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.
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
For further information:
Manager, Marketing & Communications
T: (416) 486-2500 ext. 7715