Saskatoon – December 3, 2018 – Today is International Day of Person's with Disabilities and this year's theme is "Empowering person's with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". This is exactly what CNIB has done for Paige Andreas.
"I really have grown as a person, by participating in the employment programs at CNIB. Giving me the confidence to realize that I am capable of gaining employment and that my eye condition doesn't have to hold me back," said the 22-year-old.
Andreas participated in the first ever CNIB Employment Bootcamp in July and is presently an intern at CNIB in the Saskatoon office. Both programs are a part of the CNIB's ongoing efforts to "change what is to be blind today" and "boost participation in the world of work."
"We give people who are blind or partially sighted the tools to show the potential they already have. We also help them gain job skills, work experience and learn what technology will help them do their job better," said Julie Kehrig the Career and Employment Specialist at Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan, a CNIB organization.
"But this is only one part of the equation," said Kehrig, "We also need employers to see how easy it is to employ people with sight loss, so we break down any barriers that still exist."
In a recent survey of blind and partially sighted adults across three countries, results showed Australia had the lowest full-time employment rate at 24 per cent, followed by Canada at 28 per cent, while New Zealand had the highest with only 32 per cent. However, the full-time employment rate among the general public in these countries is, in some cases, nearly double that.
"These low employment rates just reflect a lack of understanding. We can help employers with workplace accommodations that will allow them to employ people with sight loss enabling them to gain a potential life long employee like Andreas," said Kehrig.
"I just want others with sight loss to have the confidence I have found. CNIB helped me realize there is so much I can do that I didn't realize I could before," said Andreas.
Celebrating 100 years in 2018, CNIB is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams while tearing down barriers to inclusion. Our work is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. To learn more or get involved, visit cnib.ca.
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan is the province's leading provider of rehabilitation therapy for people with sight loss. As a CNIB organization, it brings nearly a century of experience of working in communities across Saskatchewan, offering services and support to enhance the independence, safety, mobility and emotional well-being of individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan's services are operated by CNIB and funded by the Government of Saskatchewan.
For more information, please contact:
Jackie Lay, Communications Specialist, CNIB Saskatchewan Division
Cell: (306) 540-3086, Office: (306) 667-2241, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org