JUNIOR BLIND OF AMERICA
Rating: 4.96 stars 27 reviews
Issues: Disabilities, Human Services
Location: 5300 Angeles Vista Blvd Los Angeles CA 90043 USA
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Junior Blind is a stand-out organization as a result of its exceptional leadership and high-quality programs. It is making a difference!
Junior blind has helped me in finding out more about the world and has allowed me to become a more independent individual and overall more confident about myself and my skills
My daughter was born prematurely and developed retinopathy of prematurity and lost total vision in her right eye and has a little bit of peripheral vision on her left eye. She was blessed with a good mind and she progressed through high school (St. Augustine School for the Deaf and The Blind) and then college. After graduation she wanted to get a job at home, but we live in a small town and there were none to be had. So she started talking about going to another city to look. She didn't have the living skills to be on her own, which is when we discovered the Hatlen Center for the Blind in San Pablo, Calif. She was accepted and spent a year living there learning all the living skills she would need to live independently. I visited many times and was always impressed with the level of teaching and training she was receiving while there. After a year 2 things happened. She moved into her own apartment in the area of the school and they offered her a job teaching Braille and technology at the school!. I just got back from visiting her again and I am always impressed by the people who work there and now she is one of them! I love Hatlen Center and Junior Blind who now are the organization who run the center. She has been out there 4 years now and I have to say that they gave her the independence and confidence she needs to be a success in life. Thank you Junior Blind.
Junior Blind changed my son's life. He had a very limited range and was not bold about launching off in the city until he spent several months at Junior Blind. After working with his mobility coach he got so he could fearlessly take three busses across Los Angeles to visit his brother on Sunset Blvd. I was a sobbing heap when he graduated and I am a 70 year-old man. He now regularly crosses San Diego on trolley's, busses and walking with the confidence and skills this wonderful organization taught him. He regularly stays in touch with his Junior Blind friends on Facebook and is a very skilled iPhone user. He was given life skills he could never have gained anywhere else.
My mother and father started volunteering for the Junior Blind when Norman Kaplan opened his first school. Over the many years we saw how many young people were changed into independent, outgoing, and confident young adults.
It is my joy to volunteer with a few of the programs, but I think I love the Infant and Early Childhood the best because I get to meet the amazing mothers who champion their babies. These women are my heroes, and each one tells me her baby will have a much better future because of the work they do with the staff who travel to their homes, and the resources they have been introduced to through the Junior Blind. At the beginning of summer, all these families meet up at Camp Bloomfield, where together they can enjoy the outdoors, talk with other families, share stories, and where all members -- other children included -- can take time to just enjoy each other.
From the original 8 blind children 60 years ago, to the thousands who have been helped through all these years -- forgot to mention the annual Junior Blind Olympics and Goal Ball -- this organization certainly deserves to be recognized at the top nonprofit.
For the last 5 years, I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving as an Executive Coach and leadership trainer for many of the senior staff at Junior Blind. Under the exceptional leadership of CEO, Miki Jordan, I have observed firsthand the staff and Board's extraordinary commitment to excellence and the incredible services they provide to children and adults. This agency is a stellar example of the best of the nonprofit community.
I have worked for several summers with the Junior Blind at Camp Bloomfield. This is such an amazing organization providing summer camp experiences at low or no cost for visually impaired campers as well as their families. They offer all of the traditional camp experiences that you would expect at any overnight camp but activities have been modified for those who are visually impaired... so the activities can be enjoyed by all. A diverse and dedicated staff is recruited from throughout the US and World for a unique summer experience. (yes they hire international staff) Camp Bloomfield has become a family event for us as well... my son enjoys volunteering there for several weeks out of the summer as a CIT and my daughter loves to just go and be a part of the camp experience.
I am so happy with Junior Blind, I am a specialist work with the IECP team and the progress I see on a daily basis with the children we serve is just amazing. I'm humbled everyday with the families we work with, the happiness of the children everyday. But most especially JBA and the team I work with. JBA provided us with the tools and training on a monthly basis to improve and help the community and the people with vision impairments. Thank you JBA for all you do!! I'm proud to be apart of a wonderful organization!
How can I share my experience with JBA with everyone? I am not sure, you see, my son is blind, from birth. As he started growing up, in a dominated sighted world, school, as he was the only blind student in any school that he would attend..the questions would arise, the bad moments at school would happen. You see, my son did not know that he was blind, it sounds silly but it's true, his world in darkness is all he knew so he did not understand when others point it out that he was different, that he could not play ball with them because he was blind, I could very well tell you hundreds of stories of how my son came home from school feeling sad, crying, frustrated and sometimes also angry.
Instead I will tell you what happened just before him attending JBA's Camp Bloomfield and what happened after. Just before going to California to JBA, my son Jason was already too angry, all the time, he was not getting along with teachers, kicking people, he was acting out his frustration. He was just in 3rd grade. The Very first summer I took my son to Camp Bloomfield, that summer changed his life for ever!
He found friends that he hold still to this day, he found out that there was a way to adapt any activity/sport and not only participate, but to excel! He came back home with something I had not seen in a very long time, confidence, smiles, happy attitude.He even told me several times that thanks to Camp Bloomfield, he had the strength to take on the world ahead of him, he gain the confidence he was loosing once before.
In other words, what did my son got from JBA? Life! Quality of life! How do you put price on that? How will I ever be able to repay JBA for ALL that they have done for my son? Never, I just cannot, but tell you how amazingly wonderful they all are, they are not just a name, nor a building, nor a program, the staff is family to me, they are life! They are happiness, it's like they grab a bunch of it and put it in the palms of their hands and when your kids go there, they blow on that happiness towards your child, and just like that..their life and take on life change for the better.
Write a review? No. I am telling you just a little bit of the people that have gave my back my child, that did what just my love of mother could not make happen for my son, they gave my son wings and want to do great things in life. Until this day, my son does not miss a summer with JBA, and he is 17 yrs old this month. To say that I love JBA is an understatement.
A mom, who her heart was
given back to her without pain of seeing her child suffer.
I was able to visit Junior Blind's campus and Camp Bloomfield several times this summer. As a former Director of Operations of an organization for students with special needs on the east coast, I know how important it is to provide children with the opportunities to succeed and thrive at an early age-especially those with disabilities. Through my several visits to Junior Blind, I never ceased to be impressed by the impact they have on their students and campers. It was evident in the never-ending smiles I saw on not just the faces of the children, but the staff as well. One staff member told me how she teared up watchign a camper drive away at the end of camp this summer. If that doesn't show their dedication, I don't know what does! Thank you to the staff of Junior Blind for showing me what incredible work you do for these children-I will definitely be back to visit.