National Charity declares May as Vision Health Month

Eye health must be a priority for all Canadians

TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - For the month of May, Canadian vision health charity, CNIB, introduces the first ever Vision Health Month - a national campaign to promote eye health and raise vital funds for the organization's programs and services.

According to CNIB researchers, there are 836,000 Canadians living with vision loss. Even more astounding is that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable. "With greater public awareness of the risks, many Canadians could avoid losing their sight each year. That's why the campaign is so important," says CNIB President and CEO John M. Rafferty.

"Vision Health Month is about reminding people to put their eye health first. It is about encouraging Canadians to get regular eye exams and wearing protective sunglasses, so that we can help prevent vision loss before it starts," he says.

Among the many initiatives being launched for Vision Health Month is CNIB's Vision Risk Assessment, a short quiz developed to alert Canadians to their risk of eye disease and help prevent future vision loss. The quiz is available free of charge throughout the month of May in more than 350 retail outlets across the country, including Costco, Wal-mart and Metro supermarkets.

Also being introduced this month is the Great Canadian Yoga Stretch. The month-long fitness fundraiser includes participants from across the country setting a "stretch goal" (such as mastering a new pose or completing their first yoga class), collecting donations from friends and family, and working to achieve their goal on the yoga mat.

Taking place on May 27, Shades of Fun day is another exciting campaign in support of Vision Health Month. In this first-of-its-kind event, participants are asked to put on their sunglasses for the day to protect their eyes from UV damage, and host fundraising and awareness activities in support of CNIB.

"Shades of Fun day is designed to be fun for everybody," says Rafferty, "Whether it's workplace teams, families or just about anybody who's got a pair of shades and a desire to make a difference."

To show their support, Canadians can donate $5 by texting the word CNIB to 45678. All proceeds from Vision Health Month will go to CNIB services for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, like counselling, computer training and free access to the CNIB Library.

For more information about Vision Health Month, call CNIB at 1-800-563-2642 or visit www.cnib.ca.

About CNIB

CNIB provides 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. With 900 employees and 10,000 volunteers working out of offices across the country, CNIB serves thousands of Canadians of all ages. For more information, visit www.cnib.ca or call 1-800-563-2642.

Web

www.cnib.ca

www.greatcanadianyogastretch.ca

www.shadesoffunday.ca

SOURCE CNIB

For further information: For further information: To speak to a CNIB Spokesperson please contact: Yeena Peng, Specialist, Media Relations, CNIB, T: (416) 486-2500 ext. 8355, C: (416) 529-1628

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