Dear Dedicated Supporters, Partners, and Friends,
We have much to be proud of at the Lighthouse. Under extended circumstances related to COVID, supply chain disruptions, and hiring challenges, we achieved a great deal in 2022. From a business standpoint, supply chain disruptions persisted and hiring for all positions was a challenge.
Financially, we had a tougher year than we expected. Having said that, we are on track for stronger years to come and we continue to lay a solid foundation for our strategic initiatives. We resumed offering services to the community that had been on hold due to the pandemic.
In February, the board approved a new three-year strategic plan. The plan emphasizes growing and diversifying job opportunities for blind and DeafBlind employees; implementing an enterprise-wide, state-of-the-art software that will help us be more efficient, improve accessibility, and make new jobs possible for blind and DeafBlind individuals; build our philanthropic capacity to allow more services to be offered to our employees and to the community; and deepen connections with elected officials and organizations in the blind and DeafBlind communities.
The Employee and Community Services Department served more individuals than ever before. Visits to the low vision clinic increased and more individuals were served in their homes through the Independent Living Program.
Our DeafBlind Program resumed planning the DeafBlind Retreat, which has been on hold for three years.
We trained five blind employees in our Summerville, South Carolina, facility, on newly installed CNC machines. These machines allow us to expand our capabilities in that facility and grow employment opportunities. We also added a Contract Management Services team in Falls Church, Virginia, to serve the Defense Health Agency.
The Lighthouse has over one hundred years of experience being an inclusive and model employer of individuals with disabilities. We also want to proactively ensure that individuals of diverse and marginalized groups feel a true sense of belonging at the Lighthouse.
I am proud that this year we engaged a cross-organizational employee work group to help us develop our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement, which can be found on our website. This is just one step in our journey of prioritizing DE&I.
As you review this year’s report, you will note that despite some of the economic speed bumps we navigated, we stayed true to our mission thanks to our creative, dedicated, and talented employees, trustees, supporters, volunteers, and partners.
The future is bright at the Lighthouse!
President and CEO