sharju1's blog http://lighthousecfl.org/ en Lighthouse Partners with P&G to Deliver COVID-19 Relief Kits to Central Floridians http://lighthousecfl.org/node/184 <span>Lighthouse Partners with P&amp;G to Deliver COVID-19 Relief Kits to Central Floridians</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Fri, 07/10/2020 - 15:08</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Lighthouse Partners with P&amp;G to Deliver COVID-19 Relief Kits to Central Floridians</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-07/PG6.jpg?itok=lQN1QI0r" width="650" height="488" alt="Image of three Lighthouse Works fulfillment specialists wearing facemasks and assembling care packages." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p><img alt="Image of P&amp;G branded tote bags containing home cleaning and personal care products." src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/PG4.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />This week consumer goods brand, <a href="https://us.pg.com/" target="_blank">Procter &amp; Gamble (P&amp;G)</a>, donated over 2000 home cleaning and personal care products to Americans who live with vision loss and who have been constrained by the impact of the pandemic.</p> <p>I am so proud to announce that fulfillment specialists at <a href="https://www.LighthouseWorks.org" target="_blank">Lighthouse Works</a> volunteered their time and labor to assemble over 300 of these emergency relief care packages for distribution locally.</p> <p><a href="https://www.LighthouseWorks.org" target="_blank">This public-private initiative was coordinated at the national level by the </a><a href="https://www.acb.org/" target="_blank">American Council of the Blind (ACB)</a> and other advocacy groups including those associated with the <a href="https://www.nib.org/" target="_blank">National Industries for the Blind (NIB)</a>.</p> <p>WATCH short 'Thank-You' video to partners involved:</p> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YFOzpsKL9k8?blm_aid=0" target="_blank"><img alt="screenshot of Kyle Johnson from the video saying a thank you message to Procter &amp; Gamble" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/kyle-ty-pg.JPG" /></a></center> <p>According to the ACB's press release on the initiative:</p> <p><strong>"The partnership grew out of a deeper understanding in how the increased demand for home goods and a breakdown in the supply chain significantly impacted individuals who relied on delivery services and public transit to secure their most basic needs.</strong></p> <p><strong>"Social distancing guidelines have further constrained the independence of people who are blind from moving safely and freely in the community."</strong></p> <p>The relief packages include items like: laundry detergent, household cleaners, body wash, shampoo and a protective mask.</p> <p><img alt="Image of two Lighthouse Works fulfillment specialists wearing facemasks and assembling care packages" src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/PG3.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />"Thank you to Lighthouse Works for helping our blind and visually impaired community in Central Florida receive these necessary supplies”, said Dan Spoone, president, American Council of the Blind (ACB) Orlando chapter and Lighthouse Central Florida board member.</p> <p>“The collaboration between corporate partners and Lighthouse Works will really help make a difference for our friends and neighbors.”</p> <p><strong>If you live in the Central Florida region and are interested in receiving one of these relief packages, please contact Sheila Young at: </strong><a href="mailto:sheilayoung125@att.net">sheilayoung125@att.net</a></p> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Your support of vision rehabilitation services at Lighthouse Central Florida--especially during times of crisis and uncertainty--ensures that uninterrupted services and training continues for Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired babies, children, teens, adults and seniors.</a></p> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">See what YOU can make possible with your donation to Lighthouse Central Florida!</a></p> <p>Please take good care of yourselves and your families.</p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Fri, 10 Jul 2020 19:08:25 +0000 sharju1 184 at http://lighthousecfl.org http://lighthousecfl.org/node/184#comments Meet Jessenia: Celebrating Dad Through Music! http://lighthousecfl.org/node/183 <span>Meet Jessenia: Celebrating Dad Through Music! </span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/19/2020 - 15:39</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Meet Jessenia: Celebrating Dad Through Music!</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-06/Jessenia1.png?itok=btFzlIme" width="488" height="650" alt="an image of Jessenia and her father sitting at a dinner table" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p>With Father's Day observed this weekend, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to 17 year-old Jessenia Camacho. She's got her sights set on becoming a singer and recording artist.</p> <p>Jessenia and her dad, Robert, are extremely close. She calls him her role model.