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Students learn about blindness and volunteering at CNIB

About 15 Upper Canada College students visited the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s national headquarters on Sept. 5 to learn more about its community outreach program.

“This was an introduction to the CNIB facility and volunteer opportunities,” says UCC CAS director Deirdre Timusk. “We hope that the boys will sign up to be ongoing volunteers on their own.

“CNIB will be attending the Community Service Fair on October 10 and we hope to have more students sign on to work with them then.”

CNIB ambassador Denise Chamberlain shared her story of taking charge of her sight loss with UCC students.

CNIB ambassador Denise Chamberlain shared her story of taking charge of her sight loss with UCC students.

The students spent two hours at CNIB and heard accounts of sight loss, learned about eye conditions, met guide dogs and tried out vision simulation glasses.

“It was educational and interactive for all,” says CNIB Ontario coordinator of advocacy and stakeholder engagement Ray Smith. “It provided them with valuable information on volunteering at CNIB and the various programs available.

“It also gave them an insight to what it means to be blind.”

Smith hopes this visit will begin a valuable partnership between UCC and CNIB. So does Timusk.

“I hope they got a better understanding of the needs of the blind and visually challenged community,” she says. “I also hope that being in the space, and meeting Ray, removes some of the scariness of volunteering and students will think of returning there to work.”