Programs and Services Offered at CHKC

CHKC offers a wide variety of Training Programs and Seniors Services to individuals who are deafblind.

All Programs and Services are funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services for Toronto Residents. For individuals outside of Toronto, Ontario or Canada services are available on a fee for service basis.

Training Programs

Adapted Communication Systems:

American Sign Language: This course teaches people how to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) expressively and receptively. This is done through learning signs, practicing words and sentences, grammar, and common ALS phrases. The course will also teach people elements of Deaf culture.

Tactile American Sign Language: In this course people will learn as well as practice how to receive ASL through the sense of touch. This course is especially useful for those with Usher Syndrome or for other people with deteriorating vision.

Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ):This is the sign language used in Quebec, other French cities, and provinces of Canada. LSQ is a cross between American Sign Language and French Sign Language. This course will teach people LSQ as well as the similarities and differences between the two languages.

2-Hand Manual: This course teaches people how to use the 2-Hand Manual alphabet. This communication system is an alphabet based on touch, and is used mostly in England and Canada. Letters of 2-Hand Manual are based on different areas touched on your palm/hand. This course will help you practice receiving and expressing words and sentences in 2-Hand Manual.

Lorm: This course teaches a tactile alphabet developed in the 19th century by deafblind inventor and novelist Hieronymus Lorm which is mostly used in European countries. This course will help you practice receiving and expressing words and sentences in Lorm.

Uncontracted Braille: In this course people learn how to read information written in uncontracted Braille (formerly known as Grade 1 Braille). The course will also teach you how to write Braille using a slate and stylus and Perkins Brailler.

Contracted Braille: This course is a continuation of the uncontracted Braille course and teaches commonly used Braille contractions (formerly known as Grade 2 Braille). It also focuses on increasing the speed at which you read and write Braille.

Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation: This course will help individuals who have had Cochlear Implant surgery use their device more effectively. In this course, students will learn through a number of different activities like practice audio programs and worksheets, how to use your device the best way you can.

Orientation and Mobility

Orientation: Learn how to orient yourself in your environment through identification of locations, obstacles and objects using techniques such as search patterns and environmental cues.

Mobility: This course is for people to learn how to safely and independently travel in and around your community. This course focuses on the use of white canes and sighted guide, but may also include elements such as dealing with vision loss and guide dog teaming.

Orientation and Mobility Refresher Course: This course is designed for people who have had O&M training in the past, but due to changes in their vision and hearing feel that they might need some updating of their skills. In this course people can work on working with sighted guide, and using a white cane as well as any other issues that are related to the changes in their vision and hearing.

Skills of Daily Living

Cooking and Safe Food Handling: This course is an introduction to how to plan and cook meals. This is done through using such methods as baking, grilling, stovetop, microwave and crock pots. This course emphasizes safe handling of food as well as emphasizing safe handling of tools used in cooking such as safe knife skills and hot liquids.

Nutrition: This course is about the foods people should and should not eat to be healthy. It also shows you recipes on how to make these foods and where to buy the ingredients at low cost.

Cleaning: This course teaches people how to properly clean areas in and around their house with little or no vision. Understanding cleaning product labels and how to use them is emphasized. As well, adaptive cleaning techniques such as grid pattern cleaning is also taught.

Shopping: This course teaches people how to become more comfortable when going shopping. This is done through teaching people how to make shopping lists, where to buy things, how to look for sales and how to use coupons.

Laundry: In this course people learn how to clean clothes and other household items like sheets and towels. This course teaches you how to separate clothes with limited or no vision, how to use the washing machine and what should and should not be put in the dryer. The course also shows people how to make washers, driers more accessible for those with vision loss.

Grooming: This course teaches self-grooming techniques such as shaving and putting on make-up. This course also teaches how to properly take care of your clothes, shoes and other personal items.

Household management: This course teaches you about home safety, maintenance, and organization. The course talks about the different areas of your house, and how to make them safer, clean and organized to live in.

Money Management: This course was developed to help people know and understand how to manage their money. This is done through: organizing bills, developing a payment schedule for monthly bills, talking about how to use your bank and bank accounts, introduction to large print checks and budgeting.

Household Organization Tips: This course was developed and is taught by an instructor who is deafblind. The course discusses different systems on how to organize your home. The course focuses on ways to makes it very easy to find whatever a person is looking for in their house. This is done through teaching techniques such as: tactile labeling, Braille labeling, finding/identifying food in fridge/freezer.

Using your Intervenor: This course teaches individuals who are new to using intervention what the role of an Intervenor is. The course discusses: how to book an Intervenor, some examples of events that Intervenors can be used, effective use of intervention time and consumer/Intervenor responsibilities. This course is taught through case studies and practice sessions with an Intervenor.

