now in my ninth year at university, which means I am well aware of how expensive it can be to pursue post-secondary education. Tuition, textbooks, living expenses, assistive technology, it all adds up. That said, don’t let the cost discourage you. Investing in your education pays off in the long run. Here are some helpful options to consider when paying for post-secondary education.
Two skateboarders place bright pink tape down on a skatepark ramp to create a more tactile/accessible skateboarding experience.

Why participating in recreational activities is important for youth with sight loss

By: Curtis Ruttle
CNIB National Youth Council Member

As a young person living with sight loss, people often ask me what extracurricular activities I participate in. You name it; I've tried it: swimming, cycling, Goalball, skiing, hockey, and everything in-between. I've never let my visual impairment hold me back from doing the things I love, and I've never been told that I wasn't allowed to try something.
Joshua sitting on the floor in his living room with Felix laying in his lap.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Joshua & Felix

"My buddy dog will also help me better prepare for the possibility of a guide dog in my future. As a two-year-old golden retriever, Felix is cuddly, sensitive, and he is so fun to be around. He has made me more responsible, and he makes me happy every day. I love that he always wants to be with me."
A young man raising proudly his white cane in the air.

Celebrating the success of the Know Your Rights! campaign in Québec

In August 2021, CNIB Québec teamed up with the Chambre des notaires du Québec to launch the Know Your Rights! campaign. This initiative empowers Quebecers who are blind or partially sighted with tools and training to better defend their rights. It also seeks to raise awareness among Québec legal professionals and the general public of the often-ignored rights and accessibility needs of people with sight loss.
A collage of two photographs. Left, a young child holds his mother's hand and a white cane. He walks along a sidewalk. Right, an older woman has a white cane and walks down a pharmacy aisle.

CNIB’s Clearing Our Path Summit

The summit sought to gather feedback from various stakeholders on how CNIB’s Clearing Our Path guidelines can become even more relevant in the future. Attendees included persons with disabilities, municipal planners, elected officials, and design professionals.
An index card with three different brushstrokes. One brushstroke in red, one in yellow and one in green colours. Text: Celebrating Black History Month. February

CNIB Celebrates Black History Month

Happy Black History Month to everyone in the CNIB Family! Staff in the Greater Toronto Area have been working hard to ensure that this year’s Black History Month is one to remember. We’ll be celebrating with spectacular virtual programs to showcase musical and artistic talents, immerse participants in an audio-described storytelling journey, and profile delicious dishes through virtual cooking classes. 
Three self-driving delivery robots drive along a city sidewalk.

Micro-Mobility Utility Devices

Automated Micro-Mobility Utility Devices (MUDs), also known as delivery robots, are popping up in cities across North America, particularly in the United States. In 2021, these delivery robots became a fixture in some downtown Toronto neighbourhoods.
The Back view of a young woman riding the bus and sitting in a chair.

On-Demand Transit in Dieppe

In the fall of 2021, Dieppe, N.B., began modifying its existing bus service. The community, one of three Greater Moncton communities served by the local transit system, is gradually replacing its three existing bus routes with an on-demand shuttle service. Transit users must access the service through either a smartphone app or phone.
A headshot photograph of a smiling Lucie.

Advocate Spotlight: Lucie Kawiche Celebrates Black History Month

As a black, precariously employed, blind, queer, immigrant Canadian woman, I have never faced bias, discrimination, or a bit of uncertainty—said no one ever. I’m not saying that I haven’t had fantastic experiences and a mostly wonderful life. But I have also been in positions where I had to learn to advocate for myself.
A veterinarian with a stethoscope on a golden retriever puppy’s chest, listening to his breathing.

Vet’s Corner: Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)

Time to take the focus off of COVID-19. It is important to remember that the winter season brings coughs and colds to people, and "Kennel Cough" to our dogs.

The primary symptom is an acute cough, but sneezing and nasal discharge are also possible. The correct term for Kennel Cough is Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) as there are at least seven known viruses and three bacteriae that can cause CIRDC. It is not just the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica that is incorrectly considered the cause of Kennel Cough. 
A black Lab is being held by a trainer, while the technician draws blood.

Pup-dates: Hero blood donors inspire more donations

CNIB’s guide dogs in training are once again stepping up and helping dogs in need across Canada. In October 2021, our Canine Campus hosted its second blood donor clinic, and it was an even bigger success than the first, with 11 donations.
A golden retriever puppy laying on the floor playing with a dog toy.

Puppy Pointers: Appropriate Toys for Future Guide Dogs

Playtime with toys is an important part of keeping our future guide dogs happy and healthy – both mentally and physically – but it’s important to note that there are certain toys often used by pet dogs that are not encouraged for these “pups with a purpose.” 
A yellow Lab wearing a CNIB Guide Dogs harness, standing on a bridge in the snow wearing black boots to protect her feet from the cold.

Inside Scoop: Tips for weathering the winter for guide dog handlers

Living in Canada during the winter months can pose limitations to what you can expect of a guide dog in extremely cold, icy, and snowy conditions. Making some basic accommodations for your dog to help them feel more comfortable can increase their motivation and enable them to perform at their best, even in harsh conditions.
A woman is sitting in the front passenger seat of a car with the door open; her guide dog, a golden retriever, is sitting at her feet in the passenger footwell.

Access Tales: Uber Inclusion Day

In October 2021, Uber held its first Inclusion Day to help their staff to better understand the needs of people with disabilities. CNIB has been collaborating with Uber over the last year to improve both the platform Uber provides to its customers and the interactions between drivers and riders.
Irene sitting on a park bench with Matilda sitting on the ground in front of her with her head rested on Irene’s knee; Matilda sitting on the grass looking up towards the camera.

Raising Matilda

It all started at a coffee shop in Calgary, where Irene Burns saw a poster that CNIB was recruiting volunteer puppy raisers. She was immediately intrigued. 

“After retiring from teaching, I wondered, ‘What is my purpose now?’. I have always enjoyed dogs; in fact, I raised three Great Danes. I knew volunteering as a puppy raiser for CNIB Guide Dogs would be a great experience,” explains Irene. 
Rod standing in front of a water fountain in a park with Wallace laying on the ground in front of him; Rod stands in a driveway with Wallace sitting on the ground to his right; Rod stands with Wallace on a leash in a field.

Raising Wallace

Recently retired, Rod Evans read an article about the need for volunteer puppy raisers in Regina, which was the beginning of this memorable experience. 

“The program sounded very interesting and a good way to support the CNIB community. I had time to devote to raising a puppy and sent in my application,” says Rod.
Phoebe and her sister walking with Ray in a field of grass; Phoebe and Ray sitting on Ray’s dog bed.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Phoebe & Ray

“I have never had a dog before, but my sister has always wanted one. When my family heard about CNIB Buddy Dogs, we thought that would be good for our whole family. I was nervous at first, but Ray was so sweet and gentle that I was happy to meet him!"
Mike sitting with his arm around Eric; Eric laying on the floor.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Mike & Eric

“The day Eric walked through my door was beyond amazing! I’d been without a guide dog for just over 10 months, so having that dog energy back in my life was unbelievable. This two-year-old black Labrador has the most amazing personality. He can go from zero to 90 in a split second and then from 90 to zero just as quick. The dog energy Eric brings around the house makes all the difference. Just having his head on my foot while I work on the computer, and even just knowing he’s there, is so comforting."
Bill Chadd poses for a photo with his iPhone. He is wearing a red Canada t-shirt standing in front of a door while smiling and holding a iPhone in his right hand.

Phoning it Forward with Bill Chadd

“My two favourite apps are Be My Eyes and Seeing AI. With Be My Eyes, I can connect with a volunteer from anywhere in the world who can help me navigate. I’ve had volunteers help me pick out the best colour of tie to wear, and I’ve even had someone help me change the settings in my refrigerator,” says Bill. 
Flanders wearing his Future CNIB Guide Dog vest and sitting amongst autumn leaves; Puppy Raiser Claire sitting on the floor cuddling Flanders

Raising Flanders

In the search of a volunteer opportunity, Claire Bernier, a retired elementary school teacher, found an adorable adventure.

“My family loves dogs and I have always been interested in guide dogs and how they are trained,” explains Claire.
Julie sitting with her arm around Potter; Julie outside standing on gravel with Potter looking up at her.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Julie & Potter

In March 2021, I met my new buddy dog Potter, a yellow Labrador-golden retriever cross. I was very excited and a little bit nervous too. I’m so happy with Potter around! He has brought so much laughter and joy into my life. Potter is my best friend! "
Roy Klementti smiling, wearing a red golf shirt

Volunteer profile: Roy & Mark Klementti

In the last two years, the CNIB Lake Joe property has undergone a makeover with the additions of a multi-sport court, a 5-a-side soccer pitch, a mini-golf course, and a fully resurfaced shuffleboard court. These accessible features will keep campers busy learning new skills and building friendships with teammates and competitors alike. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of Roy and Mark Klementti – a dynamic father/son volunteer duo.
A little girl wearing a bathing suit and sunglasses is being thrown in the air by her mom on the shore at CNIB Lake Joe.

CNIB Lake Joe 2022 Program Schedule

CNIB Lake Joe is saying hello to 2022 with an incredible line-up of in-person and virtual programs. Make your New Year's resolution to get involved in everything that CNIB Lake Joe has to offer! Guests can look forward to new activities like blind hockey and blind soccer, youth leadership programs, a Braille writers’ retreat, and fall activities for the whole family. We’re also welcoming back CNIB Guide Dog AdvoCamp and Holiday Weeks, along with your long-time favourites and some special surprises. We can’t wait to see you again.
A teenaged camper wearing face mask preparing to kick a soccer ball on the new soccer pitch at CNIB Lake Joe

Kids will score big at CNIB Lake Joe this summer

Camp Abilities is a goal-based program aimed at developing the athletic skills of children and youth with sight loss. Founded in the USA in 1996, it has served thousands of participants worldwide. CNIB Lake Joe has offered the Camp Abilities program since 2012, providing program participants with one-on-one coaching from experts who guide them through specialized programs.
Taylor Gaudot is smiling for a photo wearing her hair in braids and a green top.

I learned so much about my community: staff member Taylor Gaudon

by Martha Uniacke Breen for Cayman Marshall International Luxury & Lifestyle

“As I grew older, I needed a job, but I wasn’t comfortable in the typical teen jobs like fast food or retail. So my mum applied to CNIB for ideas. They suggested becoming a program facilitator, which is a kind of counsellor, at CNIB Lake Joe."
Louise kneeling on a sunny field, with her arms around Jess, who is sitting and smiling up at Louise.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Louise & Jess

"When I first met Jess in June 2020, there was no other option but to feel absolute joy! She was so enthusiastic and extremely sweet. Jess is a small, black Labrador retriever and such a wiggly dog. Her little tail wags so hard that the back end of her wiggles with it. She is also incredibly affectionate. Every morning, Jess greets me with delight that another day is starting. She never fails to have me smiling within two minutes of getting out of bed. She just radiates joy!"
A collage of two photographs. Left: Denise crouching next to Harlow with her arm around him. Right: Denise doing training with Harlow, who is sitting and wearing his Future Guide Dog vest, on the waterfront in Halifax.

Raising Harlow

Becoming a puppy raiser was not only a rewarding opportunity for Denise Kroll, but also inspired her to become a veterinary assistant.

“I love dogs and have always wanted to work with animals,” she explains.

So, when Denise saw an Instagram post looking for CNIB volunteer puppy raisers in Halifax, she enthusiastically applied.
A CNIB canvasser in a branded yellow vest speaking with a donor and her two small children at her front door

Door-to-Door Canvassing - We want your feedback

We take all feedback very seriously. All complaints are fully investigated, and we ensure all positive feedback makes its way back to the fundraiser!
A CNIB Fundraiser in a yellow vest and face mask waving at a donor as she closes her front door

Fundraising Safely - Protect Yourself

Whether you’re in Moncton, Vancouver or Toronto, you might get a knock on the door from one of our friendly CNIB canvassers or see them on the sidewalks of your downtown. We’re active year-round, with campaigns in places like Victoria, BC; Regina, SK; Calgary, AB; Winnipeg, MB; Montreal, QC; Halifax, NS; and across Ontario – just to name a few!
CNIB Fundraiser in a yellow vest with an ID badge and tablet

CNIB Door-to-Door Fundraising

Face-to-face fundraising is when representatives from a charity hit the streets, go door-to-door or canvass in shopping malls to raise awareness about their cause and ask members of the public to support their organization with a monthly donation. CNIB Foundation canvassers solicit monthly donations for our general programming, as well as for CNIB Guide Dogs, our guide dog program. Monthly donations are one of the easiest and most sustainable ways to support our work, long-term.
A collage of three photographs. Left: Queenie, a golden retriever. Center: Mason wearing a blue parka standing out in the snow, holding Queenie’s leash with his left hand, and his white cane in his right hand. Right. Mason sitting on the sofa cuddling Queenie, a golden retriever.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Mason & Queenie

“Mason never thought he would have a dog of his own, so when he was matched with the cuddly and playful Queenie, he was very excited. We heard about the buddy dog program directly through CNIB when the program first started. CNIB matched Mason with Queenie, a four-year-old golden-retriever. Queenie has helped teach responsibility to Mason and has built up his confidence when navigating outdoors."
Avesta poses for a professional headshot. She is wearing a black blazer and a white dress shirt.

Meet Avesta Alani – recipient of the 2021 CNIB National Youth Council Leadership Award!

Avesta Alani is passionate about advocating for people with disabilities and creating diversity within the legal field. Diagnosed with Cone Rod Dystrophy as a child, Avesta graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2017 with an Honours in International Development and Globalization and a Minor in Philosophy. In 2020, she received her J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School and is now a practicing lawyer.
CNIB Lake Joe logo under a bough of evergreens with candy canes and ornaments.

Happy Holidays from the CNIB Lake Joe team!

The entire CNIB Lake Joe team wishes you health, hope and happiness this holiday season! Here’s how our team will be celebrating the best of the season.
Jade Stolar standing outside holding a white cane.

Say Cheese!

Like many of us, CNIB Lake Joe guest Jade Stolar loves chocolate and cheese. A self-described chocoholic, she was motivated by her sister Tara, a chef studying to become a chocolatier, to complete a “chocolate theory” course at George Brown College in Toronto.
A red Christmas. stocking sits on a white mantle.

