CNIB staff and clients stand with Senators in front of the Senate Thrones and Speaker's Chair.

Advocacy

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CNIB is proud to work alongside Canadians who are blind or partially sighted to eliminate discrimination and advocate for an inclusive, barrier-free society.

CNIB advocacy has:

  • Worked with governments, public libraries and stakeholders to promote equitable library services for Canadians with print disabilities.
  • Changed the way essential vision rehabilitation services in each province are funded.
  • Helped bring about Canada's ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, allowing accessible books to flow more freely across borders.
  • Actively worked with schools to deliver braille and recorded textbooks.
  • Helped influence communications policies to see increased access to described video.
  • Encouraged the establishment of smartphone data plans to better meet the unique needs of persons with sight loss.
  • Worked with transportation providers to promote awareness of a passenger’s right to be accompanied by a certified guide dog.
  • Advocated for the introduction of the 1933 Blind Voters Act, which allowed Canadians who were blind to cast a ballot.
  • Published guidelines on increasing accessibility to the built environment, both interior and exterior.
  • Achieved concessions so that persons who are blind can be accompanied to public events, gain access to transit and receive income tax consideration along with other persons with disabilities.
  • From its inception in 1918, CNIB has worked to bring about lasting change to ensure that Canadians with sight loss had the tools and opportunities to participate fully as equal members of society.

When we first opened our doors, food, clothing and housing for blind persons was an urgent need. Then the CNIB launched one of Canada's first social enterprise initiatives to provide employment: industrial broom-making shops and catering operations. For the next 60 years, CNIB-operated tuck shops and cafeterias could be found across the country.