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Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people impacted by blindness

Clearing Our Path

Child using a white cane, guided by an adult; Woman using a white cane in a store; Person reading Brailled elevator buttons.

22% of Canadians (1 in 4.5) live with some form of disability. That’s a substantial group of users you cannot afford to overlook in your building project or public space.

Celebrating 100 years in 2018, the CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast.

The CNIB Foundation developed the first edition of Clearing Our Path in 1998 to address the need for information on creating accessible environments for people who are blind. CNIB’s recommended guidelines came out of 20 years of providing universal design consulting expertise in Canada, not to mention our long history, going back to 1918, of offering services and support for Canadians who are blind and being the only national organization to do so. Since its first release in 1998, this manual has become an invaluable tool for architects, designers, building owners, planners, standards bodies, and others interested in making indoor and outdoor spaces universally accessible.

The second edition of Clearing Our Path, released in 2009, built on the first by providing updated information based on new research, new international standards, emerging technology, and universal design principles.

Government of Canada

In 2016, the CNIB Foundation, with support from the Government of Canada, was able to, once again, update our guidelines based on new and emerging best practices as well as making this resource available online in both of Canada's official languages.