Blogs

Cindy and her guide dog Barney, a black Labrador-Retriever, overlooking a lake with ducks swimming by.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Cindy & Barney

"I was very emotional the first time I met Barney. I remember saying to him, 'This is it. We’re going to start a new life together, the two of us.'" -Cindy
David with his daughter in one arm and his guide dog, Lilo's, harness in his other hand, smiling for the camera on Mont Tremblant overlooking Versant Sud, QB

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: David & Lilo

“It never felt like I adopted Lilo, it was like Lilo adopted me. She was so calm and affectionate right from the start – it was like she didn’t want to leave my side. I was told she thrived in busy and active situations, which was perfect for me and my frequent travels downtown and in other cities." -David
Kelly and her guide dog Maple, sitting in the passenger side of a car with the door open – smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Kelly & Maple

"Respecting the guide dog partnership is so important – if the handler tells you not to touch or talk to their dog, please listen to them. When a dog is distracted, a handler's safety could be at risk." – Kelly Picco
A yellow banner featuring an illustration of two cartoon faces outlined in a thick, black paintbrush design. Text: National Youth Council.

CNIB National Youth Council – September Updates

As youth with sight loss transition back to school, we hope everyone stays safe. CNIB’s National Youth council has been working hard all summer to offer some exciting new initiatives for youth. 
Photo of Ashley and her guide dog Danson walking in a crosswalk on a cloudy day.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Ashley & Danson

"Having a guide dog makes me feel like I’m whole. I have so much confidence when I have a harness in my hand and Danson by my side."
Dana sits in a recording booth and narrates a book. She is plugging her nose with her right hand to imitate an animated character voice. She is wearing big headphones and speaking into a microphone.

Sharing the joy of reading – Meet Dana

Dana Hopkins is passionate about literacy. For the past 11 years, she's shared the joy of reading with Canadians who are blind or partially sighted – working as a volunteer narrator with the CNIB Foundation's recording studio.
A woman and her guide dog, a golden retriever, walking down a sidewalk into the sunset, away from the camera.

Pup-dates: Guide dogs are essential workers, yet guide dog teams face discrimination daily

As part of Guide Dog Access Awareness Month, the CNIB Foundation and Guide Dog Users of Canada are reminding Canadians that guide dogs belong everywhere – it’s the law.
Siblings Percy (left) and Indy (right), two black Labrador-Retrievers, wearing their bright yellow Future Guide Dog vests and smiling for the camera with their tongues sticking out. Percy is standing and Indy is sitting, both at the feet of their volunteer puppy raisers, on grass in front of yellow flowers.

Dollars for Dogs: Indy and Percy move onto advanced training

After one year of obedience and socialization training in Regina, two future guide dogs – Indy and Percy – reached a major milestone. The brothers, both black Labrador-Retrievers, boarded a plane in July en route to the CNIB Guide Dogs' Canine Campus in Carleton Place, Ontario to begin advanced training.
Tracy and his guide dog, Marion, standing on grass in front of a lake on a sunny day, smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Tracy & Marion

“I was matched with Marion in July of 2019. When I first met her, it was like a part of me was missing, and now I was complete."
Victoria Nolan and her guide dog, Alan, walking along a sidewalk on a sunny day. Victoria is wearing a face mask.

Access Tales: The “new normal” for guide dog handlers

I just want to live my life hassle-free, to not worry about being challenged, and to not have to explain that it is my right to be out in public with my guide dog.
Ollie and family members sitting on a couch wearing face masks. Ambassador Dog Ziggy is sitting on the floor in front of Ollie, sniffing the stuffed CNIB Guide Dog plush puppy on Ollie's lap.

Puppy Tales: Ambassador Dog Ziggy visits Ollie

While Ollie and his family were preparing for a stem transplant at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, CNIB Guide Dogs arranged a special visit for Ollie.
A woman holding a white cane standing at a bus stop waiting for the bus to pull up.

Inside Scoop: Keeping long cane skills sharp after getting a guide dog

Working with a guide dog can provide people who are blind with increased mobility, safety and independence. However, even for those who predominantly work with a guide dog, handlers should keep their long cane skills sharp.
A yellow Labrador-Retriever puppy laying in her crate with the door open, and the sun beaming in on her.

Puppy Pointers: Importance of crate training

Crate training helps puppies learn good house manners and can also promote independence.
Alicia smiles and sits outdoors on a large rock. Behind her are trees. She is wearing a summer floral dress. Her white cane rests on the rock to the right of her.

How CNIB Lake Joe Inspired a Young Advocate

When Alicia Chenier arrived at CNIB Lake Joe as a 12-year-old, she didn’t have to “hide being blind."

“I used to pretend I wasn’t blind because I was bullied for it. School was tough,” says Alicia. 
Illustration of Tommy from “Tommy Wants a Guide Dog”, a boy walking along a sidewalk using a white cane.

Meet Christopher Warner: Author of “Tommy Wants a Guide Dog”

Tommy Wants a Guide Dog is a story about a young boy with sight loss who wants a guide dog but is too young to have one. Tommy has quite the imagination, so he begins thinking of other possible guide animals, including a cat, giraffe, or pig.
Landon and his CNIB Buddy Dog Ruggles, a Golden Retriever, laying on a cushion together in their living room. Landon’s arm is around Ruggles, petting his back.

