Introducing, an accessible online resource offering Canadians vision health information

    New website celebrates one-year anniversary of CNIB's new brand and
    visual identity

    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - A wealth of useful features and information.
Personalized settings with a choice of different text sizes, contrast and
colour schemes. Compatible with assistive technology used by people with
vision loss. Easy for anyone to access and navigate.
    Canadians seeking a reliable source of information about their vision
health, how to protect it and prevent future eye disease, will be heralding
the launch today of, an innovative online resource from CNIB, Canada's
principal vision health and services organization. Not only a one-stop
resource, the website is a leader in terms of accessibility.
    "We know that Canadians are increasingly looking for health information
on the Internet," says Wendy Gibbs, CNIB's vice president of development and
communications. "So we are delighted to be reaching out - particularly to our
50+ population who are at risk for eye disease - to help people make informed
decisions to protect their own vision health."
    Alarmingly, vision loss is on the increase in Canada, largely due to our
aging population. Research shows that Canadians fear vision loss more than any
other disability, yet are rarely aware of its causes.
    The year-long "extreme makeover" of CNIB's original website marks the
first anniversary of the 88 year old organization's new brand and visual
identity to better represent its current focus and activities, including the
fact that more than 90 per cent of its clients have partial vision. The site
was designed by Devlin eBusiness in consultation with the user community and
CNIB staff.
    "I find this website to be among the easiest to access and navigate,"
says Paul Loba, Specialist, Adaptive Technology, CNIB. "I applaud CNIB's
ongoing efforts to make its site accessible for users with vision loss like
myself and I encourage other organizations to follow its inclusive approach to
web design."
    Customizable settings allow users to choose from four different text
sizes and change contrast and colour schemes, benefiting the widest possible
audience, including those with low vision or colour blindness. Plus the site
is fully compatible with screen reading software and other technology used by
people with vision loss.
    "Very few websites are this accessible," says Lesley MacDonald, CNIB's
National Coordinator, Accessible Design Services. "More and more of us are
having trouble reading small print and many Canadians use assistive technology
to surf the Internet. We're proud that is so accessible and that it is
as attractive as it is functional, proving once and for all that aesthetics
can work hand in hand with good design."

    Some highlights of what's available at the new

    -   Easy-to-understand information on eye conditions and eye care, with
        an "Ask the Expert" section of common vision health questions.
    -   An in-depth section on age-related macular degeneration, the leading
        cause of vision loss in Canada, including a fun and interactive web
        module - designed and illustrated by AXS Biomedical Animation Studio
        and made possible by a donation from AMD Alliance International -
        where Canadians can learn more about this little known eye condition.
    -   Vision health news from around the world, including research
        developments at CNIB and elsewhere.
    -   Useful tools, like a free Amsler grid download (a must for anyone
        over 50).
    -   Monthly feature articles on topics such as pregnancy and vision,
        glaucoma and weightlifting, corneal transplants and contact lenses.
    -   Tips on how to make every room in a house easier to navigate,
        information on safe travel techniques and other resources about
        living independently with vision loss.

    About CNIB

    CNIB is a nationwide, community-based, registered charity committed to
public education, research and the vision health of all Canadians. CNIB
provides the services and support necessary to enjoy a good quality of life
while living with vision loss. Founded in 1918, CNIB reaches out to
communities across the country, offering access to rehabilitation training,
innovative consumer products and peer support programs, as well as alternative
format newspapers and magazines, and braille and talking books from its

For further information:

For further information: Ellen Woodger,,
(416) 483-2358 or Jessica Parrales, CNIB,, (416)
486-2500 ext. 7570

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