Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Short Term Programs

Short Term Programs at W Ross Macdonald School are provided for students throughout Ontario who are blind and visually impaired. These weekend programs are FREE of charge for students, with no cost to parents or school boards. Students arrive Friday evening at the school and stay in the new residence until Sunday after lunch. Meals and snacks are provided!

Short Term Program weekends span far beyond the traditional academic curriculum and can help to support a student`s beginning steps towards independence. We provide students with a safe and supportive place to explore independence, practice life skills, and to develop self-awareness and self advocacy skills. These weekends are also a great opportunity for students to socialize with peers who are visually impaired and make lasting friendships. Each weekend has a different theme geared towards the unique needs of students with visual impairments. Students leave each weekend feeling proud of themselves for succeeding on their own, and it is not uncommon for students to say they want to stay longer!

Short Term Program staff are trained to work with students who are blind or visually impaired and have experience in the areas of independent living skills, orientation and mobility, education etc. Staff are on duty 24/7 (including overnight) with the appropriate student to staff ratio at all times.

Attached are the dates and themes for Short Term Programs for the school year.  If interested, please fill out an application form and return to:

Kerri Readings
Administrative Assistant
W Ross Macdonald
350 Brant Ave, Brantford N3T 3J9

For more information, Please contact:

Candace Bayliss
Manager – Short Term Programs
W Ross Macdonald School
519-759-0739 ext. 369


Bill Edwards
Resource Consultant
W Ross Macdonald School
519-759-0730 ext. 202

Short Term Programs at W. Ross Macdonald School

October 4, 2019 – October 6, 2019

“Let’s Get Together” – For Parents And Student Of All Ages

Parents will hear from community partners and supports about advocacy in education in the morning, and in the afternoon will participate in an interactive presentation from the CNIB about guide dog ownership. Students will take part in various activities led by teen leaders that focus on independence, sensory development and social skills.

November 15, 2019 – November 17, 2019

“Exploring the Arts” – Ages: 8 yrs. +

Students will explore their creative side through visual arts, music, and dance. Each student will have an opportunity to engage, discuss and participate in a safe-accepting environment that best reflects who they are.

December 13, 2019 – December 15, 2019

“Let’s Cook!” – Ages: 8 yrs. +

Students will be shown different, “tips and tricks” regarding kitchen organization, kitchen safety and meal preparation by trained Independent Living Skills Instructors. The students will use their newly learned skills to prepare a feast to be enjoyed among friends!

March 2020 – Date to be Announced

“Goalball!” Ages: 9 yrs. +

Students will learn the game of goalball, form a team and enter the Recreational Junior Nationals Goalball Tournament held at W Ross Macdonald. It’s all about teamwork during this STP!

April 17, 2020 – April 19, 2020

Life Skills – Ages: 13 yrs. +

Student’s will have an opportunity to learn, and practise, various strategies/techniques required for independent living. Topics focused on this weekend included hygiene, fashion sensibility, money management, social skills, advocacy, accessibility and appropriate community interaction. Students will have the opportunity to practise these new skills during a community outing to a restaurant for dinner on Saturday evening.

May 8, 2020 – May 10, 2020

“Wide World of Sports” – Ages: 8 yrs. +

In association with the OBSA, Students will have an opportunity to be introduced to Nordic Skiing and Soccer for the Blind.

June 5, 2020 – June 7, 2020

“Outdoor Education” – Ages: 14 yrs. +

An outdoor learning experience with low rope and team building activities off campus at the Dundas conservation Authority