Looking Ahead with Hope and Wonder
As the year comes to a close, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the many moments of joy and accomplishment we have witnessed at Society for the Blind. This past summer, 10 youth from our CareersPLUS program came together for a week-long Summer Camp to learn foundational blindness skills and apply those skills during the week at various fun activities, including shopping, cooking and even a karaoke dance party. It was the first time in more than two years that these young people got to meet each other in person. They not only learned a lot but forged lasting friendships.
Several of our clients completed their training in our Core Blindness Skills Program and embarked on finding employment. Over the past five years, we successfully assisted more than 125 people in finding jobs. This is a crucial step in combatting the 70% unemployment rate for people with vision loss.
Our Senior IMPACT Project continues to grow. Several times a month, seniors participate in workshops at Society that teach them how to cook, take care of their homes, manage their medications, and do other activities of daily living using non-visual techniques and assistive devices and products. Their laughter and banter as they learn together is a delight.
Recently, a 16-year-old who suffered a traumatic brain injury that affected his visual field was referred to our Low Vision Clinic. He was seen for a full low-vision evaluation with our Optometrist. The doctor fitted him for prisms to increase his visual field, and he will be working with an occupational therapist for training to navigate his environment with this change in vision. After trying out the new glasses, he said he feels better about his future.
These are but a few stories that reflect the incredible impact of your support for Society for the Blind. Your engagement has a lasting, positive effect on the people we serve every day, and it inspires all of us at Society for the Blind.
Next year marks our 70th Anniversary. We are excited as we look forward to what the future holds for Society for the Blind. We are exploring new partnerships to expand our capacity to reach clients. We will set our new strategic focus in early 2024 – a roadmap that will move us forward to meet the growing demand in northern California and Nevada.
It is with hope and wonder that we greet 2024 and celebrate 70 years of service. We look forward to joining with you in our Vision Forward 70th Anniversary celebrations – stay tuned for more details.
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year!