</p> <p>Jessenia has an eye condition that makes it difficult for her to distinguish between some colors and creates an acute sensitivity to bright light and glare. She first came to Lighthouse Central Florida at age 14 and enrolled in the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gMOpizAWuY&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Transition for Teens program</a>.</p> <p><img alt="Lighthouse Transition student, Jessenia seen here sitting on the hood of a car." src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/Jessenia2resize.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />Lighthouse’s Transition program provides students like Jessenia with the skills and experiences needed to facilitate a successful transition from high school to post-secondary activities, such as college, vocational school and employment.</p> <p>Transition services promote personal and professional advancement and help teens, like Jessenia, compete with their sighted peers and achieve future self-sufficiency.</p> <p>Jessenia admits that accepting her vision loss was a difficult adjustment, not only for her but also for her father.</p> <p>"When I was first diagnosed, my dad wasn't really comfortable with the fact that I was gradually losing my vision. I think he was kind of embarrassed because he didn't know what to do or how to support me," recalls Jessenia.</p> <p><img alt="a photo of Lighthouse Transition student, Jessenia, with her father, Robert, in the kitchen" src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/Jessenia-3-repos.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />"With the help of Lighthouse and my own self advocacy, my dad slowly got used to the fact that I had to use my cane in public. He learned to adapt--like me--and is now very encouraging and supportive through this journey. He now sees my cane as a tool for independence."</p> <p>Earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Lighthouse to temporarily move its program services to a virtual, online setting. Jessenia and her fellow Transition students have been utilizing their access technology training to remain engaged with weekly activities.</p> <p>One recent activity was, Transition’s Got Talent! — a virtual talent show meant to showcase the many gifts of our students.</p> <p>Jessenia sang a rendition of the song, First Man, by pop artist, Camila Cabello, and dedicated it to her dad.</p> <p>"It's a song about growing up and becoming independent--but always knowing that your dad will always be there for you--no matter what!"</p> <p>Happy Father's Day!</p> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible" target="_blank">See what YOU can make possible with your donation to Lighthouse Central Florida!</a></p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:39:42 +0000 sharju1 183 at http://lighthousecfl.org Bank of America's Generous Gift to Support Lighthouse Works! http://lighthousecfl.org/node/182 <span>Bank of America&#039;s Generous Gift to Support Lighthouse Works!</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/10/2020 - 12:58</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Bank of America's Generous Gift to Support Lighthouse Works!</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-06/boa-logo.jpg?itok=FX39MZNA" width="650" height="65" alt="Bank of America logo" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p>I'm so honored to announce that Lighthouse has recently been awarded a gift in the amount of $20,000 from the <a href="https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/global-impact/charitable-foundation-funding.html?blm_aid=0&amp;blm_aid=0#fbid=e_ihGo3M6YD" target="_blank">Bank of America Charitable Foundation</a>.</p> <p>The grant award will support employment training and procurement activities at Lighthouse's social enterprise nonprofit, <a href="http://www.LighthouseWorks.org">Lighthouse Works</a>.</p> <p>These funds are especially timely given the ongoing financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will allow us to hire more agents--both visually impaired and sighted, to better respond to the needs of Floridians who continue to be negatively impacted by such shocks as sustained unemployment.</p> <p>I want to take a moment to share a couple of quotes from the press release that was issued today announcing this incredibly generous gift:</p> <p><img alt="Bank of America logo" src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/bofa_lo1_cmyk_h.jpg" /></p> <center> <p><strong>“With much of our community experiencing significant financial disruptions due to unemployment, we are committed to supporting Lighthouse Central Florida in their efforts to provide workforce training,” said Steve Alch, Orlando Market President for Bank of America.</strong></p> <p><strong>“The resources Lighthouse Central Florida offer are even more vital today as they lead an integral part of the recovery process.”</strong></p> <img alt="Lighthouse Central Florida and Lighthouse Works combined logo" src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/LCF-LW-Combo-01.png" /><p><strong>“Bank of America’s commitment to job creation and workforce development for Central Floridians and residents across the state of Florida is on full display here,” said Kyle Johnson, president and CEO of Lighthouse Central Florida and Lighthouse Works.