Current Programs

Below is a list of all our current programs for the coming months. Please direct any questions to our Program Coordinator, Emily Burkholder: emily@blindbeginnings.ca

Kids Connect Support Group | Exploring Work Wednesdays | Virtual Parent’s Night Out  | Early Beginnings Program / Adam’s Accessible Story Time / Early Beginnings | Creating Connections | Independent Living Skills Workshop for Teens | Seeing Things Differently Support Group

Kids Connect Support Group

EVERY SECOND Tuesday 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM PST

This program is for children & youth who are blind or partially sighted 7 – 13 years

Many children across BC are missing the social connection with other kids at school and in their communities. Each Tuesday, children 7 – 13 years of age who are blind or partially sighted can connect with each other in our Blind Beginnings Zoom room. This is a place to share struggles, strategies, and successes, but also to play games, tell stories, and make new friends.

Where: The Blind Beginnings Zoom Room
Register now for the Kids Connect Support Group!

Exploring Work Wednesdays

September 15, october 13, November 10 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm PST

What kind of careers do people who are blind or partially sighted have? What are some potential career paths? What is it like for an employee who is blind or partially sighted at a workplace?

Parents quite often ask these types of questions, and uncertainty about future careers can be very stressful for both families and youth.  In order to help answer some of these questions, we are inviting parents and youth to our Blind Beginnings Zoom Room this Fall as we meet individuals who are blind or partially sighted and hear all about their own employment journeys.

In September we will be meeting with Craig Faris! Born totally blind, Craig Faris grew up on Protection Island (near Nanaimo).  At the age of 16, he co-founded a business selling adapted products for low vision consumers and was privileged to visit 25 countries for R&D and sales purposes.  In his present role as Manager of SmartLife Centers and Technology Programs for the CNIB Foundation, Craig is a passionate advocate for the role tech can play in affording greater independence to blind users.  He lives in Abbotsford and loves spending time in the great outdoors.

Virtual Parent’s Night Out

October 7, November 4, December 2 – 7:00 pm PST

Every month at Virtual Parent’s Night Out, we offer a workshop where parents will be able to gain information and resources about a pre-determined topic. After the workshop, parents can socialize and connect to share their challenges, frustrations, worries, and strategies for coping. This group is a great place to receive invaluable information and resources as well support from other parents as well as a registered clinical counselor.

October Workshop – TBA

Who can attend: Blind Beginnings Parents across BC / Yukon
Where: The Blind Beginnings Zoom Room
Register now for Virtual Parent’s Night Out/Online Support Group

Adam’s Accessible Story Time / Early Beginnings Program

October 23, November 20, December 18 at 9:30 AM PST

At 9:30 am, All Blind Beginnings children/youth and their families are invited to join the Zoom room for Adam’s Accessible Story Time! Adam will read stories, but also provide image description and explain concepts that might be new to some listeners. Following each story listeners can share their thoughts or ask questions about the story.

Blind Beginnings families are then invited to stick around after Adam’s Accessible Storytime and join us for a hands-on activity. Our October activity is TBA.

For families who would like to participate in the Early Beginnings activities, you will need to register in order for us to send you an activity package in the mail which will include some of the supplies needed! Please be sure to register for the activity at least 7-10 days prior to the activity date to allow enough time for us to send you the supplies needed!

Who can attend:  Any Blind Beginnings child/youth and their families
Where: The Blind Beginnings Zoom Room
Register now for Early Beginnings / Adam’s Accessible Story Time

Creating Connections

SepTember 24, October 22, November 26  – 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm PST

On the last Friday evening of each month youth who are blind or partially sighted 12 – 20 years are invited to connect online for Creating Connections!

This is an opportunity for youth to meet and socialize with peers who are also blind or partially sighted, and make new friends. There will be get-to-know-you games, themed activities, and of course some laughter and fun.

This program is for children & youth who are blind or partially sighted 13 – 19 years

Who can attend: Children & youth who are blind or partially sighted 12 – 20 years
When:  4th Friday of the month  7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PST
Register now for Creating Connections

Independent Living Skills Workshop for Teens

Starts Wednesday September 22 and runs every Wednesday for 6 weeks 4:00 – 5:30 PM PST

In addition to the scholastic curriculum that all youth must learn, teens who are blind or partially sighted also have to spend time working on things like braille, technology, and orientation & mobility during their school week. This doesn’t leave much time to learn independent living skills like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. That’s why we have created the Independent Living Skills Workshop for Teens.

Each week participants will come together in our Blind Beginnings Zoom Room to learn a variety of vital independent living skills that will include such topics as:

  • How to make hot and cold drinks such as pouring hot and cold liquids, making smoothies, tea, and hot chocolate
  • Marking appliances such as microwave, stove, washer/dryer
  • How to organize your closets & kitchen, and how to label foods, medicine, books, etc.
  • Preparing snacks independently
  • Cooking in the microwave
  • All things laundry: sorting, separating delicates, keeping socks together, removing stains and tips for remembering colours
  • And everybody’s favorite – cleaning up: emptying garbage cans, recycling, wiping tables and other surfaces, sweeping verses vacuuming, etc.

This program is for children & youth who are blind or partially sighted 13 – 19 years

Register now for Independent Living Skills Workshop for Teens

Seeing Things Differently Support Group

Times may vary – on demand

Parents of children and youth who are blind or partially sighted are invited to participate in our “Seeing Things Differently” Parent Support Group. You have a child with a visual impairment which means life is now different. On top of typical parenting, you have the added challenge of learning about an unfamiliar diagnosis, trying to understand what your child can or can’t see, and juggling appointments with PT’s, OT’s, and specialists. The “Seeing Things Differently” Parent Support Group is a place to connect with other parents who have a first-hand understanding of what you are going through.

We will be offering this support group based on demand. If you are interested in attending this support group, email Shawn at shawn@blindbeginnings.ca

Registration Information

If you would like to attend any or all of these sessions, register by emailing Emily at:  emily@blindbeginnings.ca.   Please provide the name of all participants, and ages of any children or youth, and the program or online event that you wish to attend.  Also include the email address we can send the Zoom link to.

All participants must be members of Blind Beginnings.  You can become a member or renew your membership at https://www.blindbeginnings.ca/support/membership/.  

Barrier-Free Programming

We strive to make all our Programs barrier-free environments. If any family or individual has any sort of barrier to participation (eg. mobility, technology needs, language barriers, etc.), please contact Emily at emily@blindbeginnings.ca and we will do our best to accommodate.