Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

We provide community-based and personalized vision rehabilitative care to over 10,000 people each year. We are a national organization with a strong local presence, helping people who are blind or partially-sighted see beyond their vision loss.

Diane and her guide dog Our Story Why We Exist

Independence is a word often taken for granted, but for those of us who are living with vision loss, independence is everything we strive for.

Up until the age of 28, I had lived a relatively normal life. I worked for a marketing company and had my ambitions and career ahead of me. Unexpectedly, I began experiencing issues with my vision and was diagnosed with a condition called Usher Syndrome which affects both hearing and vision while causing progressive degeneration of the retina. The syndrome ultimately results in extensive hearing and vision loss. For me, it meant I would become both deaf and blind.

My whole world had changed. I had to resign from my job because I could no longer read, write or drive. Many of the daily things that I used to take for granted were now seemingly impossible. Luckily, my doctor referred me to CNIB.

CNIB was there for me in this major challenge of my life. They guided me towards the resources and support I needed. I learned how to read braille, how to use a white cane properly, how to use a computer and how to slowly regain my independence.

It was a big change, but CNIB was very helpful. They came to my house and helped make it easier for me to access things like the stove and microwave. When your independence is taken away from you, it’s a huge thing. When I was sighted, I never thought of that word, independence. Not once. Now everything I do is focused on getting it back.

Thanks to the help of CNIB, I now live an active and fulfilling life and I am grateful that they were there to support and encourage me on my journey.

- Diane, CNIB client

child using a white cane on a tactile surfaceOur Impact What We Do

CNIB passionately provides community-based support to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. With seven offices throughout Alberta and Northwest Territories, we are a national organization with a strong local presence.

From toddlers who are born blind to seniors who develop age-related vision loss, our personalized vision rehabilitation services are offered to all age groups – at no cost to our clients.

Close your eyes and imagine that you have just lost your vision – and ask yourself: How will I cook my next meal? Can I find the nearest exit? How will I get home? How will I get to work? These are just some of the many questions our clients ask themselves every day – and this is why CNIB’s vision rehabilitation programs are so vital. To our clients, we are more than a charity or a worthy cause, but a pathway to a life of independence.

hands reading braille Our Programs How We Do It

CNIB Alberta and Northwest Territories offers a wide range of community-based programs and services that help people with vision loss:

  • Learn how to maximize any remaining sight through our low vision assessments and services.
  • Develop the skills needed to live independently in the comfort of their own homes.
  • Receive individualized training for independent travel in their communities.

Our community-based programs and services include:

  • Peer support groups for clients of all ages.
  • Training and consulting on the usage of assistive technology software and devices.
  • Resources and community programming for children with vision loss – and their families.
  • Internship and employment training for youth and adults.

woman learning to read brailleOur Requests What You Can Do

There are various ways to support CNIB Alberta and Northwest Territories and help us be there for every person living with vision loss who walks through our doors.

You can support our programs and services by donating a one-time gift, a monthly gift, a planned gift or a legacy gift by writing CNIB into your will.

In addition to making a donation, you can also fundraise for CNIB​attend a CNIB event​ in your community, or join our passionate volunteer team​ and make a difference through your time and skills. 

Companies can contribute by sponsoring or participating in one of our signature fundraising events or by sponsoring or donating to a particular CNIB program or service.

If you would like to contribute to CNIB, click on the link below:


Andy Tse
Manager, Major Gifts
Charitable Number: 119219459RR0003

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