CNIB Foundation: National Office

General Information

CNIB Foundation: National Office
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4G 3E8
(416) 486 2500

Brief Description

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 library. To find out more, visit or call (800) 563-2642.


John Rafferty, President and CEO,, 416 486 2500 ext.7588

Services Offered

  • Counseling
    • Offers individual and family counseling relating to vision loss, parent, peer and family support groups, and referrals to appropriate services.

  • Employment/Job Training
    • Provides a wide range of vocational, employment and business-related services and programs, helping individuals determine career goals, discover, improve or learn new skills, acquire job search techniques and find the right job.

  • Information and Referral
    • Offers information on common causes of vision loss, as well as general information on various eye conditions, contact lenses, first aid for eye injuries and Canadian Eye Banks on its web site.

  • Library Services
    • Offers library and information services to Canadians with print disabilities, which includes those living with vision loss.

  • Assessment
    • Works closely with each individual to identify needs and goals, and make referrals to appropriate resources, either within CNIB or with community agencies.

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Provides technical program assistance to professionals working with people living with vision loss.

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • The CNIB Library functions as the sole certifying body in Canada for English braille. Offers a variety of courses including Grade 1 and Grade 2 Literary Braille, and Transcriber's Certification.

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Provides deafblind outreach services.

  • Reading Services
    • Offers VisuNEWS by phone or Internet, a service that enables clients to read 40 newspapers from Canada and elsewhere.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Helps individuals adjust to vision loss and maintain their independence by developing practical skills of daily living such as cooking, banking, personal grooming, reading and writing braille, typing and handwriting.

  • Assistive Products
    • Supplies innovative consumer products for people living with vision loss, from braille watches and print magnifiers to board games, computer software and sunglasses.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Works on a one-to-one basis to help individuals develop independent travel skills and white cane techniques.

  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • CNIB's Accessible Text Service transcribes textbooks, journal articles, charts, restaurant menus, business cards, music, manuals, calendars, government documents into any format required, such as braille, audio, e-text or large print. Graphs, flow charts, maps, floor plans, and many other illustration needs can be produced as raised, three-dimensional tactile images. Sells a wide selection of CNIB talking books for use by library patrons or other individuals with a “perceptual disabilityâ€? (a disability that prevents someone from reading print, such as blindness or visual impairment, dyslexia, or a physical disability that would prevent someone from holding a book) through the Public Library Sales Program. Libraries can make these books available to patrons on a restricted-access basis only.

  • Health
    • The CNIB's National Service Development & Research Department supports and/or conducts research about vision, and ensures the continued development of services. CNIB supports medical research and influences public policy, and supports the development of technology and services that help people living with vision loss lead independent lives. CNIB's goal in research is to provide knowledge to support its service mission and inform Canadians about vision rehabilitation and the causes, prevention, and treatment of vision loss. Expanding and enhancing research partnerships with the academic and medical communities is essential, and is handled through CNIB Research.