About Us

Our Aims

To maximise the personal resources and ability of people in the ACT and local region whose lives are affected by blindness or low vision, by responding to their needs through care, communication and support.

Our Past

In a lounge room at Deakin in the 1950’s, a small number of dedicated people gathered together, committing themselves to assist people in Canberra who experienced blindness or vision impairment. So began the grassroots organisation known today as the Canberra Blind Society (CBS).

Our Present

While the small group in the 1950’s provided assistance to only four people who were blind, today from our busy offices in the Griffin Centre, in cooperation with other blindness agencies and community groups, CBS provides an extensive range of services and facilities to over 500 clients.

As a community and peer support group for people who are blind or vision impaired in the ACT, CBS are proud to offer the Canberra community our longstanding initiatives such as:

  • Arts and Crafts Group – a time to engage in learning new arts and craft technics
  • Sense-able Cooking – designed to help people whose vision is failing to prepare meals with confidence
  • Braille Support – opportunity to improve Braille skills for any community member using Unified English Braille (UEB)
  • Audio Book Group – a book lovers delight to explore a diverse range of books and discuss these with fellow readers.
  • Digital Literacy Program – a program to aid in the learning of digital devices using accessibility features
  • Birrigai ‘Come and Try’ Weekend: an annual recreation weekend camp at Birrigai Outdoor School.

Our Future

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has changed the landscape for grassroots disability organisations such as CBS. We are, more than ever, returning to tried-and-tested as well as inventing new ways of engaging with our valued members. We continue to build our already trusted rapport with the wider ACT community through key campaigns including our annual Street Appeal as well as Overview. Sustainable funding is always a major issue but volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation. Join with us, connect with us, as together we embrace the next 55 plus years of community service.

2020 – 2023 Strategic Plan


Professionally Serviced and Properly Resourced Programs for CBS Clients in Accordance with the CBS Mission Statement and Objects set out in the Society’s Constitution.


1.1 Develop and maintain facilities, services and activities that reflect the expressed needs of CBS clients.

1.2 Encourage, support and optimise the effective use of volunteers.

1.3 Encourage client input and feedback on CBS programs and services to facilitate their adaptation and the introduction of new programs to suit clients changing needs.

1.4 Increase organisational capacity by encouraging and skilling vision impaired individuals to take part in the management of CBS.

1.5 Continue to seek government funding and corporate sponsorships and additional sources of income.

1.6 Foster alliances with specialist and community groups with similar or complementary goals.


A Broad CBS Client and Member Base built on Public Awareness of CBS Programs and Services within the ACT Region and a Well-Developed and Favourable CBS Public Image.


2.1 Foster awareness of CBS and its work in government circles, among health care professionals and in the business community.

2.2 Foster good relationships with media organisations.

2.3 Visit educational, health and aged care institutions to raise awareness of CBS services.

2.4 Maintain a suite of brochures, posters and other promotional material including electronic format for the public.

2.5 Keep CBS benefactors informed of the Society’s work and the impact of their assistance.


A Disability Service Provider that is Well Governed and Managed.


3.1 Develop, maintain, review and promulgate CBS documentation relating to governance.

3.2 Ensure that resources and staff are well managed.


For more information about the Canberra Blind Society, please contact us on (02) 6247 4580.