I love to pay attention to the establishments in my neighborhood, especially those that are doing good work and helping people. On a typical day there will be several blind people who stroll down my street with confidence and a positive demeanor.
Here’s a little background for those who were curious like me….
Formed in 1953 and has been at it’s present site since 1967! Society for the Blind was born in 1953 when a group of Adult Blind from Sacramento County formed an association to open a center where blind and visually impaired people could meet and interact with one another. On October 14, 1954 the Sacramento Valley Center for the Blind was incorporated.
While the original intent of the Center was to provide a congregating space for blind and low vision people in the Sacramento area, by the early 70’s the name had changed from “Center for the Blind” to “Society for the Blind” and a new vision had been established. The new vision included providing life and job skills training, counseling, and access to help and tools for the thousands of blind and visually impaired people in Sacramento and the surrounding areas.
In 1970, the Society launched the Self-Reliance Institute, an eight-week summer program designed to meet the unique needs of blind and visually impaired teenagers. This program helped over 200 teenagers make an easier transition to school, work, and independent living.
In October 1975 the Society established one of the first low-vision clinics in Northern California. This enhanced the value of the Society by providing services for a greater number of people.
In 1978, the Senior Self-Reliance Program was launched. Now called the Senior Intensive Retreat, this program has given hundreds of blind seniors the chance to learn daily living skills through a committed, supportive program.
In 1982, funded by a grant from the Delta Gamma Alumnae, the Aids to Independence Store was formed. This store has hundreds of tools — from white canes to cooking tools to talking watches — to help blind and low vision people with everyday living.
In the late 1990’s, Society for the Blind received a government grant which enabled the development of California Access News. This is a service where Californians can call a computerized service that provides them with information such as newspaper and magazine articles, local news, and movie and television listings.
A government grant early in the new century helped the Society to establish the Career Development Program. This program gives working-age blind people access to training, counseling and job-seeking assistance, allowing them to enter and maintain their positions in the working world.
Services include, but are not limited to:
1. Orientation and Mobility
2. Braille Instruction
3. Daily Living Skills
4. Adapted Computer Skills
5. Low vision clinic
6. Senior and youth programs
7. Career development program
[Information taken from Society for the Blind’s website. For a more in-depth look, go to www.societyfortheblind.org ]
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