When Landon met Ruggles

In October, Ruggles, a CNIB Buddy Dog travelled from Ontario to British Columbia to meet his new partner after Landon's parents applied for a Buddy Dog for their son, who is blind and on the autism spectrum.
Two people sitting in a café, talking and laughing. A guide dog is laying under the table at their feet.

Access Tales: Dining Out with a Guide Dog

Despite legislation that makes it illegal to deny access or refuse service to a guide dog handler, it happens every day in Canada. While it is important to draw attention to the access issues that guide dog handlers face across the country, it is also important to highlight occasions when things are done right.
First photo is of a yellow Labrador-Retriever, sitting on a neighbourhood sidewalk, wearing a Pup Crawl race bib. Second photo is of a black Labrador-Retriever, sitting in front of a tree, wearing a Pup Crawl race bib.

Dollars for Dogs – CNIB Guide Dogs Pup Crawl

From April 29 to May 29, 2020, participants, supporters and donors rose to the challenge in a big way and made our inaugural Pup Crawl a tremendous success! More than 360 people across Canada laced up their sneakers to complete the virtual 5 km race in support of CNIB Guide Dogs.
A young black Labrador-Retriever laying on his belly in the grass, wearing a yellow “Future Guide Dog” vest.

Puppy Tales: Meet Garry, a star student and future guide dog

“We liked the idea of volunteering for a national organization that’s directly related to assisting those with vision loss,” says Garry's puppy raiser. “We thought it would be a cool thing to be a part of.”
Two black Labs, one with brindled paws, laying on the grass and looking up toward the camera

Puppy Pointers: Importance of Routine

Dogs thrive when they know what to expect from their environment, so it is important to try to provide that structure for them. There are several key factors to consider when establishing a daily routine for your dog.
Closeup on the face of a yellow lab laying down, who looks worried.

Inside Scoop: Spotting anxiety in Guide Dogs

Like their human counterparts, guide dogs exhibit signs of anxiety sometimes. As their raiser, trainer or partner, we should be able to identify these signs, as well as understand how to mitigate the effects.
Exterior of Canine Campus in Carlton Place. Three CNIB Guide Dogs vans parked out front, trees and blue skies in the background.

Pup-dates: Canine Campus – Where dogs become CNIB Guide Dogs

The Canine Campus – a 158-acre rural property in Carleton Place – is the national training facility for CNIB Guide Dogs and home to our future guide dogs during their advanced training.
CNIBLakeJoe@Home text to the right of an image of a marshmallow roasting in a campfire with a home (roof/chimney) in the background.

CNIBLakeJoe@Home keeps campers connected

Based on camper feedback, CNIB Lake Joe is now offering virtual camp programs online and over the phone. These new CNIBLakeJoe@Home programs include friendly coffee groups and fun family trivia sessions and will expand to offer new programs and activities this summer…and beyond!
Dock to Dock Party with Purpose, Saturday, August 15, 3pm – 6 pm, Your Dock, deck or patio.

CNIB Muskoka: Virtual Dock to Dock – Party with a Purpose

Mark your calendars now! On Saturday, August 15, 3 – 6 p.m., the CNIB Lake Joe Vision Team and CNIB Muskoka fundraising committee will host a first-ever ever “CNIB Muskoka: Dock to Dock – Party with a Purpose” event to raise essential funds for CNIB Lake Joe.  While the world around us has changed due to COVID-19, the need to raise funds for CNIB Lake Joe is as crucial as ever. 
The lounge – our social gathering hotspot – with new sound panels installed on the ceiling.

The Big Reveal: CNIB Lake Joe Dining Hall & Lounge Makeover

The dining hall and lounge are at the heart of CNIB Lake Joe. Everything that matters happens here: meals, musings, meetings, music, and more. For this reason, we invested in some important upgrades to improve the acoustics and the overall look and feel of this space.
Ally standing on the grounds at Lake Joe, smiling with the water behind her.

Welcome to the CNIB Lake Joe team!

We are pleased to welcome the following new staff members to the CNIB Lake Joe team: Meet Diane, Allison (Ally), Stela, Emilee, Melyssa, Sienna, and Guy! 
Nancy Simonot wearing a pink cowboy hat and speaking into a microphone at a Lake Joe fundraising event.

Volunteer with a Vision – Nancy Simonot

For Nancy Simonot, volunteering with CNIB Lake Joe is a family affair. Her journey with CNIB began when her son, Matthew, had a transformational experience as a volunteer counsellor.
A campfire

Campfire Stories

Stories bring everyone together, even when we’re apart. We’ve all got tales to tell. Here are some storytelling tips for the virtual campfire. We can’t wait to hear them at the real thing.
Photo of Claire sitting in a chair outdoors and smiling for the camera. A golden retriever is sitting at her feet.

Brantford resident can’t imagine life without her smartphone

Seventy-four-year-old Claire from Brantford recently received a smartphone from the CNIB Foundation’s Phone It Forward program. Now she can’t imagine life without it.
Madelyn sits in front of her laptop and smiles.

