Thank you for your support
CNIB client thanks United Way of Thunder Bay
A Thunder Bay resident would like to thank the United Way of Thunder Bay for investing in CNIB vision rehabilitation services to improve the quality of life for people living with vision loss.
Rob Gaunt lives with retinitis pigmentosa inversa, an incurable eye disease he’s had since birth. The condition has left the 45-year-old with only three per cent of his sight.
“I am very grateful to continue to have as much vision as I do,” says Gaunt. “Most people take it for granted when they go to the cupboard to grab a can of chicken noodle soup or collect their mail that they will know the contents of those items. For individuals living with vision loss, it may be difficult to do something as simple as reading the label on a soup can or reading a letter from a family member.”
For more than 36 years, CNIB has assisted Gaunt in maintaining his independence with magnifiers, closed circuit televisions and other assistive devices. He says CNIB has allowed him to make the most of his remaining sight using adaptations like enhanced lighting and colour contrast.
“To me, that’s gold,” says Gaunt.
Gaunt says he loves to read but he would have been deprived of that pleasure and opportunity for growth and development without CNIB.
“Access to reading material in alternative formats helps increase literacy, encourages life-long learning and improves opportunities for employment and community engagement,” says Gaunt.
As the population ages, Canada faces a growing crisis in vision health. Approximately 2 million Ontarians currently live with a major eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma) and are at risk of losing their vision, if they haven’t already. Over the next decade, the prevalence of vision loss in Canada is expected to increase by nearly 30 per cent.
As a result, more people are turning to CNIB for rehabilitation therapy. Whether that means learning to cook again after a sudden loss of vision, learning how to use assistive devices that enable people with vision loss to go back to school or excel in the workplace, learning to travel with confidence using a white cane, or getting the emotional support to move forward, CNIB works hard to meet the unique needs of each individual.
Without the support of generous funders like the United Way of Thunder Bay, CNIB would not be able to empower people of all ages who are blind or partially sighted with the skills, confidence and opportunities they need to fully participate in life.
United Way of Thunder Bay is leading the way to a better community by improving the quality of life for all local people. By collaborating with community partners, we are leading the way to addressing social issues in our community and investing in three critical areas: Poverty, Kids and Strong Communities. Donations to the United Way are strategically invested across Thunder Bay to many vital programs and initiatives in these areas, creating a social safety net that works to achieve lasting change for our neighbours, families and friends.© 2017 United Way of Thunder Bay