International affairs

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International Affairs

The CNIB Foundation is an active participant around sight loss on the international stage.
We partner with organizations in the developing world, working with government and other non-profit organizations and to share expertise and professional resources with people experiencing sight loss. CNIB is among those involved in the global fight against poverty and illiteracy and is committed to upholding human rights around the world.


CNIB's International efforts collaborates with international blindness organizations to share skills, form partnerships and support programs in the areas of:

  • Capacity building
  • Post-vision loss rehabilitation training
  • Access to accessible literature
  • Braille literacy
  • Technology

Our partners include:


The CNIB Foundation continues to seek opportunities and partnerships with governments and other NGOs working with people impacted by sight loss around the world.


Some of our recent achievements include: 

  • Hosting the 2018 World Blind Union (WBU) executive committee meeting in Ottawa. Delegates came from countries including Mongolia, Tajikistan, Japan, Haiti and Rwanda to discuss key issues including: Accelerating advocacy campaigns for the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty; Promoting human rights issues related to blind and partially sighted persons; Promoting braille literacy; Strengthening international and cross-regional collaborations.
  • Working closely with the Canadian government in supporting the ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Marrakesh Treaty, which aims to remove barriers to the access of alternate-format print materials through changes to domestic copyright laws on an international basis, while facilitating the sharing of literary materials among nations.
  • Securing funds for Project Aspiro, a comprehensive career-planning and employment resource website created in partnership with CNIB and the World Blind Union and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Designed for blind and partially sighted persons, it’s also a resource for teachers, guidance counsellors, employment specialists and professionals working with blind or partially sighted individuals.
  • Helping youth from across the globe have a fantastic summer experience at SCORE summer camp. In 2016, the National SCORE Program expanded to welcome international campers, with Vision Australia sending 12 participants and the Blind Foundation of New Zealand sending four more. The international program fostered networking, knowledge exchange and new friendships across borders.
  • In December 2017, the Blessing School for the Visually Impaired in Rwanda received a braille embosser, sponsored by the CNIB Sande Thurley Fund. This increases the availability of published works in braille and growing opportunities for literacy. 
  • CNIB representatives are leaders on the Women and Girls with Disabilities project through the World Blind Union and the International Disability Alliance. With a focus on strengthening leadership roles for women and girls with disabilities, it also encourages UN Women (the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equity) to be more inclusive of women with disabilities in their work. 
  • Working with key stakeholders toward the transition of the Caribbean Heritage Project, funded by the Canadian Local Initiative Fund and UNESCO, into the Caribbean Digital Library for the Blind and print disabled.