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Knowing how to advocate for yourself is what can truly affect change.  

At CNIB Newfoundland and Labrador we focus on two kinds of advocacy: Self-advocacy and advocating for group causes.

  • Self-advocacy is speaking up for yourself. It could be as simple as stating that you need to sit at the front of the class, or you need materials in an accessible format. It could be a volunteer or employee explaining that they need a speech output program or screen reader. Or it could be a person pointing out it is their right to have access to a treatment or telling someone not to pet or distract their guide dog. We provide training, tools and resources to our advocates, so they are empowered to drive their own campaigns forward.

  • Advocating for group causes is about influencing and changing legislation, policy and practices to benefit all people with sight loss. Change can be sparked in one-on-one conversations between advocates and policy or decision makers. Or it can come by building public awareness and ensuring legislators realize voters want change. We mobilize our advocate volunteers to get involved in provincial and national advocacy campaigns.

Meet our advocacy champions

  • Kim Thistle-Murphy     
  • Nadine Green     
  • Cindy Antle
  • Danny Barrett            
  • Emily Mayne      
  • Ed Colford
  • George Sweeney        
  • Brent Bussey     
  • Anne Malone
  • Ed Barnes                 
  • Karen Young      
  • Robert Lee Burt
  • Charlene Caines         
  • Debbie Ryan (team lead)

The group meets monthly to discuss opportunities and solutions in navigating some of the day-to-day challenges.  

If you would like to learn more or are interested in joining this working group, contact Debbie Ryan 709-754-1180 ext. 5811 or email