Youth Zoom Hangout Sessions Inspire Madelyn

Thanks to CNIB Foundation's Youth Hangout Zoom sessions, Madelyn Holman now has other youth who are blind or partially sighted she can relate to.
Sarenia smiles in a head shot

Peer Support Group Creates Opportunities for a Fuller Life

For Sarenia Rathje joining the Regina Peer Support Group, through CNIB Foundation, opened up opportunities to participate more fully in life.
A teenage boy lays with his Buddy Dog, a golden retriever. The boy is embracing the dog and their heads are touching.

Puppy Tales: Meet Zach & Elsie

With schools closed due to COVID-19, children and youth across the country are finding themselves struggling with boredom. Calgary’s Zach Abdalla is no exception, though he’s finding comfort in a special companion, his CNIB Buddy Dog, Elsie.
A Guide Dog Handler applying the ear TTouch method to pat her golden retriever Guide Dog. The dog sits on the floor of a car passenger seat between his handler’s legs.

Puppy Pointers: The Tellington Touch

Since 1978, the Tellington Touch (TTouch) Method has become a well-known relaxation method for animals and humans and is now practiced in over 30 countries – even by some pet owners, trainers and vets.
A yellow Lab puppy laying on a dog bed, back-to-back with a cat, also laying on the dog bed.

Introducing Puppies to Family Pets

Bringing a puppy home is always exciting and can be even more so if you already have pets at home. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure the move-in goes smoothly while reducing any stress experienced by your animals while meeting one another.
Erin Malone and her golden retriever guide dog, Winston, walking in front of a CNIB.

Inside Scoop: Meet Erin and Winston

Everyone is adapting to a world where everyday activities are vastly different than they were just two months ago. While adjusting to this new way of life, Ottawa’s Dr. Erin Maloney says her days are brighter because of her guide dog, Winston.
Two black Labs lay side-by-side on a dog bed, on a patio outside on a sunny day.

Pup-dates: Coping with COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire planet in some way, and during these strange and worrying times, all of us have had to change the way we live and operate our businesses – and CNIB Guide Dogs is no exception.
A young woman wears a pair of headphones and holds a book up to her face. The book is blocking her nose and mouth so only her eyes appear.

Passing time with CNIB, Read to Me!

When COVID-19 began to emerge, it took the world by surprise. In what seemed like an instant, millions of lifestyles were changed when physical distancing measures were put in place. Like many around the world, Norma Cowell, a proud grandmother of three from London, Ontario, is facing the hardships created by the virus – including the loss of a dear friend.
A photo of a set of headphones placed over four books.

Living with sight loss during COVID-19

The CNIB Foundation recently checked in with Winnipeg’s Marianne Swarek, 89 years young, who was diagnosed with macular degeneration in her 40s. She spoke with us about living with sight loss during the pandemic – she shared the challenges she is facing as well as her advice for staying positive.
The face of a young woman from the nose up. She is looking upwards and hand draw question marks frame the top of her head

How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

How has COVID-19 impacted your life? We might be physically apart, but it’s more important than ever to stay connected.
Diane Bergeron crouches for a photo alongside Lucy. Lucy's head is resting on Diane's shoulder. Diane is lovingly petting her.

Lucy's Legacy

In July of 2012, only a few short months after beginning my work with CNIB, I found myself once again sitting in an armchair waiting to be introduced to my new guide dog. So many things were going through my mind: Have I made the right decision? Maybe Maximo could have worked just a little bit longer? Maybe I retired him too early? What will this new dog be like? So many questions. One thing that I was sure of was that I had decided that retiring a dog was too painful. This time I was going to remember that a guide dog is a mobility aid and even though I will bond with it, and trust it, I wouldn't allow myself to get so close that it would hurt when the relationship ended.
Kristin & Mary Cogswell pose for a photo together.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

When Nova Scotia's Mary Cogswell was matched with Kristin, a medical student at Dalhousie University, there was an instant connection in 2014. Since then, Kristin has been visiting Mary every week and providing sighted assistance as part of the CNIB Foundation's Vision Mate program.
Bill Liggins stands on the corner at an Accessible Pedestrian Signal. He is holding his white cane in his left hand and pressing the crosswalk button with this right hand.

Advocating for Accessible Pedestrian Signals

Sometimes advocacy can be as simple as asking the right people for help in a nice way. A couple of years ago, my wife and I moved to Parry Sound to be closer to our family and start the home stretch to retirement. As an individual with vision loss who enjoys exploring communities, I realized that this small town was lacking safe/accessible traffic light crossings.
Dressed casually in jeans and a blue shirt, Bernard, strikes a boxing pose. His fists are up near his chest ready to punch. Behind him is a landscape of sweeping green trees.

Meet Bernard: CNIB Ambassador and advocate

As a youngster, I was constantly told that I had to work harder than others. I never completely understood this notion. Now it's clearer to me. As a black male, there are negative stereotypes that we face. On top of these stereotypes, living with a visual impairment exacerbates these misconceptions.
An illustration of profile/silhouettes of three faces. Text: You've got options. disabilityrights.ca.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Optional Protocol is an additional agreement with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which allows people who have disabilities to make human rights complaints directly to the United Nations Committee, if they've exhausted all legal options within Canada.
Robyn Rennie poses for a photo in front of her colourful artwork next to a digital printed QR Code. She is holding a small, chocolate-brown dog.

Making Art Accessible

I am a visual artist with low vision who wants to change the accessibility of art. I paint abstract landscapes to convey how I experience my world after vision loss. Sighted people are very curious about how things appear from my point-of-view.
Jacob Charendoff smiles for a professional headshot. He is wearing a stylish blue suit.