</strong></p> <p><strong>“At a time of such volatility and economic uncertainty, it’s incredibly reassuring to have the stability of a partner who shares your values and supports your mission.”</strong></p> </center> <p>To read the full press release please go <a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/themes/monoset-master/files/Press/06-01-2020-BankofAmericaGrant.pdf">here</a>.</p> <p>I also recorded a short 'Thank You' video to express gratitude on behalf of Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired who are made grateful by this gift.</p> <p>Take a moment to watch below:</p> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avGxbEnFkFg&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR ON IMAGE BELOW TO WATCH VIDEO</a></center> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avGxbEnFkFg&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank"><img alt="Screen shot Kyle Johnson saying a thank you message to Bank of America" src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bloomerang-public-cdn/lighthousecentralflorida/KJ-BofA-pic-2020.png" /></a></center> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Your support of vision rehabilitation services at Lighthouse Central Florida--especially during times of crisis and uncertainty--ensures that uninterrupted services and training continues for Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired babies, children, teens, adults and seniors.</a></p> <p>Please take good care of yourselves and your families.</p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Wed, 10 Jun 2020 16:58:43 +0000 sharju1 182 at http://lighthousecfl.org We Value Diversity & Inclusion...Always! http://lighthousecfl.org/node/181 <span>We Value Diversity &amp; Inclusion...Always!</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/04/2020 - 15:19</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">We Value Diversity &amp; Inclusion...Always!</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-06/kyle-quote.jpg?itok=ABVTkPHP" width="650" height="340" alt="A graphic quote pulled from the statement below, with a stylized image of Lady Justice, blindfolded, holding scales and a sword" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p>Lighthouse’s mission and the great team charged with achieving it represents every cross-section of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.</p> <p>We lead this important work for our community and, in doing so, we do not merely tolerate our differences – we embrace, celebrate, and harness them.</p> <p>At Lighthouse, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is what make us exceptional and we honor and defend this principle in service to our community.</p> <p>Should you identify with the many frustrations we’re seeing throughout the streets of America, know you are safe at Lighthouse. Know you have an ally in Lighthouse.</p> <p>You can be certain there is no space for prejudice or discrimination here, and there is not and never will be a home for bigotry, racism, and hate here. WE are Lighthouse!</p> <p>There are a number of great resources out there to help you get involved in order to affect real change. One of them is the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College. Take a moment to check them out.</p> <p>Please take good care of yourselves and your families.</p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Thu, 04 Jun 2020 19:19:13 +0000 sharju1 181 at http://lighthousecfl.org Lighthouse Featured on Let's Get Up To Business PODCAST with Jordan Law http://lighthousecfl.org/node/180 <span>Lighthouse Featured on Let&#039;s Get Up To Business PODCAST with Jordan Law</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/28/2020 - 13:55</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Lighthouse Featured on Let's Get Up To Business PODCAST with Jordan Law</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-05/JordanKY-yt.jpg?itok=1QO4vQO0" width="650" height="334" alt="Jordan Ostroff from Jordan Law on a video conference call with Kyle Johnson" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p>In case you missed it, I wanted to share with you a video of a podcast I recently participated in titled, How to Boost Your Non-Profit's Reach with Social Enterprise. The Let's Get Up to Business podcast is hosted by Jordan Ostroff of Jordan Law, a local law firm specializing in business and administrative law.</p> <p>My conversation with Jordan centered on utilizing a social enterprise model, like the one we've implemented at Lighthouse Works, to empower and affect change. We also covered a range of issues impacting the region's community of blind and visually impaired people of all ages.</p> <p>Take a moment to listen below.</p> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gv-mSc47m4&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR ON IMAGE BELOW TO LISTEN TO VIDEO PODCAST</a></center> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gv-mSc47m4&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank"><img alt="Screen shot of Jordan Ostroff from Jordan Law with Kyle Johnson chatting via a video conference call" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/JordanKY-yt.jpg" /></a></center> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Your support of vision rehabilitation services at Lighthouse Central Florida--especially during times of crisis and uncertainty--ensures that uninterrupted services and training continues for Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired babies, children, teens, adults and seniors.