A few weeks ago we announced our first ever participation in #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to giving back to organizations making a difference in our communities. This year, #GivingTuesday will be observed on Tuesday, December 1, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. Under the motto “My Vision Is…,” the #CLHgivingtuesday campaign will showcase several Chicago Lighthouse participants, who will share their dreams, or vision, for the future. We hope to raise funds through online donations so that current and prospective program participants will receive the vision care and adaptive devices they need to reach their goals and vision.
The Chicago Lighthouse is a world-renowned social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services. With 110 years of experience serving those with vision loss, we understand what it takes to respond to their needs with expertise and compassion. Each year, the Chicago Lighthouse provides $1.5 million in unreimbursed services to our clients. Much of this care is provided to individuals who receive support for only a portion of the vision care they need. Two populations of the Lighthouse community especially in need of this support are children and seniors.
How vision helps children realize their vision…
- 80% of learning in a child’s first 12 years comes through their eyes, yet 25% of all school children in the U.S. have a vision problem significant enough to affect their learning
- Up to 85% of academically and behaviorally at-risk children ages 8 through 18 had vision problems that were either undetected or untreated
We can make a difference by providing eye exams and glasses…
- 90% of children who need glasses do not have them
- Early exams and treatment can stop bigger problems from arising down the road and can detect vision issues that could impair eyesight for life, if left undetected or untreated
How vision helps seniors realize their vision…
- While most seniors’ eye exams are reimbursed by insurance coverage, the cost of glasses or other needed vision devices are not covered by insurance
- The average pair of corrective glasses is $400, while assistive devices can range in price from $60 for a hand-held magnifier to over $3,000 for a CCTV or a screen reader
By offering a variety of programs and services, the Chicago Lighthouse helps everyone realize their vision. Here are just a few of the ways in which we make that possible:
- Our education programs serve children who are blind, visually impaired or have additional disabilities. In addition, our preschool is a blended setting where disabled and non-disabled children are integrated. The early intervention program serves children ages birth to three who are blind or visually impaired.
- The Illinois Instructional Materials Center provides blind or visually impaired students throughout Illinois with Braille and large print textbooks and adaptive technology.
- Our low vision clinic offers diagnostic and rehabilitation services to maximize the remaining vision of those with significant vision loss.
- Our Adaptive Technology Center provides blind and visually impaired people access to computers with magnification adaptations and other technologies, as well as full assistance in how to use them.
In other words, the Chicago Lighthouse allows people to realize their vision in all sorts of ways. Thanks to these services, a child will one day realize his vision of becoming a doctor, and a senior citizen will have access to assistive devices that will allow her to have fun with her grandchildren.
We encourage everyone to join us on #GivingTuesday at #CLHgivingtuesday and helping by making a donation or simply spreading the word. December is the time of year when many focus on holiday and end-of-year giving, and your gift to the Chicago Lighthouse will help those with vision loss live a more independent and fulfilling life. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages on Tuesday, December 1 for more information on how you can get involved and make your donation. Also, please check out the video in this post to find out what my vision is. What is your vision?