MAB-MACKAY Rehabilitation Centre

General Information

MAB-MACKAY Rehabilitation Centre
7000 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, PQ H4B 1R3
(514) 489 8201

Brief Description

Founded in 1908, the MAB is the oldest vision rehabilitation center in Canada. In 1912, the Philip E. Layton School was opened and in 1922, an MAB elementary school graduate was the first blind student in Canada to enroll in a local high school. The Gilman Residence, a residential facility adapted to the needs of visually impaired seniors, opened in 1968, followed by the creation of an Early Intervention Program in 1969. This was followed in 1979 by the opening of the first of its kind Low Vision Clinic in Canada. In 1991, the Visually Impaired Employment program was added and in 1992 a day center dedicated to visually impaired seniors was opened. Most recently, the MAB opened its second satellite office.


Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, Executive Director,

Services Offered

  • Counseling
    • Offers comprehensive social integration services. The MAB Social Service responds to inquiries and requests regarding MAB registration, programs and services. Specific services include registration, psychosocial evaluation, orientation to the rehabilitation process, counseling, advocacy, resource provision, service coordination and public education.

  • Employment/Job Training
    • Offers job placement through the Visually Impaired Employment Program. The objectives of this program are to assist blind and visually impaired clients to seek and secure meaningful and gainful employment and to facilitate their integration into the workplace. Services to clients include conducting individual interviews, clarifying occupational objectives, assessing job readiness, developing job search techniques and curriculum vitae, demonstrating technology and adapting it to the market place, assisting in the application process to the appropriate resources for equipment, adaptations, and/or salary subsidies, delivering and installing adaptive technology and providing ongoing support to clients in the workplace. Services to employers include sensitizing employment organizations to the capabilities of blind and visually impaired people, demonstrating technical aids to potential employers and making them aware of the full range of MAB services. Assessment of special equipment requirements and post-employment follow up are also provided.

  • Library Services
    • Maintains a library of talking books for adults. The talking book service offers over 3000 titles of popular talking books as well as descriptive audio and videocassettes of movies. The braille library features over 2000 titles including novels, textbooks, magazines as well as print and braille books.

  • Low Vision Services
    • Maintains a comprehensive low vision clinic designed to assist people coping with serious loss of vision. Assessment of visual skills includes specialized optometric evaluation as well as evaluation of the use of functional vision in tasks of daily living. Instruction in the use of functional vision as well as assessment and instruction in the use of visual aids is done, as required. Aids assessed can include glasses, magnifiers, contrast enhancement and lighting, writing aids, distance reading aids, electronic reading aids, sunglasses, etc. as appropriate. Aids are attributed to clients as required.

  • Recreation Services
    • Offers weaving group, social group for seniors.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides activities of daily living services, communication skills and adapted computer services and a technical aids program for the visually impaired. The ADL service provides assessment and instruction in the areas of self-care skills, eating skills, food preparation and cooking skills including microwave cooking, home care skills, basic budgeting and banking and environmental modifications in the home such as the labeling of appliances as needed. The majority of instruction is provided directly in the person's home. The communication service provides assessment and instruction in the areas of communication skills including braille, handwriting, typing/keyboarding skills, use of specialized tape recorders, digital readers, talking and large print calculators, note takers and other adapted devices. The adapted computer service enables the client to be functional with regard to written communication, access to information and the management and transmission of information. The services include assessment of the client's needs for home, school, work and volunteer applications; instruction and training in the basic use and functions of adaptive technology as well as training in the use of the commercial and adapted software required to meet the client's wordprocessing, database management, spreadsheet, Internet and e-mail needs; consultation with school personnel, employers, etc. concerning the client's technology needs; assistance in applying for and obtaining the appropriate resources for equipment and/or adaptations as well as assistance with installation of adaptive technology and the provision of ongoing support to clients. Adapted computer technology is offered in large print, braille and voice modes as appropriate to the needs of each client. The Technical Aids Program is a provincially funded program which enables blind and visually impaired Quebecers who qualify to receive reading, writing and mobility aids on loan as required. Assessment and instruction in the use of the aids is provided by the vision rehabilitation professionals.

  • Assistive Products
    • Maintains the Technical Aids Boutique, which displays and sells over 300 specialized aids and devices to assist blind and visually impaired people. These are available for "hands on" demonstration. Aids include clocks, games, sewing aids, tape recorders, telephone attachments, household products, music and math aids, watches and writing accessories, etc. For sale on site.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • The Orientation and Mobility Service assists clients to gain the skills they need to enjoy the freedom of traveling independently with safety and confidence, through assessment and instruction in the use of various travel aids and techniques. Instruction can include training in the use of remaining vision, in the use of other senses such as hearing and touch, and instruction in cane technique and use of the cane for travel. Guidance and referral to obtain guide dogs are also provided.

  • Housing Services
    • Gilman Residence is a 59-bed long-term-care residence for blind and visually impaired seniors. The residence provides room and board, nursing care, vision rehabilitation, psychosocial, pharmaceutical and medical services. The residence also incorporates adaptations designed for residents such as contrasting colors on walls and floors, continuous handrails and raised numbers on room doors. The MAB also has a day center program for blind and visually impaired seniors who live in the community. The services focus on the health and well being of blind and visually impaired seniors and include individual and family assessment and counseling, social integration, support and respite for caregivers and general health maintenance.

  • Health
    • Maintains a gym and an indoor swimming pool. Specific exercise and fitness programs are provided to seniors in the day centre program as well as in the seniors' residence program. These are carried out under the supervision of an occupational therapist with experience in the field of blindness and visual impairment.