</a></p> <p>Please take good care of yourselves and your families.</p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Thu, 28 May 2020 17:55:34 +0000 sharju1 180 at http://lighthousecfl.org Lighthouse Ambassadors Advocate To Save Services in State Budget http://lighthousecfl.org/node/179 <span>Lighthouse Ambassadors Advocate To Save Services in State Budget</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:39</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Lighthouse Ambassadors Advocate To Save Services in State Budget</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-05/Cathy-Advocacy.jpg?itok=8ST7z0T-" width="480" height="360" alt="Image of Cathy matthews speaking to the camera" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p>Thank YOU for supporting Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired! If you haven't yet taken action to let Governor DeSantis know that blind services are essential and should remain fully funded in the state budget, it's not too late.</p> <p><strong>Please consider calling Governor DeSantis' office at the state capitol at (850) 717-9337 and urge him to retain full funding for: a) <a href="http://dbs.myflorida.com/Babies/?blm_aid=0&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Blind Babies Program</a>; b) <a href="http://dbs.myflorida.com/Children/?blm_aid=0&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Blind Children's Program</a> and c) <a href="http://dbs.myflorida.com/ILAB/il-program-manual.html?blm_aid=0&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Older Blind Services Program</a>.</strong></p> <p>I'm happy to include below a couple of short advocacy videos shared by two of my colleagues: Sophia McCall, an advocate and customer care pro at <a href="https://lighthouseworks.org/" target="_blank">Lighthouse Works'</a> contact center, and Cathy Matthews, a parent advocate and member of our board of directors.</p> <p>In case you missed it, Sophia was recently featured on a <a href="https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/coronavirus/2020/05/06/visually-impaired-workers-help-those-file-unemployment-claims" target="_blank">Spectrum News 13</a> segment about her efforts to navigate the pandemic while also helping Floridians file for unemployment insurance.</p> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNb1MaBg6mI&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR BELOW IMAGE TO WATCH SOPHIA'S ADVOCACY VIDEO</a></center> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNb1MaBg6mI&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank"><img alt="Image of Sophia speaking to the camera, click to watch her video" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Sophia-Advocacy.jpg" /></a></center> <p>Next, meet Cathy. She chairs the public policy committee on our board. Her son Thomas, now in college, received services at Lighthouse as a teen.</p> <p>Cathy and I recently appeared on <a href="https://www.wmfe.org/central-florida-disability-advocates-navigate-the-pandemic/153773?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">WMFE's 90.7 FM Intersection Show for a segment titled: Central Florida Disability Advocates Navigate The Pandemic</a>. We were also joined by FAMU Law graduate and advocate, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ6OXK-qvP4&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Roderick Thomas</a> as well as Brittany Pilcher from the Center for Independent Living Orlando.</p> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofi0y7LRo5g" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR BELOW IMAGE TO WATCH CATHY'S ADVOCACY VIDEO</a></center> <center><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofi0y7LRo5g" target="_blank"><img alt="Image of Cathy speaking to the camera, click to watch her video" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Cathy-Advocacy.jpg" /></a></center> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Your support of vision rehabilitation services at Lighthouse Central Florida--especially during times of crisis and uncertainty--ensures that uninterrupted services and training continues for Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired babies, children, teens, adults and seniors.</a></p> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible?blm_aid=0" target="_blank">See what YOU can make possible with your donation to Lighthouse Central Florida!</a></p> <p>Please take good care of yourselves and your families.</p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Wed, 20 May 2020 15:39:29 +0000 sharju1 179 at http://lighthousecfl.org WMFE 90.7FM: Central Florida Disability Advocates Navigate The Pandemic http://lighthousecfl.org/node/178 <span>WMFE 90.7FM: Central Florida Disability Advocates Navigate The Pandemic</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/18/2020 - 13:54</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">WMFE 90.7FM: Central Florida Disability Advocates Navigate The Pandemic</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-05/WMFE-logo.jpg?itok=a1KSQoMv" width="225" height="225" alt="Logo for WMFE 90.7" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Below please find the web story from WMFE’s Intersection show about how the disabled are navigating the challenges of the pandemic.