Stuff those stockings

Longing for the days of being at camp and relaxing on the shores of Lake Joseph? What better way to bring back those warm memories than a camp t-shirt or sweatshirt! Perhaps you’re excited for your first time at CNIB Lake Joe and want to get a head start? Or, maybe you’d like to share the magic of Lake Joe with loved ones as a holiday gift! Whatever your reasons, we hope you’ll enjoy our 20% off holiday sale in the CNIB Lake Joe Online Camp Store. From toques, hoodies and travel mugs, all the way to lapel pins, t-shirts and towels, we would love to share the holiday season with you!
A picture of Ary wearing a turquoise Adidas jacket and black pants, sitting on the floor giving Don, a CNIB Guide Dog, a belly rub while smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Ary & Don

“If people in our society lived life as selflessly as these guide dogs do, our world would be a much better place. Don has enhanced my life in so many ways." – Ari
Marilyn sits on a chair and types on an iPad. The iPad is sitting on top of a coffee table to the right of the chair.

Retired school teacher plans to Phone it Forward by teaching others how to navigate their smart device

When Marilyn Rushton retired from a 15-year teaching career, she decided to commit to learning a variety of new activities, including how to use an iPad.

“I had played around with an iPad before… but it seemed way too complicated and intimidating to me, and I eventually gave up,” says Marilyn.
John (left) and Mary (right) stand side by side. John is holding his iPad.

Bonding through technology with Phone it Forward

Mary Lene Carbungo’s son, John, had been asking her to buy him an iPad for some time, so she registered him to receive a donated device when she heard about CNIB’s Phone it Forward program. 

“I decided to keep the iPad a surprise until he opened the box from CNIB,” says Mary. “John was so shocked! He thought that he ordered it online by accident. Once I explained it was from CNIB, he was even more excited and grateful to have received it.”
Flinn, a Labrador-retriever cross running through a field with his ears flapping in the wind.

Raising Flinn

“I wish him well and think of him often. He was the first puppy I raised for CNIB Guide Dogs, and we learned a lot from each other." – Suzanne
A golden retriever sits in the back seat of a car. In the front, a person takes a selfie while wearing a face covering that has a paw print logo on it.

Get moving with CNIB and Paws en Route

As you look forward to getting out and about in the near future, we want to remind everyone about an exciting partnership between CNIB and Paws en Route.

Paws en Route is a pet transportation company that provides safe and reliable travel for pets and guide dogs. Whether you’re headed out to run an errand or planning a visit to the vet with your furry friend – Paws en Route is always available!
Kaiden has his eyes closed and is leaning into Flinn and giving him a big hug;  Flinn, a black lab, is sitting looking at the camera.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Kaiden & Flinn

"Flinn is a black lab. He is extremely friendly, quiet, and a great listener. I am legally blind, and I may need a guide dog in the future, so my mom thought it would be a great idea for me to get a buddy dog." – Kaiden, age 11
A stock photo of a man with an insulin pump connected to his abdomen, holding the insulin pump in his hands.

100 years after life-saving discovery, insulin pumps putting Canadians living with diabetes and sight loss at risk

World Diabetes Day (November 14) marks the 100th anniversary of Banting and Best: Discovery of Insulin. So, how is it that Canadians living with diabetes and sight loss are risking their health and safety when they use their inaccessible insulin pumps?
A computer screen displays an abstract algorithm concept/code. Lines of code (text) are visible under a magnifying lens.

Short-Sighted Hiring: An Open Letter to Employers Using Visual Interactive Assessments

By: Will Honcharuk, CNIB National Youth Council Member

In today’s world, algorithms factor into many decisions like our creditworthiness, dating choices, and whether we are qualified for a job. Employers increasingly use online assessments during the hiring process with the belief that they’re both more convenient and less biased than using human personnel, but for organizations that consider themselves to be “visionaries,” the use of algorithms can be blinding.
Kathleen, wearing a parka while walking down a snowy trail in the forest with her CNIB Guide Dog, Lily

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Kathleen & Lily

"To this day, she lets me know I’m her person! Lily’s nickname is Silly Lily. She is the most playful, hilarious dog I’ve known. She loves all of her toys but her favourite thing to play with is a blanket, or a towel," – Kathleen.
Binta is sitting on an outdoor wooden bench. She is smiling and wearing glasses.

Look At Me Now: Binta

Binta has been partially sighted for five years. Her glaucoma led to several surgeries, and she lost her job when she lost her sight. CNIB’s Come to Work program was a great motivator because it helped her entertain different job possibilities and realize that there might still be opportunities for her in the labour market. For her, the important thing was to feel that she was contributing to society. It may not have been smooth sailing all the way, but she is now a senior advisor at the National Bank of Canada.
She is sharing her story to give hope to other people with sight loss who are looking for work and to raise awareness among employers.
A Zoom call with eight participants is displayed on a laptop screen.

Are you a Self-Advocate?

People living with sight loss often experience barriers that prevent them from participating fully in society. One way to combat prejudice and challenge stigma is to self-advocate. Self-Advocacy is all about you and how you represent yourself and your interests.
Two e-scooters sit side-by-side on a sidewalk outside a business in Edmonton.]

E-Scooters making their way across Alberta

E-scooters are popping up in more and more cities across the country, and it’s not just the larger cities. In Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton residents have seen the scooters in their cities since 2019, and this year, scooters have made their way into Red Deer, Okotoks, and Cochrane. CNIB has also been actively advocating on e-scooter pilots across Ontario that have started or are being considered in Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor and Hamilton.
A yellow/black Accessible Pedestrian Signal pushbutton mounted to a pole.

Accessible Pedestrian Signals in Moncton

The City of Moncton recently reached out to CNIB for input on Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) for traffic signals at intersections and crosswalks. These systems include audible pedestrian push buttons to alert pedestrians with sight loss when it is time to cross. The new systems also include sensor plates to allow for triggering the pedestrian phase with no touch required.
A photograph of Bernard Akuoko (left) & Neisha Mitchell (right)

CNIB’s Diversity and Inclusion Homepage

Bernard Akuoko and I have been members of the sight loss community for most of our lives. As new employees of the CNIB Advocacy Team, we are excited to implement ideas on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within CNIB and to share some of these new initiatives. 

An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush style design with yellow accents.]

AODA Consultations in Education and Health Care

It’s been a busy summer for disability advocates in Ontario, with the provincial government releasing public consultations for three new accessibility standards that are being developed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The three standards out for consultation are Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education, Postsecondary Education and Healthcare.
Kim Hart CNIB, Trisha Rose, City of St John’s Elections Coordinator and Debbie Ryan, CNIB, holding the first braille ballot being used in the municipal 2021 election.

Reflections of changing what it means to be blind

As an advocate within CNIB, I have learned that education and determination can facilitate change. Having said that, I also acknowledge that advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires a willingness to never let go of hope and faith in humanity. I hope that your voice, in a sea of voices, is being heard and understood.
A hand dropping a ballot into a box; the Canadian flag in the background.

CNIB’s Federal Election Campaign

Canadians with sight loss want to work! During the 2021 Federal Election, CNIB launched an advocacy campaign seeking commitments from all candidates and parties to prioritize employment opportunities for Canadians with disabilities as part of the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Janna Faris leaning against a wooden fence in a forest while holding the leash of her guide dog.

Look At Me Now: Janna Faris

Janna Faris wants to break down barriers and shatter glass ceilings. As a Canadian with sight loss, searching for a job was one of the most stressful experiences of her life. Through CNIB’s Come to Work program, she was able to secure a position with the Government of BC. Today, she aims to educate everyone about accessibility and inclusion. Blind since birth, Janna’s ultimate goal is to help others with disabilities find employment.
A headshot of Stefanie Volpe next to a wall filled with colourful graffiti. A white logo in the top-left corner reads: Look at Me Now.

Look At Me Now: Stefanie Volpe

Stefanie Volpe loves her job! As a Mentor Coordinator with The Family Education & Support Centre, she supports youth volunteers who act as mentors for the organization’s after-school program. Stefanie loves working with the youth. She enjoys seeing them progress and grow in their roles and works hard to help them move forward with their own goals.
Christopher Adams sitting on a bench with a very young Percy sitting beside him wearing his bright yellow Future CNIB Guide Dogs vest.

Raising Percy

Christopher Adams applied to become a CNIB Puppy Raiser shortly after the passing of his family dog. The sudden loss made his family appreciate how fragile and precious life can be, and how important it is to be grateful for the presence of loved ones each day. So, the family applied to CNIB Guide Dogs and received Percy, a Labrador-retriever in August 2019.
CNIB Lake Joe staff member wearing CNIB Lake Joe 60th anniversary hoodie

CNIB Lake Joe 60th Anniversary limited edition apparel, gifts and more

It’s that time of year for cozy, comfortable clothes that look AND feel good. CNIB Lake Joe’s online store has just what you want and need! Shop online from the comfort of your own home and have everything delivered straight to your door. Order now and secure limited edition CNIB Lake Joe 60th anniversary items before they are sold out! Cozy hoodies (going fast), handy cooler/tote bags, thirsty beach/bath towels, and adult & youth t-shirts. As the temperatures dip, we also have ¼ zip sweatshirts and winter touques, and an assortment of travel mugs to keep you toasty!
Five children posing on the giant yellow CNIB Lake Joe logo in the middle of the new soccer field. They are all wearing grey CNIB Lake Joe tshirts.

Build it, and they will come: new accessible soccer pitch and mini-golf course

CNIB Lake Joe is thrilled to unveil the first permanent, purpose-built blind soccer field. Through the generosity of its members, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) donated a fully accessible soccer pitch, mini-golf course and amenities to CNIB Lake Joe. Marking the STC’s very first international Community Service Project, CNIB Lake Joe hosted the dedication ceremony on Friday, September 24, 2021.
CNIB Muskoka Dock-to-Dock event volunteers posing at the CNIB Lake Joe boathouse, holding event flags.

Thank you for celebrating CNIB Lake Joe’s 60th Anniversary Weekend with us!

Surrounded by friends and family on the beautiful shores of Lake Joseph in Muskoka, it was the perfect way to celebrate CNIB Lake Joe’s 60th Anniversary Weekend – in style! Thanks to your amazing participation and support, CNIB Lake Joe’s 60th Anniversary weekend raised a grand total of $370,000 for CNIB Lake Joe's capital redevelopment campaign!
Fran Moreau in her helmet and climbing harness scaling the climbing tower while CNIB Lake Joe staff assist.

Climbing to New Heights: “I couldn’t resist the challenge.”

Fran Moreau reminisces about her experience trying the new Climbing Tower for the first time at CNIB Lake Joe.

“The first morning of my Holiday Week, I went out searching for all the new additions at CNIB Lake Joe, and I came across a few staff standing around a huge board. Curiosity got the better of me, so I ventured over and asked what it was all about, and they told me it was a Climbing Tower! I couldn’t resist the challenge to give it a try, even though I was a little unsure if I could do it at the age of 85. After taking their offer to help me try it safely, voila! There I was in this harness, ready to climb."
A woman wearing a bathing suit and a yellow lab dog wearing a collar sit in the lake at CNIB Lake Joe.

Getting Ready for a Guide Dog: new Orientation & Mobility Immersion program launched at CNIB Lake Joe

Border closures and travel restrictions are leaving many Canadians without the guide dog partners they need to safely navigate their world. CNIB Guide Dogs is urgently expanding its program to fund 150 new guide dogs, but it takes two years to fully train these future guide dogs. While people are waiting to be matched with their next guide dog, specialists from CNIB Guide Dogs and Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) launched a new program at CNIB Lake Joe focused on improving orientation and mobility skills for existing and new guide dog handlers.
A man and a woman are playing recorders. The man has a funny look on his face, and the woman is smiling

CNIBLakeJoe@Home Camp-in-a-Box: Adult Edition!

CNIBLakeJoe@Home is excited to expand its virtual programs with a brand-new Band-in-a-Box music program specifically for adults. Thanks to a generous donation, music-minded participants have received a box filled with various crafts and musical instruments shipped right to their door. They meet weekly in October and November to learn new skills, uncover hidden talents, connect with friends, and build a passion for music!
Connor is looking at the camera and has his arms around June, giving her a big hug; June, a black lab, is sitting looking at the camera.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs – Connor & June

"June is a black Lab who was on her way to becoming a guide dog but that wasn't the best career option for her because she has a misaligned leg. I also have a leg that turns in, so we knew that it was meant to be!" – Connor
Ann Harnish, standing outside in front of beautiful pink flowers, smiling for the camera. A white logo in the top-left corner reads: Look at Me Now.

Look At Me Now: Ann Harnish

Ann Harnish loves working in the mental health field. If asked, she would tell you it’s what she was born to do. When she began losing her sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa, she became depressed and found herself in a very dark place – concerned that she would lose her job if she told her employer about her deteriorating sight. With help from CNIB’s Come to Work program, Ann gained the confidence and tools to continue doing a job she loves – and she’s thriving.
Karen sitting on her steps getting a kiss on the face from Healey, her CNIB Guide Dog.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Karen & Healey

I have always been a big fan of Canadian singer/songwriter Jeff Healey, so when I found out that the CNIB Guide Dog I had been matched with was named in his honour, I was thrilled to say the least!" – Karen
: The backs of three youth walking to school. They are wearing backpacks and are outdoors.

Back to School with CNIB’s National Youth Council

Heading back to school can be an incredibly stressful time for students living with sight loss and their families. It’s time to meet new teachers, explain your vision loss and the necessary accommodations you require, arrange for technology/assistance, and get settled into a new environment.

The traditional school system is not one that was built for people with disabilities, specifically those living with sight loss. We have constantly had to change and adapt to fit in with everyone else. From accommodation letters to private testing spaces to segregated learning, we’ve had it all. 
Ollie and Hope laying in a colourful hammock, cuddled up together and smiling

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Ollie & Hope

"I want my own guide dog when I’m old enough, so my family and I agreed that getting a buddy dog now would teach me what I need to know before I’m old enough to get a guide dog. In March 2021, I was matched with Hope, a two-year-old black Labrador retriever."
A woman using a braille keyboard while working at her computer.

