Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

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.

Tyler learning to read using screen magnification assistive technologyOur Impact Why We Exist

Unlike other medical conditions, when diagnosed with vision loss citizens are directed to CNIB, a charity, for rehabilitation instead of the public health care system. CNIB BC-Yukon receives less than 9% funding from government sources for the vision rehabilitation services we provide free of charge to those we serve. 

Compared to people who are sighted, people with vision loss experience:

  • Two to five times as much difficulty with daily living
  • Three times as much clinical depression
  • Twice as much social dependence

Each year more than 22,000 British Columbians benefit from CNIB services. These numbers are expected to double in the coming decades as our population ages. 

Mason learns to read with a tactile bookOur Story What We Do

Our dedicated specialists work with people of all ages in their own homes, communities or local CNIB offices — providing the personalized rehabilitation support they need to see beyond vision loss, build their independence and lead the lives they want.

CNIB’s vital services include rehabilitation and support, an extensive range of helpful Shop CNIB products that can make life with vision loss easier, and one of the world's largest libraries for people who are unable to read traditional print — all of which are designed to help Canadians overcome the challenges of vision loss and lead full, active lives.

So whether you’re looking for emotional support, practical ways to stay active and independent without vision or more information about your vision health, we can help.

Clement & Ryan navigate the neighbourhood using their white canesOur Programs How We Do It

CNIB’s community-based services empower Canadians who are blind or partially sighted to live independently to see beyond vision loss — and lead the lives they want. Whether that means learning to cook again after a loss of vision, going back to school, travelling with confidence or getting the emotional support you need to move forward, our services can help.

Our services are:

  • delivered where you need them — in your local CNIB office, community, over the phone, online or right in your own home.

  • offered in group or one-on-one settings depending on what’s right for you.

  • available to people with all degrees of vision loss. You don’t need to be totally blind to come to CNIB.

  • offered at no cost to you thanks in large part to the generosity of our donors.

Emotional and wellness support — Understanding and advice when you need it most

It’s not unusual to feel depressed, angry or alone when you experience a loss of vision, and there will probably be times when you wish you had someone to help you work through these feelings. If you’re struggling to overcome the emotional challenges of vision loss, we’re here for you.

Low vision services - Make the most of the sight you have

If you’ve experienced a partial loss of vision, learning to maximize your remaining sight can be life-changing. Our low vision specialists can help you make the most of your sight, and live life to the fullest.

Independent living services — Build everyday skills and confidence

Our specialists will work with you one-on-one or in a group setting, helping you build the skills to live independently and lead the life you want.

Independent travel instruction — Travel with confidence

Learning to travel alone with vision loss doesn’t have to be scary; in fact, it can be a liberating experience, and our caring specialists will be there every step of the way.

Child and family services — Build a brighter future for your child

At every stage, CNIB is an essential resource for children and families living with vision loss — helping children who are blind or partially sighted grow into successful, confident adults.

Assistive technology services — Stay connected

Discover a new world of cutting-edge products — from accessible audio book players, to video magnifiers, to computer screen readers and a host of other items to make life with vision loss easier.

How you can get involvedWhat You Can Do

There are many ways you can get involved with CNIB and help support people who are blind or partially sighted in your community. You can give financial support through one of our many gift types or create your own fundraising event with proceeds going to CNIB.

Getting involved in CNIB means that you’ll be making a lasting difference for people who are blind or partially sighted in your community.

Who You're Helping — Real people. Real impact.

From children to seniors to adults, your support is impacting the lives of real Canadians, each and every day. Here are just a few of the stories of the people your support is helping.

Meet November Davies — “CNIB has saved my life and given it back to me.”

Meet Barrington Brown — “Taking up braille was a way to continue my love of reading.”

Meet Brian Brisebois — “I knew that I could be as independent as I wanted to be. It’s all about living life to the full.”

Meet Lauren Wu — “CNIB’s summer programs showed me there were other young people who had vision loss”

Meet Elva Hasselfeldt — “CNIB has extended my life. It truly has.”

Meet Robert — "I'm not disabled — I am enabled. CNIB got me going again; they got me back on my horse."


Shawna Rathbun
Manager Foundation Relations
604.431.2121 x6051
Charitable Number: 119219459RR0003

Donate Now

Finance & Governance