That Canadians who are deafblind will be integrated in society through access to information and services that meet their specific needs.


To provide persons who are deafblind access to information and training opportunities to achieve independence and self-reliance through maximizing their abilities, as is their right.

About CHKC

CHKC opened its doors in July 2001 to provide deafblind Canadians with training opportunities and services, and to raise public awareness about the needs of people who are deafblind.

Core programs at CHKC include Skills of Daily Living (cooking, cleaning, home organization, shopping, personal finance, grooming, etc.), Computer Essentials/Technical Devices, Adapted Communication (sign language, 2-Hand Manual), Braille, Orientation and Mobility (safe travel) and Using Your Intervenor.

Individualized classes are provided at the Centre 7 days a week between the hours of 9am and 10pm. Services are also provided in people's homes because learning in the home is sometimes more effective.

CHKC provides services to adults and seniors living in the Toronto area. People who live in the GTA and throughout the province can access CHKC when funding is available. People outside the GTA are able to stay at CHKC while they are receiving training, however funding opportunities are limited. CHKC is continuously looking for funding and ways to provide services to Canadians who do not live in Toronto.

CHKC is grateful for the government funding it receives from the Ministry of Community and Social Services but we still need to continue to fundraise in order to cover many activities. Public awareness is one of those activities.

CHKC also supports seniors who have become deafblind by working directly with seniors who live in supported environments and in the community. CHKC also provides training to people who work with seniors. Seniors learn to live more safely and independently. Staff learn to identify functional deafblindness, improve communication skills and make environments and activities more accessible. Through these services, CHKC is increasing awareness about deafblindness and is helping people to develop coping skills.

Volunteer Board of Directors

The Canadian Helen Keller Centre held its Annual General Meeting of the Board of Directors on Tuesday September 17, 2013 at the CNIB Centre, 1929 Bayview Avenue, in Toronto, Ontario.

CHKC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that meets four times per year in addition to the Annual General Meeting.

How It All Began:

CHKC was developed by Rotary Cheshire Homes to fulfill the un-met needs of the deafblind community by providing training in independent living skills, communication, computers, and other activities of daily living.

In 1998 a property was purchased at 210 Empress Avenue in Toronto, Ontario to begin the development of the centre.

After securing a five year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, RCH officially opened The Canadian Helen Keller Centre on May 1, 2001.

In 2007, CHKC secured funding from the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services to provide individual training, workshops, and seniors support services to deafblind in the Toronto area.

CHKC still relies on fundraised dollars to cover various programming, administrative and facility related costs, as well as funding to provide services to individuals outside of the Toronto area.

Since the inception of the Canadian Helen Keller Centre, our accomplishments include:
  • Developing a capable team of Instructors and Intervenors.
  • Increasing our national base of clients and partners.
  • Providing personalized courses in skills of daily living, orientation and mobility, technology, and communications.
  • Raising public awareness through connections to government and community resources, and organizing events such as 'JuneFest', an annual event that brings awareness to the disability of deafblindness.
  • Providing support services to seniors and their caregivers.
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2013 - 2014
CHKC Board of Directors

Officers of the Corporation:

Krystyne Rusek

Betty-Jean Reid

Ben Joshan
Past Chair

Vivian Bright

Hon. Vim Kochhar

Mark Albert
Tim Alcock
Ravi Balchandani
George Berger
Philip Corke
Tina Marano
Jasmin Simpson
Kim Wrigley-Archer
Robert Young

Khalid Khokhar
Joan Mactavish

2012-2013 Annual Report