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The Lighthouse for The Blind, Inc. 

Description

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit social enterprise providing employment, support, and training opportunities for individuals who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.  Serving the community since 1918, the Lighthouse currently employs nearly 400 individuals, more than 220 of whom are blind, Deaf-Blind, or blind with other disabilities. Our philosophy maintains that each employee be provided with whatever supports are necessary for success in the workplace.  Supports include an in-house sign language interpreting department to ensure effective communication for Deaf-Blind employees, staff mobility instructors to teach independent travel with a white cane or dog guide, and over 100 computer workstations adapted for use by visually impaired individuals.

Mission Statement
Our mission is to create and enhance opportunities for independence and self-sufficiency of people who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.
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The Lighthouse for The Blind, Inc.
2501 S Plum St 
Seattle 
WA
98144-4711 
(206) 322-4200 

Mr. Kirk Adams 
President and CEO 

Programs

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 third 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.

Evaluation


Current statistics show that deaf-blind adults face and 80% unemployment rate in the United States. Lighthouse for the Blind provides training and supported employment to blind and visually impaired individuals in their professional development.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Lighthouse creates skilled, highly accessible jobs. 230 Lighthouse staff members are blind, deaf-blind, or blind with other disabilities. This is done through innovative adaptations of workstations to meet individual needs and stages of vision loss.

Collaboration
The Lighthouse for the Blind works in close partnership with the Deaf-Blind Service Center and the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center to access community needs and gaps in service delivery. The organization also works closely with the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind to create internships and employment opportunities for Department graduates.

Leadership
Lighthouse for the Blind has a comprehensive strategic plan in place through 2016. The board of directors is strong, diverse, and working to develop a Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation. Lighthouse for the Blind functions as a national model and is the national leader in employing deaf-blind individuals.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/17/2004 $15,000.00support the purchase of equipment.

Financials

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