Resume Writing: This course is not a job placement course. It is also not a service to write resume for an individual. This is a course that teaches person techniques that can help them write a resume and cover letter. The course shows how to use proper grammar and vocabulary on resumes that could help a person find a job.

Job Interview preparation: This course helps people going to job interview by giving helpful hints as to things that could be said in an interview setting. This course also allows people to practice going to a job interview in a safe and comfortable setting before going to an actual interview.

Lawn Care Skills Training: This seasonal course runs from April to November and focuses on the skills necessary to care for your own, as well as other people's lawn. Skills learned include: lawn cutting, aerating, seeding, fertilizing, tree and bush trimming, and tool maintenance.


Computer Essentials: This course focuses on how to use computers and other electronic devices with assistive technology software. As well as basic computer skills such as how to use a keyboard and word processing software, you can also learn about programs that magnify the screen, programs that provide speech or Braille output, internet security, how to use email and how to transfer files on your computer.

Apple® Devices Information: This course focuses on devices made by Apple® Inc. The class can focus on iPad® tablets, iPhone® telephones, iPod touch® devices and MacBook® computers. As well as learning the basic features of all of these devices, the class will teach you devices that can connect to these Apple® products.

Technical Devices: This course teaches people about all the different technical devices there are for individuals who have vision and hearing loss. This course also helps people customize these devices to get them working the best for them, and also helps them learn how to use them in their everyday life.

Assistive Devices Program: In this course you will learn about Ontario's Assistive Devices Program. You will learn about the different categories related to vision and hearing devices, as well as how to apply and when you are able to receive them.

Recreation and Leisure

Knitting: In this course you will learn how to do basic knitting stitches like casting on and off, knit, purl, increase and decrease. You will also learn how to read knitting patterns and complete simple knitting projects.

Green Living: This course teaches people how to keep the environment in mind when they are doing daily tasks. People who take this course learn how to recycle compost and properly put things in the trash. You will also learn how to make your own household cleaners that are good for the environment.

Tactile Crafts: Students in this course learn a variety of different crafts that have a tactile component. After being initially taught, the instructor encourages the consumer to continue the crafts independently.

Garden Club: Members of the Garden Club of Toronto volunteer with individuals to teach them gardening techniques while keeping the gardens at CHKC productive and looking beautiful. All program materials are covered by the Garden Club of Toronto.

Seniors Services

Services are offered to support Seniors who have vision and hearing loss. CHKC also helps families, professionals and volunteers who assist these Seniors living in their own homes or supported living environments. There are many strategies available to assist Seniors with vision and hearing loss in their daily lives; the key is in identifying Seniors who need help and providing the support needed.

CHKC's Seniors Services are available to hard of hearing or deaf seniors with a vision condition.

What does Seniors Services do?
  • In home functional assessment to identify areas of struggle
  • Identifies and addresses safety issues
  • Independence skills to maintain independence
  • Case management of eye/ear issues
  • Referrals to other agencies/services as required
  • Low vision devices/Assistive Devices
  • Assistance with Hearing Aids and care
  • Safe travel - white cane training
  • Safe cooking
  • Consultation
  • Education/In services for agencies or facilities
  • Problems solving in a team environment
  • Communication cues
  • All CHKC services can be provided to seniors alongside their families, professionals and volunteers so that new skills can be reinforced and supported.
Intervenor Services at CHKC

CHKC's focus is on training individuals who are deafblind on skills of independence. If an individual does not have access to an intervenor service provider in the Toronto area, CHKC will do its best to provide the individual with an intervenor specifically for training purposes. CHKC cannot guarantee that an intervenor will be provided for all situations, but we encourage consumers to contact CHKC to discuss further options.

For More Information on programs and services offered at CHKCcontact usor call (416) 225-8989 voice/TTY
Donate to the Canadian Helen Keller Centre

CHKC’s 2016
Seniors Drop-in Calendar

(Rendezvous at Helen’s)
January 12th
White Elephant Gift
January 26th
Penguin Awareness and Chocolate Cake Day
February 9th
Valentine's Celebration with Pancakes
February 23rd
Fairytales from around the World
March 8th
St. Patrick's Day
March 22nd
Learn about Nature
April 5th
Hippy Day - Making Tie-Dye Shirts
April 19th
Spring Festivals and Gardening
May 3rd
Maple Fest
May 17th
Tea with Royalty from around the World
May 31st
Food from around the World with Max
June 14th
Ideas for next year
June 28th
Everybody Birthday BBQ

Learning Braille

Skills of Daily Living

Adaptive Technology

Cooking at CHKC

Garden Club of Toronto

CHKC Garden Club

Gardening at CHKC

CHKC Workshop

Hands-on Learning

Technology Workshop

iPad® Workshop