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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Lighthouse of Broward County - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Lighthouse of Broward County
650 North Andrews Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
(954) 463-4217 (Local)
(954) 764-3825 (Fax)

Brief Description

The mission of The Lighthouse of Broward County is to enhance the independence, productivity, and quality of life of visually impaired children, youth, working age adults, and elders who are blind or visually impaired.

Originally established in 1972 as the Broward Center for the Blind by volunteers in Ft. Lauderdale, the Lighthouse has grown from a small agency created to provide social support and recreational activities for blind people to an accredited, full service educational and rehabilitation agency.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Clients served on average per year: 1600
Number of staff: 21
Staff description: Professional, certified, salaried staff; volunteers.
Geographic area served: Broward County, Florida
Publications: Primary communication through website, social media.


Eric Barrette, Assistive Technology Specialist
Elly du Pre', Executive Director,
Mike Kloosterman, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Steve Matson, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
LaShonda McDonald, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Karen Parparian, Director of Programs, (954) 463-4217 130,
Pat Schneider, Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Cindy Wolke, TVI, Early Intervention Teacher

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Advocacy
    • Geriatric Care Management for local seniors and their families (local or out of area) to facilitate aging in place (in one's own home).
  • Assessment
    • Conducts vision and skills screening for all clients.
  • Assistive Products
    • Wide array of assistive products available on loan and through Florida Reading and Vision Technology Center retail store, on-site.
  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Braille menus and other materials requested, except textbooks.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Provides training in adaptive computer technology, basic computer use, and internet and email.
  • Counseling
    • Offers evaluation; peer support groups; individual, group, and family counseling; referral to community services. Refers for other counseling/social work services.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training for children, teens and adults.

      Adult training is available in personal management, home management, functional kitchen skills, kitchen safety, adaptive communications skills and devices, keyboarding, braille, computers and adaptive technology, and adjustment to vision loss counseling and support groups. Both center-based instruction and home-based services. Focus is on providing training in independent living skills and skills for vocational rehabilitation.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Teaches skills related to identifying personal vocational goals, understanding the expectations of the workplace, building confidence, writing resumes, completing job applications and basic interviewing. Assists with job placement.
  • In-Home Services
    • Low Vision Therapy and independent living skills training in home of seniors and frail adults.
  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information on local agencies and government services and refers to other agencies.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Low vision clinic staffed by Nova Southeastern University optometrist. Prescribes and supplies low vision devices. Followup in our independent living skills training.
  • Support Groups
    • Offers support groups.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Functional vision, motor skills, orientation and mobility, braille, computers, etc.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Braille, computers, use of low vision magnifiers and other assistive devices.
    • Provides braille instruction.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Services provided in child's home or other locations where child is involved. Play groups provided at Lighthouse main facility.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Training in use of computers with adapted software.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Grooming, cooking, self-care, money management, home management, etc. at age-appropriate levels.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Assessment of the child’s condition and needs, developmental enrichment, and coordination of health, social, and related services. Play group. Orientation and mobility at age-appropriate levels.
  • Information and Referral
    • Information and referral to collaborating agencies and other social service organizations.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Nova Southeastern University School of Optometry provides evaluation. Lighthouse staff provide training.
  • Recreation Services
    • After-school, school holidays and some weekends--various field trips, recreational activities, parties, arts and crafts, etc.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • Summer camp and after-school activities at Lighthouse and other locations in Broward County for children and teens. Teen program includes real-work experience.
  • Support Groups
    • Parent support group.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Training in use of long cane, low vision magnifiers and telescopes, indoor and outdoor, public transportation, shopping, etc.
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