Because of BALANCE 2023
Join BALANCE for Blind Adults as we share the stories of our amazing clients, staff, volunteers, and community supporters. From October 10-November 14 individuals share how BALANCE has made life better. And now we are asking you to take some time to read the stories and make a donation, so BALANCE can continue to grow and help more people with vision loss.
Because of BALANCE Stories
A few of our most dedicated clients, staff, volunteers and supporters have taken the time to express their gratitude by sharing their “Because of BALANCE” stories below. We want to thank them and invite you to read and support their stories.
Because of BALANCE I am a better lawyer. Their tech training helped me to become savvy at staying in contact with my clients and maintaining a busy work schedule, their vocal training has helped me project my voice better, and their counselling helped me to deal with the difficult transition of practicing law during a pandemic. Support Ben’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Bozan and Mohammad
I am Bozan . I am Kurdish. I was born in Syria. After I was born my family saw I was blind. In Syria my life was very bad. Children in Syria touched my head said blind, blind.
On September 19 2014 my city altogether moved to turkey. Isis terrorist came to my city. After we lived in turkey 4 years I moved to Canada.
My life changed in Canada. I came to Canada because Canada is good for people blind. Canadian people, they don’t mind speaking to blind people. They think blind people, they are working same as normal person.
I am Mohammad. I am Kurdish. I am blind. I am 2 years 3 months in Canada. Everyone in Canada helps the blind.
Thank you to the prime minister of Canada for helping the refugees. Support Bozan and Mohammad’s Because of BALANCE Story.
My name is Corinne and I came to BALANCE about 6 years ago. The team at BALANCE took a holistic approach to service delivery, connecting me with various health and wellness programs in addition to navigation and mobility training. One of my favourite experiences at BALANCE has been with the Sharing Space Support Group, which I looked forward to attending each week without fail. The individuals in our session had wonderful chemistry, and offered a sense of connection and belonging that lasted beyond the group’s conclusion – we are now planning get-togethers all the time!
Because of BALANCE I feel recognized and valued as a whole, well-rounded individual. Without asking anything in return, BALANCE has been an enormous support in many aspects of my life. Support Corinne’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Debbie (You Donate, I Knit)
Because of BALANCE, I have met many inspiring individuals who have embraced their uniqueness and are leading successful and independent lives. BALANCE has encouraged me to increase my involvement in our community and to volunteer more often. I have advocated for BALANCE and increased awareness of the BALANCE for Blind Adult Services through my fundraising and support. Because of BALANCE, I am once again embarking on my “You donate, I knit” campaign. For every $25 donated, I will knit one hat or pair of scratch mittens and donate these to HandFullHeart (a small organization supporting families in neonatal intensive care) and Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers (supporting young single mothers at Sick Kids), to help others in need. I know that BALANCE will be so appreciative of your support and many people will benefit from your generosity. Support Debbie’s Because of BALANCE Story.
I came to Canada in 2017 and over four years ago I became part of BALANCE.
BALANCE has taught me how to use the computer independently and because of BALANCE, I am able to read my emails and use MS Word app efficiently. They also taught me how to travel independently and because of BALANCE I can now navigate across GTA confidently.
Currently I’m benefitting from one of the most fantastic programs BALANCE has to offer, which is Assistive Technology Apprenticeship. Because of BALANCE, I’m not only earning an income but also learning new computer skills and gaining the necessary experience to get my future job. This program is a great opportunity not only to become more efficient user of assistive technology, but also to help others become more independent and because of BALANCE I’m feeling more beneficial and helpful to the community. Support Diana’s Because of BALANCE Story.
In 2012, I became a client of BALANCE, where I learned skills to support my independence in AT & O&M. Having just moved back to Toronto after completing grad school, these skills were critical as I embarked on my employment journey. I was fortunate to sit on the BALANCE Board of Directors for 2 years; in this post, I saw BALANCE grow both in its offering of groups and programs and in its staff. I was able to transition the professional skills I cultivated on the board and became a member of the staff instructional team. In my role, I mentored clients, teaching them the needed AT and community engagement skills to be successful in employment, volunteer, or education. Because of BALANCE and the opportunities the organization offered, I have the confidence to pursue a doctorate degree at Western University. Support Elizabeth’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Because of BALANCE, I was able to master the use of an iPhone and iPad and I learned to manage and edit documents with confidence. These skills allowed me to accept two new job opportunities that would have otherwise been impossible to manage. I am a visually impaired psychiatrist. As part of my practice, I see people who are struggling emotionally with vision loss. In fact, I have sent many of my patients to BALANCE. BALANCE has played a pivotal role in turning their lives around. They have all found BALANCE as helpful as I did.
Unemployment is a substantial problem in the blind and visually impaired community. For those of my patients who were lucky enough to be employed, BALANCE has helped them to maintain their employment. I have been so impressed with the organization’s contribution to the lives of those of us who are blind and visually impaired, that I have joined their Board of Directors. BALANCE is a small but mighty organization that has a lifelong positive impact on the lives of its clients. Support Ginny’s Because of BALANCE Story.
I have been a member of BALANCE for over 30 years, and value them immensely for their assistance and training. I was introduced to tailored programs for me to learn the skills I need to be able to function again with reduced vision. BALANCE has always been there for me whenever I encountered obstacles that I couldn’t navigate on my own. In these very high-tech times in which we live, BALANCE has provided me with the tools and skills that have enabled me to communicate and organize my thoughts and words with people in all areas of my life and in many formats! Support Glen’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Hi my name is Hussein, I lost my sight last 2010. It was only over a year ago when I became a part of BALANCE.
BALANCE has taught me how to use the iPhone independently. Because of BALANCE, I am now able to send text messages, check emails, and read/sign important document. My BALANCE AT instructor has been very understanding with me. She designs the lesson/learning materials based on what my goals are and what would benefit me.
