For those who watched the family television show, Little House on the Prairie in 1978, the episode of 15 year old Mary Ingalls losing her eyesight and having to attend a school for the blind is a hard one to forget. Although Mary Ingalls was able to work through her doubt and discouragement to eventually become a teacher at the blind school, today many people who are blind or impairment with other disabilities have a difficult time finding employment.
The Lighthouse for the Blind is the largest employer of people who are blind on the entire west coast and the largest employer of people who are deafblind in the country. Empowering a blind individual towards independence is simple when you donate a car to the blind through Donate-a-Car.
Headquartered in Seattle, the Lighthouse employs over 470 people, more than half who are blind giving them an avenue to a broad range of career opportunities and comprehensive training programs. They make office products, aerospace parts and an array of other machine products for large companies. They have over 50 years of experience in precision machining and have several facilities across the country.
In addition, the Lighthouse also provides a vast range of services and programs for blind employees as follows:
Braille Literacy Program
Comprehensive braille training and instruction is offered for novice as well as advanced braille users. The Lighthouse makes this program available to all their employees.
This program helps provide the needed information, equipment, human supports, training and technology to meet the needs of their employees while at work.
This nationally renowned program combines education, technology training center, community classes and a retreat for a very comprehensive support system.
To help meet the needs of employees, full-time American Sign Language interpreters who are skilled in working with DeafBlind individuals are employed at the Lighthouse
Computer Training Program
Employees at the Lighthouse can receive training in assistive technology skills, computer programs, word processing programs, email systems and more.
Ethel L. Dupar’s Fragrant Garden
This beautiful garden is located in back of the Seattle’s Lighthouse and was built specifically for those who are blind. It contains over 60 various fragrant plants that stimulate both the sense of touch and smell.
Supported Employment Program
This program gives employees an assigned job-coach who supplies guidance, instruction and support to help them succeed in their job positions.
Orientation and Mobility
Helping employees learn the skills to travel safely and independently is the goal of this program. Individuals learn how to use bus and street route planning, white cane travel and supplemental guide dog training.
So not only does the Lighthouse for the Blind provide quality manufacturing for major companies, they enrich the lives of those who are blind by giving them employment and support to be independent. These are things that most of us take for granted.
Please consider supporting The Lighthouse for the Blind with your blind car donation through our easy online form or by giving us a call at 1-800-237-5714. You will receive free towing of your vehicle and may qualify for a deduction on your taxes.