The division will endeavour to hire or contract staff members who are blind, DeafBlind, or partially sighted.

Instructors in the Blind People in Charge (BPIC) program with some remaining vision will be required to wear sleep shades while working unless given an exemption by an Executive Director.

All staff working for the BPIC program will be required to use a long white cane while using a cane at work.

All division staff are required to:

  • undergo a criminal record check and vulnerable persons check (where applicable) prior to
    starting work;
  • Sign a work contract with the division;
  • Sign a Code of Ethics Agreement; and
  • Have, or be willing to participate in, first aid and Food Safe training as required by their role.

Background checks and specific credentials (diploma, degree, license, certification, registration, etc.) required by staff will be verified:

  • with primary sources (i.e. information given directly to the provider by the issuing institution or organization)
  • prior to the delivery of services
  • at stated intervals throughout employment
  • in response to information received which causes concern

Staff will be given a blank evaluation form at commencement of their contract which outlines the deliverables of their contract in detail.

Evaluations of Staff performance will be based on this form and carried out before their current contract expires. Contract renewal will depend upon this evaluation and availability of funding.

The division will maintain and annually review written job descriptions that identify the deliverables, knowledge, skills, competencies, and characteristics required by Staff to:
a) meet the needs of individual participants
b) Support the division to accomplish its mission and goals

Staff are prohibited from meeting one – on – one with participants away from COBD premises except for formal prearranged BPIC training sessions which are closely monitored by the Division Executive Director or Program and Student Affairs Coordinator of the PTC division. When a home visit at the home of a BPIC participant is indicated, two assigned staff from the PTC division will attend. If deemed appropriate by the PTC division’s Executive Director or Program and Student Affairs Coordinator, a COBD staff member from outside the division or a COBD volunteer may attend in the place of one of the assigned staff.

Volunteer staff may be blind, DeafBlind, or sighted.

Volunteers are required to:

  • undergo a criminal record check;
  • undergo a vulnerable persons check (where applicable); and
  • Sign a Code of Ethics Agreement.

The division will provide initial orientation and on-going training to all paid and volunteer staff in the following areas:

  • Program or service goals, philosophy and background
  • Staff/volunteer expectations
  • The Structured Discovery Model
  • Program or service activities specific to their particular involvement
  • The person-centred approach to service delivery
  • Confidentiality and privacy requirements consistent with legal and contractual requirements
  • Diversity issues that are relevant to the individual(s) served by COBD.
  • Expectations regarding appropriate conduct and personal boundaries
  • Health and safety
  • Reporting of suspected abuse and/or neglect
  • The rights of the participants and the rights of staff
  • Unique needs of each of the individuals served by the program or service

The division will promote participation in workshops and courses to enable staff to remain current in their area of expertise and upgrade their skills in other areas (e.g. gain knowledge of additional Blindness/DeafBlindness skills training areas) as applicable to their role. A record of their participation in professional development is kept in their personnel folder.