The Lighthouse of Collier provides training and rehabilitation services for babies, children, youth, adults (working and nonworking) and seniors (over 55) who are blind and visually impaired, at no charge, to help those in the community who are blind and visually impaired community.
The services provided have increased and the programs provided continue to expand based upon needs in the community. Lighthouse of Collier holds a Guidestar Platinum Status and is nationally accredited by NAC, the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services.
An individual must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for services: must be diagnosed with a corrected bilateral visual impairment, which constitutes a substantial impediment in their ability to live independently, or must have the presence of a progressive bilateral eye impairment that will result in a substantial impediment to the individual’s ability to live independently.
All programs are tailored to the client’s individual needs and are year round in a group and/or on an individual bases depending on the needs of the client.
Lighthouse of Collier is the only agency in Collier County providing services to individuals of all ages living with vision loss.
Kathy is a young, working-age woman who went completely blind about eight years ago. She has been receiving services from the Lighthouse on and off for the past five years. The first four of those years, Kathy made minimal progress while she struggled with medical issues. However, over the past year her health has improved, making it possible for her to attend classes on a regular basis.
In that time, Kathy learned how to navigate a computer using only JAWS screen reading software and Windows keyboard commands. She is quick to grasp and retain new concepts with little assistance. In fact, she often troubleshoots a problem on her own. Kathy’s newly learned computer skills make it easy for her to attend remote classes the Lighthouse offers. She regularly attends the Tuesday coffee chat, independent living workshops, Wednesday support group, and history/book club, and meets for individual technology lessons.
Due to her preexisting health conditions, Kathy has not left home since the onset of the pandemic. She orders groceries online and participates in virtual doctors’ visits. Kathy stated that even though she is unable to venture out she has remained digitally connected with her Lighthouse friends. Since the Lighthouse moved to a remote learning platform, Kathy made more friends. They exchanged contact info and developed a much-needed support network for blind or visually impaired people isolated by self-quarantine.
Kathy’s goals are to master skills necessary to succeed in the workforce. She would love to work as an office assistant in an agency that serves people living with disability. Kathy’s ultimate personal goal is to live independently in her own home. Through hard work and sheer determination, Kathy will reach and exceed all her goals.