Understanding the Needs of People with Vision Loss
Canada is facing a vision loss crisis. Half a million Canadians live with significant vision loss that impacts their quality of life – a figure that’s poised to increase significantly over the next 25 years as the country’s population ages.
Currently, nearly 14% of Canadians are 65 or older – a figure that will double in the next 25 years. 5.5 million Canadians have one of the four major vision eye diseases – age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts – and are at serious risk of losing their vision in the future. Higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes also places more Canadians at risk of developing vision loss in the future.
With this significant increase in Canadians whose lives will be impacted by vision loss, the need to ensure the highest level of accessibility to the built environment has never been stronger. In order for people with vision loss to lead full and independent lives as contributing members of society, facilities are required which enable safe navigation throughout neighbourhoods and public places, such as shopping centres and community buildings.
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