Scott Flagel, Lighthouse of Collier CEO was elected Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Florida Agencies Serving the Blind (Florida ASB). This is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 consortium of 17 not-for-profit agencies serving the blind. It is considered a national leader in setting standards and best practices for providing services to the blind. Learn more at Florida Agencies Serving the Blind (beyondvisionloss.org)
Marion is a cultured and intelligent retired art-dealer (“Colorist”) and self-described “foodie” who is functionally blind from a history of issues with her vitreous fluid. She has little remaining vision, which occasionally enables her to see high contrast icons on her phone. However, Marion is unable to read print and requires the white cane for mobility outside of the home.
Marion has been a client off/on for the past few years and has participated in the art/clay classes and ILS workshops. She also received assistance with using the CAT Bus and self-advocacy training to request shopping assistance at Publix (to purchase hard-to-find cooking ingredients for her artistic cuisine).
This past year Marion contacted the Lighthouse to address new goals – she had just moved to a new mother-in-law house, next to her son and daughter-in-law. This time around, Marion was enrolled in services through the Legislative Grant. With this funding, Marion’s instructor: adapted all appliances, taught her how to navigate from her house to the guesthouse, mailbox and to her next-door neighbor’s house (several yards away). Marion lives in an isolated location in Golden Gate and wanted to be able to enjoy walks in nature. She also learned how to use Siri and VoiceOver to: send/read texts/email, return missed calls and even create calendar appointments – thus reducing dependence on her son.
Recently, Marion adopted a visiting cat who unknowingly smeared soft food onto the floor/floorboards and scattered cat litter all over the guest bedroom. Moreover, the tile floors are white and show every detail of dirt. As it can be difficult to “see” a clean house, Marion’s instructor gently suggested tools and tips for cleaning and cat care. Marion was very accepting of the idea, especially since a volunteer home health care aide had recently told Marion she was unfit to live alone and would report her to “the authorities.” Marion’s house was not at all in disarray, just in need of weekly cleaning. It was suspected that the home health aide assumed Marion was not fit to live alone as she is blind.
As a solution, her instructor purchased a Shark tile mop, a large rubberized mat to contain cat food spills and a cat litter box with a lid. Problem solved. With a little instruction, Marion was able to sweep and mop the entire house and keep the cat areas clean. After pointing out the areas in need of cleaning, Marion cleans weekly and maintains a clean, inviting home. Although the home health aide never returned, Marion has a copy of the Lighthouse ILS assessment, which illustrates her independence in all daily living skills areas – including cleaning! Marion truly could not be in a better living situation – she has a small house to herself, next to her loving and supportive family. With the situation behind her, Marion was able to get back to the things she loves – baking pies, reading philosophy books (with her BARD app), taking nature walks and participating in Lighthouse History and Book clubs – and of course – being with her kitty!