About CNIB

CNIB provides community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. CNIB delivers programs and services that help people overcome the challenges of sight loss, increase their independence and achieve their goals. Their advocacy efforts strive for equal access and an inclusive society. CNIB also promotes the effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease.

About vision loss in Canada and BC

  • Over 836,000 Canadians are blind or partially sighted, including 111,300 in BC.
  • A further 3.4 million Canadians live with some form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts – chronic eye conditions that threaten sight.
  • As our population ages, the incidence and impact of vision loss will rise dramatically. The likelihood of developing vision loss doubles with every decade after age 40, and triples with every decade after 75.
  • The cost of vision loss in Canada is estimated at $15.8 billion annually in Canada.
  • The employment rate among Canadians with vision loss is only 32 per cent.
  • Half of all adults with vision loss live below the poverty line, reporting gross annual incomes of $20,000 or less regardless of marital or family status.

About the CNIB Library for the Blind

  • Founded in 1918, the CNIB Library is Canada’s first and largest library dedicated to serving Canadians with vision loss. With a collection of more than 80,000 titles, the CNIB Library is Canada’s largest producer of books, magazines and newspapers in Braille and audio formats.
  • The CNIB Library services are available to 836,000 blind or partially sighted Canadians annually, including 111,300 in BC.
  • More than 410,000 British Columbians who have print disabilities could also benefit from CNIB library services.
  • CNIB Library user borrows an average of 40 books each year – much more than an average public library user.
  • The CNIB Library circulates approximately two million hard copy and digital items (including books, newspapers, and magazines) every year
  • The $10 million annual operating cost of the CNIB Library is currently covered entirely by charitable dollars.
  • The CNIB Library provides blind and partially sighted Canadians with access to the following alternative format materials:
  • DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) audiobooks are human-narrated audiobooks recorded on CD. These books follow an international accessibility standard.
  • Braille is a tactile reading system using a combination of six raised dots to represent letters, letter-combinations, numbers, punctuation and other symbols.
  • Printbraille books are children’s picture books with transparent braille overlays.
  • ronic text are files that can be “read” by adaptive technology, transformed into Braille, enlarged on a computer screen, rendered in synthetic speech, and integrated with human narration for audiobooks.

About the Right to Read in Canada and BC

  • Canada is the only G-8 country that does not publicly fund any library services for people with vision loss.
  • CNIB is seeking $7.8 million in funding over two years from the federal government to support nationwide accessible library services.
  • CNIB is committing nearly $2.7-million towards its national library services in the coming year. In BC, CNIB is committing more than $208,000.
  • CNIB is seeking $624,000 in funding from the BC government to ensure effective service delivery to people across British Columbia.

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