Lighthouse of Manasota



Early Intervention

Young children with visual impairments face special challenges as they develop and grow and no parent is prepared for a baby who is blind or has vision loss. The Early Intervention/Blind Babies Program provides services for infants and toddlers with visual loss, from birth through the age of five.

Services are provided in the home or pre-school by certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI). Teachers use play to assess a child’s functional vision and to help the child explore the environment by making use of other senses. Teachers also provide parents with information and strategies to encourage the parents to interact with their infant. This collaborative parent-teacher training further promotes the child’s skill development, self-sufficiency, and social development and facilitates the child’s eventual transition to pre-school and kindergarten.

Lighthouse of Manasota programs are funded by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Division of Blind Services, The manatee Board of County Commissioners, The Sarasota School Board, private contributions, bequests and fundraising activities.

Independent Living

Adaptive methods and techniques become powerful tools in performing everyday tasks. Clients learn the "how to" in going about their daily activities such as, preparing meals, shopping, managing money, marking appliances, writing checks, etc.

Use of Functional Vision

Making the most of remaining vision with adaptive low vision aids, proper lighting, and techniques for recognizing object shapes and colors. With these skills, clients learn new ways to read, write and maintain safe travel in their own surroundings.

Written Communication

Learn how alternative methods of reading and writing such as large print, writing guides and Braille can aid in identifying written material.

Cooking Classes

Specific safety techniques with kitchen aids, assure confidence in preparing meals.

Daily Living Skill Classes Include:

Orientation and Mobility

Orientation and Mobility training is provided in the home and in the community. Learning to travel safely, efficiently and independently within familiar and unfamiliar environments is the goal of O&M training. Activities are chosen after evaluation and discussion with the client and are part of an individualized plan of services. Participants can learn:

Assistive Technology Training

Assistive Technology training enables individuals who are blind or visually impaired to use computer technology in the home, school and workplace. We provide comprehensive training and support in computers, mobile computing, and related technologies. This training and access to specialized technology increases opportunity for advancement in the workplace, increased personal independence, and increased technological literacy.

We understand that each person has different needs, learns at a different pace and has personalized objectives to meet those needs. With this in mind, our classes are scheduled on an individual basis. Each person decides what they want to learn and instruction is based on the pace set by the individual.

Individuals who complete access technology learn to effectively perform important daily living tasks such as paying bills, shopping, maintaining bank accounts, surfing the internet and communicating with friends and family. The skills learned from this specialized training can also help individuals with sight impairment or blindness maintain a competitive edge in today’s job market.

New iDevice training is also available through The Lighthouse Assistive Technology classes. There are applications available for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad that offer extraordinary accessibility for persons with visual impairments and blindness. Tasks such as identifying currency denominations, color, objects and much more are available at your fingertips and instruction on how to use these applications are now taught through Access Technology courses.

It has been said that technology has made the world smaller, but for the blind or those with poor vision, iDevices are opening up a whole new world. This AppList highlights some of the most innovative and entertaining apps available to the vision impaired.

Transition for Teenage Students

The Transition Program is a year-round program that helps prepare eligible students (ages 14-22) for their transition from high school to college, trade school, or the workplace. Students learn important life skills and practical job readiness skills such as how to complete written applications, interview for a job, and create a resume. Students meet weekly during the school year and participate in monthly field trips. They also have the opportunity to attend summer camp, which gives them a chance to take part in a paid work experience.

Lighthouse of Manasota programs are funded by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Division of Blind Services, The manatee Board of County Commissioners, The Sarasota School Board, private contributions, bequests and fundraising activities.

Lighthouse of Manasota | 7318 N Tamiami Trail | Sarasota, FL 34243 | (941) 359-1404