Blind People in Charge – Scope of Services

Purpose
  • The Blind People in Charge program is to provide no-fee training in blindness skills.
Goal
  • To increase the independence of program participants.
Objectives
  • To improve the participant’s abilities in one or more of the following areas:
    • Tactile and Braille skills;
    • Life skills;
    • Adapted Technology skills;
    • Orientation and Travel skills; and
    • Social and Employment Readiness skills
Admission Criteria
  • low vision, blindness or failing vision (those with additional disabilities are eligible)
  • 19 years or older.
Referral
  • Prospective participants may self-refer (a medical referral is not necessary)
Expectations of Participants
  • Students attend the program for a full day (10 – 4) one or 2 days a week.  Half days and drop-ins are also possible if the student’s health limits full day participation.
Responsibilities
  • Student’s are required to sign a Student Responsibility Form at intake.
Assessment
  • Students complete a Blind Skills Assessment which identifies the specific skills the student is wanting and ready to learn.  From this assessment, general goals and specific objectives are determined, and these dictate lesson planning.
Training
  • Training is delivered one-on-one, or in group sessions (maximum of 6 students).  Students are required to wear sleep shades during training sessions.  Trainers are blind and those with remaining vision wear sleep shades also.  Training is delivered using the structured discovery model of teaching.
Duration of Training
  • The school year (September – June) is divided into 2 terms; Fall/Winter term which runs from September to February, and the Winter/Spring term which runs from February to June.  Students commit to attending for a full term and can continue for a second and even a third and fourth term if they are making progress but have not reached their goals.  Mid-term registrations will be considered but are dependent upon current class size and staff availability.
Discharge
  • Students graduate once they reach their goals.  If a student has not reached their goals but has reached their potential, they also graduate.  Students leaving the program are given resources regarding other programs they might wish to pursue.  Graduates are kept informed of the centre’s activities and invited to social events.  If a student desires, they can continue with the program as a volunteer assistant trainer after graduation.