Seven veterans with sight loss walking in Regent's Park near St. Dunstan's in 1917. St Dunstan's – now Blind Veterans UK – is a rehabilitation facility in London that provides rehabilitation services to veterans with vision loss.

100 years later, veterans still turning to CNIB

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(HALIFAX – Nov. 1, 2018) It's been 100 years since CNIB was founded by a group of men – several of whom had served in the military – who recognized the need to support their fellow veterans who were returning home blind after World War I.

CNIB’s founders returned home from war with a vision of an organization that would empower blind and partially sighted Canadians with the confidence, skills and opportunities they would need to regain their independence and fully participate in life.

"Just like the soldiers who turned to CNIB for support during WWI, WWII and the Korean War, today veterans are looking to make the most of their remaining sight," says Crystal Legere, provincial manager for Vision Loss Rehabilitation Nova Scotia, a CNIB organization.

Some received eye injuries while serving in Bosnia or Afghanistan, while others have developed one of the four main causes of vision loss: age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.

Whether their sight loss is complete or partial, combat-related or simply a factor of aging, veterans of all ages can take advantage of Vision Loss Rehabilitation Nova Scotia's free, personalized rehabilitation support – helping them make the most of their remaining sight and creating a plan that helps them get back to a fulfilling life. 

“CNIB has a long-standing relationship with the men and women of Canada’s military and we are reaching out to veterans across Nova Scotia who could benefit from our services,” says Ms. Legere. “Our vision rehabilitation specialists deliver services where Nova Scotians need them most: in their homes and communities, over the phone, online and at CNIB centres in Halifax and Sydney.”

The CNIB Foundation and Vision Loss Rehabilitation Nova Scotia offer the largest array of products and technologies specially designed to make life with sight loss easier – like magnifiers, talking watches and large-button telephones. For veterans, the cost of many of these products are covered by Veterans Affairs Canada.

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