Post-pandemic economic recovery must include Canadians with sight loss

CNIB is calling on all political parties, and all candidates, in the upcoming election to commit to securing the development of critical employment programs for Canadians with disabilities as the economy re-opens.
Yellow Labrador retriever sitting on the floor between Patti Sullivan and her husband Patrick.

Raising Daisy

Meeting Daisy in January 2018 was like a dream come true for Patti Sullivan, a volunteer puppy raiser in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Raising a puppy as a guide dog had always been something she dreamed about doing after she retired from teaching.
Amanda, kneeling outside wearing red tinted sunglasses, posing for the camera next to Ivan, her CNIB Guide Dog. To the right of the photo in white space, text reads: Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs – Amanda & Ivan

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Amanda & Ivan

"I’m an animal lover, so I was extremely excited to meet Ivan for the first time. It felt like I had waited so long to be matched, but he was definitely worth the wait – he’s my perfect match." – Amanda
A yellow Labrador retriever laying on a veterinarian’s table; a RVT is administering an IV drawing blood from the dog while another person is petting the dog to keep them calm

Pup-dates: Future guide dogs donate blood for Canadian Animal Blood Bank

Earlier this year, the Canadian Animal Blood Bank (CABB) put out a plea that they were in desperate need of blood. As soon-to-be heroes, donating blood to help other dogs in need seemed like a fitting task for our future CNIB guide dogs.
An image of Black Labrador Retriever Alex, CNIB Guide Dog. In the photo, Alex is wearing a yellow CNIB Guide Dog vest, and looks straight at the camera with a big smile on his face. Beside him are the words “Your gift will have 2X the impact!” against a yellow background

Dollars for Dogs: Double your impact!

Donate to CNIB Guide Dogs by September 30th and your gift will be matched up to $50,000!
Maja walking down a sidewalk toward the camera, holding Lily’s leash who is walking alongside her; Lily is a black Labrador-golden retriever puppy wearing a bright yellow Future Guide Dog vest

Raising Lily

When a 12-pound black Labrador-golden retriever arrived at Maja Packer’s Halifax home late one evening in January 2019, she was told, "she's the feisty one". It wasn't long before Maja understood exactly what that meant.
A woman and her guide dog going up a mall escalator; the guide dog is a golden retriever.

Access Tales: Guide dogs belong everywhere. It’s the law.

Legislation varies from province to province, however; in all provinces it is against the law to deny someone access to a public place or service, because they are accompanied by a guide dog.

September is Guide Dog Access Awareness Month and in recognition, CNIB is working on a range of advocacy initiatives.
Two future guide dogs sitting on a back deck, wearing bright yellow future guide dog vests and focused on their puppy raiser (out of frame); one dog is a one-year-old yellow Labrador retriever and the other is a two-month-old golden retriever.

Inside Scoop: What it takes to train a guide dog

Future guide dogs start learning the basics of obedience from an early age and then practice these skills in different areas with increasing levels of distractions. The primary goal of the puppy raisers is to instill confidence in the pups, so they are ready to learn in any environment or situation.
A yellow Labrador-retriever laying under his volunteer puppy raiser’s bus seat

Puppy Pointers: Traveling with puppies

For future guide dogs, travelling is a key part of the daily journey. Whether by car, bus, train, subway, plane or even ferries, they must be prepared for any means of transportation.
Surya sitting cross-legged on the floor smiling, with Isaiah sitting next to him in the sun.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Surya & Isaiah

“Before I met Isaiah in June 2020, I was scared of dogs, but I am not anymore! Isaiah is a 2.5-year-old black Labrador, who is very calm, relaxed and cuddly." -Surya, age 12
Stela sitting on a leather ottoman in front of a fireplace with her German Shepherd guide dog in front of her.

Stela Trudeau is on a mission to raise awareness of the importance of making everyday life accessible for everyone

An advocate, student, teacher, and music specialist, Stela Trudeau started volunteering with CNIB summer camps when her eye condition was formally diagnosed in 2015.

“I wanted to volunteer with CNIB because I wanted to learn more about vision loss and absorb some of the life skills that I was going to need, in an informal way," says Stela. "I learned a lot from that experience.”
Denise, sitting in the grass wearing a bright yellow skirt, bumping noses with Tara, her CNIB Guide Dog.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Denise & Tara

"I've heard lots of people tell me how special the relationship between guide dogs and their handlers is, but there’s no way to describe how truly life-changing a guide dog can be.” – Denise
Alicia Chenier smiles and poses for a photo outdoors. Lush green trees and a blue sky in the background. She holds her white cane in her right hand.

Disability Representation in Social Media

Growing up with vision loss, technology has had a huge impact on my life – specifically with social media. 

Social media allows me to connect with others who share their lives and experiences online. Whether it’s a cooking video, makeup tutorial, or just a day in the life of someone, social media is an accessible way for me to learn, research and feel a sense of belonging. 

Growing up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, I quickly realized that I didn’t see anyone online who had similar lived experiences to mine. 
Pepper, a black Labrador-golden retriever cross with brindle markings, as a puppy laying on grass while wearing a bright yellow Future Guide Dog vest

Raising Pepper

It was June 2019 when Jeannie met Pepper. As a puppy, Pepper was always easy to spot during playdates with other future CNIB Guide Dogs. The black Labrador-golden retriever cross has distinctive brindle markings.
Two 'Braille Challenge’ playing cards. A photo of Janna with her category and hometown. A photo of Keaton with his category and hometown.

Meet Two of Canada’s Braille Challengers – Janna & Keaton

The Braille Challenge is the only academic competition of its kind in North America for students who are blind or partially sighted. Contestants compete in regional preliminary Braille Challenge events from January through March. They are divided into five categories and tested on fundamental braille skills. The top 50 students (10 in each category) with the highest scores are invited to compete in the finals.

In 2021, four Canadian students made it to the finals! We caught up with two Freshman finalists from Ontario – Janna and Keaton – to see what they had to say about their experience participating in the Braille Challenge!
A cinematographer holds a large camera and films.

Lights, camera, action: CNIB Lake Joe 60th Anniversary documentary

“Ripples: CNIB Lake Joe” reflects on the past and present by documenting warm memories of campers and guests, transformational experiences offered by the camp, and investments being made today to secure a bright future for generations to come. 
A family of four give the 'thumbs up' while cruising on their boat.

CNIB Muskoka: Dock-to-Dock Poker Run

Register your boat, spread the word to your family and friends, and join us for CNIB Muskoka Dock-to-Dock: Poker Run on August 14, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to raise essential funds for CNIB Lake Joe.
A young girl poses for a photo leaning on top of her camp-in-a-box, a cardboard box.

CNIBLakeJoe@Home virtual programs are here to stay

In May, CNIBLakeJoe@Home virtual programs celebrated its first anniversary. The two programs we piloted – Coffee Break and Family Trivia – have grown significantly and today we have over 26 exciting virtual program offerings that have entertained and connected 220 guests of all ages. For the first time ever, CNIB Lake Joe guests participated in programming all year long, connecting with friends and fellow campers weekly throughout the year.
 Eitel Houedakor smiling and standing in front of a bulletin board. He is wearing sunglasses and a hoodie.

The Noble Art of Wordplay

By Eitel Houedakor 
CNIB National Youth Council Member

There is a famous proverb that says: “The eye is the mirror of the soul,” and I always wondered, as a blind individual, what this adage meant to me? You may have experienced situations where people were expressing many things through eye contact and wondered how this could be accessible to you as well? In this way, some would find answers in music or tactile arts like sculpturing. Yet, for me, the answer is what I call The Noble Art of Wordplay or poetic writing. 
The Brick logo. Red text on a white background. Text: Brick.]

Come to Work Partner Profile: The Brick

Since becoming a partner in 2019, The Brick continues to be an important collaborator with CNIB's Come to Work program. The furniture retailer has employed four people from the talent pool, participated in CNIB’s Connecting the Dots conference, and hosted a youth job fair.

“I have yet to meet one person – be it talent pool members, participants, or CNIB staff – that I haven’t liked. Everyone involved in the Come to Work program is truly a joy to work with,” says Chantelle Painter, Human Resources Manager, Recruitment and Engagement at The Brick.
A man sitting on a paddle board in a lake, with a black Labrador retriever sitting, facing him and wearing a bright yellow life vest.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Dean & Myra

"Myra has helped me look ahead, instead of down at my feet. She has helped me get out for walks and encouraged me to explore. She gives me peace of mind and, above all, helps keep me safe." – Dean
A painting by Perry Perrault of two owls, one black one white, flying high in the centre of a full moon in a blue night sky. Forest trees surround the moon.

When I'm dreaming, I'm not blind

Created by the First Nations support group at CNIB in Thunder Bay, “When I’m dreaming, I’m not blind” takes listeners on a powerful journey of what it’s like to navigate sight loss as an Indigenous person in Northern Ontario.

The First Nations storytellers share their deeply personal stories and experiences with blindness while exploring obstacles, bullying, connection to land, helpers, Elders and language, mending and hope.
A photograph from the late ‘80s. Dimitrios plays the accordion. A young Angela sits on the left. Her sister sits on the right. 

Celebrating Parenthood with Dimitrios Prountzopoulos & Angela Bonfanti

As part of a new CNIB blog series, we’re talking to parents (and their children!) about their experiences parenting with sight loss and/or growing up with a parent who is blind or partially sighted and/or parenting a child living with sight loss. In our latest blog, we sit down with CNIB's Senior Vice President, Angela Bonfanti and her father, Dimitrios Prountzopoulos, to discuss their family's experience with sight loss.
Jack McCormick and his guide dog, Baloo, a black Labrador retriever, sitting on large rocks in front of the ocean and smiling for the camera

Pup-dates: Cross-border partnership benefits Canadians who need guide dogs

When the COVID-19 pandemic created a crisis for guide dog handlers in Canada who typically receive their dogs from schools in the United States, CNIB Guide Dogs had to think outside of the box – or outside of the dog crate – to find a creative solution. With travel restrictions and border closures in place, applications for CNIB Guide Dogs skyrocketed – an increase of more than 375%.
The text, “We crossed the finish line!” alongside a picture of a CNIB Guide Dogs puppy wearing a yellow vest. In the bottom left corner, there is the CNIB Guide Dogs logo

Dollars for Dogs: 2021 Pup Crawl

This year’s second annual CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl was a tremendous success! Since it launched on International Guide Dog Day, April 28, more than 230 Canadians laced up their sneakers and got active to complete the virtual five-kilometre fundraiser.
Cheryl kneeling next to Irwin, a black Labrador retriever wearing a yellow Future Guide Dog vest, in a forest in Canmore Alberta surrounded by trees and greenery.

Raising Irwin

Irwin, a black Labrador retriever, is the first puppy Cheryl Dubuc has raised for CNIB Guide Dogs, but certainly not her last.
Gabriel sitting on the floor hugging his golden retriever

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Gabriel & Maggie

"Maggie knows when I need comforting, companionship, and love. As a 59-pound golden retriever, Maggie is the biggest and sweetest lap dog you will ever meet!"
A young man walking along a sidewalk with his guide dog, a black Labrador-retriever cross with brindle paws

Access Tales: What dog owners need to know about guide dog teams

A guide dog team consists of a partnership between a person (handler) who is blind or partially sighted and their highly intelligent, professionally trained guide dog. They work together in the true sense of the word “team”, as they rely on each other and move together as one.
Close-up of a tick twister tool being used to remove a partially engorged tick from a dog’s skin

Inside Scoop: Protecting you and your animals from ticks

In Canada, the incidence of tick-borne diseases from tick bites is increasing due to the expanding presence and range of tick species across the country. Each disease is typically associated with a particular tick species, so tick identification and reporting are important.
A black Labrador retriever puppy wearing a bright yellow Future Guide Dog vest sitting in front of a glass railing overlooking a rock-climbing facility, with his puppy raiser kneeling beside him and petting his head

Puppy Pointers: Puppies and fear periods

All puppies experience two periods of fear throughout their lives with varying degrees of intensity. This is when puppies are more hyper aware of their surroundings and deem things in the environment to be safe or unsafe.
Dani sitting and hugging her buddy dog George, a golden retriever wearing a bright yellow CNIB Buddy Dog vest, both smiling for the camera

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Dani & George

“When I first met my buddy dog George, there was an instant connection. It felt like I had been waiting for him for so long, and I was so happy when I finally got him in October 2019. I didn’t expect how immediate the bond would be.” -Dani, age: 12
A photo of Christine on her wedding day, kneeling next to Edie in her wedding dress holding a beautiful bouquet of pink and blue flowers.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Christine & Edie

"Having Edie as a part of my life during three unprecedented moments – pandemic, wedding and pregnancy/first child – has been amazing and sorrowful. She's seen me laugh, cry, happy, sad, and stressed." – Christine
An illustration/silhouette of a bald head. A puzzle-piece is missing from inside the head. To the right of the head, a stranger’s hand extends from the frame holding the missing puzzle piece.

COVID-19, Mental Health and Disability. You are not alone.

By Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member

In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness, and those with disabilities are three times more likely to experience mental health issues. And now, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic.

In a time of isolation and uncertainty, everyone’s mental health has been impacted in one way or another. Whether it be sadness or loneliness from not seeing family members, anxiety when going out into public, or feeling overwhelmed, COVID-19 has affected all of us.
A close up of a person’s hand using a stylus pen to make a selection on the touch screen surface of a payment terminal.

Coming soon to a check-out near you: accessible payment terminals

On May 31, John Rafferty, President & CEO of CNIB, will be speaking at The Payments Canada Summit, where Canada's payments community meets to exchange ideas on the future-state of the payments industry.
A woman sits at a CCTV and reads an enlarged document displayed on the screen.

Canada needs a modern assistive devices program for everyone

"As an individual living with sight loss in Northern Ontario, it is frustrating that people like me often wait one to two years before being assessed for a high-tech visual aid which helps us access the world around us." – Danica
Emma (left) and Michelle (right) smile and pose for a photo in front of a beautiful green tree.

Celebrating Parenthood with Michelle Van Dyk

As part of a new CNIB blog series, we’re talking to parents (and their children!) about their experiences parenting with sight loss and/or growing up with a parent who is blind or partially sighted and/or parenting a child living with sight loss. 

