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.
Ronald is a retired middle school teacher and self-proclaimed magician. Since January 2018, Ronald has been homebound after a stroke caused left-side paralysis and vision loss. Ronald had been a social and active person, and struggled with asking for help, ultimately finding himself feeling isolated. Ronald came to the Lighthouse with the goals of learning how to order grocery delivery so as not to rely on his elderly neighbor, how to use Paratransit, and attend a weekly support group. Before COVID-19, Ronald was making progress. He used Paratransit for the first time to attend a support group, where he met three others who also had disabilities and lived alone.
Ronald learned to use basic key commands on a screen to enlarge web searches, and to review and purchase items that his cousin added to his online shopping cart. Also, Ronald learned about GoGo Grocery, a service of GoGo Grandparent, which takes phone orders and completes the delivery without having to use a computer. Ronald stills needs encouragement to use the computer, but soon this plan B will become routine.
Jack is an 89-year-old war veteran with significant vision and hearing impairments who lives alone. He was recently released from the hospital after suffering heart problems that had become serious due to not correctly taking his prescribed medications.
Jack is now able to successfully adhere to his prescriptions, and understands how to identify and track his medications from morning to evening, day to day, and week to week, keeping him out of the hospital.
A little over four years ago, Bob lost his wife of more than 30 years to diabetes. Naturally, he felt depressed and isolated. His situation was even more difficult as he is totally blind and profoundly hearing impaired due to a condition called Usher syndrome. Without a partner at home or family nearby to help him drive, shop, or read mail, Bob was vulnerable. A concerned neighbor urged Bob to go to the Lighthouse for help. Bob enrolled in classes to learn how to access his iPhone, attended support groups, and received orientation and mobility training.
Now, Bob has mastered the use of his iPhone. He can send texts, read emails, schedule calendar appointments, use Uber, and other important tools. He has also developed a close network of friends who are blind or visually impaired, and who help each other navigate difficult times.
Dan is an 83-year-old man who was referred to Lighthouse of Collier by his home health care nurse. Dan is a self-described “hermit” who lives alone in a trailer in southeast Naples and receives limited income. His son lived nearby but recently moved out-of-state. About 10 years ago, Dan stopped driving due to legal blindness and other health conditions. Without help, Dan’s situation could be tenuous.
Dan was unaware that he could have fresh groceries delivered to his home. The Lighthouse instructor downloaded the Walmart grocery app and helped Dan learn to search for and add items to his favorites list. With practice, Dan will be able to order healthy, fresh foods. Dan is close to reaching his goals and keeping his independence.
Rachel is a 70-year-old woman living with a visual condition that causes blind spots and peripheral field loss. When first coming to the Lighthouse, Rachel expressed that she had given up on completing most of her daily tasks due to frustration. The Lighthouse instructor visited her home and provided her with training to organize and label items in her pantry, and adaptive techniques for managing her finances. The instructor took the time to label her kitchen appliances, including her stove, oven, microwave, and Keurig.
In addition, Rachel has participated in the Lighthouse’s weekly cooking class. Now she raves that she has begun cooking dinners at home again for the first time in years, and is able to brew coffee for herself and her husband!
Roy is a 50-year-old man living with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which has resulted in total vision loss. He recently came to the Lighthouse of Collier seeking services to assist him in attaining employment. Roy does not speak English. A Lighthouse of Collier instructor visited his home to complete an initial assessment. Roy participates in the Lighthouse’s weekly cooking class and regularly expresses that he will recreate the recipes at home for his wife.
Purchase Seeing Beyond Blindness
If you would like to own one of these cocktail table books, please donate a suggested selling price of $35.00 to Lighthouse of Collier and we will send you one straight away.
Lighthouse of Collier dedicated the book to Art Bookbinder, a man who could see beyond blindness. He was a great friend and leader. May he rest in peace. August 1942 – April 2020.