( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) LCF Helps Vision Impaired and Blind Youths
ENSPIRE Contributor: Gabrielle Maya
Lighthouse Central Florida is a nonprofit organization that delivers no-fee services to clients living with vision impairment or blindness. They launched a 2022 summer fundraising campaign on July 5 and raised up to $10,000 by September 22. Because of this generous donation, Lighthouse Central Florida wants to give thanks for all the financial support.
This non-profit provides different assistance for children, teens, and adults. For children, they have two special programs called: Early Intervention and Children’s Program. By the age of 5, children can enroll in the early intervention program which provides services for the family’s home, daycare, school, and or neighborhood setting. They learn skills to help structure and further their development progress despite their vision issues.
The Children’s Program is for ages 5 to 13 who live with vision loss and aren’t enrolled in any other Division of Blind Services program. The nine skills they will be learning will help them integrate into a social setting and to assist them in everyday life skills: sensory efficiency, assistive technology, orientation & mobility, independent living skills, social skills, recreation and leisure, career education, self-determination, and advocacy.
Teens ages 14-22 are a part of the Transition program which provides students with skills and experience to transition from high school to postsecondary activities. Summer work programs, job coaching, and technology training to prepare them to enroll in college, vocational school, or employment. Not only that, but independence skills such as cooking, learning strategies, problem-solving, sport, work exploration, and future planning are only a few of what Lighthouse Central Florida has to offer.
Recently the Lighthouse team brought students on a field trip to a local store for a scavenger hunt. They were challenged to find items they liked and wanted for their dorm rooms. They must write down the name and price of the products and share their list. The Lighthouse team taught these students about “needs” and “wants” which is an important skill to use when it comes to budgeting.
As for the adults, their independent living and access to technology programs will help them feel confident in themselves. Having the ability to take care of themselves and learn about vision impaired and blindness resources they can use, will help them for the foreseeable future.
The Lighthouse Central Florida Transition Program gives these youths an opportunity. Thanks to the fundraiser and everyone’s generosity, now people with visual impairment or blindness can get the proper care and independence skills they need through support and education. To learn more about Lighthouse Central Florida or to make a financial contribution, visit www.LighthouseCFL.org.