Opening the Doors to Freedom and Independence

After more than a year, Society for the Blind is getting ready to reopen its doors to in-person classes and programming this summer. None of us could have predicted such a protracted period of time to be closed, but something even more surprising emerged – our numbers grew exponentially during the pandemic!

Wanda on an O&M lesson at the Farmer's Market

When we transitioned to remote classes, programming and support groups, a new door of access opened for people living with vision loss. Suddenly, people living far away, those with no means of transportation and individuals with other health issues could learn online or via telephone and access telemedicine services from our Low Vision Clinic.

Over the past year, hundreds of youth, adults and seniors learned critical non-visual skills such as navigating with a white cane, cooking, learning how to use assistive technology and pursuing employment and educational opportunities. 

Paul Gray teaches an Assistive Technology class from homeWe are excited that soon we will be able to teach classes and offer support groups once again in our teaching center in Midtown Sacramento – and we are equally excited to have widened our scope of services so that many other people living with blindness and low vision in Northern California can continue to access our remote services. These individuals have been experiencing a new sense of freedom and independence – something we cherish and want to continue. 

In preparation for reopening – welcoming our staff back in mid-July and clients and volunteers back later this summer – Society for the Blind has made some changes so we can safely enjoy each other’s company again. We installed a new air purification system in our building. Hand sanitizers, masks and other PPE are available to our staff and clients to provide for a safe learning environment. Because Society for the Blind is considered a health center, masks are required in our building. 

We know that not everyone will be ready to come to Society for in-person services. As we celebrate our country’s independence this month, we also celebrate that we will continue to help our clients achieve the full measure of independence they seek to achieve, whether someone comes to our training center or receives remote services.