Here are the answers to some basic questions about the Lighthouse of Broward. Please feel free to contact us at 954-463-4217 if you don't find the answer to your question here, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I visit the Lighthouse?
Yes, you are welcome to visit us. Please call 954-463-4217 and speak with our Case Manager who can schedule you for an Explorer Day. You will get first hand experience of our services by visiting classes and by being the buddy of a recent Lighthouse graduate. Our Case Manager can assist you with your application for our services, if you so desire.
Is the Lighthouse of Broward part of a nation-wide network of Lighthouses for the Blind?
No, while the Lighthouse of Broward shares a common name with other agencies that serve people who are blind or visually impaired, we are an independent, private, not-for-profit organization. All the funds we receive are used exclusively by our organization to serve Broward County.
Is transportation provided?
Broward County's special van service for disabled persons, called TOPS, provides round-trip transportation for adult clients to the Lighthouse of Broward's main location at 650 North Andrews Avenue, in Fort Lauderdale. Children receive special van transportation to our programs at our main location. In addition, our innovative "Lighthouse on the Move" program brings the key elements of our training program to other parts of Broward County using senior centers and other community locations for small group classes. Oftentimes, the shortest, most comfortable trip to our agency is the one arranged with family or friends.
Who qualifies for services?
People who are blind or visually impaired and are legal residents of the United States of America qualify for free services. Services are also available to non-residents for a fee. Scholarships are sometimes available for those who cannot afford the services. Since it can be difficult to determine the visual acuity of a child, admission for children is determined case-by-case. Adults who are visually impaired are generally accepted.
What is legal blindness?
Legal blindness defines the point at which a person's vision is so diminished that it substantially affects the ability to perform activities of daily living or work. Legal blindness also defines the entry level of eligibility for many government programs including Social Security disability, special transportation, waiver of Directory Assistance fees, and income tax and property tax deductions.
In Florida, the definition is stated in Florida Statute 413.03(1) as follows: "Blind" means an individual having central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting glasses or a disqualifying field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter or visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
What this basically means is that a legally blind person still can see, but only 10% or less of what a person with normal vision can see. Most people who are legally blind are not totally blind.
Can my group have a speaker make a presentation on these questions and the services of the Lighthouse of Broward?
Absolutely! Lighthouse of Broward offers in-service training to groups of all ages in schools, businesses, government offices and community organization meetings.
Call 954-463-4217 to make arrangements.