Know Your Rights: Meet Jacob

When the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute denied Jacob Charendoff an accommodation request, he filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. We spoke with Jacob about the process and what motivated him to file a formal application.
A job interview. An employer holds a resume. In front of him is someone being interviewed.

2020 Ontario Budget Ask

Over the last few months, we have been meeting with Government of Ontario officials and asking them to support Come to Work as part of the Ontario Budget. The Ontario Budget is the major policy document outlining the government's plans for the upcoming fiscal year.
Photo of Christine playing guitar on a bridge. Trees are behind her and the sun shining.

“Balcony jam sessions” bringing Toronto community (almost) together

Like many Canadians today, Christine Malec is looking to stay connected with her community and the world around her. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is isolating themselves from the outside world – but many don’t consider how challenging this can be for those with a disability. 
Diane Bergeron walks alongside her guide dog, Carla. Carla is in harness and standing to the left of her.

Pup-dates: CNIB Guide Dogs welcomes new president

Please join us in welcoming Diane Bergeron as President, CNIB Guide Dogs. As a guide dog handler for more than 35 years, Diane breaks down barriers and opens doors for people who are blind or partially sighted. Every day, she is actively engaged in regional, national and international initiatives to ensure everyone has an opportunity to live the lives they choose.
Myra, a black lab in harness and leash, stands on the snow-covered ground.

Inside Scoop: Training a future CNIB Guide Dog

For every puppy raiser, saying goodbye is never easy. While this transition can be difficult, knowing that you've helped give freedom and independence to a person with sight loss makes it all worthwhile. 
Un grand groupe d’employés et de bénévoles d’INCA pose en face d’une affiche aux couleurs d’INCA au gala du programme des chiens-guides.

Dollars for Dogs: Guide Dogs with Purpose Gala

In January, the CNIB Foundation held its inaugural Guide Dogs with Purpose Gala in Regina. Presented by Scotiabank, attendees were treated to an evening of glamour and fun while raising funds for CNIB Guide Dogs.
A puppy in training walks (on leash) alongside a woman.

Puppy Pointers: Socializing a future guide dog

Puppy raisers play a pivotal role in socializing the puppy to become a guide dog. Here are some crucial things to consider when deciding where and when to socialize a future guide dog. 
 Two Golden Retrievers, wearing guide dog in training vests, sit side by side at the airport.

Puppy Tales: A brotherly bond

It was 4 a.m. airport wakeup calls for George and his brother, Ruggles. The two Golden Retrievers were heading to British Columbia to be partnered with children living with sight loss.
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: COVID-19 – human and animal health

The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is having serious impacts for people on a global and individual basis. To date, no COVID-19 clinical cases in pets have been detected but two healthy dogs in Hong Kong have tested positive for COVID-19 after the owners were confirmed to be infected – this may indicate human to animal transfer. Currently, these dogs and four cats are in quarantine, as it is unclear what risk (if any) they pose to other animals and people.
Winners from the 2019 Braille Creative Writing Contest Kelsey, Zara and Zachary pose for a photo with Karen Brophey. They are holding their awards!

2020 Braille Creative Writing Contest!

The 2020 Braille Creative Writing Contest is now accepting entries!

Since 1997, the CNIB Foundation has organized a Canada-wide Braille Creative Writing Contest for children and youth. This important competition celebrates braille literacy and encourages young people to flex their creative muscles while practicing their braille skills.

Show off your creative writing talents for a chance to win cash prizes! 
An illustration of a megaphone outlined in a black paintbrush style design with yellow accents.

Message to CNIB Lake Joe Friends - March 2020

Like many of you, the CNIB Foundation has been monitoring the potential impact of COVID-19 and actively preparing to meet the demands of the evolving situation. Ensuring the health and safety of our guests and team members remains our top priority as we prepare for the 2020 season at CNIB Lake Joe.
An illustration of a sailboat outlined in a black paintbrush style design. A dash of white paint appears on the boat sail. Text: CNIB Lake Joe.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know about CNIB Lake Joe

Before your next adventure at CNIB Lake Joe, here are ten things you should know!
A s'mores pizza slice! Gooey marshmallows litter the top of the slab.

Have you ever enjoyed a s'more pizza?

Messy but marvellous, s’mores are an essential part of the camp experience. Thanks to a generous donor, we've installed an outdoor pizza oven at CNIB Lake Joe and put a new twist on this camp classic - s’mores dessert pizza!
Jim (and his megawatt smile) sits in a Muskoka chair near the shores of CNIB Lake Joe.

Special thanks: Volunteer Jim Tokos, 23+ years of service

Do you remember what you were doing 23 years ago? Were you sitting in a packed movie theatre breathlessly watching Titanic? Humming along to Elton John’s Candle in the Wind? Enjoying the warm winter compliments of El Nino? For Jim Tokos, 1997 was the beginning of a prolific volunteer career at CNIB Lake Joe.
Photo of Michelle (left) and daughter Emma (right).

Why CNIB Lake Joe? Meet the Van Dyk family

By Michelle Van Dyk
It was five years ago, right here at CNIB Lake Joe, that my daughter said to me, ‘Mom, I have found my people.' At that moment, I knew that we were going to be okay.
The Dining Hall & Lounge at CNIB Lake Joe. A construction worker stands on a large lift to reach the ceiling with a tool.

