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National Youth Council Blog Series

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Here you'll find a collection of blog posts we've written about issues, people, and topics that we're passionate about!

Introduction to Prompt Engineering

From voice assistants and recommendations to tools for work and education, artificial intelligence has become integral part of our daily lives. But despite its popularity, many people struggle to harness the full potential or AI. That’s where prompt engineering comes in. By mastering the art of communicating effectively with AI, you can unlock new opportunities, streamline tasks, and enhance your productivity. Read Eitel's blog

Dogs with a PAW-sitive impact!

As a teenager losing her sight, Danica never thought she’d use a white cane – let alone be partnered with a guide dog. Now, 13 years later, Danica is eagerly waiting to be matched with her very first guide dog. She partially attributes her decision to hearing stories from others who have applied for and been partnered with a guide dog.  In celebration of International Guide Dog Day, Danica spoke with Micheal about his experience as a young adult waiting to be matched with a guide dog. Read Danica's blog. 

Finding a Summer Job

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! Read Aadim's blog.

Overcoming the Winter Blues

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? Here are five simple things you can do to help you get through the winter blues. Read Emilee's blog.

Top 10 Holiday Activities for Young Adults

"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)." Read Emilee's blog.

From Student to Educator: A Journey of Positivity

"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?" Read Emilee's blog.

Happy Deafblind Awareness Month!

“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.” Read Abby's blog

On the hunt for student housing

Looking for student housing but don't know where to start? Emilee's got you covered! Read all about Emilee’s house-hunting experience and her tips for finding affordable student housing. Read Emilee's blog.

CNIB Lake Joe: How camp changes lives

Last summer, the CNIB National Youth Council hosted an in-person retreat – the first in nearly three years – at CNIB Lake Joe. Located in the heart of Muskoka, Ontario, CNIB Lake Joe is a one-of-a-kind accessible camp that stretches over 12.5 acres on the northwest corner of beautiful Lake Joseph. For many National Youth council members, this was their first time visiting Lake Joe. Read Emilee's blog.

Rewriting Resolutions: A Guide to Goal Setting

"A few years ago, my New Year’s resolution was to work on my literacy skills – a skill I use every day and would undoubtedly help in my future endeavours. After a few weeks into my resolution, which was filled with reading and self-study, I eventually felt unmotivated and fatigued. That is until I read a book that changed my perspectives on anything and everything." Read Caleb's blog

Travel Tips with Taylor

"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." Read Taylor's blog.

Seeing AI

"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." Read Eitel's blog.

Accessible Textbook Project Comes to Life

“Many post-secondary 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.” Read Emilee's blog.

The benefits of being blind

 "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.” Read Abby’s blog.

To my younger self

“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.” In their latest blog post, CNIB National Youth Council members asked some of their mentors what advice they would give to their younger selves. Read their blog.

Renting your first apartment

“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.” In this NYC blog post, Oceanne Comtois shares her tips for first-time renters. Read Oceanne’s blog.

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

It’s hard to believe the school year is almost over. CNIB National Youth Council members put together some valuable tips and tricks to help you study for finals and better organize your time and space. Read their blog.

Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Access Postsecondary Education

"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." In this NYC blog, Danica Frappier discusses options to consider when paying for post-secondary education. Read Danica’s blog.

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

"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." In this NYC blog, Curtis Ruttle explores the many benefits of participating in recreational activities. Read Curtis’s blog. 

Demanding More From Entertainment 

Will Honcharuk discusses why he created the Disability Depiction Criteria (DDC) to hold filmmakers accountable by providing insights into how media creates and perpetuates negative representations of individuals with disabilities. Read Will's blog.

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

"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." Read Emilee's blog.

The Noble Art of Wordplay

“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?” In this blog post, Eitel Houedakor discusses the noble art of wordplay and shares his poetry. Read Eitel’s blog.

Disability Representation in Social Media

“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." In her blog post, Alicia Chenier discusses why she decided to become a public speaker and publicly share her life on social media. Read Alicia's blog.

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. We thought it would be beneficial to share some helpful tips that we’ve learned from our lived experiences navigating the educational system as youth living with sight loss. Read the blog.

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

Will Honcharuk takes a close look at how algorithm-driven hiring tools can be discriminatory, biased and exclusionary. Read Will's blog.