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United Way of Thunder Bay - Community Impact - United Way At Work Articles - Learning Skills to Fully Participate in Life

Learning Skills to Fully Participate in Life

The CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing 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 was contacted by an individual who was initially hoping that they could loan him something to help him read printed material in his office.  Upon further discussion with the intake coordinator the individual stated that as the office administrator his job included reading and transcribing written material from numerous sources in the community and he was having an increasingly hard time carrying out this task and needed help. During the initial conversations with this individual, it became apparent that he was worried about losing his job.  He felt that if his employer knew that he was having difficulty with this aspect of his role, that they would find someone else who could do it.  Given the potential for complications in the workplace, the intake coordinator flagged this inquiry and request for service as a high priority, and the client was quickly contacted by the Low Vision Specialist.

CNIB’s Low Vision Services is a United Way funded program which assists blind and partially sighted individuals to make full use of their residual vision to its maximum potential through assessment, adaptive techniques, follow-up visits and low-vision aids such as magnifiers and telescopes. There are many assistive devices available for use at home, at work and for every aspect of day-to-day activities that can make a positive impact on a person’s quality of life and independence. These devices include magnifiers, Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV’s), both desktop and portable versions, computer programs with enhanced speech and text programs, talking watches, and many others.  

The Low Vision Specialist (LVS) reassured the client right away that he could come in and look at the devices that are available and that they would find something to loan him to try out in his workplace. The Specialist would then setup a full Low Vision Assessment for the client.  He was loaned a desktop CCTV to try in the workplace, and he reported that this device was a game changer for him.  He was now able to read all written material and perform all aspects of his job with greater ease.  

As a result of this client’s initial outreach, and through the provision of a Low Vision Assessment, He has since had many devices acquired for him by an understanding and accommodating employer.  CNIB continues to work closely with the client and his employer to ensure that this client has everything he needs to carry out his day to day activities in the workplace and enhance his quality of life. 

The CNIB is located at 229 Camelot Street and can be reached by calling 345-3341, or toll free at 1-888-675-2438.

Written by Rob Gaunt, CNIB Regional Manager

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.

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