Extreme Makeover: CNIB Lake Joe edition

Meals together in the dining hall are one of the highlights at camp, with guests coming together to break bread and catch up. With a capacity of 200 people, sometimes shared conversations can be too much of a good thing.
o	Seven young people link arms around one another and form a circle of support.

Coming Up: What’s New at CNIB Lake Joe

CNIB Lake Joe’s 2020 season runs spring to fall with programs to delight people of all ages: children & youth, families, and adults of all ages. The 2020 program includes camper favourites that sell out year after year, plus many exciting new programs.
11 CNIB Lake Joe Staff members pose for a selfie-group photo.

CNIB Lake Joe - Help Wanted

CNIB Lake Joe is hiring seasonal staff for 2020. If you have a passion for enriching lives, making memories and building independence, applying now to join our team on the shores of beautiful Lake Joseph in Muskoka, and helping change what it is to be blind!
Victoria Nolan and her teammate rowing on Elk Lake, Victoria.

Detour to Tokyo - Part 2

Whether you're trying a new sport or you're returning to physical activity after being inactive for a while, it can be painful!

When I decided to start rowing again, I had already been training for a half-marathon – running three times a week for 70-90 minutes and weight training three times a week – but nothing prepares you for the rowing machine!
Victoria Nolan practices on an outdoor rowing machine on her back porch.

Detour to Tokyo - Part 3

It was difficult to hear that the Olympics and Paralympics would be postponed for a year, but it was also a relief. As Canadian athletes, we were very proud that Team Canada had already made the difficult decision to pull our teams out of the games, if they were to go ahead. But then we had to wait for the final decision from the International Olympic and Paralympic committees as to whether they were still going to hold the games, postpone them or cancel them.
bol de nourriture pour chiens

Ask Lynn: Feeding a Guide Dog on the Go

Dear Lynn,

I frequently travel by air, domestically and internationally, with my guide dog. I find it difficult to manage my dog's food during my trips. Do you have any advice?

-Food for Thought
Vegetable platter filled with bell peppers, asparagus and other vegetables on top of quinoa

Heart-Healthy Recipes

February is Heart Month, which means we’re not just focused on giving out Valentine’s Day cards and indulging on a few chocolates at this time of year. Heart Month is a time to pay a little extra attention to cardiovascular health – and how to lessen our risk.
Haben Girma stands with Barrack Obama, while Joe Biden Stands in the background

Celebrating Black History Month

February marks Black History Month, which honours and reflects upon the legacies and incredible contributions of people who are black from the past and present. While the month is often synonymous with people like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson, there are countless others who've made a profound impact in history – including those who are blind.
AMI's Dave Brown

It’s the Morning Show with Attitude: "NOW with Dave Brown"

Many daily morning shows just deliver news and information to their listeners and viewers. It's a one-way conversation. "NOW with Dave Brown" isn't like anything else you'll hear or see. Airing weekdays at 9 a.m. Eastern on AMI-audio and AMI-tv, "NOW with Dave Brown" is a two-way discussion between host and audience.
Victoria, along with two men and two women, wearing Team Canada Jackets and bronze medals.

Detour to Tokyo - Part 1

Victoria Nolan is back in the boat and working towards competing in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

As she talks about her journey, hopefully you'll learn more about para sports and how finding the right activity can prove you may be more athletic than you think!
A room full of people standing in small groups, chatting & networking, at the Connecting the Dots conference in Toronto.

My 'Connecting the Dots' Experience

I signed up to volunteer at the Connecting the Dots conference last fall, so I could attend the sessions and network with participants and employers alike. I was eager to meet new people, share experiences and learn more about employment opportunities.
A young man and his guide dog stand on the corner of a busy intersection. In his right hand, he holds a Key2Access Fob. In his left hand, he holds the Guide Dog harness.

Making pedestrian crossings safer with Key2Access

One of our partners in accessibility, Key2Access, is a Canadian technology start-up with an innovative approach to accessible pedestrian crossings.
A hand holds a smartphone up in the air. The phone is surrounded by an illustration of a circular black swirl.

Receiving a smartphone through the CNIB Foundation's Phone it Forward program

For Crystal Gunn, owning a smartphone meant a sense of security and peace of mind. As someone living with type 1 diabetes, access to a phone would be invaluable if there was an emergency.  
Nima Machouf, NDP candidate in the federal election, poses with the CNIB Foundation Quebec staff: Catheryne Houde, David Demers, Valérie and Sarah Rouleau.

CNIB Foundation launches Accessible Neighbourhood project in Montréal

Several organizations and businesses in Montréal’s Sainte-Marie neighbourhood are working with the CNIB Foundation to help make the city more accessible.

Launched in the fall of 2019, the Accessible Neighbourhood project is designed to transform Montreal into a beacon of accessibility and inclusion, where everyone can live, work and play without barriers.
Aakruti Patel of West Groupe presents an iPhone to Sébastien Bolduc at the CNIB Montreal Hub.

Phoning it Forward with WestGroupe

Ten Quebecois with sight loss now own modern smartphones thanks to a $5,000 gift from WestGroupe. Their generous donation to CNIB Foundation's Phone It Forward program provided Sébastien Bolduc with a free smartphone and one-on-one user training.
Two young children are holding on to the same braille book and walking around a classroom environment.

