Lighthouse of Collier recently selected the recipients for our scholarship fund. One of the recipients is a 19-year-old boy living with retinopathy of prematurity. For this story, we will refer to him as Derek.
Derek has been a client since he was 13 years old. He is a great example of our mission. Throughout his time with Lighthouse, he has worked on job readiness skills, independent living skills, assistive technology, and many other areas of instruction. He regularly worked as a camp counselor for the children’s summer camp and completed work-based learning experiences in the community.
Whether, working as a TVI in the schools or as a CVRT in an agency (such as the Lighthouse), vision specialists have the unique privilege of following their students’/clients’ growth and successes over a long period of time, sometimes throughout their entire educational career! This is a story about one such young man (“Wyatt”) who has been a Lighthouse client (off and on) since he was in 6th grade.
Mary lost her vision about ten years ago from a car accident and complications of diabetes. During the last ten years, Mary had to move home to her mother’s and learn life from scratch. Due to many various reasons, Mary struggled the first few years and had a few setbacks.
Since I met Mary about three and a half years ago, she has completely changed. She is a strong independent woman who decided enough was enough and took charge of her life. She put a renewed sense of self into learning all she can learn not only from the Lighthouse of Collier, but from the Florida Division of Blind Services and other sources. She no longer lets her vision loss define her.
Mary has taken charge of her life and in doing so, Mary now is back in the workforce and just recently moved out of her mother’s place into her own apartment with a roommate.
Lucy is a Lighthouse of Collier vocational rehabilitation client. She has been a client for many years, having lost her vision at a young age. Lucy was resistant at first to learning the skills needed to help her adapt to her new eye condition. Looking back, Lucy observed that she felt defeated and had lost hope of ever again being independent due to her visual impairment. With the hard work and perseverance of Lighthouse of Collier staff, Lucy now understands why it was important for her to learn the skillsets being taught.
Now, Lucy is working closely with a Lighthouse of Collier case manager to move out on her own. Lucy attends the recreation and leisure class weekly. Lucy is very social in group classes and is now able to serve as an additional resource for other clients, as she is always willing to share information and help. Lucy’s commitment and effort are inspiring to her peers, as well as to Lighthouse staff in their daily work.
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.