By: Shannon Simpson & Shelagh O'Donnell, Communications, CNIB Ontario
As the New Year begins, CNIB, Canada's primary source of support for people who are blind or partially sighted, invites you to get involved and help provide life-changing support to people with vision loss in your own community.
Just imagine what it would be like to lose your vision. You'd need to learn new ways to do life's everyday tasks, to make sense of your surroundings – and to live independently in a visual world. It's more common than you may think. Every 10 minutes, someone in Canada begins to lose their sight and comes face-to-face with this difficult reality.
Now imagine what it would be like to help those individuals overcome the challenges of vision loss, and begin to rebuild their lives…
CNIB has always been an organization of people helping people, and nowhere is that more evident than in the incredible work of our volunteers, but we need additional support.
As the population ages, Canada faces a growing crisis in vision health. Approximately half a million Canadians currently live with significant vision loss that impacts their quality of life. Over the next decade, the prevalence of vision loss in Canada is expected to increase by nearly 30 per cent.
As a result, more people are turning to CNIB for rehabilitation therapy. Whether that means learning to cook again after a sudden loss of vision, learning how to use assistive devices that enable people with vision loss to go back to school or excel in the workplace, learning to travel with confidence using a white cane, or getting the emotional support to move forward, CNIB works hard to meet the unique needs of each individual.
Vision Mates is CNIB's flagship volunteer initiative. CNIB volunteers provide one-on-one sighted assistance to individuals who are blind or partially sighted.
Whether it's reading someone's mail aloud to them, organizing things around the home, assisting with errands or friendly visiting, our volunteers make a lasting difference in the lives of people with vision loss.
Our volunteer team is made up of people of all ages and from all walks of life. They're truly the heart and soul of our organization, and they do everything from representing CNIB at events, to coordinating CNIB activities, to working with people who are blind or partially sighted in their community.
As part of CNIB's volunteer team, you have an opportunity to have a direct impact in your community, make friends and develop contacts, learn new skills, and build your resumé.
Start the New Year with a positive resolution and become a CNIB volunteer today. Contact CNIB at 1-800-563-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more, visit cnib.ca/volunteer.