The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation donates $10,000 to support reading workshops for children with sight loss

Thanks to a $10,000 gift from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, the CNIB Foundation Quebec will offer reading workshops for a second year.
Exterior of CNIB Sudbury Hub featuring bright VLRO and CNIB Foundation signage. A gentle snowfall covers the exterior parking lot

CNIB Foundation opens Sudbury Community Hub

In November, the CNIB Foundation celebrated the grand opening of its first community hub in Northern Ontario. Guests included MPP Jamie West, Mayor Brian Bigger, Councillor Bill Leduc and Councillor Mark Signoretti.
Hands typing on a Perkins brailler.

Braille Creative Writing Contest Winners

Since 1997, the CNIB Foundation has organized a Canada-wide Braille Creative Writing Contest for children and youth. This important competition celebrates braille literacy and encourages young people with sight loss to flex their creative muscles while practicing their braille skills.
A guide dog in a graduation cap.

Pup-dates: From puppy to partner

People often comment about the quality of our dogs. To be honest, we expect our dogs to meet the highest standards in health and quality, and we haven't been disappointed. However, one of the things that pleases me the most is the incredible standard of mobility that's achieved by our guide dog handlers. This is due, in no small part, to the training team. I am fortunate to work with a talented team that is committed to raising the bar.
A woman and a yellow guide dog in a harness walking down a park path.

Dollars for Dogs: The Piper family and 3D Petroleums

Dave and Tami Piper and their family business, 3D Petroleums, wanted to work with a charity that would keep them involved and deliver a unique donor experience from start to finish.

"We wanted to see exactly where our dollars were going – CNIB Guide Dogs gave us the biggest bang for our buck,” says the family. “With CNIB Guide Dogs, we've been able to follow the progress from pup to guide dog."
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: Exercise for puppies

When providing exercise to a puppy, you need to consider both the type and the amount (how long and how frequent) for his/her age. It is easy and tempting to over exercise in order to tire the pup out to give everyone a break!
A yellow guide dog in a yellow vest at a sports stadium.

Puppy Tales: Becoming a puppy raiser

As a civics teacher, Jeff Barr always made a point to instill in his students the importance of paying it forward. So, it should come as no surprise that Jeff and his family decided to become puppy raisers for CNIB Guide Dogs after his 40-year career.
A woman and her black Labrador/Golden Retriever guide dog.

Inside Scoop: Matching a guide dog with someone who is blind

CNIB Guide Dogs has a pre-matching process that is completed during the interview stage, whether the applicant is replacing a previous guide dog or applying for their first one. This information is crucial because it helps us select a dog that will meet the specific needs of the individual. So, what are the key factors that we consider when matching a guide dog with someone who is blind?
A close-up of a dog's face.

Puppy Pointers: Identifying calming signals

Although dogs can't verbally communicate with us using words, they can communicate effectively using their body. In fact, dogs are masters of body language. They display an array of “calming signals”, a term coined by Norwegian dog trainer, Turid Rugaas. Calming signals are physical movements that are often overlooked because most of us simply don’t understand the language of dogs.
Ali Zaben, 9, poses for a school picture. He's smiling and crossing his arms.

Literacy at your fingertips – Meet Ali

Gloucester's Ali Zaben, 9, wins first prize in the CNIB Foundation's Braille Creative Writing Contest. In honour of World Braille Day (January 4), we spoke to Ali about his experience.
Hands move over a braille book. A fireplace emits flames in the background.

Braille is my way of communicating – Meet Mélodie

Laval's Mélodie de Ravel wins second prize in the CNIB Foundation's Braille Creative Writing Contest. In honour of World Braille Day (January 4), we spoke with Mélodie about her experience.
Tracy with Marion, black Labrador Retriever and Autumn, Tracy’s pet dog.

Meet Tracy & Marion

After an accident, Tracy knew he needed some help for his safety and independence. He applied to CNIB Guide Dogs. A few months later, he was matched with Marion, a black Labrador Retriever.

“Marion licked my face as soon as she met me," says Tracy. "I just knew that she was going to be a great fit – she has a kind, gentle soul.”
A woman holds a signature guide over a white page with a ballot and tactile ballot overlay beside her.

Canadians send more than 2,100 letters to federal candidates demanding #TechNow!

Technology can level the playing field for people who are blind or partially sighted – but only when it’s accessible, available and affordable. To help make this a reality, the CNIB Foundation launched a national advocacy campaign that coincided with the federal election in October. #TechNow! aimed to ensure that all aspects of the federal government are complemented with accessible adaptive technology and programs.
CNIB Foundation staff Angela Bonfanti, Vice President (Ontario and Quebec) and Kat Clarke, Manager, Advocacy and Government Affairs (Ontario and Quebec) with Ontario Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney.

CNIB hopes to inform public policy for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

As Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) emerge on Canadian roads, we will experience fundamental changes in how Canadian streets are navigated both by vehicles and pedestrians. These changes will impact vulnerable road users, particularly those who are blind or partially sighted. 

CNIB completed a study of CAV technology in Canada. The final report provides seven recommendations to help inform policy development nationally and internationally.
A city sidewalk with a row of electric scooters lined up on it.

