Through education, training, research and vision enhancement, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides hope, confidence, and independence to people of all ages
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About Our Classes

Independent Living

The Independent Living program is for individuals who are not employed and intend to remain in their homes. These clients have the opportunity to receive orientation and mobility training and personal management instruction. They can also receive basic computer training, participate in our social group activities, receive low vision services, as well as counseling services. Our independent living program consist of two age groups; Independent Living Adult Program (age 54 and under) and Independent Living Older Blind (Age 55 and over).

Orientation and Mobility

Walk

Orientation and Mobility services teaches individuals with visual impairments to travel safely, confidently and independently in their environment. Our university-trained and certified orientation and mobility instructors (COMS) provide individual training to plan and meet each individual's goals. With proper training, individuals can develop the necessary skills to safely navigate in a variety of indoor and outdoor areas. Some of the skills that are taught include:

  • Cane skills.
  • Orientation and problem solving techniques.
  • Moving safely and independently within the home and community.
  • Effective use of public transportation i.e.: Buses, metro-rail.

For more information, please contact Orientation and Mobility.

Personal Management

Personal Management

Personal management instruction aims for individuals of all ages to remain independent. Personal Management offers:

  • Home skills, kitchen safety, basic meal preparation, all taught from on-site facilities including working washers and dryers, stove-top ranges, ovens, and cooking utensils
  • 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.

For more information, please contact Raquel Van Der Biest.

Computer and Technology Training

Computer and Technology Training
  • Growing advances in technology allow an 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.
  • Miami 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, e-mail, Excel and access to the internet. We are also equipped with computers using JAWS (Job Access With Speech) software, a program that reads aloud virtually every keystroke on the computer, allowing the user to listen to emails and other documents and navigate computer programs as sighted people do.
  • Small talking note-takers 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 note-takers 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. Learning to use this puts the world literally at your fingertips.

For more information please contact Bill Rivera.

Vocational Rehabilitation

The Vocational Rehabilitation program is for clients that are either working or want to go back to work. The program provides comprehensive training in self-help skills, computer/adaptive technology and job readiness; other services provided through the program include orientation and mobility, low vision services, personal and home management.

Job Readiness Classes

Miami Lighthouse helps analyze a blind or visually impaired individual's skills and interests to assist in the search for employment. Increasing one's personal independence allows for greater opportunities in the work environment.

  • Participants develop a career plan geared towards achieving sustainable employment.
  • Training provides individuals with skills needed to enter, remain in or return to suitable employment.
  • Participants acquire skills such as effective resume writing, job searching techniques and interview skills are practiced with expert coaches.
For more information please contact Corina Hernandez.

Job Placement Classes

Employers - click here to view our Job Readiness Brochure.

Unemployed blind or visually impaired candidates who are seeking employment complete the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program offered at Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. Our goal is to obtain or continue employment and educational activities for individuals as full participants in the community.

During their training at Miami Lighthouse, clients learn computer skills adapted to their vision impairment. VR clients also receive high-quality training in adaptive computer access using auditory screen reading and large print magnification devices as well as Braille reading/writing and the use of electronic book readers and electronic Personal Digital Assistance access. In addition to work readiness skills, social skills and basic communication are part of the program currently offered. A Job Developer provides additional assistance with skills assessment, interview skills, job opening searches, and preparation for specific job opportunities to help visually impaired individuals obtain competitive jobs in Miami-Dade or Monroe counties. The Job Developer also searches for appropriate job fairs and prepares blind or visually impaired job candidates to participate in these events.

For more information please contact Corina Hernandez.

Miami Lighthouse GED and ESOL Program - Adult Basic Education (ABE)

GED Program - Adult Basic Education, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, provides blind and visually impaired adults with the education needed to obtain their GED. Thanks to Miami-Dade County Public Schools -Million Dollar Community Literacy Challenge,- Adult Basic Education (ABE) is now offered as an innovative program that is designed to help someone gain the education they need to complete their GED.

Miami Lighthouse is offering the innovative program in a collaborative community partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The program stresses basic education for adults and the opportunity to pursue their GED. In addition to Adult Basic Education, students have the opportunity to study English as a Second Language for those students whose first language is Spanish or Creole. Students attend class four days a week, with registration on a rolling basis so the program can be joined at any time during the year.

Low Vision Services

To make an appointment for a low vision assessment or an in-home consultation, please call 786-362-7479.

Low Vision Services assist patients in utilizing their remaining useful vision to stay independent by teaching them how to manage tasks of daily living despite their vision loss. Patients receive a functional vision assessment from our low vision optometrist who works with our occupational/low vision therapist and licensed dispensing optician to prescribe assistive devices. Training on devices and advice on improving the home environment are given on site and in the home.

Click here to visit our Low Vision Solutions Center.

A wide array of magnifiers and other devices can assist with specific tasks. These include:

  • Handheld magnifiers
  • Closed-circuit television read/write systems
  • Miniature spotting scopes
  • Full spectrum lighting
  • Text and product code scanners/readers
  • Accessible cell phones
  • Bold line markers
Miami Lighthouse instructors will assist in the selection of these devices to fit your needs, and provide training in their use.

Florida Client Assistance Program (CAP)

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in compliance with the State of Florida is providing our clients with information regarding the Federal CAP program. The following information will provide you with contact information and the summary of services given by the CAP program.

Disability Rights Florida
2728 Centerview Drive
Suite 102
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Telephone: Voice 850-488-9071 / (800) 342-0823 / TDD (800) 346-4127
Fax: 850-488-8640

CAP assists anyone with a disability that is interested in applying for and receiving services from rehabilitation programs, projects or facilities funded under the Rehabilitation Act. CAP helps individuals understand and deal effectively with programs established to provide these services, such as Florida's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division of Blind Services and Centers for Independent Living. CAP can investigate, negotiate and pursue administrative, legal and other remedies to ensure that client rights are protected.

Internet Location: http://www.disabilityrightsflorida.org/contact/select_form

 


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Miami Lighthouse is honored by the following

 

Florida Blue Foundation

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

Charity Navigator

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 12 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

GuideStar Exchange's Gold Participant

Miami Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.

The Children's Trust

Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.

 
 

The Beacon Council

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

Miami Today

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

Marlins Charity Partner

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

Miami New Times - Best of Miami 2017

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

 
 

United Homecare

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare's 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

South Florida Business Journal

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.

Health Foundation of South Florida

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.

 
 

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