Blind News Victoria, Summer 2017

Editor’s Note: What follows is volume 5 of Blind News Victoria, released on June 29, 2017. For convenience, headings have been added to this archived version. The timestamp on this archived copy reflects the time the original word document was last edited and does not reflect the time at which the newsletter went out via email.

Blind News Victoria

A publication of the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind

Summer 2017

Well the warm, or should I say hot, weather is here!! Whether you take in a live performance during Jazz Fest, visit the Inner Harbour for special Canada 150 celebrations and Symphony Splash or a local summer festival in your neighbourhood, there is plenty to do this summer in Victoria and many events are free.

This edition of Blind News Victoria will inform you of some special events that you may not be aware of.

Mark Your Calendar

VocalEye presents the first described VICTORIA SKAMPEDE

Date: Sunday July 16, 2017

Tour times: 2:30 and 4:00

Tour starts from: The Hub, 360 Harbour Road, Victoria

Theatre SKAM’s annual summer SKAMpede is an outdoor live performance festival event that is suitable for the whole family. SKAMpede, a series of short plays staged along the Galloping Goose Trail, will be described by Rick Waines, our resident Belfry theatre describer. Described tours are approximately 45 minutes long and use “open description”, which means no equipment required. Seating can be provided on request, just let them know when you book your Tour. VocalEye members will be independently guided along the Galloping Goose Trail to experience 3 short shows, selected by Rick Waines for our first-time description of this event. Help VocalEye make the SKAMpede more accessible to people who are blind and partially sighted by trying it out and giving VocalEye your feedback!

Tickets are FREE for VocalEye users and a companion. Please reserve your spot on the tour by calling 250-386-7526 or email:

VIP Singers performance

Date: Thursday August 24 2017

Time: 12 noon

Place: Downtown Library Courtyard (Broughton St.)

Tickets: No tickets are necessary. Just drop by to hear our voices echoing throughout the plaza.

Did You Know?

The Butchart Gardens offers free admission to blind persons and their guides who have a Leisure Assistance and Access 2 pass. There is live entertainment most evenings during July and August and of course fireworks set to music on Saturday nights.

Call 250-652-5256

For enquiries and to check that you have the correct pass for free admission for the day you wish to attend.

iHabilitation Canada is pleased to announce the launch of The Eyes-Free Academy, providing online multi-media content via a fully accessible Learning Management System. Our first course, offered free of charge, is entitled “iPhone Eyes-Free – Mind’s Eye Navigation on the iPhone Touch-Screen”. You can visit the academy here:

This introductory iPhone Eyes-Free course is inclusively designed and provides detailed audio/video real-time demonstration along with PDF documentation to suit a wide range of accessibility needs.

With this approach, almost anyone can become familiar with iPhone touch-screen navigation using the Voiceover screen-reader rather than looking at the phone. The course comprises six sections: introduction, lessons and summary.

We offer this introductory course free of charge because we look forward to your feedback regarding future course content. To join our very low traffic Email list, and receive a pamphlet with a more detailed explanation of Eyes-Free Academy course content and teaching methodology, visit

We have also posted a promotional video on our YouTube channel that describes the course and the philosophy behind iHabilitation Canada. You can find the video here: The channel will also showcase future course material.

What’s New at the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind?

The PTCB is gearing down for a well-earned rest during July and August. There will be no classes during these months but staff will stay in touch with students through home visits and picnics at the beach. Classes will start up again at the VDRC in September.

PTCB plans to offer a “Train the Trainer” course (date to be determined) for anyone who would like to become a volunteer PTCB trainer. The plan is to hire more staff once funds allow and we would like to have a pool of perspective candidates for these positions. If you are interested in taking the “Train the trainer” course or would like to know more about it, contact Linda at:

or call Elizabeth at:


About the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind

The Pacific Training Centre for the Blind (PTCB) is a Canadian grassroots nonprofit charitable service organization founded and run by blind people.  Its training fosters independence, where blind people empower blind people to be employed, independent and free.

The Blind People in Charge Program, provided by the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind, is the only program of its kind in Western Canada that offers regular, intensive rehabilitation to people who are blind or who are losing their vision; it is also the only program that uses an empowering, problem-solving model of instruction, where blind people are the teachers, planners, directors and administrators.

The program involves a collaborative, positive, and empowering approach to blindness, where blind people learn from and teach each other in a supportive, can-do atmosphere. Instructors and mentors teach the skills of independence such as Braille, adaptive technology, cane travel, cooking and other life skills, and develop strategies for coping with blindness and vision loss in a sighted world.

The Blind People in Charge Program held at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre 817a Fort St., runs two days a week from 10:00 – 4:00 and participants are encouraged to attend as full time students (12 hours a week).  Drop in students are also considered.  Teaching takes place in group and one-on-one sessions and participants progress at their own pace.  Past participants have ranged in age from 24 – 88.  Anyone over 18 who is blind or is experiencing significant vision loss may apply including those who are experiencing other challenges.  There is no charge to students; however donations are always welcome.  For more information, or to participate in our program, please contact us.

Phone: 250-580-4910