CNIB Ontario submits response as part of e-scooter consultation

In August 2019, the Ontario government announced it would be launching a public consultation on permitting e-scooters on Ontario roads as part of 5-year pilot. It is currently illegal for a person to ride an electronic scooter on any public roadway in Ontario. Initially, the consultation was launched just before the Labour Day weekend and provided a 48-hour window for the public to provide their input.
A young man and his guide dog stand on the corner of a busy intersection. In his right hand, he holds a Key2Access Fob. In his left hand, he holds the Guide Dog harness

Key2Access launches in Stratford

The City of Stratford is participating in an innovative pilot project that uses wireless technology to improve accessibility at signalized pedestrian crossings.

Two downtown intersections in Stratford are now equipped with Key2Access – a platform that makes crossing intersections safer and easier for people with sight loss and other disabilities.
Detective Jeff Bangild in police uniform and his young son, Ryan

Making the Toronto Police Service more accessible

For Detective Jeff Bangild, making the world more accessible is a personal, and professional mission. Detective Bangild joined the Toronto Police Service in 1996. Recently, he spoke with us about accessibility training for new recruits.
An illustration of a megaphone. Text "Know Your Rights."

CNIB launches Know Your Rights project

Through the Know Your Rights project, the CNIB Foundation has developed plain language legal information and resources (fact sheets, videos, training, etc.) to empower Ontarians who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind to better understand their rights, navigate the Ontario legal system and self-advocate to challenge discrimination. 
A woman in front of a yellow background with a cartoon drawing of flexed arms on either side of her.

Raise Your Voice on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

CNIB is proud to release a series of three self-advocacy videos. Whether you’ve been a self-advocate for decades or you’re new to the world of self-advocacy, you’ll find some tips, tricks, and thought-provoking insights in these videos!
Pile of Christmas cookies on a plate

Ask Lynn: Holiday baking

Dear Lynn,
In preparation for the holidays, I spend most of my weekends baking delectable treats. I enjoy sharing my Christmas baking with family and friends...
Simon Cowell and Kodi Lee attend the Season 14 Finale of ‘America’s Got Talent’ at Dolby Theatre on Sept. 18, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

'Wow!' of the month: Kodi Lee

This Christmas is likely to be a lot brighter than the last for Kodi Lee, the 22-year-old who recently won the 14th season of "America's Got Talent" (AGT). After all, he has million-dollar prize under the tree this year.
Santa Claus wearing headphones

The 12 Days of Podcasts

This year we're giving the gift of podcasts! Unwrap a new podcast each day to keep your ears happy this holiday season. From podcasts about the best holiday recipe to try, to the latest book club read from "CNIB Unbound" – we've got something for everyone to enjoy.
Victoria, her Guide Dog Alan, and a police officer sit on a couch.

AdvoCorner: Toronto Police Service educates community about the rights of guide dog handlers

Guide Dog Awareness Month (GDAM) wrapped up on September 30 with a joint message from the CNIB Foundation and Toronto Police Service – guide dogs belong everywhere. It's the law.
Dr. Bennett and a black dog.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: The holidays bring plenty of sweet treats with toxicity risks for our dogs…

Theobromine and caffeine are known toxins in chocolate. The consequences vary, depending on the kind of chocolate (i.e. baking chocolate is the most toxic and milk chocolate or chocolate flavours are the least toxic) and the amount. Therefore, symptoms are highly variable.
A young boy and a Golden Retriever.

Puppy Tales: Becoming a Buddy Dog

In April, CNIB Guide Dogs launched its Buddy Dog program. Buddy Dogs are partnered with children who are living with sight loss. Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking this well-trained family pet, the program provides the child with an opportunity to care for a dog and make it easier to transition into a guide dog partnership in the future.
A black Guide Dog in training in a yellow vest with a chew toy.

Puppy Pointers: Future Guide Dogs and Chewing

All puppies love to chew, including future guide dogs. Their instinct to chew has a purpose: to keep their teeth and gums healthy and clean, to sooth pain from teething, to destress, to explore their "world", to relieve boredom and, sometimes, just for fun.
A man and woman smiling.

Dollars for Dogs: Mary & John Crocker

Sponsoring a puppy was an easy decision for Mary and John Crocker, long-time supporters of CNIB.

"When we learned CNIB Guide Dogs believes everyone who would like to have a guide dog should have that opportunity, regardless of financial circumstances, we decided to become a sponsor," says Mary. "It's gratifying to know exactly where our sponsorship contribution goes."
A smiling boy in glasses with his arm around a Golden Retriever in a yellow vest.

Meet Austin & Dickson

For Austin and his family, adjusting to have a dog in the house and caring for Dickson, a Buddy Dog, has been an educational experience.

"Dickson is helping Austin get over his apprehension about dogs and helping him build a bond," says Julianna, Austin's mother. "It's a learning curve, but it's definitely worth it."
A woman in a purple jacket and her black Lab/Golden Retriever cross guide dog.

Meet Sandy & Keller

When Sandy Benoit's guide dog passed away, she found herself in limbo.

"I went four months without a guide dog and was chomping at the bit," says Sandy. "When I lost my dog, it was a jolting reality that I had to adjust to. There was no pitter-patter in the house. But, when Keller arrived, everything changed."
Brailled versions of "My Heart Fills With Happiness".