We asked Michelle Van Dyk if we could share a recent Facebook post she penned about motherhood and the things she wishes she knew when her daughter, Emma, started losing her vision.
The backs of Ashley’s three children as they walk down a secluded road in a lush, green area. The children are holding hands.

Celebrating Parenthood with Ashley Nemeth & Rhonda Underhill-Gray

As part of a new CNIB blog series, we’re talking to parents (and their children!) about their experiences parenting with sight loss and/or growing up with a parent who is blind or partially sighted and/or parenting a child living with sight loss. In our first installment, Ashley Nemeth and Rhonda Underhill-Gray dive into the complexities of motherhood and what it’s like to witness their children grow into teenagers and young adults.
Rhea and her CNIB Buddy Dog Ivy, a two-year-old golden retriever, walking along a trail in the woods. Rhea is holding a stick and they are both looking back at the camera, smiling.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Rhea & Ivy

“I was so excited when I first met my buddy dog, Ivy, because I knew we were going to become best friends. Ivy is a nice, gentle and calm two-year-old golden retriever – with an energetic and playful side too. She's the first dog I’ve ever had.” -Rhea, age: 10
An empty movie theatre. Rows of chairs are stacked in front of dark movie screen.

Demanding More From Entertainment

By: Will Honcharuk
CNIB National Youth Council Member

Growing up visually impaired, I found no one like me in any of the television shows and movies I watched. Some characters had disabilities, but they were often portrayed with a patronizing tone, exploited for a convenient “learning moment” for an able-bodied protagonist, or had superhuman abilities to offset their supposed deficiencies that made other characters feel awkward. These unrealistic and contrived depictions of the disabled made me feel anything but “normal.”
Ryan and his daughter Abigail, sitting on the floor playing with Joe, a CNIB Guide Dog.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Ryan & Joe

"At the start, I thought getting a guide dog would be like having a robot that just listened to whatever I say. It’s not like that at all – Joe is a living, breathing creature." – Ryan
Four future CNIB Guide Dogs being raised in Australia from left to right: Rex, Harley, Bridget and Oscar, sitting next to their volunteer puppy carers.

Pup-dates: Volunteers "down under" raising future CNIB Guide Dogs

When travel restrictions made it impossible to transport puppies from our breeder in Australia, the international community of guide dog organizations stepped up to help – as good friends do in times of need.

Our friends at Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs arranged to have their volunteer puppy carers raise our pups until they can be safely and comfortably transported to Canada.
Graphique promotionnel mettant en vedette Carla, un chien-guide Golden Retriever et la directrice de la Course à pattes d'INCA. Le logo des chiens-guides d'INCA figure au-dessus d'un texte qui se lit : « Course à pattes, 28 avril - 28 mai 2021 »

Join us for the second annual CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl!

In honour of International Guide Dog Day, we're thrilled to kick off the CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl – a virtual five-kilometre movement event about getting active in a safe way.
A woman smiling while walking with her golden retriever guide dog along a sidewalk in front of a CNIB Community Hub.

Dollars for Dogs: CNIB Guide Dogs calls for support through Urgent Expansion Campaign

Travel restrictions, including border closures, caused by COVID-19 are leaving many Canadians without the partners they need to safely navigate their world. Canadians who would otherwise travel to the U.S. to access a guide dog are now turning to CNIB Guide Dogs.
Yuko Imai sitting on the floor taking a selfie with Rhonda, a yellow Labrador-Golden Retriever cross.

Raising Rhonda

Rhonda, a yellow Labrador-Golden Retriever, was full of energy, curiosity and love from the very beginning. At 10-weeks-old, she met Yuko Imai, her volunteer puppy raiser.
A woman sitting in the front passenger seat of a taxi with her golden retriever guide dog sitting on the floor at her feet with the car door open.

Access Tales: Guide dog info sessions now available for taxi companies

At a recent education session about transporting guide dogs in vehicles, taxi and rideshare drivers were given an opportunity to speak with guide dog handlers. The most common questions were: ‘Will the guide dog climb onto the front seat?’ ‘How do I help a guide dog handler bring their dog into the taxi?’ ‘What if the dog is barking?’
A group of four volunteer puppy raisers standing six feet apart from one another on a fenced-in, grassy field; each of their respective puppies are sitting on their left sides wearing their bright yellow Future Guide Dog vests.

Puppy Pointers: Benefits of group training

When you begin raising a puppy, it’s always a good idea to incorporate group training into your routine. Group training helps reinforce the dog’s good manners in environments where distractions are more prevalent, while also having the benefit of in-person coaching.
Mark Kelly kneeling next to Rookie, a Future CNIB Guide Dog wearing an Ottawa Senators jersey, with his arm around Rookie while they both smile for the camera. They are on a red carpet laid over the ice of the Canadian Tire Centre, home to the Ottawa Senators.

Raising Rookie

When Mark Kelly began to raise a Future CNIB Guide Dog, he didn't realize how life changing it would be – not just for him, but for a Canadian with sight loss.

In December 2018, the senior graphic designer for the Ottawa Senators received Rookie, a black Labrador-Retriever, to raise for the next 12-15 months. At just 12 weeks, the pup was being cheered on by thousands of fans and surrounded by hockey greatness.
Photo of Shelley sitting on a wooden porch, smiling while giving Rookie a big hug.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs – Shelley & Rookie

"Having a guide dog in my life gives me freedom and independence that I never had with my cane. I have the confidence to go places I wouldn’t have visited before." – Shelley
Vivian Chong stands outdoors and holds her book, Dancing after TEN. Her black guide dog, Catcher, stands at her feet. Vivian is wearing a plaid dress, sunglasses, and a big smile. 

Dancing after TEN

Vivian Chong says she often receives questions from sighted people who are curious about blindness.

"Sometimes, they don't even ask my name. They go straight into asking me questions like, what's your cane doing and how does the dog work?" says Vivian. "I thought, how do I turn this frustration into something creative? If someone is looking for an answer, I'm going to provide it in an entertaining way."
Photo of Jim Maher sitting in front of a grey background.

The Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to Jim Maher, the 2020 recipient of The Arthur Napier Magill Distinguished Service Award, CNIB's highest public honour!
Deepa and Chelsey, a black Labrador-Retriever, sitting on sand in front of a grassy area; Deepa’s arm is around Chelsey and she is smiling for the camera.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Deepa & Chelsey

“Our daughter Deepa was very excited when she met her CNIB Buddy Dog for the first time. We had been reading Charlotte’s Web leading up to Chelsey’s arrival, and when they met in June 2020, Deepa greeted her with an enthusiastic “Salutations, Chelsey!” The black lab responded with a lick to Deepa’s cheek, making Deepa burst into giggles." -Nikki and Zach Cochrane, parents to Deepa (age 7)
An over-the-shoulder picture of Munashe & Munopahse sitting at their laptop and working on their fundraising project. 

CNIB Young Leaders Program

Led by Alberta's Kara Aramini, the CNIB Young Leaders program welcomes youth from across Canada to develop leadership and advocacy skills in a virtual setting with the goal of building self-esteem, confidence and empowering youth while boosting community engagement in social settings.

As part of the program, participants fundraised for projects they are passionate about. Here's what they had to say:
Chris, wearing a blue shirt with a red maple leaf on the front of it, sitting on the floor next to Cody while smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Chris & Cody

"I felt an immediate connection with Cody. I just wanted to learn more about this sweet boy in front of me." – Chris
Gaétan and Jimmy, two men with brown hari stand out one next to the other

Smartphones: a gateway to independence and friendship

Using a smartphone to stay in touch with friends is nothing new, but can it also help two random strangers forge a meaningful connection? Just ask Gaétan and Jimmy, who credit their friendship to their iPhones and CNIB’s Phone It Forward  program.
In Guatemala, a young Veronika crouches down next to a girl in a wheelchair. They have their arms around one another and pose for the photo.

Meet Veronika Copping – recipient of the 2020 CNIB National Youth Council Leadership Award!

As Founder and CEO of The Juice Box Project, Veronika Copping has helped keep over a quarter of a million beverage containers out of the waste system while also raising funds to purchase wheelchairs for children who otherwise could not afford them. For her outstanding accomplishments, Veronika Copping is the recipient of the 2020 National Youth Council Leadership Award! CNIB National Youth Council member, Emilee Schevers, sat down with Veronika (virtually!) to learn more about her volunteer work. 
Lorraine Rempel kneeling on the snowy ground next to Jennie, a black Labrador-Retriever cross wearing a yellow Future Guide Dog vest. Trees decorated in lights are behind them.

Raising Jennie

When Jennie, a black Labrador-Retriever cross, was being raised by Lorraine Rempel, she went everywhere – movies, plays, the gym and book club. Whether it was going to the store or attending university classes with Lorraine's daughter, Jennie loved getting out and about.
Summer 1963. A blind guest steps off the boat onto the CNIB Lake Joe dock, then known as the CNIB Lake Joseph Adjustment-Training and Holiday Centre.

CNIB Lake Joe Celebrates 60 Years!

For 60 years, CNIB Lake Joe has been providing enriching camp experiences for Canadians with sight loss. At CNIB Lake Joe, children are encouraged to shine, youth are empowered to thrive, and 'kids of all ages' enjoy recreational pursuits.
A rendering of the new synthetic turf soccer pitch, a 40m x 20m field. 2m high black netting on the sides, with the CNIB Lake Joe logo (white sailboat) in a yellow circle at centre field, soccer goal nets at each end and a yellow border around the field's edge.

Bright Futures: Brand New Five-a-Side Soccer Pitch

CNIB Lake Joe is the first Canadian organization selected by the STC (Synthetic Turf Council) for their annual Community Service Project. The STC is donating a synthetic turf soccer pitch to CNIB Lake Joe, providing an incredible awareness opportunity for both organizations.
A man driving a wooden boat on a lake in Muskoka.

60th Anniversary Challenge: Let's Raise $600K in 60 days!

Over the years, CNIB Lake Joe has evolved and expanded, but we've never strayed from our original goal: to provide transformative experiences that bring the magic of camp to life for Canadians living with sight loss. And we cannot do it alone! As we celebrate 60 years, CNIB Lake Joe is grateful for the generous support of incredible donors, people like you, who care deeply about the camp and the impact of our life-changing programs for people living with sight loss.
Photo of the 1986 staff team (35 men and women in blue golf shirts and white shorts) posing outside the staff building for CNIB Lake Joe’s 25th anniversary.

Join the New CNIB Lake Joe Staff & Volunteer Alumni

On CNIB Lake Joe's 60th anniversary, we're celebrating the dedicated staff and volunteers who have worked hard to make a positive difference in the lives of campers and guests over the past six decades! We want to showcase and celebrate your legacy as part of the new, “official” CNIB Lake Joe Alumni. The transformative experiences you provided continue to enrich lives, make memories, and build independence on the shores of Lake Joseph.
A small group of people standing on the dock in shorts and life jackets. They are smiling and, in some cases, piggy-backing others.

CNIB Lake Joe 2021 Camp Program Updates

As we kick off the 2021 season at CNIB Lake Joe, our 60th Anniversary year, we have some exciting updates about the 2021 camp program. We’re offering monthly programs, both online and in-person, to keep our community connected year-round, with special measures in place to keep everyone healthy and safe.
A snapshot of a Zoom Camp-in-a-Box session with camp counsellors and kids making moose hats with construction paper.

We’re Hiring: CNIB Lake Joe 2021 Camp Programs

If you have a passion to enrich lives, make memories and build independence, apply now to join our team and help change what it is to be blind! We are looking for camp enthusiasts to staff our virtual and in-person programs.
In 2015, Barb Ennis poses at a ribbon-cutting ceremony when she, as Lions District Governor for A12, purchased a brand new van to enhance client service. This van is now in service at CNIB Lake Joe!

Lion Barb Ennis: Kindness and Service in Action

Lion Barb Ennis grew up in Toronto close to CNIB's head office, and every day she saw people with white canes and guide dogs travelling to and from CNIB. And every summer, her family went to their cottage in Muskoka where her mom, a relief nurse at CNIB Lake Joe, would take her along.
Lindsay Garrett, Program Manager, is standing on the Lake Joe beach modelling a gray quarter zip sweatshirt.

Shop Now: Special 60th Anniversary Discount on Featured Product

This month’s featured product is our adult quarter zip sweatshirt (pictured, modelled by staff member Lindsay at the Lake Joe shoreline). You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style! This sweatshirt will take you from winter right into spring.
Wayne Laffin, sitting at a table with fellow guests at Legion Night at the Legion in MacTier, raising his glass with a big smile.

Warm Memories: “I can’t believe I did that!”

Wayne Laffin reflects on his first trip to camp and all the wonderful “firsts” he experienced at CNIB Lake Joe. 
Diane, wearing a red jacket standing in a street that’s covered with colourful, autumn leaves, holding onto Carla’s harness while smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Diane & Carla

“Before I had a guide dog, I was lacking confidence. I would get on a bus and try to squeeze myself into a corner because I just knew that people were looking at me, knowing that I am blind and watching me for what I couldn't do. My entire world changed when I got my first guide dog."– Diane
Deloitte logo. White text on a black wallpaper. Deloitte.

