Paige Andreas smiles as she stands beside a CNIB Foundation sign

CNIB Employment Advisory Committee aims to empower and reduce the unemployment rate for people with sight loss 

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February 21, 2019 (Regina, SK) CNIB's newest initiative is bringing Paige Andreas hope that she will be able to find ongoing employment. 

"As a partially sighted person, the potential of unemployment can be a daunting reality. But CNIB is really taking steps to change this, and for me this means my future will be a better one," said the 22-year-old, CNIB intern and Employment Bootcamp participant.

For people who are blind and partially sighted a low unemployment rate is a reality. A recent survey found the employment rate among Canadians with vision loss at 73 per cent versus 28 per cent for people without a disability. And approximately half of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted live on a low income of $20,000 a year or less.  

"Many of our clients don't have the same opportunities to build experience and job knowledge the way a person with sight does," said Amber-Joy Boyd, Career and Employment Specialist for Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan (a CNIB organization). "Many employers don't understand how to make workplaces accessible for people who are blind and are not aware of what those with vision loss are actually capable of."

CNIB addressed these barriers in their new strategic plan, Bold Dreams, Bright Futures 2018-2022, which aims to Boost Engagement in the World of Work for individuals who are blind and partially sighted.  CNIB Saskatchewan created a number of programs to address employment related issues which include:  this week's second Employment Bootcamp which is taking place in Regina at CNIB from Feb. 19-21st, internships at both Saskatchewan CNIB offices and the new Employment Advisory Committee.

The advisory committee's aim is to open the doors of employment for people with vision loss. On Thursday the members will participate in mock interviews and feedback with the bootcamp participants. 

Amy Alsop, became the Chair of the CNIB Employment Advisory Committee for just this reason. "It’s not about giving people a job, it’s about equipping job seekers with the tools and skills to gain confidence to enter the workforce and move up.  The biggest impact our committee can make is defining what that entry point into work looks like for someone who is blind or partially sighted, because once they have experience in the workplace they can use the tools from bootcamp to move up their career ladder.  It is one thing to think you can do a job, it is another to know you can do the job….and that’s where we need to get to.”

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For more information, please contact:
Jackie Lay, Communications Specialist, CNIB Saskatchewan Division
Cell: (306) 540-3086, Office: (306) 667-2241, Email: jackie.lay@cnib.ca

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