Blind People In Charge
The Blind People in Charge program serves blind, deafblind and low vision adults in Greater Victoria, and elsewhere in British Columbia, ranging from young adults to older seniors. The program is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is the only accredited blindness-service program in BC.
This national, award-winning program, which is provided free of charge to blind people, is also the only program of its kind in Western Canada that offers regular, intensive rehabilitation to adults who are blind or who are losing their vision, and it is the only program that uses an empowering, problem-solving model of instruction, called Structured Discovery, where blind people are the teachers, planners, directors and administrators.
The program involves a collaborative, positive, and empowering approach to blindness, in which blind people learn from and teach each other in a supportive, can-do atmosphere.
Instructors teach nonvisual independence skills such as Braille, adaptive technology, cane travel, cooking and other life skills, and develop positive strategies for coping with blindness and vision loss in a sighted world.
Teaching takes place in group and one-on-one sessions and participants progress at their own pace. Anyone over 18 who is blind or is experiencing significant vision loss may apply, including those who are experiencing other challenges. No referral is required.
Some of the independence / blindness skills offered at the centre include but are not limited to:
- Braille and tactile skills;
- Keyboarding and adaptive technology such as Braille and talking computers;
- How to travel safely and competently with the long white cane, make mental maps and orientate one’s self using cues in the environment such as the direction of the sun, sounds of traffic and changing textures on the ground;
- How to use public transportation;
- Personal and social skills;
- Cooking, cleaning, organizing, labeling, home and financial management, and
- Other life skills.
The Blind People In Charge program is divided into 3 streams, described below. Each stream has different eligibility requirements and are designed to meet the needs of a variety of students.
Students from outside the Greater Victoria Area are accepted into the Accelerated Stream of the Blind People In Charge program, where they take additional full immersion and residential training. Students in this stream are responsible for their own food and lodging while enrolled at the centre.
Apply to the Blind People In Charge Program
Contact us to apply.