</p> <p>The segment, moderated by Matthew Peddie, features Kyle Johnson, Roderick Thomas, from LW’s 4Sight360; board member/parent advocate, Cathy Matthews, and Brittany Pilcher, Development Director for the Center for Independent Living in Central Florida.</p> <p>You can listen to the segment here: <a href="https://bit.ly/2AwOmZD" target="_blank">https://bit.ly/2AwOmZD</a></p> <center> <h2>Central Florida Disability Advocates Navigate The Pandemic Intersection w/Matthew Peddie | 90.7 WMFE</h2> <img alt="Image of Roderick Thomas and Kyle Johnson sitting down and conversing" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Rod-Kyle.jpg" /></center> <p>Coping with the coronavirus pandemic, with home schooling, isolation and health concerns, is stressful for the abled- but what kind of resources are out there for the disabled in this crisis?</p> <p>A group of Orlando area disability advocates join Intersection for a conversation about how the disabled are navigating the challenges of the pandemic.</p> <p>Kyle Johnson is the CEO of Lighthouse of Central Florida; Roderick Thomas is working at Lighthouse’s call center; Cathy Matthews, who’s son is visually impaired, is an advocate for transportation for the disabled; and Brittany Pilcher is the Development Director for the Center for Independent Living in Central Florida.</p> <p>Lighthouse, a non profit which offers rehabilitation, training and employment for the visually impaired, had a contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity. Johnson says the call center was scaling back its work for the DEO because of budget cuts and the state’s low unemployment numbers. Then the pandemic hit.</p> <p>“We stopped that scale down immediately, and then we ramped up, we’re in the midst of ramping up to 50 [Full Time Equivalent staff] from 15. So that’s roughly 65 people probably.”</p> <p>Johnson says Lighthouse also supplies combat medical kits to the US armed forces, “and so we have a lot of relationships in the manufacturing and distributing of medical items, so we were able to leverage those relationships to gain access to several PPE items that we immediately began selling to local hospitals into the state of Florida.”</p> <p>He says the non-profit’s approach has been “two pronged”, making sure it can weather the crisis financially and help meet a need for the unemployed and front line medical staff.</p> <p>Roderick Thomas, who recently graduated from law school, says working in the call center has given him “a bigger heart to serve my community.”</p> <p>“So just being a listening ear to help those individuals in any shape, form or fashion, I’m more than willing,” says Thomas.</p> <p>He says frustrations are running high and the calls can be emotionally challenging. “Listen, if they’re upset now, you know, hopefully at the end of the call, they won’t be crying or anything of that nature. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help them out.”</p> <p>While regular service for Lynx and SunRail resumed this week, Cathy Matthews says the pandemic has been challenging for those members of the disabled community who rely on public transportation.</p> <p>“If the restaurant you go to eat every night for dinner is now closed because of Coronavirus, you have to figure out something else to do about meals. If you go to the grocery store and they happen to be out of all the things that you particularly need, then you don’t really have the option of just getting in your car and driving around until you find what you need, or going to that places far away that might have that asset,” says Matthews.</p> <p>She says the pause in the County’s plan to put a one cent tax for transportation on the ballot has also been a blow for advocates of mass transit and paratransit.</p> <p>Brittany Pilcher says CIL has seen an uptick in demand for in-home safety modifications like ramps and rails, “because people are wanting to feel safe in their home and we want them to be safe in their home.”</p> <p>“We do not want them to have any type of fall: we want to prevent them from, you know, having to go to the hospital [and overloading] our hospital system…being in the line of potentially getting the virus.”</p> <p>Pilcher says the center has not been able to use its volunteers to check on clients during the pandemic.</p> <p>“We’re proactively calling our seniors and those individuals with disabilities that we serve and checking in on them: ‘How are you doing? And is there anything that we can do right now in this moment that can make you feel safe make you feel less isolated and more independent?'” Kyle Johnson says on the other side of the pandemic, Lighthouse and other non-profits that serve the disabled are expecting philanthropy to take a hit.</p> <p>“We’ve seen a bit of this after 911. We’ve seen a bit of this through the recession and ’08 in the years around that. And so I think that it’s going to take a lot of careful examination and monitoring.”</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Mon, 18 May 2020 17:54:56 +0000 sharju1 178 at http://lighthousecfl.org Blind Services Essential in State Budget! http://lighthousecfl.org/node/177 <span>Blind Services Essential in State Budget!