Printbraille Pilot Project gives accessible reading materials to kids

This fall, the CNIB Foundation will be equipping 14 school libraries with printbraille books, as well as a suite of braille and tactile materials for teachers or itinerant teachers to use to engage students with sight loss in the classroom.
A woman crosses the street with a black Lab in a yellow harness.

Meet Ashley & Danson

Ashley Nemeth's sense of confidence and independence was stripped away from her when her guide dog, Rick, was hit by a cyclist on a sidewalk in downtown Regina in 2018.

She was eager to regain the freedom that a guide dog partnership promises, so she applied to CNIB Guide Dogs.
A group of people sit in a circle.

CNIB Foundation South (GTA) expands Peer Support offerings with Ontario Trillium Foundation grant

For people who have lost their sight, connecting with others who have experienced the same thing can make a world of difference toward rebuilding confidence, independence and a sense of hope. Peer support reduces the incidence of depression and isolation associated with sight loss while helping people gain self-confidence and improve the quality of their lives.
A woman wearing eSight glasses stands in a subway car.

Embracing the Power of eSight

Yvonne Felix has lived her entire life with sight loss. She was diagnosed at an early age with Stargardt disease, which causes sight to deteriorate over time. 7 years ago, when she was offered an opportunity to try an assistive device that would enhance the functional sight she did have, she was immediately intrigued.
A woman in a black and white checkered jacket, wears white eSight glasses and works at her computer.

Back to Work with eSight

Julia Lewis had a successful career as an electro-analytical chemist, until her mid-thirties when she lost her sight. Unable to continue in the same line of work, but undeterred, she started working with colleges and universities on establishing health and safety and enterprise risk management departments, with help from assistive technology.
Karen and Andrew with two puppies in yellow vests.

Pup-dates: Introducing the CNIB Guide Dogs Team

At CNIB, we believe that everyone who would like to have a guide dog should have that opportunity. That's why we launched CNIB Guide Dogs in 2017. Our program is designed to raise and train dogs exclusively for Canadians with sight loss. Our technical team has nearly 150 years of combined experience working with guide dogs. So, who are we?
Danika hugging a Lab/Golden Retriever cross in a yellow harness.

Dollars for Dogs: Mary Weingarden

"I was researching organizations that trained service dogs on the very day that the program was launched,” says Mary. "When I discovered that the guide dog handlers would not have to pay for their dog, the training or the follow-up support because all costs would be covered through charitable donations, my decision was made. I wanted to support a program that truly helped someone – CNIB Guide Dogs was the perfect fit."
Victoria and her guide dog Alan.

AdvoCorner: Discrimination against guide dogs

In Canada, it's illegal to deny access or refuse service to a person who is working with a guide dog. Unfortunately, discrimination continues to happen because people are unaware of the laws that protect guide dog teams in Canada.
A headshot of Dr. Bennett.

Dr. Bennett’s Office: Ticks and tick-borne diseases

The presence of ticks and the incidence of tick-borne diseases from tick bites is across Canada. Currently, Southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes are being hit the hardest. Climate change experts expect the range and number of tick species will increase, resulting in significantly more cases of tick-borne diseases affecting humans, dogs, horses, cats, etc.
A boy walking with a white cane and Golden Retriever.

Puppy Tales: Meet Mason & Queenie

Mason, a 9-year-old boy with sight loss, couldn't wait to meet his Buddy Dog, a Golden Retriever named Queenie. The night before she arrived, he was so restless with anticipation that he could hardly sleep.
A woman hugs a yellow Labrador Retriever.

Inside Scoop: Training with Daisy

The thought of having another guide dog was a relief. But there were nerves. Would it work out? I had met my previous dogs before starting training, but that wasn't the case this time. And, I'd never trained at home before, so I wasn't sure how it would work. Where would we go? What would we do? What if I hated the instructor?
A Black Lab in a yellow vest lying on the floor.

Puppy Pointers: Socialization

Whether it's exploring a car port or taking a trip downtown, socializing puppies is an essential role of CNIB Guide Dogs. A future guide dog begins this part of his/her training shortly after settling into his/her puppy raiser's home.
Joshua Cook and two other people sit in a sail boat on the water. They are at the World Blind Sailing Championships in Scotland.

CNIB Lake Joe: Meet Joshua

The moment Joshua Cook arrived at CNIB Lake Joe, he knew it was the beginning of a beautiful, lifelong bond.

"Before I went to camp, I felt isolated. I was the only person I knew with a visual impairment," says Joshua. "I wanted to be around other people with sight loss. Lake Joe really put things into perspective for me."
A head shot of Scott Seiler. He is smiling and wearing a grey turtleneck.

Phone It Forward to Scott!

Scott Seiler dreamed of owning a smartphone, but the cost, and lack of hands-on training, was a barrier. As someone who had never sent a text message, Scott says he felt disconnected from the outside world. He longed for something that would allow him to connect with people without having to rely on memorizing multiple phone numbers.
A large group of 17 people gather in a support group. They are seated in a circle.

The Strength of the Group

The weekly support groups facilitated by Pascal create a sense of family where people find comfort and support - sharing advice on a variety of topics without passing judgment.

One of the members says: "Our vision loss is easier to accept when we have the opportunity to discuss it with others who've had to overcome the same challenges.”