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Fighting Blindness Canada hosts ‘Screens off for Sight’ challenge amid COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video: 'Screens off for Sight challenge' Screens off for Sight challenge
Doug Earle from Fighting Blindness Canada joins Global News Morning Calgary live via Skype to discuss the Screens Off for Sight challenge on Saturday, May 30, 2020. – May 29, 2020

One organization is challenging Canadians to turn off their screens to help raise awareness for sight-saving research in the country.

Fighting Blindness Canada is hosting the Screens off for Sight initiative that asks families to turn off their devices for a full day.

“This is an experience for families to spend 24 hours doing other things than looking at a TV, computer screens and video games,” president and CEO with Fighting Blindness Canada, Doug Earle, said in an interview with 770 CHQR.

READ MORE: ‘More vulnerable:’ Blind Canadians talk hardships of physical distancing amid coronavirus

“We are trying to encourage Canadians to support Fighting Blindness Canada’s efficient research programs.

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“It’s good to experience what the 1.5 million Canadians that are living with a seeing disability experience every day.”

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Fighting Blindness Canada is a private funder of vision research that has worked to make more than 200 grants available across the country.

Earle said the initiative also highlights the strain these electronic devices can have on eyes, especially with increased use amid the COVID-19  pandemic.

“Statistics Canada was studying last month what Canadians were doing and 68 per cent reported spending more time on the internet, 63 per cent said more TV and 22 per cent said playing video games. So during the COVID[-19] pandemic, we’re spending a lot of time looking at screens and that, of course, is causing eye strain,” he said.

READ MORE: CNIB says COVID-19 measures don’t account for sighted guides

“Ninety per cent of Canadian adults report an eye strain on a regular period before COVID[-19], so of course now with that increased use it’s causing even more challenges.”

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The initiative begins on May 30 at 6 p.m., and asks families to “go dark” for a full 24 hours. For more information on how to register for the initiative, click here.

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