The Impact of COVID-19: An Addendum to the Cost of Vision Loss in Canada Study

The Cost of Vison Loss and Blindess in Canada Study was published in May of 2020. The world has been changing quickly since that initial study. COVID-19 has brought new challenges and costs to the Blind and Vision Impaired community.

Please find the full report below followed by summarys in both English and French.

The Cost of Vision Loss in Canada

Stop the crisis of preventable blindness

Over 1.2 million Canadians are blind, deaf-blind, or partially sighted, and the number of Canadians living with vision loss (VL) is growing everyday. This has profound implications for individuals communities, the economy, and our healthcare system. The Cost of Vision Loss and Blindness in Canada, is a new report that provides an up-to-date assessment of the prevalence and cost of vision.

The growing VL crisis affects all Canadians and will continue to do so. The report outlines the financial impact vision loss has on individual, Canadian families, and our health system. This is an urgent crisis, and with the findings of this report, it is clear that a National Vision Health Plan is needed to provide access to eye exams, therapies, prevention measures and funding for ongoing research.

The Cost of Vision Loss and Blindness in Canada is a joint initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC), the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS).

For more information, or to read the full report, please visit

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Eye Health in Canada Summit

Link to Summit Video

This video is a recording of the  Canadian Council of the Blind’s (CCB) Summit on The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Eye Health in Canada held October 26, 2021. This project was spearheaded by the CCB in partnership with Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) and key partners the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO)  and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS).

In this session a panel of experts share their perspectives on the addendum to the Cost of Vision Loss & Blindness in Canada report that specifically looks at the impact COVID has had on the blindness and vision loss community.

The Summit was proudly supported by our Presenting Sponsor Bausch + Lomb

About the Report
In 2020 the Canadian Council of the Blind, partnering with Fighting Blindness Canada, and key stakeholders, the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, conducted a supplementary study to reveal the astounding impact COVID-19 has had on eye health in Canada.
The Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) engaged Deloitte Access Economics in December 2020 to provide a contemporary estimate of the annual social and economic cost of vision loss (VL) and blindness in Canada. In support of this report, the CCB partnered with Fighting Blindness Canada and key partners the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society.  The full report on the Cost of Vision Loss and Blindness in Canada using 2019 data was completed in May 2021. During the completion of that earlier document, it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic was having a major impact on the findings of the study.  It was therefore decided to conduct a supplementary study on the impact of the pandemic in 2020 on the prevalence and cost of VL. The findings of that study are presented as an addendum to the original report.  The estimated costs in the report reflect the impact of COVID-19 from March to December of 2020, highlighting aggregated, pan-Canadian effects

About the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
The Canadian Council of the BlindIs the Voice of the Blind™ in Canada, a membership-based charity that brings together Canadians who are living with vision loss, the blind, deaf-blind and the partially sighted.  Advocating for its members, the CCB works to promote a sense of purpose and self-esteem along with an enhanced quality of life.  Based on belief in ABILITY, not disability Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) is a vibrant network of active members across Canada.  Each chapter is unique to its geographic area and engages in a variety of social and recreational activities based on the interests of their local members. Visit or call 1-877-304-0968 for more information.

About Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC)
Visit or call 1-800-461-3331 to learn more.

About the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS)
Visit to learn more.

About the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO)
Visit for more information.
Visit for more information.


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Apply now to be a Full- or Part Time Member (Commissioner) of the Canadian Human Rights Commission!

Calling all human rights defenders! The Governor in Council is seeking applications from diverse and talented people in Canada from across the country who are interested in being appointed on a full  or part time basis as Commissioners of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The Governor in Council is committed to filling this position following an open, inclusive, transparent and merit based selection process.
Full- and Part Time Members (Commissioners) are responsible for reviewing and making decisions on human rights complaints.
Further information regarding this appointment opportunity is available on the Governor in Council Appointments website. If you are interested in applying, please do so via the Governor in Council Appointments website. 
If you require accommodation to submit your application or to consult information about this appointment opportunity, please contact the Privy Council Office.
Review of applications will begin on August 25, 2021.

