Courses & Workshops

Are you a job seeker between the ages of 18 and 30 who is legally blind?

Apply Now for our Brand New Summer Pre-Employment Program!

Are you looking to enhance your job search techniques and walk away with the pre-employment skills needed in the job market?

This one week, intensive program will offer you the tools, resources, and insights necessary to help you to take charge of your own job search.  As such, this program will be a mix of workshops, individualized feedback, and personal one-to-one coaching to enhance self-esteem and confidence.  This course consists of two separate and unique one week programs. Both programs offer a multidisciplinary approach specifically geared to help blind and visually impaired youth highlight their strengths, and teach them how to develop new employment related skills.  You may sign up for one or both programs depending on your interest and skill level.

Dates: This program will run July 31-August 4 inclusive and August 14-18 inclusive, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

Walk away with an action plan developed in partnership with expert faculty who have lived experience in the area of employment and vision loss!  After completion of the program, through e-mail and telephone appointments, our instructors will offer you the opportunity to receive ongoing support as you navigate your job search.

To learn more or to register, please contact Chelsea Mohler at c.mohler@balancefba.org or 416.236.1796 X.225.


New courses for Spring!

Spring Forward:  Mainstream Tech Workshops for a “Balanced” Life

When: Every second Saturday from 1:30 – 3:30 from April 8th to June 3rd

Where: The Balance office: 2340 Dundas West

Balance is pleased to offer five workshops which will focus on how to use mainstream technology to live an independent, balanced life.  Each workshop will give you an overview of the different options available, how accessible they are and how to use them in your everyday life.

  • Healthy Hints, April 8th, 2017:

    From accessible websites to apps to wearable tech and specialized products, this workshop will focus on what you can do to improve or maintain your health.  Whether you are interested in better managing your medications, adding recipes to your repertoire, tracking your calories or increasing your fitness we have something for you!

  • Online Banking, April 22nd:

    Come and understand how online banking works and how one can bank using their smart phone or PC.  Please note, due to the time limits, we cannot go into detail concerning the various institutions but can provide this detail in more one-on-one instruction.

  • Online Shopping, May 6th:

    Come learn the advantages and disadvantages of taking part in the vast online market place! Whether you are seeking out online grocery options or are just wanting to learn online stores that will allow you to purchase accessible products.  We will also cover the issue of security when shopping online.

  • The Need to Navigate, May 20th:

    There are multiple tools that can help blind and visually impaired people travel independently (E.G. Blind Square and other accessible GPS systems).  This workshop will focus on some free and inexpensive options. We will introduce the applications, briefly go over how to use them and discuss their pros and cons.

  • Smart Home Basics for VIPs (visually impaired persons!), June 3rd, 2017:

    Smart technology is rising in popularity, but did you know it can help you make inaccessible items around your home accessible and help you control them through your smart phone?   From locks to doorbells, lights to thermostats, kitchen tools to virtual personal assistants we have you covered!

Please note:

  • This is not a class. Though you are encouraged to attend all workshops, feel free to only register for the workshops that interest you.
  • The purpose of these workshops is to provide an overview of existing resources and how they can be applied in your life.  We will not necessarily give step by step instructions on how to use every feature.
  • We require at least five people registered per workshop in order to hold the event.
  • Places are very limited! First come, first serve!
  • Not a balance client? No problem!   Everyone is welcome.

For more information or to register, please contact Rosie Arcuri at 416-236-1796 or at r.arcuri@balancefba.org


Get Connected with Social Media

Two Wednesdays: April 26th and May 3rd, 2-4 p.m.

Instructor: Chelsea Mohler

Have you wondered what Facebook and Twitter are but aren’t sure how to use them?  Well, BALANCE is offering a 2 part workshop on how to get connected using the Facebook and Twitter platforms.  Classes will be held once per week for 2 weeks, 2 hours per class.  If you are interested or want to learn more, please contact Chelsea at (416) 236 1796 extension 225 or c.mohler@balancefba.org.

This winter BALANCE offered a range of free  group opportunities for BALANCE clients. People who are blind or partially sighed chose from the following course descriptions. These courses are going well and will be launched again in the spring.  Remember, most BALANCE courses are free for our clients.


Microsoft Excel

Wednesdays, May 10-June 14, 2017, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Instructor: Doug Poirier

BALANCE is pleased to present a series of lessons on the power and precision of Microsoft Excel.

Prerequisites: Participants should have a good understanding of their assistive technology I.E. Screen reader/screen magnification software.
Please note: This class is not appropriate for those new to this technology.
The primary focus of this class is Microsoft Excel itself and how to use your adaptive software together with it.

Topics covered include:

  • Excel and your Access device
  • What is a spreadsheet?
  • Formatting a spreadsheet
  • Using formulas and functions
  • If analysis
  • Data forms and charts
  • Introduction to the power of macros and the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor

Participants will benefit most if  all 8 lessons are attended.

Much of the material covered in these lessons is laid out such that participants work individually through the course material.

If you would like more information or are interested in attending, please contact Doug Poirier at 416-236-1796 X224 or by Email at d.poirier@balancefba.org.  When using Email, use the subject BALANCE classes.