Born with a small amount of eyesight in 1947, Jim became totally blind as a young adult. He joined the full-time staff of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) following graduation from Lakehead University. He retired in 2009 after 42 years with the organization. He spent the final nine years with the CNIB as its president and CEO.
Jim is aware personally and professionally of the trauma of losing one's eyesight and the need for strong emotional and practical support during and following permanent vision loss.
Individuals who are going through the trauma of sight loss no matter to what degree is emotionally devastating. Each individual needs support from knowledgeable professionals who can provide training in learning and using alternate techniques leading to a full and productive life. It is important also to receive the emotional support of those who have experienced the loss of eyesight.
I believe that Canadian society is at the stage of maturity where legalizing medically assisted dying is appropriate.