The Lighthouse for The Blind, Inc. Programs
In addition to providing employment opportunities, the Lighthouse provides a wide range of programs and services for visually impaired employees and Deaf-Blind individuals in the larger community. Programs provided by the Lighthouse include a Braille Literacy Program and Braille Reading Library, a Computer Training Program, a Deaf-Blind Technology Training Center, Deaf-Blind Community Classes, Orientation and Mobility Training, a Supported Employment Program, Housing Support, and an annual Deaf-Blind Retreat.
Deaf-Blind Technology Training Center
Our Technology Training Center (TTC) serves the Deaf-Blind community in building skills through the use of computer and assistive technology. The TTC offers training on up-to-date assistive technologies for both work and independent living.
Orientation and Mobility Program
Orientation and Mobility instructors assist blind and Deaf-Blind individuals in learning skills to travel independently and safely. Skills instruction includes white cane travel, bus and street route planning, electronic travel aid training, and supplemental guide dog training.
Supported Employment Program
The Lighthouse employs approximately twenty-five blind and Deaf-Blind adults with developmental disabilities through our Supported Employment Program. Supported employees are assigned a job coach who provides instruction, guidance, and support to help them succeed in their positions.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Braille Training Program
Currently in its fifth year, Seattle Lighthouse’s Braille Training Program continues to expand, providing braille literacy instruction to employees who are blind or visually impaired, Deaf-Blind, or sighted. In 2010, the Lighthouse celebrated the opening of its Braille Reading Library, providing current books and periodicals in braille to encourage the expanded use of braille among Lighthouse employees. Through the Braille Training Program, the Lighthouse furthers its commitment to increase braille literacy and use amongst employees, seeking to decrease the 90% braille illiteracy rate among blind adults in the United States.
Computer Training Program (CTP)
The Lighthouse’s Computer Training Program (CTP) is designed to increase and support independence, self-sufficiency, and upward mobility in the workplace for blind adults through appropriate training and access to computer technology. In order for employees to succeed in the workplace, the Lighthouse provides comprehensive training and support for each individual. Because of community support, the Lighthouse was able to upgrade the braille displays available in the lab, allowing CTP instructors to provide training on current equipment and better meet the needs of employees.
The Lighthouse relies on community support to fund the programs, support services, and assistive technologies we provide. The Lighthouse consistently seeks general support to fund ongoing programs benefiting blind and Deaf-Blind individuals in our community.