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Your old cell phone could dial up much-needed assistance

CNIB offers program to provide life-changing technology to blind and partially-sighted Canadians
promo - Robyn Rennie pif - Feb 8 19
Robyn Rennie, an Orillia artist, encourages Orillians to drop off their old cell phones so they can be turned into life-altering devices for those experiencing vision impairment. Contributed photo

Half a million blind and partially-sighted Canadians, like local artist Robyn Rennie, could experience the life-changing potential of mobile technology.

From school to work to life in the community, specially designed accessibility apps would give these users unprecedented levels of information and independence.

Imagine not being able to read labels when you’re shopping, or a restaurant menu when you’re dining out, or not even being able to recognize the denomination of the bills in your wallet?

People with vision loss can now do these things with the help of smartphone accessibility apps.

Navigating the streets becomes safer with apps that read street signs and provide turn-by-turn directions.

Unfortunately, many people with vision loss cannot afford smartphones, but you can put your old smartphone into the hands of people who need them by donating it to the CNIB's Phone it Forward program and get a tax receipt, too, says Rennie.

Donating is easy. Pick up a Phone It Forward envelope, follow the instructions inside, and then mail it, free-of-charge, to the CNIB Foundation Ontario. They will refurbish your old phone, install accessibility apps, and then change the life of someone who is blind.

"It's recycling for a great cause," said Rennie.

There are three Phone It Forward envelope pick-up locations in Orillia:

  • Tango Artspace, 5 Peter St. S., Suite 204;
  • Neighbours Variety, 257 Barrie Road;
  • OLG Kiosk at Walmart, 175 Murphy Road

For more information visit the website.