CCB and Clinical Trials Ontario

Clinical Trials Ontario Logo.

Canadian Council of the Blind along with 20 other health charities, patient organizations, and research networks, and led by Clinical Trials Ontario, submitted this input to Health Canada on its consultation paper related to its Regulatory Modernization Initiative. Health Canada is proposing to modernize the regulatory framework for clinical trials related to human drugs, medical devices, non-prescription drugs, and natural health products as part of the Health and Biosciences Sector Regulatory Review Roadmap. We felt that this was an important opportunity to provide input based on our community’s perspective especially related to patient engagement with Health Canada and within the clinical trials environment in Canada, transparency of clinical trial results, and ways for Canadians to find clinical trials if they are interested in participating in a clinical trial, to name a few areas.

CCB Join with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)

Founded in 1976, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a national human rights organization of people with disabilities.  CCD’s mission and mandate are as follows:

Mission -CCD is a social justice organization of people with all disabilities that champions the voices of people with disabilities, advocating an inclusive and accessible Canada, where people with disabilities have full realization of their human rights, as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Mandate – CCD unites advocacy organizations of people with disabilities to defend and extend human rights for persons with disabilities through public education, advocacy, intervention in litigation, research, consultation and partnerships. CCD amplifies the expertise of our partners by acting as a convening body and consensus builder.

CCD’s members are provincial/territorial cross-disability, consumer-controlled, human rights organizations and national uni- and cross-disability, consumer-controlled, human rights organizations. CCD’s members are:

  • Disability Alliance BC
  • Voice of Albertans with Disabilities (VAD)
  • Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities (SVOPD)
  • Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD)
  • Citizens with Disabilities — Ontario
  • Confédération des Organismes de Personnes Handicapées du Québec (COPHAN)
  • Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities (NSLEO)
  • PEI Council of People with Disabilities
  • Coalition of Persons with Disabilities–NFLD and Labrador (CODNL)
  • NWT Disabilities Council
  • Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD)
  • Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)
  • National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
  • National Coalition of People who use Guide and Service Dogs of Canada
  • National Network for Mental Health (NNMH)
  • Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada

CCD’s governance body is the National Council.  Each member appoints a representative to the National Council and there are also five seats for members-at-large from communities pushed to the margins.  The National Council meets regularly, providing an opportunity to exchange information about disability rights, public education initiatives, advocacy campaigns, legal interventions, research, consultation and partnerships occurring across Canada.  Members can contribute to policy development by participating on working groups and committees.

During this past year, CCD’s advocacy work has been focused on amplifying the concerns of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping disability poverty and the promised Canada Disability Benefit on the federal government’s agenda, drawing attention to how Medical Aid in Dying puts people with disabilities in harm’s way, and monitoring Canada’s implementation of the CRPD. Also during the past year, CCD has been modernizing the organization by reviewing and updating its policies and procedures and committee structure, so that we remain an effective advocate for an accessible and inclusive Canada. 

IMAGE Project

IMAGE (Internet Multi-Modal Access to Graphical Exploration) Project

As is well known, the vast majority of internet graphics are not accessible to non-visual users.  To tackle this problem, McGill University’s Shared Reality Lab, in strategic partnership with the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) and Gateway Navigation CCC Ltd, is working on the IMAGE project, funded by Innovation Science Economic Development Canada through the Assistive Technology Program.

The project’s objective is to develop multi-modal feedback (audio and touch) tools enabling users to gain a deeper understanding of internet graphics than is presently available to blind, deaf-blind, or low vision users.  The project team is actively recruiting participants, inviting volunteers to complete the on-line survey (available both in English and French), to work with the researchers in developing tools to facilitate graphical exploration on the internet.

To get involved or for more information click on the link below: