The mission of the Lighthouse is to provide people who are visually impaired and blind with the skills needed to achieve their maximum independence. Lighthouse works with people of all ages, from babies to seniors, who experience vision impairment, blindness and low vision, and live in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties.
Lighthouse began over 30 years ago. In February 1983, the Florida Division of Blind Services conducted a town hall meeting at the West Campus of Pasco Hernando Community College. The meeting, held to determine the degree of public support for a center for the blind in Pasco County, drew an overwhelming response. More than 150 people attended and voiced strong support for establishment of such a center. By May 1983, the B.L.I.N.D. Club of New Port Richey provided $500, and the First United Methodist Church of New Port Richey donated a house on Virginia Ave. This community support led to the Suncoast Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired being incorporated and holding its first classes in October 1983. Eventually the name was changed to the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind.
The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides vision habilitation, vision rehabilitation and adjustment to blindness services to people of all ages who have experienced vision impairment. An estimated 20,000 persons have received some type of service since its incorporation. Our youngest client was 3 months old and our oldest client was 90 years of age. Each program is individualized to meet the client’s specific needs.
The Lighthouse serves Pasco, Hernando and Citrus from two permanent locations in Port Richey and Brooksville. In addition, home-based training is provided to many individuals and we occasionally offer classes in Zephyrhills, Dade City and Lecanto.
The Lighthouse has a highly qualified and specialized staff of dedicated professionals who have completed University degrees in Visual Disabilities and Vision Rehabilitation, including Social Workers, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Teachers of the Visually Impaired, and Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. Also, the Lighthouse has many wonderful and dedicated volunteers who help with driving clients, completing clerical tasks, helping with events and more.
In 2013, the Lighthouse turned 30 years old. Thank you for allowing us to serve you, and thank you for increasing the quality of life for persons who are visually impaired and blind. We look forward to serving you for many more years to come.