Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc.
601 SW Eighth Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
Local Telephone: (305) 856-2288
Graciela Perez, Senior Case Manager, email@example.com
Isabel Chica, Manager of Children's Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Garcia, Senior Store Manager, email@example.com
Carol Brady-Simmons, Chief Program Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia A. Jacko, President & CEO, email@example.com
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.
Geographic Area Served: Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
Braille and Reading Instruction
We offer year round Saturday Braille classes twice a month.
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.
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.
Fee: There is no fee for the participants of this program.
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.
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.
Fee: There is no charge for the examinations or eyeglasses.
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.
Fee: There is no fee for this service.
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.
Fee: There is no fee for program participants who live or reside in Miami-Dade County.
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.
Fee: There is no fee for this program.
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.
The STAR (Summer Training And Recreation) Program
A Better Chance Music Production Program
Blind Babies Program