CNIB Calls on Federal Party Leaders to Support Employment Programs for Canadians with Vision Loss

TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ - As Canadians head toward the polls in May, CNIB is urging federal party leaders to stand up for the employment rights of Canadians who are blind and partially sighted and make them a priority during this federal election.

The socio-economic impact of vision loss is far reaching and includes social isolation, high unemployment rates and poverty. *In fact, 65 per cent of working-age Canadians with vision loss are out of work and more than half earn $20,000 per year or less.

"When someone loses their vision, their ability to maintain or find gainful employment takes a significant hit, even if they're well educated and highly skilled," said John Rafferty, president and CEO, CNIB. "This is why we're urging party leaders to commit to employment programs that will bring together qualified job seekers with vision loss and willing employers equipped with the right tools to hire them."  

Job seekers who are blind and partially sighted face considerable challenges on their path toward gaining or maintaining employment. Misunderstandings and discrimination are the most prevalent due to a general lack of awareness of their abilities and a need for greater expertise in workforce accommodation and programming that supports work skills development at an earlier age. Yet with advances in technology and higher cohorts of Canadians with vision loss who are skilled and educated, it is now easier than ever before to integrate these individuals into the workforce.

In the weeks leading up to the election, CNIB will be reaching out to all party candidates and leaders to ask for their commitment to ensure that federal, provincial and territorial Labour Market Agreements designate funds to support employment programs for Canadians who are blind and partially sighted.

To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.cnib.ca.

About 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. To make a donation or learn more, visit www.cnib.ca or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.

SOURCE CNIB

For further information:

Melita Vega
Manager, Marketing & Communications
CNIB
T: (416) 486-2500 ext. 7715
E: melita.vega@cnib.ca


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