Deloitte's commitment to accessibility and inclusion

Since joining the Come to Work program in 2018, Deloitte has joined forces with CNIB to participate in training workshops, internal projects and networking events, recruit and engage talent with sight loss and sponsor CNIB's Connecting the Dots conference.
A disposable medical mask imposed on a yellow background. CNIB Foundation Logo. Text: Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask: CNIB Creative Writing Project

How do you document a year in lockdown? When COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were imposed in Canada, we asked CNIB program participants to share their 'behind the mask' stories.
Marie-Claire and Rhonda, walking through a lush, green forest – the ground covered with colourful autumn leaves.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Marie-Claire & Rhonda

"When we first met, I was overwhelmed with hopeful excitement. Instantly, I could tell that she was incredibly loving, and eager to do a good job." – Marie-Claire
Zach and his CNIB Buddy Dog Elsie sitting in their backyard. Elsie is wearing her yellow CNIB Buddy Dog vest and Zach has his arm around her.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Zach & Elsie

“When I met Elsie for the first time in August 2019, I was both excited and nervous. Before Elsie, I was uncomfortable around dogs, which is why I was so happy when CNIB told my family about CNIB Buddy Dogs." -Zach, age: 14
Logo for LawyersInHouse.com

LawyersInHouse.com mentors Canadians with sight loss

LawyersInHouse.com is not your typical law firm. As a partner with CNIB's Come to Work program, the leadership team is hoping to move the needle on accessibility and inclusion in the legal industry.
Debra Williamson kneeling next to Patsy, a yellow Labrador-Retriever wearing a Future Guide Dog vest, exchanging a glance with the other in front of the Bow River in Calgary

Raising Patsy

Debra Williamson starts every morning by asking Patsy, 'What shall we do today?' Of course, the yellow Labrador-Retriever doesn't answer, but Debra knows Patsy is always ready for the day's adventures.
Photo of Erin & Winston walking along a sidewalk in front of a CNIB Foundation building.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Erin & Winston

"When I first met Winston, I thought I was signing up for a dog who would help me navigate unfamiliar terrain. I had no idea that I was meeting a new best friend who would help guide me through many of the toughest aspects of being blind.” – Erin
Landon and Ruggles, a golden retriever, sitting on a wharf overlooking a lake; Landon’s arm is around Ruggles who is looking at Landon.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Landon & Ruggles

“Our son, Landon, was so happy to meet his CNIB Buddy Dog, Ruggles. They met in October 2019 and Landon could tell right away that Ruggles was kind and loving, and immediately started calling him ‘a good friend’." -Esther & Jason Byers, parents to Landon (age 12)
Photo of Terry sitting outside on a metal bench, smiling for the camera with Bert sitting front of him.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Terry & Bert

"My vision was declining rapidly, and I saw how guide dogs had helped some of my friends. Even with that knowledge, I don’t think I understood just how much a guide dog would enhance my life until I had been working with Bert for a couple of months." – Terry
Jack Clarkson and Lulu outside CNIB’s office in Regina on a snowy day; Lulu, a black Labrador-Golden Retriever cross is sitting and wearing a yellow Future Guide Dog vest, while Jack is leaning down to pet her head.

Raising Lulu

When Jack Clarkson first met Lulu, it was love at first sight.

A recently retired electrical engineer from Regina, Jack was looking for a new volunteer opportunity. Already a dog lover, he learned about CNIB Guide Dogs through a TV ad and knew it would be a good fit for him. He applied to become a volunteer puppy raiser and received 10-week-old Lulu, a black Labrador-Golden Retriever cross, in August 2019.
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 – January Updates

CNIB’s National Youth Council has been working hard all fall and winter to offer some exciting new initiatives for youth.
A CNIB Guide Dogs branded van (left) parked next to a Leader Dogs for the Blind van (right).

Pup-dates: Giving the term ‘rescue dogs’ a whole new meaning

When travel restrictions, including the border closure, resulted in an increase in demand for CNIB Guide Dogs, a very special guide dog school in the United States came to our rescue in a big way.
Ben Mulroney holding a weeks-old puppy, a yellow Labrador-Retriever.

Dollars for Dogs: Puppy lovers of Canada, we need you

Right now, COVID-related border closures and pandemic restrictions mean Canadians can’t get the guide dogs they need. There’s been a 300 per cent increase in demand for CNIB Guide Dogs. It’s a crisis.
Collage of three photos, from left to right: Hero, a black Labrador-Retriever cross, wearing her Future Guide Dog vest and sitting outdoors on the leaves; Hero sitting next to her puppy raiser, Erin, who is kneeling down next to her; Hero walking with her puppy raiser who is wearing a cast on his foot and using a cane.

Raising Hero

Before she can begin advanced training to become a CNIB Guide Dog, Hero, a black Labrador-Retriever cross, is spending her first year with a volunteer puppy raiser – Erin Jackson.
Screenshot of the cover of Nova Scotia's Blind Persons’ Rights Act, which reads as “Blind Persons’ Rights Act, Chapter 40 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, as amended by 2016, c. 4, s. 20”.

Access Tales: Fines imposed under Blind Persons' Rights Act

A municipal transit service was recently fined nearly $1,000 under the Blind Persons' Rights Act for denying services to a man because he was travelling with his guide dog.
A yellow Labrador Retriever guide dog wearing a harness with a winter jacket underneath and boots on his paws; he is standing on snow next to a snowman.

Inside Scoop: Getting your dog acquainted with winter weather conditions

During the winter season, making accommodations for your guide dog to help them feel more physically comfortable can increase their motivation and enable them to perform at their best, even in harsh conditions.
A black Labrador Retriever puppy wearing a Future Guide Dog vest sitting for its puppy raiser and being rewarded with a treat.

Puppy Pointers: Training with positive reinforcement

Dogs love to please. Humans and dogs can create a strong, loving bond and one of the best ways to achieve this is through positive reinforcement.
oto of Lindsay and Charlie walking along a pathway in a park on a sunny day, smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Lindsay & Charles (Charlie)

“The way Charlie looks up at me when we’re out and about makes me feel so special. The level of companionship, love and loyalty that I receive from him is remarkable." – Lindsay
The backs of Austin and his CNIB Buddy Dog Dickson, a golden retriever, sitting on an outdoor backstep looking out; Austin is petting Dickson’s back.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Austin & Dickson

“I felt so excited, nervous, and lucky when I met Dickson for the first time in July 2019. After reading about CNIB Buddy Dogs with my family, I couldn’t wait to meet my new Golden Retriever!" -Austin, age: 10
Photo of Tim and his guide dog Harlow, sitting in a boat with the water in the background.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Tim & Harlow

"I’m extremely lucky. Harlow is a wonderful guide dog. Not only is he adored by my family, but my co-workers too," – Tim.
The climbing tower structure at Lake Joe.

Reach to Achieve! New Climbing Tower

A climbing tower is an excellent tool for building confidence, trust, community, but more importantly, fun! While climbing is often seen as a solitary exercise, there is a large group component to the activity. Everyone plays an active role in helping the climbers succeed!
Ryan Hooey is crouched behind his Golden Labrador guide dog, Joe.

Meet CNIB Lake Joe’s Furry Name Sake

Ryan Hooey received his very first guide dog in mid-November: a handsome yellow lab named “Joe” in honour of CNIB Lake Joe.

“I wanted to let you guys know I already loved Lake Joe, but now it has such a tremendous place in my heart,” Ryan wrote in an email to the Lake Joe team. “I cannot wait to roll up to Lake Joe and introduce him. He will surely love you all.”
A black and white photograph of an old school bus with "CNIB" on the front, driving under the "CNIB" welcome signage at Lake Joe.

CNIB Lake Joe’s 60th Anniversary & Alumni

As part of our 60th Anniversary celebrations, we want to hear from you! Did you meet your best friend at camp? Discover a talent or passion? Launch a new career? Renew a relationship? Share your Lake Joe stories and photos with us and tell us why CNIB Lake Joe is special to you.
A group of people standing on the dock in shorts and life jackets. They are smiling and, in some cases, piggy-backing others.

CNIB Lake Joe 2021 Camp Program: We’re here for you

As we kick CNIB Lake Joe 2021 season (our 60th Anniversary year!), we wanted to update you on our 2021 camp program.
Rob Froom (left) standing waterside at Lake Joe with his brother David Froom. Rob is holding his brother's hand.

Robert & David Froom: Renewing Relationships at CNIB Lake Joe

Everyone has their own reason for volunteering. I volunteer to repay, in some small way, the enormous debt of gratitude I feel for CNIB: for the services it has provided to my brother David and for the life-changing experiences I have shared with him at CNIB Lake Joe.
Bronze and charcoal coloured stainless steel travel mugs, with black lids on a table at camp.

CNIB Lake Joe’s NEW Online Camp Store is open for business

CNIB Lake Joe’s new Online Camp Store has everything you need to keep warm and toasty this winter! From sweatshirts to toques and travel mugs for hot drinks, there's something for everyone.
Sandy and her guide dog Keller, walking along a sidewalk in a busy downtown area during a cold day.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Sandy & Keller

"Every aspect of my life has been enhanced by Keller. It’s a bond that goes beyond just working together – she’s a dog that loves me and I love her more than anything,” – Sandy.
Dan sitting on a bench with Halifax Harbour in the background, and Lewis at his feet, Lewis has his tongue hanging out.

Raising Lewis

Before Lewis was partnered with Lawrence, he spent his first year in Halifax with his puppy raiser, Dan O'Brien. In addition to providing a safe and loving home for Lewis, Dan has provided obedience training and socialization – all while running his own graphic design business.
Left: Gabriel Pigeon, a member of the "Skate Bats" is seen riding his skateboard at The Compound skatepark. Right: Curtis Ruttle rides a skateboard and attempts a quarter pipe inside the skatepark. He is wearing a helmet.

Introducing Alt Route, the accessible skatepark project

My name is Curtis Ruttle. I'm from Calgary, Alberta and, at 15, I'm the youngest member of CNIB's National Youth Council. Legally blind since birth, my blindness has never held me back or stopped me from doing the things I love. I've always been athletic and involved with different sports. About a year and a half ago, I tried skateboarding for the first time and instantly fell in love. That passion led me to the creation of Alt Route, an accessible skatepark project.
Lawrence and his guide dog Lewis, walking down the sidewalk on a sunny day.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Lawrence & Lewis

"With all this self-isolating because of the pandemic, he’s been able to put a smile on my face all day, every day." - Lawrence
Danika and Ulysses sitting on the ground in a forest in Autumn. Danika has her arms wrapped around Ulysses for a huge hug.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Danika & Ulysses

“I remember I was so nervous and excited when I met Ulysses for the first time. When the trainer brought him out to the training property, I threw my cane to the side, knelt on the ground and Ulysses licked my entire face!" - Danika
Chris Trudell-Conklin and her guide dog, Cody, a 2-year-old golden retriever.

Pup-dates: My CNIB Guide Dog training experience

My guide dog training experience was like no other! It began with me being picked up at the train station by my Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Rob, along with my new guide dog, Cody, an exuberant golden retriever. What a welcome reception Cody gave me. I’ve been a guide dog handler for 30 years, but I knew then he had my heart.
10-year-old Kaiden smiling and leaning down to embrace his CNIB Buddy Dog, Flinn, a black Labrador-Retriever cross.

Dollars for Dogs: 10-year-old Kaiden meets his new buddy dog, Flinn

Kaiden, a 10-year-old boy from St. John’s, Newfoundland, hopes to one day have his own guide dog. Born with Craniosynostosis, Kaiden has had partial sight and hearing loss his entire life.
Stela Trudeau and her German Shepherd guide dog exchanging a look at one another, in front of a Christmas-themed photo backdrop.

Access Tales: #DeniedARide Movement

Stela Trudeau is tired of being denied access to taxis and rideshare services because she travels with her guide dog, and she knows she is not alone.
Dani and George sitting on her living room floor; Dani has her arm around George and both are smiling for the camera

Puppy Tales: Dani meets her buddy dog, George

"For Dani to have her buddy dog, George, is amazing! I’ve seen firsthand the difference George has made for Dani and the love he has brought into our home,” says Dani’s mom, Liz. “George has settled in with the whole family and he continues to amaze us every day.”
Hope, a black Labrador-Retriever, sitting on a rocky beach in front of the ocean.

Inside Scoop: Giving someone Hope

As a volunteer puppy raiser for CNIB Guide Dogs, people always say they couldn't do what I do because they wouldn't be able to give up the puppy. I think I can speak on behalf of most volunteer puppy raisers when I tell you, "It isn't easy".
A nine-week-old black Labrador-Retriever puppy sitting on green turf, wearing a yellow Future Guide Dog vest and looking up at the camera.

Puppy Pointers: House training

When bringing a new puppy into your home the top priority is house training and there are numerous things you can do to improve your chances for success. These are some of the most important things to consider when house training your puppy.
A woman checks her blood glucose level by poking her finger and using a blood glucose meter.

Living with diabetes and sight loss

At 23, Marie-Catherine received a pancreas transplant. When she left the operating room, she left behind her disease – and her eyesight.
Anne Jarry sitting on a stool in a sunlit room, speaking for the camera.

It takes a lot to manage diabetes, and even more when you live with sight loss

Anne Jarry, a Montréal resident, has been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of nine. She lost her sight at 24 while studying at the Université de Montréal and working as a tennis instructor. Although it had been mentioned to her in passing that diabetic retinopathy could be a possible consequence of diabetes, she didn’t think it would happen to her.
Ryan Hooey sitting in a restaurant, holding an insulin pump and smiling for the camera.

Canadian with diabetes and sight loss urges manufacturers to create safe, accessible insulin pumps

“Living with diabetes and sight loss means my blood sugar affects what little remaining vision I have each day, and it varies,” says Ryan. “People living with diabetes who are sighted don't have to think about how they are going to safely administer insulin, they just do it.”
Sara, wearing hiking clothes, kneeling down giving Daisy a hug on a sunny day.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Sara & Daisy

“Excited. Relieved. That’s how I felt when I met Daisy. I was without a dog for a year and a half and I hated it, so I was happy to finally meet her – maybe even a little nervous! " - Sara.
Elizabeth standing against a dark background wearing professional clothing and smiling for the camera.

Come to Work: Opening doors to opportunities

For many people with sight loss, navigating the workplace can be challenging. Since March, Toronto’s Elizabeth Mohler has been attending several of the CNIB Foundation's virtual programs, including Come to Work, which is designed to open doors to talent with sight loss.
Runa Patel, kneeling on the floor next to her guide dog, smiling for the camera.

1 on 1 with Runa Patel

Runa Patel, a Come to Work talent pool member, is one of the top salespeople at Microsoft’s Yorkdale location. She was introduced to the company at a Come to Work networking event. As job seekers explore career opportunities, Runa shares her top tips for putting your best foot forward.
Stefanie standing outside, smiling for the camera with the ocean in the background

Talent with sight loss encourages employers to keep an open mind

The Come to Work program helped Stefanie Volpe learned how to ace an interview. Today, she works as a Mentor Coordinator for the Family Support and Education Centre in Maple Ridge, BC.