</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/13/2020 - 15:14</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Blind Services Essential in State Budget!</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-05/Florida-Capitol-generic.jpg?itok=S3Y-wTVf" width="650" height="366" alt="An image of the Florida state capitol building in Tallahassee" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p><img alt="state seal of Florida" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Seal_of_Florida.svg.png" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />Just a quick note to update you on some of our advocacy efforts aimed at retaining crucial state funding for programs that serve Florida's blind and visually impaired--here's how YOU can help!</p> <p>According to recent news reports, the COVID-19 crisis has led Governor Ron DeSantis to consider vetoing portions of the state budget which have already been approved by the full legislature.</p> <p>While we fully understand that fall-out from the novel coronavirus necessitates a reshuffling of state funding priorities, we strongly believe that the education and employment programs designed to empower individuals who are blind and visually impaired are essential services.</p> <p>Please consider calling Governor DeSantis' office at the state capitol at (850) 717-9337 and urge him to retain full funding for: a) Blind Babies Program; b) Blind Children's Program and c) Older Blind Services Program.</p> <p>Self-sufficient people of all ages who are blind or low vision make Florida stronger!</p> <p>Several of our stakeholders, who have benefitted from these services, recorded selfie-videos urging the governor to retain full funding. I'm sharing two of these videos below.</p> <center> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/dEljW-w1BSQ" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR VIDEO BELOW TO WATCH SHORT VIDEO FROM MIKAYLA RYDER WHO ATTENDED OUR CHILDREN'S PROGRAM</a><br /><a href="https://youtu.be/dEljW-w1BSQ" target="_blank"><img alt="image of mikayla on her couch talking to the camera" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/mikayla-sb-vid.jpg" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/dEljW-w1BSQ" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR VIDEO BELOW TO WATCH SHORT VIDEO FROM SARAH NADDEO - WHOSE SON, AUSTIN, ATTENDS OUR EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM</a><br /><a href="https://youtu.be/-LK7haSgDUg" target="_blank"><img alt="image of sarah and austin on their couch talking to the camera" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/sarah-austin-sb-vid.jpg" /></a></p> </center> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible">Your support of vision rehabilitation services at Lighthouse Central Florida - especially during times of crisis and uncertainty--ensures that uninterrupted services and training continues for Central Florida's community of blind and visually impaired babies, children, teens, adults and seniors.</a></p> <p>Please take good care of yourselves and your families.</p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Wed, 13 May 2020 19:14:50 +0000 sharju1 177 at http://lighthousecfl.org Visually Impaired Workers Help Unemployed File Claims http://lighthousecfl.org/node/176 <span>Visually Impaired Workers Help Unemployed File Claims</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/11/2020 - 15:06</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">Visually Impaired Workers Help Unemployed File Claims</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-05/Spectrum-News-13_logo.jpg?itok=J0ZXbMyJ" width="300" height="300" alt="Spectrum News Channel 13 logo" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — As some people in Central Florida wait for their unemployment claims to be processed, the huge number of calls to the state agency is overflowing into a non-profit in Orlando.</p> <p>Those answering the phone are helping people during their toughest days, as the call takers deal with life struggles of their own.</p> <p>If anyone ever needs to file for unemployment, Sophia McCall might answer the call. She's answered a lot of them lately. "It's been stressful, but knowing that I'm helping people in the state of Florida, at least giving a little bit of hope, it feels good at the end of the day," McCall said.</p> <center><a href="https://bit.ly/Spectrum13" target="_blank">CLICK HERE OR BELOW IMAGE TO WATCH THE STORY</a></center> <center><a href="https://bit.ly/Spectrum13" target="_blank"><img alt="Image of Sophia in the call center at her computer wearing a protective mask - click to watch the news story on Spectrum's site" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Sophia-CallCenter.png" /></a></center> <p>When it's the end of her day, chances are she's not just sitting around.</p> <p>"I like to go places, and going from having sight to being blind was like a big disruption in my life," McCall added. McCall has been blind since 2016 and a lot of her co-workers are visually impaired, or blind as well.</p> <p>Lighthouse Works started almost a decade ago to give people who are blind or visually impaired a competitive job opportunity. It has the technology allowing the representatives to process claims for the Department of Economic Opportunity.