First-of-its-kind career and employment website for Canadians with vision loss to launch today

Nov 30, 2012, 10:29 ET from CNIB

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Project Aspiro, a career planning and employment website for people who are blind or partially sighted launches today at the CNIB Centre in Toronto at 1929 Bayview Avenue.

Created in partnership with the World Blind Union and CNIB, the website is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Industry leaders to speak at today's launch include Project Aspiro Consultant and Lead Writer Karen Wolffe, PhD. Wolffe, formerly Director of Professional Development and CareerConnect® at American Foundation for the Blind (AFB).

Also to speak at today's event is Dr. Penny Hartin, L.L.D (Hon), Chief Executive Officer of the World Blind Union. Hartin has more than 33 years of experience working on behalf of people who are blind or partially sighted in more than 180 countries around the globe. 

"Whether Canadians with sight loss need information about education, interview techniques, or workplace accommodation, access to employment resources for people who are blind or partially sighted will ensure meaningful employment in a wide range of fields for years to come," says Hartin. "These resources will also be of tremendous benefit to people with sight loss around the world who experience similar or worse employment rates than in Canada."

Individuals with vision loss experience the highest unemployment or underemployment rates of any group in Canadian society. Project Aspiro was designed to ensure individuals who are blind or partially sighted have equal access to information so they can be independent, productive members of society.

"For someone who is blind or has experienced a serious loss of sight, access to employment resources can be life-changing," says John M. Rafferty, President and CEO, CNIB. "Project Aspiro is a big step forward in our effort to streamline our online knowledge transfer and to accelerate positive results in the area of employment for Canadians with vision loss."

The digitally accessible website also supports service providers, friends and family, and employers. To learn more, visit

About the World Blind Union (WBU)
The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization representing the estimated 285 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members are organizations of and for the blind in 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. To learn more, visit

About CNIB
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.