Larissa and her guide dog Piper walking in a crosswalk across a busy street.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Larissa & Piper

"I felt an overwhelming sense of peace when I saw Piper. For better or worse, I knew that I was gaining a partner. We’d be learning to navigate the world together – as a team." -Larissa
Bruce Roulston posing with a caught fish on a dock beside Eugene Chong at CNIB Lake Joe. They are both wearing life jackets and a ballcap.

Meet Bruce Roulston

Lion Bruce Roulston from Hagersville, Ontario, was a farmer for practically his entire life until he lost his vision to Retinitis Pigmentosa.

“I was 53 when I got off the farm because it was too dangerous for me to work. I realized I needed support and that’s when CNIB became a big part of my life,” says Bruce. 
Close of up a silver ice cream scoop with a scoop of vanilla ice cream above a zip lock bag of ice cream with colourful sprinkles in a bowl on the left.

Shake ‘n’ Make Ice Cream

Did you know you can make delicious homemade ice cream in 15 minutes with just five ingredients and a couple of resealable bags? Our Camp-in-a-Box program participants tested this Ice Cream in a Bag recipe with great results. There are just three simple steps. Give it a try! This ice cream will be delicious on its own or with a warm slice of apple pie!
Leah Daniels singing and waving with Will Hebbes beside her playing guitar on a party pontoon, entertaining docks guests on Lake Muskoka.

CNIB Muskoka: Dock-to-Dock Party Makes History

CNIB Muskoka: Dock-to-Dock: Party with a Purpose made history as Canada’s first and largest socially distanced, synchronized dock-to-dock party from coast to coast. We raised $195,000 (net) and had over 350 participants, including “Dock Hosts” guests, donors, and volunteers. 
An icon of a hand with a white clock hovering above with the words ‘join us’ beside it in black on a solid yellow background.

Help Wanted

Our virtual programming has been a resounding success, and the CNIB Lake Joe team is seeking volunteers who want to use their skills and talents to help create or facilitate virtual programs throughout the fall/winter season. You’ll be making an impact and experiencing the rewards of making a real difference in the lives of people with sight loss.
A  young camper kneels behind his opened camp box, a huge smile on his face.

Camp-in-a-Box program

We couldn’t bring kids to camp this year, but we could certainly bring camp to the kids! With $10,000 in funding from the Military Police Fund for Blind Children, we were able to create our first-ever CNIBLakeJoe@Home Camp-in-a-Box program. One hundred children (ages 6-18) from across Canada registered for four weeks of summer programming, all at no cost to families.
Victoria Nolan takes a selfie with her red Rowing Canada Aviron mask on

Detour to Tokyo – Part 4

Nearly six months after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Rowing Canada's training centre in Victoria, B.C., I am finally back and training with the team!

It's such a great feeling to be back on the water – the sound of the catch and the graceful surge of the boat – but there are many changes to how things are run.
Amy Verwoerd poses for a photo outdoors with a lush green landscape of trees and grass in the background.

Finding her voice through the CNIB Foundation's Come to Work program

“In college, I realized a big passion of mine is advocating to make the world and communities a better place for people with sight loss.”

A black & white professional headshot of Vinita Puri.

Different but Equal: My Lived Experience

As a child, I knew I was different. I had difficulty opening my eyes fully, especially when there was any form of glare or light. Students and teachers alike would ask me why I couldn’t open my eyes. It was hard for me to explain my condition – a congenital birth defect known as Anaridia.
Cindy and her guide dog Barney, a black Labrador-Retriever, overlooking a lake with ducks swimming by.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Cindy & Barney

"I was very emotional the first time I met Barney. I remember saying to him, 'This is it. We’re going to start a new life together, the two of us.'" -Cindy
David with his daughter in one arm and his guide dog, Lilo's, harness in his other hand, smiling for the camera on Mont Tremblant overlooking Versant Sud, QB

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: David & Lilo

“It never felt like I adopted Lilo, it was like Lilo adopted me. She was so calm and affectionate right from the start – it was like she didn’t want to leave my side. I was told she thrived in busy and active situations, which was perfect for me and my frequent travels downtown and in other cities." -David
Kelly and her guide dog Maple, sitting in the passenger side of a car with the door open – smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Kelly & Maple

"Respecting the guide dog partnership is so important – if the handler tells you not to touch or talk to their dog, please listen to them. When a dog is distracted, a handler's safety could be at risk." – Kelly Picco
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. 
Photo of Ashley and her guide dog Danson walking in a crosswalk on a cloudy day.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Ashley & Danson

"Having a guide dog makes me feel like I’m whole. I have so much confidence when I have a harness in my hand and Danson by my side."
Dana sits in a recording booth and narrates a book. She is plugging her nose with her right hand to imitate an animated character voice. She is wearing big headphones and speaking into a microphone.

Sharing the joy of reading – Meet Dana

Dana Hopkins is passionate about literacy. For the past 11 years, she's shared the joy of reading with Canadians who are blind or partially sighted – working as a volunteer narrator with the CNIB Foundation's recording studio.
A woman and her guide dog, a golden retriever, walking down a sidewalk into the sunset, away from the camera.

Pup-dates: Guide dogs are essential workers, yet guide dog teams face discrimination daily

As part of Guide Dog Access Awareness Month, the CNIB Foundation and Guide Dog Users of Canada are reminding Canadians that guide dogs belong everywhere – it’s the law.
Siblings Percy (left) and Indy (right), two black Labrador-Retrievers, wearing their bright yellow Future Guide Dog vests and smiling for the camera with their tongues sticking out. Percy is standing and Indy is sitting, both at the feet of their volunteer puppy raisers, on grass in front of yellow flowers.

Dollars for Dogs: Indy and Percy move onto advanced training

After one year of obedience and socialization training in Regina, two future guide dogs – Indy and Percy – reached a major milestone. The brothers, both black Labrador-Retrievers, boarded a plane in July en route to the CNIB Guide Dogs' Canine Campus in Carleton Place, Ontario to begin advanced training.
Tracy and his guide dog, Marion, standing on grass in front of a lake on a sunny day, smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Tracy & Marion

“I was matched with Marion in July of 2019. When I first met her, it was like a part of me was missing, and now I was complete."
Victoria Nolan and her guide dog, Alan, walking along a sidewalk on a sunny day. Victoria is wearing a face mask.

Access Tales: The “new normal” for guide dog handlers

I just want to live my life hassle-free, to not worry about being challenged, and to not have to explain that it is my right to be out in public with my guide dog.
Ollie and family members sitting on a couch wearing face masks. Ambassador Dog Ziggy is sitting on the floor in front of Ollie, sniffing the stuffed CNIB Guide Dog plush puppy on Ollie's lap.

Puppy Tales: Ambassador Dog Ziggy visits Ollie

While Ollie and his family were preparing for a stem transplant at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, CNIB Guide Dogs arranged a special visit for Ollie.
A woman holding a white cane standing at a bus stop waiting for the bus to pull up.

Inside Scoop: Keeping long cane skills sharp after getting a guide dog

Working with a guide dog can provide people who are blind with increased mobility, safety and independence. However, even for those who predominantly work with a guide dog, handlers should keep their long cane skills sharp.
A yellow Labrador-Retriever puppy laying in her crate with the door open, and the sun beaming in on her.

Puppy Pointers: Importance of crate training

Crate training helps puppies learn good house manners and can also promote independence.
Alicia smiles and sits outdoors on a large rock. Behind her are trees. She is wearing a summer floral dress. Her white cane rests on the rock to the right of her.

How CNIB Lake Joe Inspired a Young Advocate

When Alicia Chenier arrived at CNIB Lake Joe as a 12-year-old, she didn’t have to “hide being blind."

“I used to pretend I wasn’t blind because I was bullied for it. School was tough,” says Alicia. 
Illustration of Tommy from “Tommy Wants a Guide Dog”, a boy walking along a sidewalk using a white cane.

Meet Christopher Warner: Author of “Tommy Wants a Guide Dog”

Tommy Wants a Guide Dog is a story about a young boy with sight loss who wants a guide dog but is too young to have one. Tommy has quite the imagination, so he begins thinking of other possible guide animals, including a cat, giraffe, or pig.
Landon and his CNIB Buddy Dog Ruggles, a Golden Retriever, laying on a cushion together in their living room. Landon’s arm is around Ruggles, petting his back.

When Landon met Ruggles

In October, Ruggles, a CNIB Buddy Dog travelled from Ontario to British Columbia to meet his new partner after Landon's parents applied for a Buddy Dog for their son, who is blind and on the autism spectrum.
Two people sitting in a café, talking and laughing. A guide dog is laying under the table at their feet.

Access Tales: Dining Out with a Guide Dog

Despite legislation that makes it illegal to deny access or refuse service to a guide dog handler, it happens every day in Canada. While it is important to draw attention to the access issues that guide dog handlers face across the country, it is also important to highlight occasions when things are done right.
First photo is of a yellow Labrador-Retriever, sitting on a neighbourhood sidewalk, wearing a Pup Crawl race bib. Second photo is of a black Labrador-Retriever, sitting in front of a tree, wearing a Pup Crawl race bib.

Dollars for Dogs – CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl

From April 29 to May 29, 2020, participants, supporters and donors rose to the challenge in a big way and made our inaugural Pup Crawl a tremendous success! More than 360 people across Canada laced up their sneakers to complete the virtual 5 km race in support of CNIB Guide Dogs.
A young black Labrador-Retriever laying on his belly in the grass, wearing a yellow “Future Guide Dog” vest.

Puppy Tales: Meet Garry, a star student and future guide dog

“We liked the idea of volunteering for a national organization that’s directly related to assisting those with vision loss,” says Garry's puppy raiser. “We thought it would be a cool thing to be a part of.”
Two black Labs, one with brindled paws, laying on the grass and looking up toward the camera

Puppy Pointers: Importance of Routine

Dogs thrive when they know what to expect from their environment, so it is important to try to provide that structure for them. There are several key factors to consider when establishing a daily routine for your dog.
Closeup on the face of a yellow lab laying down, who looks worried.

Inside Scoop: Spotting anxiety in Guide Dogs

Like their human counterparts, guide dogs exhibit signs of anxiety sometimes. As their raiser, trainer or partner, we should be able to identify these signs, as well as understand how to mitigate the effects.
Exterior of Canine Campus in Carlton Place. Three CNIB Guide Dogs vans parked out front, trees and blue skies in the background.

Pup-dates: Canine Campus – Where dogs become CNIB Guide Dogs

The Canine Campus – a 158-acre rural property in Carleton Place – is the national training facility for CNIB Guide Dogs and home to our future guide dogs during their advanced training.
The lounge – our social gathering hotspot – with new sound panels installed on the ceiling.

The Big Reveal: CNIB Lake Joe Dining Hall & Lounge Makeover

The dining hall and lounge are at the heart of CNIB Lake Joe. Everything that matters happens here: meals, musings, meetings, music, and more. For this reason, we invested in some important upgrades to improve the acoustics and the overall look and feel of this space.
Ally standing on the grounds at Lake Joe, smiling with the water behind her.

Welcome to the CNIB Lake Joe team!

We are pleased to welcome the following new staff members to the CNIB Lake Joe team: Meet Diane, Allison (Ally), Stela, Emilee, Melyssa, Sienna, and Guy! 
Nancy Simonot wearing a pink cowboy hat and speaking into a microphone at a Lake Joe fundraising event.

Volunteer with a Vision – Nancy Simonot

For Nancy Simonot, volunteering with CNIB Lake Joe is a family affair. Her journey with CNIB began when her son, Matthew, had a transformational experience as a volunteer counsellor.
A campfire

Campfire Stories

Stories bring everyone together, even when we’re apart. We’ve all got tales to tell. Here are some storytelling tips for the virtual campfire. We can’t wait to hear them at the real thing.
CNIBLakeJoe@Home text to the right of an image of a marshmallow roasting in a campfire with a home (roof/chimney) in the background.

CNIBLakeJoe@Home keeps campers connected

Based on camper feedback, CNIB Lake Joe is now offering virtual camp programs online and over the phone. These new CNIBLakeJoe@Home programs include friendly coffee groups and fun family trivia sessions and will expand to offer new programs and activities this summer…and beyond!
Dock to Dock Party with Purpose, Saturday, August 15, 3pm – 6 pm, Your Dock, deck or patio.

CNIB Muskoka: Virtual Dock to Dock – Party with a Purpose

Mark your calendars now! On Saturday, August 15, 3 – 6 p.m., the CNIB Lake Joe Vision Team and CNIB Muskoka fundraising committee will host a first-ever ever “CNIB Muskoka: Dock to Dock – Party with a Purpose” event to raise essential funds for CNIB Lake Joe.  While the world around us has changed due to COVID-19, the need to raise funds for CNIB Lake Joe is as crucial as ever. 
Photo of Claire sitting in a chair outdoors and smiling for the camera. A golden retriever is sitting at her feet.

Brantford resident can’t imagine life without her smartphone

Seventy-four-year-old Claire from Brantford recently received a smartphone from the CNIB Foundation’s Phone It Forward program. Now she can’t imagine life without it.
Madelyn sits in front of her laptop and smiles.

Youth Zoom Hangout Sessions Inspire Madelyn

Thanks to CNIB Foundation's Youth Hangout Zoom sessions, Madelyn Holman now has other youth who are blind or partially sighted she can relate to.
Sarenia smiles in a head shot

Peer Support Group Creates Opportunities for a Fuller Life

For Sarenia Rathje joining the Regina Peer Support Group, through CNIB Foundation, opened up opportunities to participate more fully in life.
A teenage boy lays with his Buddy Dog, a golden retriever. The boy is embracing the dog and their heads are touching.

Puppy Tales: Meet Zach & Elsie

With schools closed due to COVID-19, children and youth across the country are finding themselves struggling with boredom. Calgary’s Zach Abdalla is no exception, though he’s finding comfort in a special companion, his CNIB Buddy Dog, Elsie.
A Guide Dog Handler applying the ear TTouch method to pat her golden retriever Guide Dog. The dog sits on the floor of a car passenger seat between his handler’s legs.

Puppy Pointers: The Tellington Touch

Since 1978, the Tellington Touch (TTouch) Method has become a well-known relaxation method for animals and humans and is now practiced in over 30 countries – even by some pet owners, trainers and vets.
A yellow Lab puppy laying on a dog bed, back-to-back with a cat, also laying on the dog bed.

