Fifth annual Canadian Helen Keller Centre luncheon to raise funds and awareness for deaf-blind Canadians and honour the long-standing support of ICICI Bank Canada

    TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - The fifth annual Canadian Helen Keller Centre
(CHKC) awards luncheon will take place on April 9, 2009 in Toronto. Each year
the event raises money to support CHKC, Canada's only residential training
centre for people who are deaf-blind.
    "The disability of deaf-blindness, which includes all types and degrees
of dual hearing and vision loss, can be isolating and restrictive," said
Jennifer Robbins, administrative coordinator at CHKC. "Our training programs
help people who are deaf-blind achieve their full potential."
    CHKC teaches people who are deaf-blind the skills needed for daily
living, such as alternate ways to care for themselves, their families and
their homes. The organization also provides specialized computer training and
facilitates interaction with the broader community through the development of
alternative forms of communication. These methods of communication include
sign language, Braille, keyboard-equipped telephone devices and
finger-spelling that can be seen visually by people with limited vision or
formed on the hand of a person who is completely blind.
    All courses at the Canadian Helen Keller Centre are customized to meet
each person's specific needs and taught one-on-one using that individual's
preferred method of communication. People who are deaf-blind and living in the
Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can access day programs at the centre or in their
own home. Support for individuals who live across Canada is provided via a
residential component, which allows participants to live and receive training
at CHKC for as long as six months. After they successfully complete training,
these individuals receive assistance in transitioning their new skills to
their own home environments.
    There are at least 15,500 Canadians who are deaf-blind. Many others are
believed to live in isolation and part of CHKC's mandate is to identify these
individuals and offer them training that will enhance their lives and provide
access to education and employment as well as contact with society as a whole.


    At this year's fundraising luncheon, ICICI Bank Canada will be recognized
for its generous ongoing support and sponsorship of CHKC as well as its
commitment to raising awareness of deaf-blindness. The award will be presented
by The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Canada's Minister of Finance and Minister
responsible for the GTA. Representatives from ICICI Bank attending the
luncheon include Sriram H. Iyer, President & CEO Bank of Canada, K.V. Kamath,
Managing Director and CEO, and Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO
Designate (May 1, 2009).
    "We are delighted to recognize ICICI Bank Canada for their outstanding
contribution in support of people who are deaf-blind," said Vim Kochhar, Chair
of CHKC. "The assistance of sponsors like ICICI Bank Canada allows us to
provide skills for daily living and advocate on behalf of the deaf-blind
    CHKC gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canadian Foundation for
Physically Disabled Persons (CFPDP), which hosts and sponsors the luncheon
each year.
    Tickets for the fifth annual Helen Keller Centre awards luncheon are
still available and may be purchased by contacting CFPDP at 416-760-7351. The
luncheon takes place on Thursday, April 9, 2009 from 12:00 - 2:00pm at the
Fairmont Royal York Hotel (100 Front Street West @ Union subway).

    CFPDP was set up in 1987 by The Rotary Club of Toronto - Don Valley with
Vim Kochhar as Founding Chair. Its goal was to assist individuals with
physical challenges to live fuller lives and raise awareness of their
achievements and contributions to society. Since then, CFPDP has initiated
dozens of important projects and events, raising over $21 million.


    The Canadian Helen Keller Centre (CHKC) is the only residential training
centre in Canada for people who have become deaf-blind. CHKC was developed to
fulfill the unmet needs of the deaf-blind community by providing training in
independent living skills, communication, computers and other activities of
daily living. Additional information is available at

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Robbins, Canadian Helen Keller Centre,
Tel: (416) 225-8989, Email:, Web:

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