Human Resources, Labour and Employment
September 15, 2008

Province Supports New Career and Employment Program for CNIB

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is continuing its commitment to invest in programs that allow everyone to participate in the labour market. Today, the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, announced $75,000 in funding for a new career and employment program called Realizing Potential. This initiative is funded under the Provincial Government’s Grants to Community Partners Program and will be operated by the CNIB.

"Our government believes in providing support to programs that help individuals realize their full potential," said Minister Skinner. "By investing in this program we can work to foster greater labour market participation and provide an opportunity for persons with vision loss to participate in the growth and prosperity we are currently experiencing in our province."

In today’s society, people living with vision loss generally obtain similar to or higher levels of education than the general population. However, only 25-30 per cent of working adults living with vision loss are meaningfully employed. These findings suggest that job seekers with vision loss have unique needs that require specialized solutions. This program will provide a range of employment supports focusing on the diverse populations of persons with vision loss.

The funding for this program will allow for an employment specialist to work with students, schools and post-secondary institutions to address student needs, provide access to up-to-date information on assistive technology, career choices and skill development. The employment specialist will also work with employers on how to recruit, hire and retain qualified persons with vision loss.

"If there had been a program that could have helped me deal with the challenges of vision loss, it would have made my transition into the labour market faster and easier," said Duane Morgan, new CNIB Employment Specialist. "My hope is that people with vision loss are provided with a level playing field when it comes to career development and employment. It’s everyone’s right to be a contributing member of society."

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Media contacts:

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
729-0753, 699-7903
Debbie A. Ryan
Manager, Communications
Eastern Canada CNIB
Phone: 754-1180 x238

2008 09 15                                                    1:35 p.m.


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