Introducing Puppies to Family Pets

Bringing a puppy home is always exciting and can be even more so if you already have pets at home. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure the move-in goes smoothly while reducing any stress experienced by your animals while meeting one another.
Erin Malone and her golden retriever guide dog, Winston, walking in front of a CNIB.

Inside Scoop: Meet Erin and Winston

Everyone is adapting to a world where everyday activities are vastly different than they were just two months ago. While adjusting to this new way of life, Ottawa’s Dr. Erin Maloney says her days are brighter because of her guide dog, Winston.
Two black Labs lay side-by-side on a dog bed, on a patio outside on a sunny day.

Pup-dates: Coping with COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire planet in some way, and during these strange and worrying times, all of us have had to change the way we live and operate our businesses – and CNIB Guide Dogs is no exception.
A young woman wears a pair of headphones and holds a book up to her face. The book is blocking her nose and mouth so only her eyes appear.

Passing time with CNIB, Read to Me!

When COVID-19 began to emerge, it took the world by surprise. In what seemed like an instant, millions of lifestyles were changed when physical distancing measures were put in place. Like many around the world, Norma Cowell, a proud grandmother of three from London, Ontario, is facing the hardships created by the virus – including the loss of a dear friend.
A photo of a set of headphones placed over four books.

Living with sight loss during COVID-19

The CNIB Foundation recently checked in with Winnipeg’s Marianne Swarek, 89 years young, who was diagnosed with macular degeneration in her 40s. She spoke with us about living with sight loss during the pandemic – she shared the challenges she is facing as well as her advice for staying positive.
The face of a young woman from the nose up. She is looking upwards and hand draw question marks frame the top of her head

How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

How has COVID-19 impacted your life? We might be physically apart, but it’s more important than ever to stay connected.
Diane Bergeron crouches for a photo alongside Lucy. Lucy's head is resting on Diane's shoulder. Diane is lovingly petting her.

Lucy's Legacy

In July of 2012, only a few short months after beginning my work with CNIB, I found myself once again sitting in an armchair waiting to be introduced to my new guide dog. So many things were going through my mind: Have I made the right decision? Maybe Maximo could have worked just a little bit longer? Maybe I retired him too early? What will this new dog be like? So many questions. One thing that I was sure of was that I had decided that retiring a dog was too painful. This time I was going to remember that a guide dog is a mobility aid and even though I will bond with it, and trust it, I wouldn't allow myself to get so close that it would hurt when the relationship ended.
Kristin & Mary Cogswell pose for a photo together.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

When Nova Scotia's Mary Cogswell was matched with Kristin, a medical student at Dalhousie University, there was an instant connection in 2014. Since then, Kristin has been visiting Mary every week and providing sighted assistance as part of the CNIB Foundation's Vision Mate program.
Bill Liggins stands on the corner at an Accessible Pedestrian Signal. He is holding his white cane in his left hand and pressing the crosswalk button with this right hand.

Advocating for Accessible Pedestrian Signals

Sometimes advocacy can be as simple as asking the right people for help in a nice way. A couple of years ago, my wife and I moved to Parry Sound to be closer to our family and start the home stretch to retirement. As an individual with vision loss who enjoys exploring communities, I realized that this small town was lacking safe/accessible traffic light crossings.
Dressed casually in jeans and a blue shirt, Bernard, strikes a boxing pose. His fists are up near his chest ready to punch. Behind him is a landscape of sweeping green trees.

Meet Bernard: CNIB Ambassador and advocate

As a youngster, I was constantly told that I had to work harder than others. I never completely understood this notion. Now it's clearer to me. As a black male, there are negative stereotypes that we face. On top of these stereotypes, living with a visual impairment exacerbates these misconceptions.
An illustration of profile/silhouettes of three faces. Text: You've got options. disabilityrights.ca.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Optional Protocol is an additional agreement with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which allows people who have disabilities to make human rights complaints directly to the United Nations Committee, if they've exhausted all legal options within Canada.
Robyn Rennie poses for a photo in front of her colourful artwork next to a digital printed QR Code. She is holding a small, chocolate-brown dog.

Making Art Accessible

I am a visual artist with low vision who wants to change the accessibility of art. I paint abstract landscapes to convey how I experience my world after vision loss. Sighted people are very curious about how things appear from my point-of-view.
Jacob Charendoff smiles for a professional headshot. He is wearing a stylish blue suit.

Know Your Rights: Meet Jacob

When the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute denied Jacob Charendoff an accommodation request, he filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. We spoke with Jacob about the process and what motivated him to file a formal application.
A job interview. An employer holds a resume. In front of him is someone being interviewed.

2020 Ontario Budget Ask

Over the last few months, we have been meeting with Government of Ontario officials and asking them to support Come to Work as part of the Ontario Budget. The Ontario Budget is the major policy document outlining the government's plans for the upcoming fiscal year.
Photo of Christine playing guitar on a bridge. Trees are behind her and the sun shining.

“Balcony jam sessions” bringing Toronto community (almost) together

Like many Canadians today, Christine Malec is looking to stay connected with her community and the world around her. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is isolating themselves from the outside world – but many don’t consider how challenging this can be for those with a disability. 
Diane Bergeron walks alongside her guide dog, Carla. Carla is in harness and standing to the left of her.

Pup-dates: CNIB Guide Dogs welcomes new president

Please join us in welcoming Diane Bergeron as President, CNIB Guide Dogs. As a guide dog handler for more than 35 years, Diane breaks down barriers and opens doors for people who are blind or partially sighted. Every day, she is actively engaged in regional, national and international initiatives to ensure everyone has an opportunity to live the lives they choose.
Myra, a black lab in harness and leash, stands on the snow-covered ground.

Inside Scoop: Training a future CNIB Guide Dog

For every puppy raiser, saying goodbye is never easy. While this transition can be difficult, knowing that you've helped give freedom and independence to a person with sight loss makes it all worthwhile. 
Un grand groupe d’employés et de bénévoles d’INCA pose en face d’une affiche aux couleurs d’INCA au gala du programme des chiens-guides.

Dollars for Dogs: Guide Dogs with Purpose Gala

In January, the CNIB Foundation held its inaugural Guide Dogs with Purpose Gala in Regina. Presented by Scotiabank, attendees were treated to an evening of glamour and fun while raising funds for CNIB Guide Dogs.
A puppy in training walks (on leash) alongside a woman.

Puppy Pointers: Socializing a future guide dog

Puppy raisers play a pivotal role in socializing the puppy to become a guide dog. Here are some crucial things to consider when deciding where and when to socialize a future guide dog. 
 Two Golden Retrievers, wearing guide dog in training vests, sit side by side at the airport.

Puppy Tales: A brotherly bond

It was 4 a.m. airport wakeup calls for George and his brother, Ruggles. The two Golden Retrievers were heading to British Columbia to be partnered with children living with sight loss.
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: COVID-19 – human and animal health

The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is having serious impacts for people on a global and individual basis. To date, no COVID-19 clinical cases in pets have been detected but two healthy dogs in Hong Kong have tested positive for COVID-19 after the owners were confirmed to be infected – this may indicate human to animal transfer. Currently, these dogs and four cats are in quarantine, as it is unclear what risk (if any) they pose to other animals and people.
Winners from the 2019 Braille Creative Writing Contest Kelsey, Zara and Zachary pose for a photo with Karen Brophey. They are holding their awards!

2020 Braille Creative Writing Contest!

The 2020 Braille Creative Writing Contest is now accepting entries!

Since 1997, the CNIB Foundation has organized a Canada-wide Braille Creative Writing Contest for children and youth. This important competition celebrates braille literacy and encourages young people to flex their creative muscles while practicing their braille skills.

Show off your creative writing talents for a chance to win cash prizes! 
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush style design with yellow accents.

Message to CNIB Lake Joe Friends - March 2020

Like many of you, the CNIB Foundation has been monitoring the potential impact of COVID-19 and actively preparing to meet the demands of the evolving situation. Ensuring the health and safety of our guests and team members remains our top priority as we prepare for the 2020 season at CNIB Lake Joe.
An illustration of a sailboat outlined in a black paintbrush style design. A dash of white paint appears on the boat sail. Text: CNIB Lake Joe.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know about CNIB Lake Joe

Before your next adventure at CNIB Lake Joe, here are ten things you should know!
A s'mores pizza slice! Gooey marshmallows litter the top of the slab.

Have you ever enjoyed a s'more pizza?

Messy but marvellous, s’mores are an essential part of the camp experience. Thanks to a generous donor, we've installed an outdoor pizza oven at CNIB Lake Joe and put a new twist on this camp classic - s’mores dessert pizza!
Jim (and his megawatt smile) sits in a Muskoka chair near the shores of CNIB Lake Joe.

Special thanks: Volunteer Jim Tokos, 23+ years of service

Do you remember what you were doing 23 years ago? Were you sitting in a packed movie theatre breathlessly watching Titanic? Humming along to Elton John’s Candle in the Wind? Enjoying the warm winter compliments of El Nino? For Jim Tokos, 1997 was the beginning of a prolific volunteer career at CNIB Lake Joe.
Photo of Michelle (left) and daughter Emma (right).

Why CNIB Lake Joe? Meet the Van Dyk family

By Michelle Van Dyk
It was five years ago, right here at CNIB Lake Joe, that my daughter said to me, ‘Mom, I have found my people.' At that moment, I knew that we were going to be okay.
The Dining Hall & Lounge at CNIB Lake Joe. A construction worker stands on a large lift to reach the ceiling with a tool.

Extreme Makeover: CNIB Lake Joe edition

Meals together in the dining hall are one of the highlights at camp, with guests coming together to break bread and catch up. With a capacity of 200 people, sometimes shared conversations can be too much of a good thing.
o	Seven young people link arms around one another and form a circle of support.

Coming Up: What’s New at CNIB Lake Joe

CNIB Lake Joe’s 2020 season runs spring to fall with programs to delight people of all ages: children & youth, families, and adults of all ages. The 2020 program includes camper favourites that sell out year after year, plus many exciting new programs.
11 CNIB Lake Joe Staff members pose for a selfie-group photo.

CNIB Lake Joe - Help Wanted

CNIB Lake Joe is hiring seasonal staff for 2020. If you have a passion for enriching lives, making memories and building independence, applying now to join our team on the shores of beautiful Lake Joseph in Muskoka, and helping change what it is to be blind!
Victoria Nolan practices on an outdoor rowing machine on her back porch.

Detour to Tokyo - Part 3

It was difficult to hear that the Olympics and Paralympics would be postponed for a year, but it was also a relief. As Canadian athletes, we were very proud that Team Canada had already made the difficult decision to pull our teams out of the games, if they were to go ahead. But then we had to wait for the final decision from the International Olympic and Paralympic committees as to whether they were still going to hold the games, postpone them or cancel them.
Victoria Nolan and her teammate rowing on Elk Lake, Victoria.

Detour to Tokyo - Part 2

Whether you're trying a new sport or you're returning to physical activity after being inactive for a while, it can be painful!

When I decided to start rowing again, I had already been training for a half-marathon – running three times a week for 70-90 minutes and weight training three times a week – but nothing prepares you for the rowing machine!
bol de nourriture pour chiens

Ask Lynn: Feeding a Guide Dog on the Go

Dear Lynn,

I frequently travel by air, domestically and internationally, with my guide dog. I find it difficult to manage my dog's food during my trips. Do you have any advice?

-Food for Thought
Vegetable platter filled with bell peppers, asparagus and other vegetables on top of quinoa

Heart-Healthy Recipes

February is Heart Month, which means we’re not just focused on giving out Valentine’s Day cards and indulging on a few chocolates at this time of year. Heart Month is a time to pay a little extra attention to cardiovascular health – and how to lessen our risk.
Haben Girma stands with Barrack Obama, while Joe Biden Stands in the background

Celebrating Black History Month

February marks Black History Month, which honours and reflects upon the legacies and incredible contributions of people who are black from the past and present. While the month is often synonymous with people like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson, there are countless others who've made a profound impact in history – including those who are blind.
AMI's Dave Brown

It’s the Morning Show with Attitude: "NOW with Dave Brown"

Many daily morning shows just deliver news and information to their listeners and viewers. It's a one-way conversation. "NOW with Dave Brown" isn't like anything else you'll hear or see. Airing weekdays at 9 a.m. Eastern on AMI-audio and AMI-tv, "NOW with Dave Brown" is a two-way discussion between host and audience.
Victoria, along with two men and two women, wearing Team Canada Jackets and bronze medals.

Detour to Tokyo - Part 1

Victoria Nolan is back in the boat and working towards competing in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

As she talks about her journey, hopefully you'll learn more about para sports and how finding the right activity can prove you may be more athletic than you think!
A hand holds a smartphone up in the air. The phone is surrounded by an illustration of a circular black swirl.

Receiving a smartphone through the CNIB Foundation's Phone it Forward program

For Crystal Gunn, owning a smartphone meant a sense of security and peace of mind. As someone living with type 1 diabetes, access to a phone would be invaluable if there was an emergency.  
Nima Machouf, NDP candidate in the federal election, poses with the CNIB Foundation Quebec staff: Catheryne Houde, David Demers, Valérie and Sarah Rouleau.

CNIB Foundation launches Accessible Neighbourhood project in Montréal

Several organizations and businesses in Montréal’s Sainte-Marie neighbourhood are working with the CNIB Foundation to help make the city more accessible.

Launched in the fall of 2019, the Accessible Neighbourhood project is designed to transform Montreal into a beacon of accessibility and inclusion, where everyone can live, work and play without barriers.
Aakruti Patel of West Groupe presents an iPhone to Sébastien Bolduc at the CNIB Montreal Hub.

Phoning it Forward with WestGroupe

Ten Quebecois with sight loss now own modern smartphones thanks to a $5,000 gift from WestGroupe. Their generous donation to CNIB Foundation's Phone It Forward program provided Sébastien Bolduc with a free smartphone and one-on-one user training.
Two young children are holding on to the same braille book and walking around a classroom environment.

The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation donates $10,000 to support reading workshops for children with sight loss

Thanks to a $10,000 gift from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, the CNIB Foundation Quebec will offer reading workshops for a second year.
Hands typing on a Perkins brailler.

