Members from the CNIB and BMO teams stand together beside a large Phone It Forward Banner. In the foreground are boxes full of donated iPads. From left to right, Suzanne Decary, Executive Director, Ontario South for CNIB, Tanya Thung and Rosemary Torelli from BMO Financial Group, Gary Nenson, Vice President, Philanthropy for CNIB and John M. Rafferty, President and CEO for CNIB. Each person holds a few iPads in their arms.

BMO reduces barriers for people with sight loss with iPad donation

Driving to zero barriers for our colleagues, customers and communities is a critical priority for BMO and a key part of our Purpose-aligned Bold Commitment to a more inclusive society. With a donation of 2,000 reconditioned iPads to CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), Canada’s largest non-profit serving people with sight loss, BMO is helping to demonstrate how technology can reduce barriers and drive independence for people who are blind.

CNIB’s Phone It Forward program helps Canadians who are blind or partially sighted access the life-changing technology that smart devices offer. The Phone It Forward program refurbishes modern, gently used smartphones, outfits them with accessible apps, and puts them directly into the hands of Canadians who are living with sight loss. Recipients are also provided with training on how to use their refurbished smart device with confidence.

“Many people aren’t aware of how impactful a smartphone can be for people of all ages with sight loss,” says John M. Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB. “Accessible smartphone apps make it possible for people who are blind or partially sighted to do all kinds of things that may have seemed impossible before – from digitally enhanced learning to communicating with loved ones, or taking the proper dosage of medication. Thanks to BMO’s generous donation, we’ll be able to empower Canadians with sight loss to take full advantage of the life-changing power of smart devices.”

“At a time when in-person encounters and accessibility have become more challenging, donating devices so Canadians with sight loss can remain connected with loved ones and more easily navigate daily tasks is one way we can help create a society with zero barriers to inclusion,” said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of People and Culture, BMO Financial Group.  “We’re proud to support CNIB’s Phone it Forward program as part of our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and in life.”

To learn more about the Phone It Forward program, and how to donate your gently used smartphone, visit Learn more about how BMO is supporting an inclusive society with our Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy.

Related Insights

Dave Casper stands in front of the mural with three school children Chicago Public School students create mural calling for change
Community giving, Corporate social responsibility, Diversity and inclusion

“Art can tell stories and change narratives,” says Suzette Bross, Executive Director of CPS Lives. “This mural is an expression of giving back to the community and showing the good in humanity.” In June 2020, a group of Chicago students transformed the temporary plywood used to cover BMO Harris Bank’s main branch during protests into […]

BMO donating BlackBerries for Ontario Victim Services Acting with Purpose: Helping Ontario Victim Services
Community giving

In September 2018, David Abesdris, Senior Advisor, Inclusion, was notified that BMO’s corporate phones were being updated from BlackBerrys to iPhones. He remembered that Tanya Thung, Branch Manager at Yonge and St. Clair, had mentioned the Phone It Forward campaign from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), a program through which CNIB repurposes technology to be […]

A BMO branch interior Repurposing office materials to drive positive change
Environmental stewardship

With more than 1,800 facilities around the world, BMO is continually looking for opportunities to drive positive change through our focus on sustainable real estate practices. That’s why we’ve partnered with our furniture supplier, Teknion, a Canadian company that has an industry leading program that helps customers divert unused furniture with a goal of achieving […]