Being an advocate for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) began seventeen years ago for Wendy Wiedenhoeft when her grandson was born blind. Today, Wendy is Northwestern Ontario’s representative on the CNIB Board.
Wiedenhoeft described the CNIB organisational structure to club members. The group she said,   “Consists of the CNIB Foundation, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada, and the CNIB Deaf-Blind Community Services.”
Wendy also shared some volunteer opportunities for persons who wish to assist the CNIB with its programs. (Visit to volunteer)
Possible programs areas in which to participate include:
  • LIVE program to enhance living skills for the blind;
  • Peer support programs;
  • Vision Mates program;
  • Guide Dog program;
  • PLAY program to connect with others to show that the sight loss can do anything.
  • Lake Joseph (Lake Joe) Centre in Muskoka where people with sight loss and their families can enjoy the same summer pursuits as the rest of us plus skills training and confidence building;
  • WORK program is a gateway to empowerment, self-esteem and financial independence - part of it is to also tear down barriers for job seekers
  • LEARN program is education and skills training to allow the blind to achieve independence;
  • CHILD & YOUTH programs help participants gain knowledge and develop social skills as they pursue their education. The CNIB offers literacy support for people of all ages with sight loss;
  • TECHNOLOGY program lets the blind lead an independent life providing skills that focus on the accessible, available, and affordable technology. There are now many smartphone apps which make life more accessible;
  •  PHONE IT FORWARD is a program that that collects old smartphones, upgraded, and then given to help the transform the life of someone’s who is blind and cannot afford a phone;
  • CNIB van is a fully equipped mobile eye care clinic on wheels that serves Northern Ontario