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Scotiabank and CNIB announce $1.2 million community investment to help Canadians impacted by sight loss access employment opportunities

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TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2022 – Scotiabank is investing $1.2 million in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), a national charitable organization that helps remove barriers to inclusion for individuals impacted by sight loss. Through the Bank's ScotiaRISE initiative, the three-year investment will help people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind improve their educational and employment prospects across Canada.

Scotiabank's support for CNIB will be directed towards the Come to Work Program, a national initiative that helps raise employment outcomes of working-age Canadians with sight loss. Participants obtain training in networking and self advocacy, and in accessible technology such as screen readers, video conferencing and smartphones. The program also educates corporate partners to better utilize assistive technology and accommodations to make workplaces more inclusive and increase recruitment of people with sight loss.

In Canada, the unemployment rate for people with sight loss is 14.5 per cent, three times higher than the general unemployment rate. Despite having comparable or higher qualifications than their sighted peers, people with sight loss face significant challenges joining and staying in the workforce, including lack of access to assistive devices, and limited networking and advancement opportunities. A recent report by Scotiabank Economics calls attention to the important role of inclusive labour markets in helping Canadians with disabilities achieve financial security.

Through the partnership, CNIB will have the capacity to help more than 1,000 talent pool members access personalized professional development opportunities through workshops, internships, mentorships, networking events with potential employers and referrals to community agencies for employment training sessions and work placements.

"Through the Come to Work Program, people with sight loss will have the opportunity to gain access to networking, training and placements to significantly improve their employment prospects," said Meigan Terry, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability, Social Impact and Communications Officer at Scotiabank. "We are proud to support the CNIB in its efforts to improve economic inclusion of people with sight loss and help them overcome barriers to employment."

The community investment will also help to fund paid internships at CNIB so job seekers can obtain practical work experience and transferrable skills that can be highlighted on resumes and job applications. ScotiaRISE will also become a National Sponsor of Connecting the Dots Conference, Canada's largest educational and professional development conference focused on education, technology, and employment for people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind. 

"CNIB cannot change employment outcomes alone, nor can we sustain the work of eliminating barriers to employment for every business across the country alone," says Thomas Simpson, Executive Director, Come to Work, CNIB. "I want to thank the forward-thinking leaders of our employer partners such as Scotiabank for recognizing the unique contributions that people who are blind, partially sighted, or Deafblind bring to the workforce. Together, we're creating a Canada where everyone can come to work!"

About ScotiaRISE

Scotiabank's community partnership wit hCNIB is a signature program within ScotiaRISE, the Bank's 10-year $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. As a key enabler of the Bank's purpose to deliver for every future, ScotiaRISE is fostering sustainable change by partnering with programs and organizations across its footprint that provide the tools people need to improve their education and employment prospects, adapt to changing circumstances, and increase the likelihood of financial success. In the past two years, Scotiabank has worked with over 200 charitable partners and supported countless initiatives across Scotiabank's global footprint. Since its launch, over $60 million has been invested in communities across the Bank's footprint. Learn more about ScotiaRISE and Scotiabank's commitment to inclusion of people with disabilities.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future", we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of over $1.3 trillion (as at October 31, 2022), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit http://www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @Scotiabank.

About CNIB

CNIB is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams while tearing down barriers to inclusion. Our work is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. To learn more or get involved, visit cnib.ca.

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