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.
We currently serve 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.
We are the only blindness-service provider in BC accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). 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 Blind People in Charge program at the centre, which is currently located in downtown Victoria. We currently offer blindness skills / independence training to anyone who is 19 years of age or older and 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 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 or Deafblind, have a wealth of lived experience to share and promote a positive approach to blindness.
Blind people empowering blind people to be employed, independent and free.
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).
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.
“The simple truth is that blind people are not helpless. A blind person can do pretty much anything a sighted person can. All they need is the right training and opportunity.” Elizabeth Lalonde, PTCB founder and Executive Director, May 2014.
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.