Assistive devices program needs update, CNIB says
Accessibility advocates across Ontario are calling on political candidates to have a closer look at a funding program for those with vision loss.
The Assistive Devices Program provides 75 per cent reimbursement for equipment. It's a program Sault Ste. Marie's Dorothy Macnaughton knows well, as she has low vision.
Macnaughton, who also volunteers with the CNIB, says the program covers computers and software for those machines. But she says tablets aren't covered.
"[The province] wants people with disabilities to have a level playing field," she said.
"The only way we can have that as people with vision loss … is to have those devices."
Macnaughton says it's time to review the program as it hasn't been updated since 2001.
"I would just like the government to understand that there is a gap there," she said.
"There is a way that the government can really make a difference in people's lives in a very simple straightforward way by revising that program to make the technologies available to more people."
Macnaughton says many people with vision loss are elderly with fixed incomes.
"They cannot afford even the 25 per cent that they would have to pay. The expense is a huge issue."
The CNIB says it's asking all parties to publicly recognize the need to modernize the program. It adds all parties to commit to establishing a strategy within the first 100 days of government.
With files from Angela Gemmill