Blind News Victoria, Fall 2018

Editor’s Note: What follows is volume 9 of Blind News Victoria. 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

Vol. 9: Fall 2018

As the saying goes “Better late than never”!! Here is the rather overdue Fall edition of Blind News Victoria.

PTCB hit the road running in September and staff training, a full student enrollment, multiple requests for training leading to the creation of waitlists, several grant applications, our upcoming accreditation visit from CARF and expanding our training facility have kept us all extremely busy. But its time to make time to bring you up to date with what’s happening at PTCB and in the greater Victoria community.

  • The AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) documentary about PTCB, filmed last June, is now available on the PTCB website. The link to the twenty three minute documentary can be found at:
– Our first Home Stay student is now volunteering in India. We are so proud of her!! Our current Home Stay student will be with us until Christmas and will be returning to her studies back home in January. We now have a waitlist of both out-of-town and local blind individuals anxious to attend PTCB. We urgently need Home Stay hosts for late January 2019. If you, or someone you know, has a spare room in your home and a willingness in your heart to assist a young blind person become “employed, independent and free” as our first Home Stay student has done, then please contact PTCB as soon as possible to discuss your involvement in this desperately needed program.
– PTCB has received several grants in 2018 including one from the City of Victoria, BC Gaming, the hamber Foundation, Pacific Blue Cross, the Vandekerkhove Family Foundation, United Way, and the harder Foundation who have pledged to support PTCB for several years to come.


PTCB has just become aware that the template provided by Elections BC, which was to make it possible for blind British Columbians to vote independently and privately in the current referendum on electoral reform, does not line up correctly with the mail-in paper ballot. This flaw may lead to a spoiled ballot. Please be advised that the template should not be used and that trusted sighted assistance should be employed to ensure your vote counts. Elections BC has been informed. You can contact Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683


PTCB is looking to contract 1 – 3 individuals to assist with the provision of its blindness skills training programs. We are looking for training, coordination and administrative staff. Go to the following link for more information.


Please consider becoming a member of the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind Society. Membership is only $5 per year. A strong membership will help to ensure that PTCB will continue to receive the government and foundation support essential for the continuation of the much needed PTCB programs.

To join, or to renew your membership, email

or visit our webpage at


The Victoria Community Report is now broadcast at a civilized time. Every fourth Thursday just after 12 noon, Kelly & company on AMI Audio now broadcasts the live Community Report from Victoria. This report features upcoming events and activities of interest to blind and vision impaired individuals living on Vancouver Island. The next AMI Audio Victoria Community Report will be on Thursday December 6. Tune into AMI audio at 889 on your TV or go to

to listen on-line or find archived information.

The Victoria Society for Blind Arts and Culture offers an Arts and Cultural Bursary to its blind members, reimbursing 50% of the cost of an arts or cultural activity up to $50. Perhaps you would like to use this bursary to purchase a ticket for one of the Belfry’s upcoming described performances mentioned below?

For information or to apply, contact Linda Bartram




Sunday November 18 2:00 p.m.

Belfry Theatre

VocalEye Described performance of “Mustard” – a magical twisted fairy tale about love, desire and moving on.

Come join Victoria’s CFB group and celebrate the holidays. Everyone is welcome.

 When: Friday, December 14, 2018 at 6 pm.

Where: Spice Jammer, 852 Fort St., Victoria, B.C.

You can read the menu at:

Please RSVP as soon as possible but no later than December 10th by emailing:

Also at the Belfry Theatre this festive season

Sunday December 16at 2:00 p.m.

The VocalEye performance of “Griffin and Sabine” has elements of romance, mythology, modern philosophy, and Jungian psychology.

Discounted tickets are available to VocalEye subscribers at 250-385-6815


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