</p> <p>"Because I'm completely blind, I use a program called JAWS," McCall said. "It's a screen reader, so it reads everything on my screen. It reads it to me and then everything I type it reads it back to me."</p> <p>Kyle Johnson, president and CEO of Lighthouse Works, says the representatives have two voices in their ears. "Many times they have a customer in their left ear, and they have their computer screen reader in their right ear," Johnson said.</p> <p>Lighthouse Works has had the contract with the DEO for three years, and while the call volume here increased dramatically, they were ready.</p> <p>"We, at Lighthouse Works, were monitoring the surge in unemployment and could really understand that that call volume was going to explode," Johnson added.</p> <p>McCall started at Lighthouse Works three years ago and she likes her job.</p> <p>"It makes me realize that I'm blessed in both ways. Blessed to have a job, and then blessed to be able to help people who don't," she said.</p> <p>Johnson said they need to hire more people, some blind or visually impaired and some sighted people.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Mon, 11 May 2020 19:06:08 +0000 sharju1 176 at http://lighthousecfl.org #GivingTuesdayNow | Meet Tien: Big Dreams Fueled By Independence! http://lighthousecfl.org/node/175 <span>#GivingTuesdayNow | Meet Tien: Big Dreams Fueled By Independence!</span> <div><div class="lantern-top"> <div class="career-cover"><h class="lantern-title">THE LANTERN</h></div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sharju1</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/05/2020 - 11:16</span> <div class="lantern-art-title">#GivingTuesdayNow | Meet Tien: Big Dreams Fueled By Independence!</div> <div class="lantern-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_650x650/public/2020-05/giving-tues-NOW.png?itok=lvXTffx5" width="643" height="650" alt="Giving Tuesday Now logo" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="lantern-content"><p>Dear Friends,</p> <p>Today is #GivingTuesdayNow--a global day of giving and unity organized to support nonprofits and their emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.</p> <p>Please take a moment to review what our response has been to the pandemic: <a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/Lantern" target="_blank">READ HERE</a>.</p> <p><strong>Even in a healthy world, blindness can cause isolation, so now more than ever there is a big need to connect with our population.</strong></p> <p>Lighthouse's professional programmatic staff continue to deliver services via digital remote platforms to blind and visually impaired infants, children, teens and adults.</p> <p><img alt="a headshot of Lighthouse Transition student Tien" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Tien3.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />One of those teens is Tien. He's is an athletic, 17 year-old high school junior who is enrolled in our <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gMOpizAWuY&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;blm_aid=0" target="_blank">Transition for Teens program</a>, and who has aspirations to play professional football, or perhaps become an Olympic sprinter.</p> <p>Tien was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve. This condition causes his eyes to move involuntarily and limits a full range of vision.</p> <p> </p> <p>The fact that Tien has an eye condition that limits his vision hasn't dampened his dreams however. His dad, with whom he trains, always reminds him, 'Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.'</p> <p><img alt="Tien sitting on an airplane with his family" src="/themes/monoset-master/images/Tien4.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px;" />"I am coping with quarantine life. I sprint and work out daily to keep my speed and endurance where it needs to be. I do miss hanging out with my friends, however we speak and play online games."</p> <p>"It is great know that Lighthouse provides all these virtual options to keep us connected--they are still there for us!"</p> <p>Immediate needs include technology to support remote efforts, and incentives like Amazon/Itunes gift cards to incentivize teens, like Tien, who are participating in our online challenges/games led by our highly-qualified Vision Rehabilitation Instructors.</p> <p>Your support of vision rehabilitation services at Lighthouse Central Florida helps us provide Transition services to teens which focus on proven activities meant to fully unlock their potential.</p> <p><a href="https://lighthousecfl.org/WeSeeWhatsPossible" target="_blank">See what YOU can make possible with your donation to Lighthouse Central Florida!</a></p> <p>Thank YOU!</p> <p><img alt="A headshot of Kyle Johnson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5615a860-732f-4559-8046-1b1996b33bc8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/kyle-headshot.jpg" width="100" /> <br /> Kyle Johnson<br /> President &amp; CEO<br /> Lighthouse Central Florida</p> </div> <div class="back-to-lantern"><a href="/Lantern">BACK TO THE LANTERN</a></div> Tue, 05 May 2020 15:16:49 +0000 sharju1 175 at http://lighthousecfl.org