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
Miami Lighthouse and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Collaborate on Vision Rehabilitation services.
We emphasize using one’s own life experiences to regain skills using
remaining vision and other senses. Social workers act as advocates and
information providers and teach the skill of self-advocacy.
Click here to learn about the Transition Program for students
Independent Living Program
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). In 2015, the two
Independent Living Programs served 158 clients were served with a 6,305
hours of service.
Orientation and Mobility
O&M services allow the individual gain
better spatial awareness and travel independence. Our instructors provide
thorough training for:
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.
For more information, please contact
Orientation and Mobility
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
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.
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 and e-mail. We are
also equipped with computers using JAWS (Java Application with Sound)
software, a program that reads allowed virtually every keystroke on
the computer, allowing the user to listen to emails and other
documents, and navigate computer programs as a sighted person might.
Small talking note-takers make it possible to remember
appointments, and get quick access to telephone numbers and personal
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.
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. In 2015,
154 clients were served with 11,123 hours of service.
Job Readiness Program
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.
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.
The Job Readiness Program at Miami Lighthouse for the
Blind and Visually Impaired is partially underwritten by funding from The
Able Trust and the Florida Division of Blind Services.
Miami Lighthouse GED Program - Adult Basic Education
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. In 2015, 62 clients were served in these programs with
12,569 hours of service.
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
A wide array of magnifiers and other
devices can assist with specific tasks. These include:
Closed-circuit television read/write
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
Loss of vision increases the challenge of managing and
understanding diabetes, a complex condition that often leads to vision
Talking devices that enable independent monitoring of blood sugar levels
and special insulin delivery devices can help you manage your condition.
Miami Lighthouse also provides information about meal plans, exercise, and
personal health care.
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
Tallahassee, FL 32301
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
City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado; Thomas
Abraham, Anthony R. Abraham Foundation; Senator Gwen Margolis;
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Mrs. Spencer; Chairman of the
Board Ray Ramon Casas; CEO Virginia Jacko; Representative David
Richardson; Marcel Marlote, Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners; Jorge
Munilla, Munilla Construction Management; and Richard Krasno,
representing The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
“Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually
Impaired Case Study: Vision Rehabilitation for the First Florida
Resident to Receive the Argus II “Bionic Eye” appeared in the
May/June issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.
Click here to read the article.
The Blind Visionary All of
Virginia’s royalties and part of the publisher’s
royalty income will be donated to blind services at
the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
Click to read
State of Vision
Sales of the “State of Vision” license plate support services to
blind and visually impaired people. Miami Lighthouse is the
recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this
license plate. The cost is $25.00 in addition to the regular
STAR is really cool. I like it because I get to be
with all my friends and learn a lot during summer,
from typing to art to music.
- Marino, age 12
STAR is fun because we get to read a lot, go on lots of field trips, use the computers and learn programs like PowerPoint. I make a lot of friends here and get to learn things with them. It's a lot better than staying at home watching TV during the summer! - Madisleny, age 11
We learn a lot and have fun activities in STAR. The large print books I get have helped me a lot in school, and I like learning with a lot of friends that
I've made here during my second year in STAR at Miami Lighthouse.
- Taknighis, age 12
Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue
Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that
has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community
Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits
having earned nine 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
Lighthouse has earned the Silver participation level through
the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami
Lighthouse’s commitment to data transparency.
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in
Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.
Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami
All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.
2013 and 2014
Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner of the Marlins
Foundation and has received over $50,000 in charitable
donations from the team to underwrite the cost of providing
vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams and prescription
glasses to underserved inner-city schoolchildren who receive
eye care through our Florida Heiken Children's Vision
Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson
Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper
Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today
Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business
Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the
Community Outreach category.
Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral
Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from
Health Foundation of South Florida.