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Lighthouse Central Florida Inc.

Rating: 4.9 stars   21 reviews 2,414

Address:

215 East New Hampshire Street Orlando FL 32804 USA

Mission:

Promoting the independence and success of people living with sight impairment.

Programs:

 

·        Access Technology training enables individuals to use technology in the home, school, and workplace. Instruction offered includes: typing, access software, Windows navigation, word processing, e-mail, internet, spreadsheets, and use of devices such as note takers, printers, Braille embossers, and scanners. Individuals who complete access technology are able to use the computer and other devices to perform important daily living tasks such as paying bills, shopping, maintaining checking, savings, and investment accounts, and communicating with friends and family. The skills learned from access technology training give graduates an edge in the current competitive job market.

·        Braille training provides individuals with skills in Braille reading and writing. Graduates of Braille instruction are able to use Braille for tasks such as note taking and labeling.

·        Independent Living Skills training provides individuals with improved ability to perform activities of daily living with adaptations for vision impairment. Tasks such as pouring liquids, labeling personal and household items, note taking, dialing a phone, and cooking are able to be done with less frustration. Participants receive adjustment to blindness counseling and self-advocacy skills that empower them to interact more effectively with family, friends, employers, and the community. Graduates of Independent Living Skills training are able to live independently and safely and have less need to rely on family and friends for daily living needs. Independent Living Skills training prevents premature placement into assisted living and nursing homes. Working-age adults who complete Independent Living Skills training are able to return to gainful employment, and often discontinue disability benefits.

·        Orientation and Mobility training provides individuals with improved ability to travel safely and independently in their environment. Training is provided in the home, community, educational setting, or work place. Orientation and Mobility training includes tasks such as: helping a senior safely navigate in the area immediately outside of the home, orienting a college student to classrooms on a campus, teaching an individual how to safely cross a street, or using public transportation. Orientation and Mobility training is instrumental in preventing falls and unnecessary isolation.

·        Rehabilitation Engineering includes the recommendation, installation, modification, or customization of access technology in the home or work place. Services include: personal computer set-up in the home or work place, customization of computer access software, and troubleshooting of accessible computer systems. Rehabilitation engineering services enable a technology end-user to perform computer operations in the home and work place.

 ·        Supported Employment services are available to adults who are visually impaired and have other significant disabilities that result in the individual having difficulty gaining or maintaining employment. Individualized intensive job placement and job coaching services are provided in addition to follow-along services once the individual is able to successfully perform job tasks. Supported Employment services enable participants to gain and maintain competitive employment in an integrated setting. 

·        Hospitality Training is provided to adults who seek careers in the hospitality service

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

www.lighthousecentralflorida.org

Reviews for Lighthouse Central Florida Inc.

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

It is important to the core of what I believe to be inspired to support a cause with my time, abilities or financially. And there are times I am privileged to have a personal experience with an organization such as Lighthouse Central Florida that brings me to the point of giving.

Lighthouse Central Florida brought me hope during a difficult time after my son, Gordon 'Creed' was diagnosed with a congenital disease that eventually will rob him of his sight. Through Lighthouse, we not only found a great support system in the staff but a community of parents and grandparents that could relate to the challenges you face with a child who is legally blind or completely blind.

Lighthouse Central Florida not only serves families, it employs adults who have grown up with the organization and works with the community to see the talented resources a human being has versus the challenges of blindness. The organization also works on the government level to see legislation passed to improve the lives of adults living with blindness and children who need all the tools they can be provided to succeed as adults.

Just imagine life without sight. Imagine having no one to help you pull all the important pieces together. This is what Creed’s life would have been like without Lighthouse Central Florida. I will be forever grateful and that is why I in turn give back.

