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Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc. - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.
601 SW 8th Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
(305) 856-2288 (Local)
(305) 285-6967 (Fax)
INFO@MiamiLighthouse.org
http://miamilighthouse.org

Brief Description

The mission of the Miami Lighthouse is to provide vision rehabilitation and eye health services that promote independence, to educate professionals and to conduct research in related fields. Established in 1931, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the oldest and largest private agency in Florida to serve people of all ages who are blind or the visually impaired.

Adult Services are designed to enable blind and visually impaired individuals to regain independent living skills, allowing them to maintain meaningful roles in their family, community, work and/or school. All classes are available in English, Spanish and Creole. Instruction and training at work and in the home is also provided to ensure practical skill use in everyday situations. Clients meet with a counselor or social worker and are orientated within a small group class to discuss available classes and services. We emphasize using one’s own life experiences to regain skills using remaining vision and other senses. Social workers act as advocates, information providers and teach the skill of self-advocacy.

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30PM
Clients served on average per year: 8,800
Number of staff: 60
Staff description: Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Certified O&M Specialists, Certified Low Vision Therapist, Braille, Assistive Technology instructors, Occupational Therapist, and Consultant Optometrist. bi-Lingual (English/Spanish)staff. Other languages also possible.
Geographic area served: Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
Publications: Newsletter (3 times/year), Annual Report.

Staff

Carol Brady-Simmons, Chief Program Officer, (786) 362-7480 7480, csimmons@miamilighthouse.org
Isabel Chica, Manager of Children's Programs, (786) 362-7482 7482, ichica@miamilighthouse.org
John Garcia, Manager of Vision Solutions, (786) 362-7489 7489, solutionstore@miamilighthouse.org
Corina Hernandez, Senior Case Manager, (786) 362-7445 7445, gperez@miamilighthouse.org
Virginia A. Jacko, President & CEO, (305) 856-2288 245, vjacko@miamilighthouse.org

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assistive Products
    • Distributes assistive devices and appliances. Products are for sale on site in our Vision Solutions Center. We offer training in the use of adaptive devices for low vision individuals.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Provides training in braille, gesticulation, handwriting, listening, and typing skills.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • State of the art computer labs with the latest technology providing one-on-one and group instruction in access to technology and vocational preparation.
  • Counseling
    • Individual counseling and support groups for visually impaired people and their families, parents, and spouses. Referrals to community services.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training in braille, personal management and home management skills. Provides sensory training in client's home and community. Provides training in daily living, low vision, and communication skills and training in the use of adaptive devices for elderly individuals.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Provides pre-vocational evaluation and career and skill counseling. Refers to other agencies for employment-oriented services. Provides Works in conjunction with other training programs for additional software training and placement.
  • Information and Referral
    • We provide information and referrals to individuals in our community in need of services.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Low Vision Rehabilitation may help a person to lead an active lifestyle and maintain independence. The Miami Lighthouse low vision therapist and certified dispensing optician will demonstrate a full range of products from magnifiers, lamps, daily living aids to video magnifiers (cctv’s) and screen magnification for those who are computer savvy. This demonstration is hands-on to assist you in maximizing your remaining vision through training, magnification, lighting and glare control.
  • Recreation Services
    • Exposure to different hands-on-projects, the development and refinement of fine motor skills and memory skills are enhanced. We offer arts and crafts activities and special programs for seniors such as Macramé, ceramics, painting, and jewelry making. We provide special field trips, picnics and an opportunity to socialize.
  • Services for Seniors
    • Adult Services are designed to enable blind and visually impaired individuals to regain independent living skills, allowing them to maintain meaningful roles in their family, community, work and/or school. All classes are available in English, Spanish and Creole. Instruction and training at work and in the home is also provided to ensure practical skill use in everyday situations. Clients meet with a counselor or social worker and are orientated within a small group class to discuss available classes and services. We emphasize using one’s own life experiences to regain skills using remaining vision and other senses. Social workers act as advocates, information providers and teach the skill of self-advocacy.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training by Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist.

