Home Stay Pilot Program

Purpose
  • To provide residential-based, intensive training in blindness skills to individuals residing outside of the greater Victoria area
Goal
  • To increase the independence of program participants
Objectives
  • To improve the participant’s abilities in two 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
  • Reside outside of the greater Victoria area making daily attendance impractical
  • Good general health
  • A willingness to commit to a 16 week program and make blindness skills training the focus of the student’s life for the duration of the program
Referral
  • Self referral (medical referral not required)
Program Expectations
  • The student is asked to commit to a 16 week program, living in a home stay situation.  Students will attend the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind’s regular Blind People in Charge Program (2 – 3 days a week) and receive an additional 10 – 16 hours of training (usually one-on-one) for a total of 28 hours of training a week.  Students may travel home on weekends/holidays if they desire but room and board will be available for the entire 16 weeks.
  • Students will be billeted with a vetted Home Stay host who has personal knowledge or experience of vision loss.  Students will have a private bedroom and will share other amenities in the home.  Their host will be responsible for providing meals and accommodation for the entire 16 week program and will be compensated $125 per week.  The host will involve students in grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation, house cleaning and recreational activities to reinforce the life skills they are acquiring through their training sessions with Pacific Training Centre of the Blind staff. The host will also provide local transportation until the student has gained independent travel skills.
  • Students will be responsible for their personal expenses which might include: transportation to and from Victoria, entertainment, snacks, coffee or meals out which are not a part of a training session, toiletries, medications, etc.
Fees
  • There is no charge for the training sessions or basic training equipment.  Students will be expected to pay $125 per week for their room and board.  A subsidy of up to $60 per week may be awarded based on the student’s income and financial obligations.
Perspective students will
  • complete an application form;
  • participate in an interview (phone or in-person) with the Executive Director and Program Coordinator;
  • Receive a letter indicating their eligibility and the terms of their participation in the program; and
  • Agree to the terms of this letter.