One of the many highlights from our children’s summer camp that concluded last week was the presentation by Andrew Kirkpatrick, Adobe’s Director of Accessibility. He posted a blog highlighting Lighthouse of Collier and its services, and our collaboration with them for the Children’s Summer Camp.
As a new client with the Lighthouse in 2013, single, totally blind, and having just moved from Chicago to Naples, Susan required extensive orientation and mobility support. After several months of instruction, Susan learned to navigate her apartment community and nearby shopping areas. She also gained an understanding of the city layout after being provided with her own tactile/braille map of Naples.
Susan became a familiar face at the Lighthouse. She attended braille classes, pursued technology training for JAWS screen reading and voiceover, and received one-on-one lessons to learn skills such as using her Instant Pot, creating calendar appointments through her Google Home Mini, and help with tips to sort and identify her medications. Over time, Susan’s technology skills were so advanced that she was one of only a few clients who had mastered the ability to play podcasts and free library movies on her iPhone.
Unfortunately, Susan lost most of her technology skills after a bout with cancer and a year-long stay in rehab. Eventually, Susan contacted the Lighthouse to request services at her rehab center. As she was no longer able to come into the Lighthouse, she was reenrolled under the home-based services program, made possible by a legislative grant. Visits from her instructor helped Susan relearn Grade 1 braille and basic voiceover gestures so she could engage in more activities than watching television.
Fortunately, Susan recovered well enough to move back home. She continues to receive one-on-one training over the phone and is steadily regaining her skills. Recently, Susan was able to independently access the National Federation of the Blind Newsline app, which she had not been able to do in over a year! As a totally blind person, Susan’s phone is her lifeline and her independence. With continued support, Susan will fully regain the skills she lost and again become a voiceover/braille virtuoso!