A new CNIB Foundation program aims to reduce the unemployment rate for those with sight loss. 

The Youth Employment Skills camp (YES) plans to teach young people with vision loss employment skills and how to advocate for their employment. 

The first virtual camp starts Monday, and runs to Friday. Kaitlynn Lenius, 15, is one of the teens taking part in the camp.

“The most prominent barrier that I know of is the stigma. There is a lot of misconceptions about blind and partially sighted people in the workforce,” said Lenius. “We want to work, we just have to do it differently. And sometimes it takes people a little while to see that.”

One of the points of the program is to teach youth what adjustments they can ask an employer for on the job.

“They may need lights either turned up or turned down, depending on their sight loss. It could be magnification on a screen, and so it might be a software program,” said Christall Beaudry, executive director of CNIB Foundation Saskatchewan. “It could be things like VoiceOver that are required.”

Ten children from rural and urban areas are taking part in the week-long program, which is funded by the Federal Government’s Opportunity Fund for Persons with Disabilities Project.