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Partnership Announcement: CNIB Foundation

A visit to your library can transform the life of someone who is blind.

GVPL is proud to be included in CNIB Foundation’s new partnership with libraries to refurbish smartphones and put them in the hands of people with sight loss.

The Phone It Forward program, the first of its kind worldwide, makes it easy for people to donate old smartphones they’re no longer using. Wiped and refurbished, the smartphones will be loaded with apps designed to benefit someone with sight loss, for example, apps that help people identify colours and faces, confirm correct medications and access live video assistance from a sighted volunteer.

Participating libraries across Canada have postage-paid envelopes available that can be used to mail smartphones to Phone It Forward, making it simple and convenient for anyone to pick up a donation envelope and mail in their used phones.

For people who are blind, smartphones are a game-changer, a portable, all-in-one communications and accessibility solution that opens a world of opportunity and unprecedented levels of independence. However, for too many, a smartphone is out of reach. Forty-six per cent of Canadians who are blind don’t own a smartphone or not one that’s advanced enough to assist them in daily living. The unemployment rate for persons with sight loss is triple the Canadian average, making affording a mobile device difficult for many.

Partnering with CNIB Foundation is a natural fit for libraries like GVPL. We connect patrons with sight loss and print disabilities to a wealth of reading material and information and offer support like the monthly Get Together With Technology program.

How to Participate

  1. Visit the Phone It Forward website for details.
  2. Pick up your postage-paid envelope at any GVPL branch (except sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay)

Peek-a-boo! Here’s a quote to brighten your day:

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Hermione Granger