 
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Review from #MyGivingStory
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

When my daughter Mikayla was born the doctors told us that she would be legally blind. For my family and I this was a time of great uncertainty. We didn’t know what she would be capable of or how we could even help her. When Mikayla was eight years old her vision consultant from her elementary school told us about a school age program at Lighthouse of Central Florida that will help Mikayla become more independent and help her learn daily living skills. They not only taught this little shy eight year old girl to do things we didn’t even think she would be able to do, but also helped us as a family. The staff at Lighthouse taught her to have confidence that she was capable of doing anything she set her mind to. Lighthouse of Central Florida understands the importance of getting these children ready for the real world. It was very critical that Mikayla be ahead of the game. For example, they taught her how to do things from typing on a computer and teaching her to do things more efficiently so she wouldn’t fall behind in school. The staff at Lighthouse not only taught her the skills to be able to live and do things on her own, but they also gave her the confidence to know that she can live a very successful and independent life. Lighthouse of Central Florida is a beacon of Light to so many children that need vision services. I am proud to be able to advocate and be a part of their team vison to continue to provide services for school age children.



 
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Review from #MyGivingStory
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to help tour a group of approximately twenty visually impaired students from Lighthouse Central Florida, across the main campus of the second largest university in the nation- The University of Central Florida. A majority of the students were in high school at the time and were planning next steps after graduation. This experience was meaningful to me because I attended UCF with vision loss, and graduated in 2014 with honors. There was a sense of pride in showing the students that they can accomplish anything, despite any perceived limitations.

For the guided tour, it was important to orientate the students with the knowledge they would need, if they decided to attend college. The program staff and myself guided the group to popular student areas, such as the student center, housing and Library. It was also very important to address resources available, and is particularly useful to students with special needs, such as the campus health center, accessibility office and how to identify and use security stations. As someone who had functioned on that campus, with and without vision loss, I can tell you first hand that the standard freshman orientation sessions are much different and would not have included as much in-depth content and helpful Insight.

I am inspired to give back by supporting and encouraging others to be their best self. For the students that attended the tour, I was able to share my experience and knowledge of going to college with vision loss. Going to college can be difficult, and even more so for someone whom society labels as “disabled”. This experience was meaningful to me because it was an opportunity to highlight the possibilities of looking beyond vision impairment.

 
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Review from #MyGivingStory
Rating: 5 stars  

Shine Bright Like a Lighthouse
Three months after my son Liam was born, his doctor’s noticed that something was wrong. He was not growing as expected, his skin was still jaundiced, and his bloodwork kept coming back abnormal. He was sent for test after test in three different hospitals as doctors tried to figure out a diagnosis to explain his odd collection of symptoms. With each new theory, my dreams for Liam’s future swung radically back and forth. First they suspected it was his liver. Images of transplant waiting lists and immunosuppressant drugs consumed my thoughts. Next it was his blood. I read obsessively about blood disorders and quality of life for those effected. Then came the neurologist and an MRI and I prayed so, so hard. Please, not his brain.
Ultimately, Liam was diagnosed with a condition called Septo-Optic Dysplasia. While he was developing in utero, a portion in the middle of his brain did not develop. His optic nerves are too small to function and his pituitary gland does not produce hormones. In short, he cannot see and will be on medication for the rest of his life.
Through the internet, I got in touch with Lighthouse Central Florida. They are the only resource available for blind and visually impaired individuals in this area. Within a week of contacting them, Lighthouse had assessed Liam’s vision and set him up to receive therapy every week at no charge. Liam’s mentor from Lighthouse has been with him for two and half years and has helped him to walk, talk, jump, play catch, and sing songs. All of which he was never expected to do. I have seen firsthand the tireless dedication of every person who works with Lighthouse. I am beyond grateful for what they have helped Liam achieve. But more than that, I have been deeply touched and inspired by the sense of family Lighthouse holds so dear. So I made a choice. I would not mourn the diagnosis that brought me and Liam to Lighthouse. Instead, I would do everything I could think of to support and encourage my Lighthouse family. And, turns out, I could think of some really fun stuff.
Last winter I had a brilliant idea. I would take 300 middle school students, blindfold them, and set them loose in a field. On top of that, I would provide them with games. But not just any games. I’d arm these 13 year olds—hyper on life and being able to miss a class period-- with markers, water balloons, and raw eggs. We set up stations for the kids to complete a task (like throwing a water balloon or finding their own shoes mixed into a big pile) with either no vision or partial vision goggles. It could have been-- and, realistically, should have been-- a disaster of epic proportions. But it wasn’t. Instead, those kids were challenged to experience the world in a completely different way. They made Braille cards and bookmarks and were stunned when our guest speaker could read them “even though he doesn’t have eyes, Ms. Vasani!” Our field day combined two of my favorite things—charity fundraising and an opportunity for authentic learning.
Since then, Liam and I have shot video for Lighthouse (in which he was a total ham for the camera). We’ve organized a community wide clothing drive for a Lighthouse fundraising event. I speak regularly to potential donors and at business disability awareness trainings sharing Liam’s story. We’ve been in the top 5 fundraising teams for the annual Sight and Sole walk every year. And this year, I am so excited to say that with the help of my middle school minions—I mean, students—we are converting over 70 children’s books into Braille and tactile books for blind kids. Hopefully, we will have them ready for the holidays. My students can’t wait to present them to families who may not have modified books for their children and read (yes! 8th graders who want to read!) to other children they have never met. I am so grateful that, because of Lighthouse, I can help others realize that the biggest gift is in the giving.
Please visit www.lighthousecentralflorida.org for more information on this wonderful nonprofit!

