2019 – What a Year!
2019 was a remarkable year, and we are so grateful for our community’s support! Most significantly, we completed the build-out of our new first-floor annex in October. We now have 5,000 more square feet of multi-purpose training and meeting space, a dedicated music room and a new teaching kitchen for our Senior IMPACT Project.
Our 65th year of service was a busy one. Our Senior IMPACT Project served 627 new clients in 2019, over 100 more than we served in the previous year. The project’s three monthly support groups are also getting robust attendance. Early signs indicate the demand for our senior programming in 2020 is on pace to match last year.
Our CareersPLUS Youth After-School Academy also expanded in 2019. In just its second full year serving elementary to high school students with vision loss, the After-School Academy served more than 10 children per week. CareersPLUS youth monthly workshops are now seeing 15-20 students per session, up from 10-12 the prior year.
Our Core Teaching Program launched a new service in late 2019 – ESL for Blind Students. We had a number of new students at Society for the Blind last year for whom English is a second language. These individuals speak Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin and are learning English and Braille. We are excited to be able to offer this programming for our students.
We also launched a new signature event for Society last October. The Briggs Award Event honored Dr. Ron Cole, MD, as our 2019 Outstanding Ophthalmologist for his pioneering work in low vision eye care. The event, named after Sacramento’s first ophthalmologist, Dr. William Ellery Briggs, MD, benefited Society’s Low Vision Clinic. Proceeds will help to provide eye care for patients who are uninsured.
All in all, 2019 was a busy and fulfilling year at Society for the Blind. As 2020 gets underway, we are preparing to celebrate the grand opening of our new first-floor annex in February and the closing of our Vision 2020 Campaign. We are grateful for this community’s steadfast support and look forward to an exciting new year and decade at Society for the Blind!