Braille Creative Writing Contest Winners

Since 1997, the CNIB Foundation has organized a Canada-wide Braille Creative Writing Contest for children and youth. This important competition celebrates braille literacy and encourages young people with sight loss to flex their creative muscles while practicing their braille skills.
A guide dog in a graduation cap.

Pup-dates: From puppy to partner

People often comment about the quality of our dogs. To be honest, we expect our dogs to meet the highest standards in health and quality, and we haven't been disappointed. However, one of the things that pleases me the most is the incredible standard of mobility that's achieved by our guide dog handlers. This is due, in no small part, to the training team. I am fortunate to work with a talented team that is committed to raising the bar.
A woman and a yellow guide dog in a harness walking down a park path.

Dollars for Dogs: The Piper family and 3D Petroleums

Dave and Tami Piper and their family business, 3D Petroleums, wanted to work with a charity that would keep them involved and deliver a unique donor experience from start to finish.

"We wanted to see exactly where our dollars were going – CNIB Guide Dogs gave us the biggest bang for our buck,” says the family. “With CNIB Guide Dogs, we've been able to follow the progress from pup to guide dog."
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: Exercise for puppies

When providing exercise to a puppy, you need to consider both the type and the amount (how long and how frequent) for his/her age. It is easy and tempting to over exercise in order to tire the pup out to give everyone a break!
A yellow guide dog in a yellow vest at a sports stadium.

Puppy Tales: Becoming a puppy raiser

As a civics teacher, Jeff Barr always made a point to instill in his students the importance of paying it forward. So, it should come as no surprise that Jeff and his family decided to become puppy raisers for CNIB Guide Dogs after his 40-year career.
A woman and her black Labrador/Golden Retriever guide dog.

Inside Scoop: Matching a guide dog with someone who is blind

CNIB Guide Dogs has a pre-matching process that is completed during the interview stage, whether the applicant is replacing a previous guide dog or applying for their first one. This information is crucial because it helps us select a dog that will meet the specific needs of the individual. So, what are the key factors that we consider when matching a guide dog with someone who is blind?
A close-up of a dog's face.

Puppy Pointers: Identifying calming signals

Although dogs can't verbally communicate with us using words, they can communicate effectively using their body. In fact, dogs are masters of body language. They display an array of “calming signals”, a term coined by Norwegian dog trainer, Turid Rugaas. Calming signals are physical movements that are often overlooked because most of us simply don’t understand the language of dogs.
Hands move over a braille book. A fireplace emits flames in the background.

Braille is my way of communicating – Meet Mélodie

Laval's Mélodie de Ravel wins second prize in the CNIB Foundation's Braille Creative Writing Contest. In honour of World Braille Day (January 4), we spoke with Mélodie about her experience.
Ali Zaben, 9, poses for a school picture. He's smiling and crossing his arms.

Literacy at your fingertips – Meet Ali

Gloucester's Ali Zaben, 9, wins first prize in the CNIB Foundation's Braille Creative Writing Contest. In honour of World Braille Day (January 4), we spoke to Ali about his experience.
Tracy with Marion, black Labrador Retriever and Autumn, Tracy’s pet dog.

Meet Tracy & Marion

After an accident, Tracy knew he needed some help for his safety and independence. He applied to CNIB Guide Dogs. A few months later, he was matched with Marion, a black Labrador Retriever.

“Marion licked my face as soon as she met me," says Tracy. "I just knew that she was going to be a great fit – she has a kind, gentle soul.”
A woman holds a signature guide over a white page with a ballot and tactile ballot overlay beside her.

Canadians send more than 2,100 letters to federal candidates demanding #TechNow!

Technology can level the playing field for people who are blind or partially sighted – but only when it’s accessible, available and affordable. To help make this a reality, the CNIB Foundation launched a national advocacy campaign that coincided with the federal election in October. #TechNow! aimed to ensure that all aspects of the federal government are complemented with accessible adaptive technology and programs.
CNIB Foundation staff Angela Bonfanti, Vice President (Ontario and Quebec) and Kat Clarke, Manager, Advocacy and Government Affairs (Ontario and Quebec) with Ontario Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney.

CNIB hopes to inform public policy for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

As Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) emerge on Canadian roads, we will experience fundamental changes in how Canadian streets are navigated both by vehicles and pedestrians. These changes will impact vulnerable road users, particularly those who are blind or partially sighted. 

CNIB completed a study of CAV technology in Canada. The final report provides seven recommendations to help inform policy development nationally and internationally.
A city sidewalk with a row of electric scooters lined up on it.

CNIB Ontario submits response as part of e-scooter consultation

In August 2019, the Ontario government announced it would be launching a public consultation on permitting e-scooters on Ontario roads as part of 5-year pilot. It is currently illegal for a person to ride an electronic scooter on any public roadway in Ontario. Initially, the consultation was launched just before the Labour Day weekend and provided a 48-hour window for the public to provide their input.
A young man and his guide dog stand on the corner of a busy intersection. In his right hand, he holds a Key2Access Fob. In his left hand, he holds the Guide Dog harness

Key2Access launches in Stratford

The City of Stratford is participating in an innovative pilot project that uses wireless technology to improve accessibility at signalized pedestrian crossings.

Two downtown intersections in Stratford are now equipped with Key2Access – a platform that makes crossing intersections safer and easier for people with sight loss and other disabilities.
Detective Jeff Bangild in police uniform and his young son, Ryan

Making the Toronto Police Service more accessible

For Detective Jeff Bangild, making the world more accessible is a personal, and professional mission. Detective Bangild joined the Toronto Police Service in 1996. Recently, he spoke with us about accessibility training for new recruits.
An illustration of a megaphone. Text "Know Your Rights."

CNIB launches Know Your Rights project

Through the Know Your Rights project, the CNIB Foundation has developed plain language legal information and resources (fact sheets, videos, training, etc.) to empower Ontarians who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind to better understand their rights, navigate the Ontario legal system and self-advocate to challenge discrimination. 
A woman in front of a yellow background with a cartoon drawing of flexed arms on either side of her.

Raise Your Voice on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

CNIB is proud to release a series of three self-advocacy videos. Whether you’ve been a self-advocate for decades or you’re new to the world of self-advocacy, you’ll find some tips, tricks, and thought-provoking insights in these videos!
Pile of Christmas cookies on a plate

Ask Lynn: Holiday baking

Dear Lynn,
In preparation for the holidays, I spend most of my weekends baking delectable treats. I enjoy sharing my Christmas baking with family and friends...
Simon Cowell and Kodi Lee attend the Season 14 Finale of ‘America’s Got Talent’ at Dolby Theatre on Sept. 18, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

'Wow!' of the month: Kodi Lee

This Christmas is likely to be a lot brighter than the last for Kodi Lee, the 22-year-old who recently won the 14th season of "America's Got Talent" (AGT). After all, he has million-dollar prize under the tree this year.
Santa Claus wearing headphones

The 12 Days of Podcasts

This year we're giving the gift of podcasts! Unwrap a new podcast each day to keep your ears happy this holiday season. From podcasts about the best holiday recipe to try, to the latest book club read from "CNIB Unbound" – we've got something for everyone to enjoy.
Victoria, her Guide Dog Alan, and a police officer sit on a couch.

AdvoCorner: Toronto Police Service educates community about the rights of guide dog handlers

Guide Dog Awareness Month (GDAM) wrapped up on September 30 with a joint message from the CNIB Foundation and Toronto Police Service – guide dogs belong everywhere. It's the law.
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: The holidays bring plenty of sweet treats with toxicity risks for our dogs…

Theobromine and caffeine are known toxins in chocolate. The consequences vary, depending on the kind of chocolate (i.e. baking chocolate is the most toxic and milk chocolate or chocolate flavours are the least toxic) and the amount. Therefore, symptoms are highly variable.
A young boy and a Golden Retriever.

Puppy Tales: Becoming a Buddy Dog

In April, CNIB Guide Dogs launched its Buddy Dog program. Buddy Dogs are partnered with children who are living with sight loss. Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking this well-trained family pet, the program provides the child with an opportunity to care for a dog and make it easier to transition into a guide dog partnership in the future.
A black Guide Dog in training in a yellow vest with a chew toy.

Puppy Pointers: Future Guide Dogs and Chewing

All puppies love to chew, including future guide dogs. Their instinct to chew has a purpose: to keep their teeth and gums healthy and clean, to sooth pain from teething, to destress, to explore their "world", to relieve boredom and, sometimes, just for fun.
A man and woman smiling.

Dollars for Dogs: Mary & John Crocker

Sponsoring a puppy was an easy decision for Mary and John Crocker, long-time supporters of CNIB.

"When we learned CNIB Guide Dogs believes everyone who would like to have a guide dog should have that opportunity, regardless of financial circumstances, we decided to become a sponsor," says Mary. "It's gratifying to know exactly where our sponsorship contribution goes."
A smiling boy in glasses with his arm around a Golden Retriever in a yellow vest.

Meet Austin & Dickson

For Austin and his family, adjusting to have a dog in the house and caring for Dickson, a Buddy Dog, has been an educational experience.

"Dickson is helping Austin get over his apprehension about dogs and helping him build a bond," says Julianna, Austin's mother. "It's a learning curve, but it's definitely worth it."
A woman in a purple jacket and her black Lab/Golden Retriever cross guide dog.

Meet Sandy & Keller

When Sandy Benoit's guide dog passed away, she found herself in limbo.

"I went four months without a guide dog and was chomping at the bit," says Sandy. "When I lost my dog, it was a jolting reality that I had to adjust to. There was no pitter-patter in the house. But, when Keller arrived, everything changed."
Brailled versions of "My Heart Fills With Happiness".

Printbraille Pilot Project gives accessible reading materials to kids

This fall, the CNIB Foundation will be equipping 14 school libraries with printbraille books, as well as a suite of braille and tactile materials for teachers or itinerant teachers to use to engage students with sight loss in the classroom.
A woman crosses the street with a black Lab in a yellow harness.

Meet Ashley & Danson

Ashley Nemeth's sense of confidence and independence was stripped away from her when her guide dog, Rick, was hit by a cyclist on a sidewalk in downtown Regina in 2018.

She was eager to regain the freedom that a guide dog partnership promises, so she applied to CNIB Guide Dogs.
A group of people sit in a circle.

CNIB Foundation South (GTA) expands Peer Support offerings with Ontario Trillium Foundation grant

For people who have lost their sight, connecting with others who have experienced the same thing can make a world of difference toward rebuilding confidence, independence and a sense of hope. Peer support reduces the incidence of depression and isolation associated with sight loss while helping people gain self-confidence and improve the quality of their lives.
A woman wearing eSight glasses stands in a subway car.

Embracing the Power of eSight

Yvonne Felix has lived her entire life with sight loss. She was diagnosed at an early age with Stargardt disease, which causes sight to deteriorate over time. 7 years ago, when she was offered an opportunity to try an assistive device that would enhance the functional sight she did have, she was immediately intrigued.
A woman in a black and white checkered jacket, wears white eSight glasses and works at her computer.

Back to Work with eSight

Julia Lewis had a successful career as an electro-analytical chemist, until her mid-thirties when she lost her sight. Unable to continue in the same line of work, but undeterred, she started working with colleges and universities on establishing health and safety and enterprise risk management departments, with help from assistive technology.
Karen and Andrew with two puppies in yellow vests.

Pup-dates: Introducing the CNIB Guide Dogs Team

At CNIB, we believe that everyone who would like to have a guide dog should have that opportunity. That's why we launched CNIB Guide Dogs in 2017. Our program is designed to raise and train dogs exclusively for Canadians with sight loss. Our technical team has nearly 150 years of combined experience working with guide dogs. So, who are we?
Danika hugging a Lab/Golden Retriever cross in a yellow harness.

Dollars for Dogs: Mary Weingarden

"I was researching organizations that trained service dogs on the very day that the program was launched,” says Mary. "When I discovered that the guide dog handlers would not have to pay for their dog, the training or the follow-up support because all costs would be covered through charitable donations, my decision was made. I wanted to support a program that truly helped someone – CNIB Guide Dogs was the perfect fit."
A headshot of Dr. Bennett.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: Ticks and tick-borne diseases

The presence of ticks and the incidence of tick-borne diseases from tick bites is across Canada. Currently, Southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes are being hit the hardest. Climate change experts expect the range and number of tick species will increase, resulting in significantly more cases of tick-borne diseases affecting humans, dogs, horses, cats, etc.
A boy walking with a white cane and Golden Retriever.

Puppy Tales: Meet Mason & Queenie

Mason, a 9-year-old boy with sight loss, couldn't wait to meet his Buddy Dog, a Golden Retriever named Queenie. The night before she arrived, he was so restless with anticipation that he could hardly sleep.
A Black Lab in a yellow vest lying on the floor.

Puppy Pointers: Socialization

Whether it's exploring a car port or taking a trip downtown, socializing puppies is an essential role of CNIB Guide Dogs. A future guide dog begins this part of his/her training shortly after settling into his/her puppy raiser's home.
Joshua Cook and two other people sit in a sail boat on the water. They are at the World Blind Sailing Championships in Scotland.

CNIB Lake Joe: Meet Joshua

The moment Joshua Cook arrived at CNIB Lake Joe, he knew it was the beginning of a beautiful, lifelong bond.

"Before I went to camp, I felt isolated. I was the only person I knew with a visual impairment," says Joshua. "I wanted to be around other people with sight loss. Lake Joe really put things into perspective for me."
A head shot of Scott Seiler. He is smiling and wearing a grey turtleneck.

Phone It Forward to Scott!

Scott Seiler dreamed of owning a smartphone, but the cost, and lack of hands-on training, was a barrier. As someone who had never sent a text message, Scott says he felt disconnected from the outside world. He longed for something that would allow him to connect with people without having to rely on memorizing multiple phone numbers.
A large group of 17 people gather in a support group. They are seated in a circle.

The Strength of the Group

The weekly support groups facilitated by Pascal create a sense of family where people find comfort and support - sharing advice on a variety of topics without passing judgment.

One of the members says: "Our vision loss is easier to accept when we have the opportunity to discuss it with others who've had to overcome the same challenges.”