I want to take a moment to introduce you to Edgar. He is a 56 year old client and former utility worker who first came to Lighthouse Central Florida in early 2019.
Edgar began losing his vision four years ago as a result of age-related macular degeneration--a leading cause of vision loss for people age 50 and older.
"I lost my job when my eyesight started to go, I could no longer drive the company vehicle," Edgar remembers.
"Today I am totally blind in my right eye and have difficulty seeing out of my left. Before Lighthouse it was hard for me to deal with my loss of vision. I could not understand what was really happening to me."
A family member told Edgar about the vision rehabilitation services available at Lighthouse Central Florida. He quickly enrolled in the Independent Living Skills class where he learned key techniques needed in everyday life to help ease the adjustment to his vision loss and maintain his independence.
Edgar also took an orientation and mobility class where he worked with certified instructors and learned how to use a white cane. Having these mobility skills help clients like Edgar to navigate safely in space--whether indoors or within their communities.
"One of the best parts of Lighthouse are the instructors--they make you feel welcomed and there's a real family atmosphere. They teach you not to feel sorry for yourself."
Edgar was on track to take access technology (AT) classes at Lighthouse when the coronavirus pandemic hit Central Florida. In response to the virus, Lighthouse suspended all in-person services. Staff however, are still delivering our critical vision rehabilitation services through various digital platforms to infants, children, teens and adults.
"I do miss going in to Lighthouse. Since the coronavirus, I've just been at home by myself. Quarantine sometimes feels like solitary confinement."
"I know there are options for getting services online. Even though I don't have a computer at home right now, Lighthouse staff does call to check-in with me and I'm so grateful for that!"
"I would tell anybody who's losing vision and thinking about calling Lighthouse not to waste any more time--just do it!"
"You will have a great time learning how to cope with the vision that you've lost and will feel empowered. The kind of independence you can get out of it is priceless."
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.
See what YOU can make possible with your donation to Lighthouse Central Florida!
Please take good care of yourselves and your families.
President & CEO
Lighthouse Central Florida