Where are you located?
Our main office address is 7318 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, Florida, conveniently located on North Tamiami Trail (US 41), just north of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Satellite classes are also held in Venice, Port Charlotte and Sebring.
What will I learn in an Orientation & Mobility training?
Trainings will vary from individual, home instruction to community based travel. Trainings are tailored to meet the client’s goals and abilities. Awareness of in both the home and unfamiliar places.
What will I learn in a class?
Classes provide education in proven techniques that improve daily living. Classes include lectures, hands-on learning activities and guest speakers who share information about local services and resources. You will learn about tactile tools, digital devices such as talking books, and a host of other topics.
What is Vision Rehabilitation?
“Vision Rehabilitation” is a process where people experiencing vision loss learn new ways to approach tasks and daily living.
What is the difference between blindness and low vision?
Blindness is defined as the state of being sightless. A blind individual is unable to see. In a strict sense the word blindness denotes the condition of total blackness of vision with the inability of a person to distinguish darkness from bright light in either eye. The terms blind and blindness have been modified in our society to include a wide range of visual impairment. Blindness is frequently used today to describe severe visual decline in one or both eyes with maintenance of some residual vision.
Vision impairment, or Low Vision, means that even with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery, you don’t see well. Vision impairment can range from mild to severe. Worldwide, between 300 million and 400 million people are visually impaired due to various causes. Of this group, approximately 50 million people are totally blind. Approximately 80% of blindness occurs in people over 50 years old.
Is transportation to classes provided?
Transportation arrangements are provided by the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) and Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) systems, by family, friends, or Lighthouse volunteer drivers.
Is there a cost to attend Lighthouse activities?
No. The Lighthouse does not charge clients or their families for services nor does it bill any insurance providers.
Do you speak Spanish?
Yes. Interviews for services can be held in Spanish. Please call to schedule an appointment.
Blindness and Low Vision statistics
- At least 10 million people are blind in the US today, according to American Foundation for the Blind.
- Every seven minutes, someone in the United States loses their vision — In Florida, the incidence is 10 per 1000 according to the National Eye Institute, or twice the national rate.
- Much of the higher prevalence of blindness and visual impairment among Floridians is attributable to the large and growing elderly population in our state. A recent study performed by Duke University tells us that 50 percent of elders have one of three eye conditions which can lead to blindness: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.
- Increased survival rates for prematurely born infants also are having an impact. A recent study indicates that, among babies surviving premature births (22-25 weeks gestation), 46 percent had severe or moderate disabilities including vision loss.
- Due to rapid population growth in particular among seniors, vision loss in Florida can be expected to far outpace the national average over the next two decades.
- Blind and visually impaired elders who do not have access to professional Vision Rehabilitation services face an increased risk of being forced into Assisted Living Programs (loss of independence); Emergency Room visits due to falls; and loss of economic productivity for both the individual and their families.
- The unemployment rate among working aged blind people in the U.S. is 70 percent.