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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Lighthouse Louisiana - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Lighthouse Louisiana
123 State Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 899-4501 (Local)
(504) 895-4162 (Fax)
(888) 792-0163 (Toll-Free)

Brief Description

The Lighthouse is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting independence for people who are blind and visually impaired by providing programs that focus on economic opportunity and self-reliance. In addition to a core, modern manufacturing operation that employs people with vision impairments, the Lighthouse offers a range of independent living, competitive employment, and health related services.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-4:30 PM. Some Saturday activities for youth.
Clients served on average per year: > 6,000 services delivered annually
Staff description: Occupational therapists, social worker, art therapist, O&M instructors, job developers and job coaches
Geographic area served: Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.
Publications: Newsletter (quarterly). Annual Report


2773 North Flannery Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70814


Deborah Bennett, Low Vision Clinic Occupational Therapist, (504) 899-4501 238,
Jenice Heck, Vice President of Vision Rehabilitation Services, (504) 899-4501 262,
Freida Holland, Vice-President of Employment Services, (504) 899-4501 239,
Elizabeth Mire, Social Services, (504) 899-4501 251,
Renee Vidrine, President

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Advocacy
    • SOCIAL SERVICES: A Licensed Social Worker provides assistance to manage issues that are related to vision impairment, to connect with community resources, and to learn self advocacy.
  • Assistive Products
    • Magnifiers and More offers a wide variety of devices to assist individuals with varying degrees of vision loss. The store carries a range of products from high-tech devices to maximize safety and independence.
  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Legal documents, tax information publications, hymnals, and more.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Provides information to health care professionals, retirement community staff, and other organizations on how to better serve blind patrons and clients. Also offers periodic educational seminars for the public and families about the causes of visual impairment and how to cope with vision loss.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Teaches computer skills such as basic keyboarding skills, word processing and advanced Internet use. Helps people to learn to use the personal computer with screen-reading and magnification software. Classes are available in JAWS, Magic, Windows, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and other software. Maintains a Computer Learning Center for individual or group training for people who are blind and visually impaired.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • All programs are supervised by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Free Transportation is provided within the Greater New Orleans area.

      Daily Living Skills Classes: Group training course to teach newly blind & low vision clients to maintain their safety & independence.

      Next Step: Group traing course in advanced living skills to include community integration, mobility & development of productive leisure skills.

      Home Visits: Training to provide assistance with adapting home environments & problem solving daily living skills to enhance safety & function. Lighting assessments are available.

      Braille Classes: Group training course in the skills needed to read, write, & utilize Braille. Beginner & advanced instruction available.

      Orientation & Mobility Training: Individual instruction in the use of a white cane to improve safety & independence for travel outside of the home.

      Senior Tech Program: Individual training course to teach studentsover age 55 e-mail, internet, and basic computer functions using assistive software for the visually impaired.

      Fun 101: Weekly Social group for graduates of the Daily Living Skills Program. *Transportation not provided.

  • Employment/Job Training
    • Assists individuals to become successfully employed. Works closely with employers to meet their needs through referring individuals who are well suited to particular positions. Performs vocational assessments to determine each client's skills, strengths, and interests. Provides supported employment to individuals who are interested in obtaining employment and have been assessed to need intensive support to achieve success in competitive employment. Offers a comprehensive vocational training program for people who are deaf/deaf-blind or have other disabilities to prepare the individual for competitive employment.
  • In-Home Services
    • VOLUNTEER MATCH Pairs adult blind and visually impaired clients with sighted volunteers to assist them with weekly errands and small projects as needed.
  • Information and Referral
    • Assists persons who are blind or partially sighted access available services through referrals to local, state, or national resources. Investigates new resources as they become available. Provides follow-up to callers to ensure that referrals were useful.
  • Low Vision Services
    • The Lighthouse Low Vision Clinic, which works with clients in cooperation with eye care professionals to optimize any remaining sight so they can perform tasks and activities independently. A licensed occupational therapist with experience in the field of low vision determines how to maximize the patient's remaining vision. Low vision devices may be prescribed along with training in their use by an occupational therapist.
  • Support Groups
    • Assists newly blind and low vision clients in coping with vision loss. Offers a weekly support group facilitated by an experienced social worker.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Issues prescription canes to students and teaches the skills necessary for daily independent travel. Areas included in this program are: room familiarity, residential and business travel, street crossing and bus travel. Works with the public school system to provide orientation and mobility training to children in the schools.

Services for Children

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers group instruction in braille to adults seeking to learn Grade 1 and Grade 2 braille. Classes are held two days per week.
  • Recreation Services

      Students Together Acquiring Recreational Skills (STARS)
      Our STARS program offers recreational activities on the first Saturday of each month during the school year for visually impaired students in the first through eighth grades. The participants are paired with high school volunteers for a variety of social, cultural, and learning experiences. Because all volunteers work directly with the students they receive specialized training to participate in program events. Some of the many activities include bowling, outings to local attractions, special movie showings and holiday crafts.

      CHOICE Program
      The Lighthouse provides a unique opportunity for teens with vision impairments to acquire the tools necissary to make healthy choices regarding their academic and employment goals. Fun and dynamic activities focus on developing social and communication skills, problem solving abilities, goal setting, career exploration, technology training, confidence building, teamwork, health, daily living skills, and other topics to promote success in college or work settings. CHOICE activities are scheduled on the third Saturday of each month during the school year for visually impaired youth in grades nine through twelve.

  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • Offers a unique summer camp program to provide an outlet for fun and creative learning. All visually impaired youth in grades 1 through 12 are welcome to join. Some camp activities include swimming, arts and crafts, cooking, technology training, music, karate, dancing, bowling, sailing and much more. Teens also participate in learning modules to enrich the social and academic skills.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training children who cannot see to safely move and interact within their surroundings. Training sessions are held in the community and within the child's school environment. These services are funded through contractual agreements between the Lighthouse for the Blind and area school systems.
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