Services for Children

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • We offer year round Braille classes twice a month on Saturdays and days off from school.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Growing advances in technology allow a visually impaired individual to lead a more independent life, therefore it is necessary to have the proper training to learn, and in many cases, re-learn the skills needed to utilize what is available. The Lighthouse has computers adapted to provide either enlarged images or speech output of the information on the screen, and can be used for basic word processing and e-mail. We are also equipped with computers using JAWS (Java Application with Sound) software, a program that reads aloud virtually every keystroke on the computer, allowing the user to listen to e-mails and other documents, and navigate computer programs as a sighted person might. Small talking notetakers make it possible to remember appointments, and get quick access to telephone numbers and personal information. Learning to use computers with speech or large print access offers blind and visually impaired individuals an avenue for which further employment and education are made possible. Other special equipment such as braille notetakers and laptop devices also enable greater flexibility on a daily working basis. Similar to a PDA, these devices allow the user web access, access to a calendar, contacts, notes, documents and much more and we are now teaching our clients how to access Apple Products such as the IPADS and IPhone. Learning to use these devices puts the world literally at your fingertips.
  • Counseling
    • Miami Lighthouse has a full time dedicated Social Worker who works with our parents and Community in our Children's department.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Personal management instruction aims for individuals of all ages to remain independent in one’s own home and establish an independent life. Personal management training includes home upkeep, kitchen safety, and basic meal preparation, including working washers and dryers, stove-top ranges, ovens, and cooking utensils. All instruction is provided on site.

      Grocery shopping, organization of one’s home, personal affairs, and other tasks that must often be re-learned are taught by our personal management instructors.

      Make-up and grooming, personal hygiene, clothing selection and other similar skills restore a sense of personal style and identity.

      Money identification, telephone dialing, phone/internet shopping and banking, and the use of talking clocks and calculators return control over finances and daily schedules.

      Writing guides, check writing templates, braille and various labeling techniques provide options for handling the many reading and writing tasks associated with a busy schedule.

      Use of the Talking Books program introduces one avenue of enjoying leisure time.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • The Miami Lighthouse provides early intervention services for blind or visually impaired children ages birth through 5 years old. Our vision specialists have regular sessions with the children at the home or day care setting to maximize growth and development. Once transitioned into the school system, we continue to provide the family support services throughout the duration of their time in the program.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • The Miami Lighthouse helps analyze a blind or visually impaired individual’s skills and interests, in conjunction with today’s business environment to assist in the search for employment. Increasing one’s personal independence allows for greater opportunities in the work environment.

      Job placement and on-the-job assistance is given in conjunction with the Florida Division of Blind Services.

      Job readiness classes, provides useful techniques, search tools and effective resume writing to prospective candidates. They work with clients to develop a goal plan and obtain work skills to seek and maintain successful employment.
      Already employed? We can help you with the job you have, if loss of vision is an issue for you.

      Are you an employer? We can help you retain the valued employee for whom loss of vision has become an issue.
  • Health
    • Loss of vision increases the challenge of managing and understanding this complex condition. Special talking devices permit independently checking blood pressue, blood sugar levels and special insulin delivery devices, as well as up to date information about meal plans, exercise, and personal health care restore a sense of control. Support is also provided for dealing with the emotional impact on the individual and the family.
  • Information and Referral
    • Offeres information and referrals to other programs.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program provides free optometric exams and eyeglasses to school-aged children who fail state-mandated vision screenings and do not have access to eye health insurance.
  • Recreation Services
    • Weekly playgroups are offered to children ages birth through 3 years on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 pM. Transportation is available. The Miami Lighthouse offers Social Group Acticites to seniors (SGA). SGA program aids in improving one's life skills. Activities include Ceramics, jewelry making and other tactile arts activities. Clients have the opportunity to participate in field trips, group discussions and support groups. Lunch is provided. The music program is a music production program. Students come to the Lighthouse who are exceptionally talented and wish to improve their musical abilities. There is an innovative inclusion program which aims to include visually impaired music students with fully sighted music students. Participants find common ground through music.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • The STAR Summer program is an annual summer camp offered to blind or visually impaired children ages 5-13 in Miami-Dade County. The program offers transportation, braille, personal management and literacy classes along with music, art, recreational activities and field trips.
  • Support for Parents
    • Parent support groups available monthly on Saturdays covering various topics beneficial to parents of blind or visually impaired children. Call Krizia Perez at 786-362-7481 to learn more about these support groups.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • O&M services allow the individual to gain better spatial awareness and travel independence. Our instructors provide thorough training in the following:
      • Cane skills
      • Moving safely within the home and stores
      • Effective use of public transportation i.e., busses, metro-rail
      • Proper training from our university-trained, certified instructors builds confidence and independence for an individual maneuvering in a sighted-world.

Events

Transition Program

Ongoing Events/Programs

Transition Program
The STAR (Summer Training And Recreation) Program
A Better Chance Music Production Program
Blind Babies Program

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