The CNIB is now 100 years old and over that time it’s changed many lives allowing people to live independently.
In North Bay the agency marked the milestone with an open house at City Hall to showcase its services and old technology it used to help the blind or hard of seeing.
One of its clients is 32-year-old David Hemmings who has no peripheral vision and sees only what’s directly ahead of him.
Hemmings was nine when he was diagnosed with an optic nerve brain tumour and removing most of the tumour resulted in his tunnel vision.
Hemmings adapted over the years to his condition and in that time the CNIB has also taught him the various bus routes so he can get to where he needs to be.
That’s given Hemmings enough independence to skip a Special Olympics curling team even though he has trouble seeing the player at the other end of the ice.
Hemmings says to overcome that, his coaches placed a small light at the end of the broom which he could easily see.
Now when he plays he shoots for the light when hit the curling stones.
Monique Pilkington is the CNIB’s executive director for the Ontario-North sector.
Pilkington says the technology the agency has used over the years has changed immensely over the decades.
Now the agency is looking at today’s technology like iPhones and Android phones to help its clients lead safer lives as they move about their community.
She adds as technology improves, it allows CNIB clients to become even more engaged in their cities and towns.