BALANCE did not only offer one-to-one program, but also groups that really benefited me. One of the most popular programs I joined was the Stay Safe! Self-Defense In- Person class. Self-defense has taught me how to control myself during emergency. Because of this program, I became more aware and vigilant of my surroundings. Because of BALANCE, I am now more confident and more courageous in facing difficulties in life. Support Hussein’s Because of BALANCE Story.
My name is Joseph and I’ve been a client of BALANCE since 2005. Over the years, I’ve received support and training for Independent Living Skills and Assistive Technology Instruction such as how to utilize phone navigation apps.
I am currently working with BALANCE as an AT Apprentice and I am loving it and learning a lot. I enjoy learning the different skills needed to become an excellent teacher myself. Because of BALANCE I am learning a lot, and helping other people too. Support Joseph’s Because of BALANCE Story.
My name is Melanie, and I have been a client of BALANCE for over 10 years. BALANCE has supported me continuously for over 10 years. staff er encourage, supportive and are open to listening to my ideas, thoughts and feelings. In my opinion, their approach is wholistic. for me, this means getting support to have items labeled, working on orientation and mobility and getting support with technology. Because of BALANCE and this encouragement, I am going to appl for another guide dog. Staff support my learning even if it takes time. They are very considerate to accommodate my schedule, since I am working full time and raising a teenager.
Recently I have been given an opportunity to be a facilitator for BALANCE. Being able to be a facilitator gives me an opportunity to give back to my community. I can share my lived experiences with those that have been newly visually impaired. Peer to peer support is so vital in our community especially where mental health is concerned. I am a facilitator for the Evening Sharing Space support group and this is an honour to give back to community and to share knowledge. As a facilitator, I am able to support people where they are in their journey. This is also something that BALANCE staff do.
We can’t do this work alone! I can’t wait to see what the next 5 to 10 years can bring for BALANCE! Support Melanie’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Because Of BALANCE I feel I am a part of a community.
The journey of looking for a place to belong didn’t start in adulthood, but when I was in middle school, particularly in the middle end of Grade Six. It all started first with joining the Vision program then clubs during lunch and afterschool, until I graduated in the Spring of 2015. Despite joining those groups and clubs, I still find myself lonely and adrift for a year or more. However, one afternoon while surfing on the web I found BALANCE for Blind Adults and hit the subscribe button. From the beginning and the near end of each month there was always an opportunity to join. . . until one day in early 2021 I, too, took a chance to join and apply for their program. More than a year has passed since joining, and I still find BALANCE very informative and entertaining. I can’t wait to see what will come up next. Support Muniza’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Because of BALANCE, I have been able to do and be my best. I’ve accomplished so much including learning essential skills to live a productive life. I cook well enough to feed my husband and myself, and I am an entrepreneur. BALANCE has helped me gain dignity, be more confident with my educational pursuits: such as two university degrees. BALANCE helped me gain skills such as taking pictures for my business. Support Neena’s Because of BALANCE Story.
Hello family and friends, I would like to thank you for your support in my previous campaign. Once again, I would appreciate you supporting me in this year’s Because of BALANCE Campaign.
BALANCE is an organization that helps people with visual disabilities, and the help that I have received from them has been amazing. They have enabled me to make easier use of technology, and this has made the quality of my life a lot better. Because of BALANCE, I have overcome barriers to communication and feel even more connected with friends and family since learning these skills. Your wonderful and generous support will make a big contribution to help people with visual disabilities! Support Quassim’s Because of BALANCE Story.
My Grandma suffered from sight loss, and it affected her way of life. She depended on family for food, to move around and to do things. This experience made me think that any form of vision loss was a death sentence.
BECAUSE OF BALANCE I now know that persons with sight loss can live as close to normal lives as possible. They can use computers, get jobs, go to cafes and enjoy their lives. They can be self-reliant and do not have to forfeit their dreams or interests. This made me decide to join BALANCE and help make a difference in people’s lives. You too can help BALANCE continue to provide these incredible services by making a donation today. Thanks! Support Saidat’s Because of BALANCE Story.
In April of this year, our Accreditation was renewed by Canadian Centre for Accreditation. In their verbal feedback session, the accreditors noted that while they see many organizations that state they are “client centred”, it was wonderful to see that BALANCE lives this philosophy through everything we do. It is so rewarding to know that this philosophy shows through to the world. I’m so proud of all that we have achieved at BALANCE for Blind Adults, in large part because of the generosity of our donors. When you support my story, or any of the wonderful stories in this Campaign, you give to a small, nimble organization that is mighty in the change we create in people’s lives. I joined BALANCE 7 years ago, and I have observed the growth of our donor support ever since we implemented a fundraising plan in 2017. Together with an increase in grants, we have increased access to specialized mental health supports (added a second Sharing Space Support Group, and access to a second counsellor), created more (and more unique) group opportunities, purchased teaching and demonstration equipment, and provided additional professional development opportunities to staff. Please consider making a donation to support my campaign, and know in doing so that you are making a direct and real difference in the lives of people with sight loss. Support Deborah’s Because of BALANCE Story.
BALANCE Staff Members
We, as a dedicated team at BALANCE for Blind Adults, are thrilled to rally behind the ‘Because of Balance’ campaign this year. Our mission encompasses a wide range of vital services, including Orientation and Mobility, Independent Living support, Community Engagement, Assistive Technology, Pre-Employment services, Mental Health support, enriching Group Classes, and more. Together, we operate harmoniously as a team, striving to empower our clients, enabling them to surpass their goals. Your support is genuinely invaluable and deeply appreciated. Support BALANCE staff members’ Because of BALANCE Story.