 
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Review from #MyGivingStory
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Lighthouse Central Florida, Inc. has received accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services (NAC). NAC is the only accrediting body that solely focuses on standards and best practices for blind and low vision services with the consumer in mind. Lighthouse Central Florida has demonstrated that it meets or exceeds the standards set by NAC for delivery of blind and low vision services. The determination for accreditation is a rigorous process that involves self-examination by the organization, an on-site peer review to verify processes and procedures by a team of professionals serving in the field and a review of the findings by the NAC Accreditation Committee. NAC congratulates Lighthouse Central Florida on its accredited status.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I am the supervisor of 2 supported employment clients. Lighthouse provided training and extensive support for these employees, and they are some of my best employees. Anytime there is an issue, the job coaches are always there to address it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Job training for the visually impaired.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

knowledgable and a joy to work with.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I was a student in a hospitality training program, which was partnered with the National Statler Center. Working with Lighthouse has been a good experience for me.They have been very supportive in my job developement. When I needed something for my job, Lighthouse came through to help me.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

everybody is really nice and always willing to give a helping hand, whether it is for moral support or just helping me with finding work

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I am a student in the Hospitality Training program. The experience has been great! Anything I need, you guys are there.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

is top knotch! Lighthouse has been there for evertyhing

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

more facilities, so traveling would be easiers, which then would bring more clients

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with Nikki Littmann

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

get a bigger work area and more equipment to help the visually impaired

Ways to make it better...

nothing, my experience was fine

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I was former client in the transition program at the Lighthouse Central Florida. The skills I learned in the transition program that helped me become more independent and to develope a resume and interview skills. The combination of the skills has helped secure a job at Disney, and I attend classes regular at the University of Central Florida. I very thankful for the skills and training I received from the Lighthouse, in an effort to give back to the transition program I mentor on occassion at their events in the community and during their summer program at UCF.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Ms. Ginger and the transition staff at the Lighthouse truly care about your progress and want to see you succeed. They are always available good information and feedback even after you graduate the program.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

 
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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

My son, Joe, (who is blind due to extreme prematurity) and our family have been clients off and on since 1984. This organization saved our family's life and has greatly benefitted Joe over the decades. I have had the privilege of serving as LCF's CEO for 10 years now. I am very proud of the work the LCF Team (board members, staff, volunteers, investors and donors) has accomplished; humbled by the courage of LCF clients and the generosity of our supporters; and finally, compelled by what we have left to accomplish over the next decade. This is an awesome organization.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

greatly expand to serve many more sight-impaired children and adults, create job opportunities for sight-impaired adults of all ages and business enterprises employing people with blindness to generate revenue for the organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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