Key Figures of The Cause
In Quebec, there are over 100,000 individuals living with total or partial blindness (mild to severe visual impairment), with the vast majority living below the poverty line.
Of these, nearly two thirds live in the metropolitan area and their living conditions are particularly difficult. About 75% of these individuals spend more than half their income on housing. Most of them have financial problems and have to rely on charities to meet their needs.
In our society, image is omnipresent and prevalent. “To appear,” “to be seen,” and “to see” are considered “necessities.” In our everyday activities, 80% of the information we receive is visual. Even at this very moment, you are discovering this figure by reading it with your own eyes. Though our society unintentionally isolates people who face visual impairment, the fact still remains.
The Quebec Foundation for the Blind has as its mandate to support the blind and visually impaired with regards to housing, activities, and community life.
In addition to promoting independent and active living for those with visual disabilities, the Foundation’s work is reflected by the aid it provides its clients in organizing their daily routines, as well as the constant battle it wages against isolation.
The Foundation exists today mainly thanks to two people whose devotion to the cause of the blind is limitless: Armand Houle and Armand Lafontaine. The former lost his eyesight in his forties. This blindness came as a huge shock to him. How could he accept constantly depending on his friends and family to get around? How was he to find a new job or meet his financial needs?
A fierce struggle gave him the courage to undertake a new work life. His partnership with Armand Lafontaine began in 1977 and led to the creation of five different organizations, reunited today under the Quebec Foundation for the Blind. What Armand Houle wanted more than anything was to live like everyone else, and to offer visually disabled people the tools and support needed to do the same.
Armand Lafontaine has played an essential part in the development of the Foundation’s services. While he isn’t visually impaired, his enthusiasm, tenacity, and desire to help have provided the Foundation with all the necessary elements to achieve a level of success beyond all expectations.
In 2016, we partnered with Le Bon Pilote, having a common goal of better supporting people with visual impairments. By sharing our human and financial resources, we will focus our efforts and broaden the scope of our actions, while increasing the visibility of our cause.
Adapted and Low-Rental Housing – 76 Units
The Quebec Foundation for the Blind manages three residences that are tailored to the needs of blind and visually impaired residents, enabling 76 families to stay safe: the Résidence Habitoeil Montréal (1994), Les Habitations Habitoeil Rosemont complex (1999), and the Habitations Coup d’Oeil (2015), located near the Olympic Stadium.
Youth Leisure and Recreational Activities (6-25-Year-Olds)
A wide range of activities have been developed to stimulate the interest of young people with visual impairment for group activities: summer camps, skiing, excursions, climbing, tandem cycling, kayaking, tubing, swimming, hiking, and many others. Through successful experiences, these youths develop new social skills and thrive in an atmosphere of camaraderie, trust, and fun.
Prevention and Awareness
or the Foundation, it is also essential to inform the public not only about the needs of its clients, but also the importance of prevention and daily actions to maintain good vision. The aging of the Quebec population will have a significant impact on our social systems. It therefore becomes crucial to educate and inform people to better support at-risk individuals.
Individual and Community Support
The Foundation provides support services to individuals (aid, financial support, assistance) as well as financial backing to community organizations created for the visually impaired (adult recreation, special projects, development programs).
Our Annual Reports (in French)
All our Annual Reports are downloadable PDF files (click on their name to download).