About

The Pacific Training Centre for the Blind (PTCB) is a grassroots charitable organization, (Charity Number: 846673085RR0001) currently based in Victoria, BC. The organization is community-focused, accountable to the people it serves, and the vast majority of its funds are spent on direct program delivery.

Our centre currently serves blind, deafblind and low vision adults in Greater Victoria and elsewhere of all ages from young adults to older seniors. We have plans to expand our program’s availability through the Bowen Island Recreation, Training and Meeting Centre Project.

CARF seal

We have accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and we are the only accredited blindness-service provider in BC. Our program has won the Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award from ABC Life Literacy.

We are also one of the only organizations in Canada that offers regular, intensive, group-based blindness skills training to blind and low vision adults.

We deliver our programs at the centre, whih is currently located in downtown Victoria at 817A Fort Street.

We currently offer blindness skills / independence training to anyone who is blind, deafblind, or who is experiencing vision loss living in, or able to travel to, Victoria. Students are self-referred, a medical referral is not required. We accept anyone 19 years of age and older and have provided services to people from age 19 to 95.

We provide non-visual training in: tactile skills, including Braille; orientation and travel training with the long white cane; daily living skills such as cooking and cleaning; technology such as computer and iPhone use without sight; and more.

All of our instructors are blind, have a wealth of lived experience to share and promote a positive approach to blindness.

Students at the centre learn in a class setting, which allows them to chat with their peers and discuss concerns with others who are experiencing similar situations.

Students gain the skills and confidence to increase their independence, improve their income and quality of life, take part in their community, and find gainful employment Or self-employment.

The PTCB delivers programs using the non-traditional Structured Discovery model of teaching, where students are encourage to problem solve and to take charge of their own lives and learning. Students with some remaining vision wear learning shades, a comfortable covering over the eyes, which help them to build confidence and focus on using their other senses.

Vision

Blind people empowering blind people to be employed, independent and free.

Mission

The Pacific Training Centre for the Blind is committed to empowering its students to achieve independence, employment, equality and first-class citizenship by offering cutting edge blindness skills training based on a positive, proven, world-renowned model.

Teachers instill a belief in blind people’s own capabilities and in the limitless possibilities open to them by adopting a non-custodial approach (i.e. it is not about sighted people doing things for blind people; it is about blind people doing things for themselves, and it is about blind teachers working with blind students to increase skills and confidence).

History

The PTCB was founded in 2011 and has been providing services since 2014. The idea of the centre took root years before in the minds of blind people who wanted to address the high unemployment rate (75% nationally), isolation, and severe lack of intensive rehabilitation available to blind people in the province and in the country.

Governance

Like all Canadian non-profit organizations, the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind Society is run by a board of directors, a constitution and by-laws.
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