CNIB is pleased to announce a funding commitment from the Government of Canada’s Digital Literacy Exchange Program (DLEP) that will provide digital literacy skills training to Canadians living with sight loss and intersecting social identities.
Digital literacy skills are essential in today’s world. Whether booking a medical appointment, doing online transactions, studying, working, or looking for a job, Canadians who are blind or partially sighted need to be able to use the Internet safely, securely, and effectively.
This funding will expand fundamental digital literacy skills training by 30% to meet immediate waitlist demands and ensure even more Canadians with sight loss and intersecting barriers can access the Internet. It will also support the development of trainers so they can keep their skills current with new technologies and teaching methods.
Examples of training topics include screen reading software, optical character recognition, braille display, speech recognition software, accessible device features, awareness, and educational training about the risks of the online environment, including safety and security. Training will be offered in a variety of formats and locations both online and in-person at partnering local public libraries.
In 2019-2022 and with previous DLEP funding in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, CNIB reached more than 9,000 unique participants during the funding period. Surveys showed that 100% of respondents reported improved Internet skills and understanding of the digital environment and 96% of respondents reported increased confidence in Internet usage.
“Thank you, to the Government of Canada’s Digital Literacy Exchange Program for their generous funding. Without it, CNIB and Vision Loss-Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) would not be able to empower thousands of Canadians living with sight loss to access all things digital independently.”
– Robert Gaunt, President, CNIB SmartLife and Open Innovation
“Our government knows that Canada thrives when no one gets left behind. And in today’s reality, understanding digital technology and being able to use the Internet safely, securely, and effectively are vital, which is why we are committed to ensuring that all Canadians have the skills to access information and opportunities online. Therefore, through our Digital Literacy Exchange Program, we’re proud to support CNIB’s initiative to provide digital literacy skills training to Canadians with sight loss and intersecting social identities.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
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