Did You Know…
A blind person can do anything a sighted person does — they simply need to learn a different approach. For example, at the Lighthouse, a client can learn:
With a $5,300,000 annual budget, Miami Lighthouse serves nearly 1,500 blind and visually impaired client participants per month, and provides all services free of charge. While the Florida Division of Blind Services underwrites 20% of these expenses, the remaining 80% comes through contributions from individuals, corporations, and community and family foundations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although Blindness is a way of life for
some, it remains a mystery to others. The best way gain insight is by
Miami Lighthouse was established in 1931 by Dolly Gamble, through the encouragement of blindness icon, Helen Keller.
No, our main facility is located at 601 SW 8th Avenue in Miami, Florida. There are other Lighthouse facilities nationwide, however unaffiliated with Miami Lighthouse.
No, Miami Lighthouse is independent of other blindness organizations, although we do share information and network with other agencies. All the funds we receive are used exclusively for our organization.
There is no charge to clients to receive services. There is a large selection of practical items that can assist with daily activities in our store, Solutions, which is open to clients and the general public. Prices vary depending on the product.
Miami Lighthouse provides round-trip transportation from clients’ homes on 12-passenger vans with no charge to the clients. Trips vary depending on how many clients are on each van.
For satellite clients who are unable to arrange their own transportation, we will arrange round-trips through local, licensed school van services.
Most clients find that the most comfortable trip is achieved when they arrange their own transportation.
People who are blind or visually impaired and are legal residents of Miami-Dade or Monroe County, Florida 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. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine the visual acuity of a child, so admission for children is determined case-by-case. Adults who are visually impaired are generally accepted if they have a visual impairment that results in a substantial impediment to his or her abilities to function independently or to become employed.
Yes. A very small percentage of people who are considered legally blind have no sight. Each individual is different based on his or her eye condition. Some individuals may see light, shadows or certain shapes. Others may have perfect central vision and no peripheral (side) vision or the reverse. Some individuals may see well indoors, but in extreme light or darkness, they have difficulty seeing.
*This is an eye disease that results in the loss of central vision due to damage to the macula. There are two forms of macular degeneration, wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration includes a gradual and spotty loss of detail in vision. Wet macular degeneration includes a sudden and severe loss of central vision. Macular degeneration is more prevalent generally among older Americans.
*A cataract is a clouding of the lens, which causes an individual to see through a haze. There is a loss of contrast and increased sensitivity to glare. The lens may be replaced by a plastic one through surgery.
*Glaucoma is an eye disease related to high pressure inside the eye, which leads to damage of the optic nerve. This damage affects peripheral (side) vision. There is also a loss of contrast and an individual with glaucoma may have difficulty seeing in dark situations.
*Diabetic retinopathy is caused by leaking blood vessels that damage the retina, which may lead to blurred vision and near vision distortion. This eye disease is one of the complications of advanced or long-term diabetes.
* This information is from Lighthouse International’s booklet, “Vision Loss is Not a Normal Part of Aging.”