Sharing Space Support Group

BALANCE will be offering our Sharing Space Support Group, with Lisa Derencinovic, on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30-3:30 p.m. from May 2 to July 18, 2018 at the West Toronto Support Services, located at 1709 Bloor Street West, side entrance off Indian Grove (please tell WheelTrans the side entrance off Indian Grove).

Nearest Subway station: Keele Station. Lisa Derencinovic has agreed to return in order to facilitate her “Sharing Space Support Group”for those BALANCE clients who have not yet had an opportunity to share with others and benefit from Lisa’s experience and superb facilitation skills. The feedback from participants was excellent. The group is shaped around the concerns of participants, with some structured topics built in to every session. Participants will spend 12 weeks getting to know each other, sharing experiences and learning from each other.

Detailed information:

  • 12 sessions, each lasting 2 hours, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm., please plan to arrive on time
  • First meeting: Wednesday May 2
  • Last meeting: Wednesday  July 18

Discussions could include: understanding ableism, effects on self-esteem, dealing with negative emotions, and building strength and resilience.

The group will be facilitated by a registered Social Worker, Lisa Derencinovic. Lisa runs her own counselling practice specializing in working with people with disabilities. She has also facilitated many groups throughout her career. Lisa knows first-hand the experience of living with visual impairment, having been diagnosed at age 4 with a genetic eye disease causing blindness.

Group minimum-5, group maximum-10. First come, first served.

Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness Training

BALANCE is pleased to again offer our course in Stress Reduction through mindfulness and breathing practice, led by Fazia Ackbarali*, our Yoga Instructor.

Visually impaired adults live with daily stresses related to getting around, getting things done, accessing information, as well as the attitudes of others in society. Becoming more mindful can help with concentration and focus, and assist in the prevention of accidents and injuries. The objective of this program is to teach adults with vision loss how to manage stress using mindfulness practices, which are relaxation techniques done with breath awareness.

The course, made up of 8 sessions of 2 hours each, will cover topics such as:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Seated/standing yoga
  • Seated meditation
  • Mindfulness in everyday activities
  • Body Scan

Detailed information:

Timing: Tuesday afternoons, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Start date: May 8

End date: July 3, (one week off during the 8 weeks of sessions)

*Fazia has 30 years of experience in Yoga, 16 of them as an instructor. She specializes in teaching people who require adaptations to typical yoga practice.

Location:

West Toronto Support Services, 1709 Bloor St. West, at Keele Subway Station (south side of Bloor) (please go to the side entrance on Indian Grove, and PLEASE tell WheelTrans to drop you at the side entrance on Indian Grove!

Please register by April 26: Call Laura Monday through Thursday at 416-236-1796, extension 0

Balancing the Power

A Vibrant Discussion Group for Women who are Blind and Partially Sighted!

Are you interested in connecting with other urban women living with vision loss?  Are you interested in learning about and sharing your experiences with issues facing women with vision loss?

BALANCE is pleased to offer a discussion group for women, with the theme of empowerment. Facilitated by Chelsea Mohler*, with a number of excellent guest speakers, the group will start on Tuesday, January 10, 2018 and will run for 7 weeks, ending February 20. Sessions will be held from 2 until 4 PM at the Four Villages Community Health Centre, located at 1700 Bloor St. W., in the Multi-purpose room.

The theme of this series is empowerment of women who are blind and partially sighted, through discussion of key issues in a safe and supportive setting. This group will address issues such as: networking as someone with vision loss; online safety when dating or using social media; mental wellness, self-esteem and body image; developing your personal image and style (even on a tight budget); violence prevention and self-defence specifically for women with vision loss; and relationships, dating, and the intersection of disability.  Come on out and check out the group!

If interested, please contact Chelsea at c.mohler@balancefba.org or 416.236.1796 X. 225 for more information or to sign up. We are happy to provide orientation in advance of the series to anyone requiring assistance to locate the Four Villages Health Centre.  A commitment to all 7 sessions is expected in order to preserve the “safe setting” philosophy. (Exceptions to be discussed with the facilitator.) Please respond if interested no later than January 5, 2017.

*Chelsea Mohler, M.A., is an Assistive Technology Instructor at BALANCE, lives with vision loss herself, and was co-facilitator of BALANCE’s pre-employment program for young adults in 2017. Chelsea holds a Master’s degree in Occupational Science from Western University, and has been instructing adults in 1:1 lessons, leading workshops and teaching groups for 5 years.

BALANCE adds an essential ingredient to our offerings!

Sharing Space Support Group

[NOTE: This group is now full. Please check back in May for notification of another opportunity.]

Come together with other people to share your experiences of living with vision loss. This is a safe space where you can explore your feelings and thoughts, from your greatest frustrations and challenges to your proudest successes. The group will be based on what you want to talk about. Discussions could include: understanding ableism, effects on your self-esteem, dealing with negative emotions, and building strength and resiliency.

The group will be facilitated by a registered Social Worker, Lisa Derencinovic. Lisa runs her own counselling practice specializing in working with people with disabilities. She has also facilitated many groups throughout her career. Lisa knows first-hand the experience of living with vision loss, having been diagnosed at age 4 with a genetic eye disease.

The group will meet once a week for 2 hours at the BALANCE offices. We will spend 12 weeks getting to know each other, sharing our experiences and learning from each other. Please come join us in this exciting new group at BALANCE.

Dates: Thursdays, 10 a.m.-Noon, February 16-May 4, 2017

Pre-registration required: Call Laura Monday through Thursday at 416-236-1796, extension 0. Group minimum-5, group maximum-10. First come, first served. This group is offered first to BALANCE clients. If there is space after January 31, it will be opened up to non-clients of BALANCE.