The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.’s Computer Training Program (CTP) is designed to increase and support independence, self-sufficiency, and upward mobility in the workplace for blind adults through appropriate training and access to computer technology. In order for our employees to succeed in the workplace, we provide comprehensive training and support for each individual. This support and training provides increased access for blind and visually impaired employees, and increases the opportunity for upward mobility in the workplace.

The CTP is designed expressly to serve blind and visually impaired adults and meet a glaring need in the blind community: a chronic lack of access to current information. In the United States, 70% of blind adults are unemployed. Increased exposure and training on adaptive technologies through programs such as the CTP opens up more job opportunities to adults who are blind, which results in greater independence and social integration.

In September of 2010, the Lighthouse received a grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound to purchase new computer equipment. This grant, valued at $34,970, is funding the purchase of ten new refreshable braille displays that will be used as equipment upgrades for the CTP at Seattle Lighthouse. We received the displays at the end of December, and the equipment is installed and in the CTP for a great beginning in 2011!

“The braille displays previously used in the CTP were more than a decade old and did not meet the needs of program participants and restricted the types of instruction that we were able to provide,” states Lighthouse President and CEO Kirk Adams. “The new braille displays reflect current technology, and the skills learned through coursework in the CTP utilizing the new equipment will become more transferable to independent living, job roles, and opportunities for upward mobility.”

Before the purchase of the displays with the grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound, our antiquated equipment was not meeting the needs of program participants and was restricting the types of instruction that could be provided by the program. With the purchase of new braille displays, CTP instructors are able to offer instruction on various types of braille displays, choosing which display resembles what the employee will be using on a regular basis. This allows employees to quickly transition from CTP coursework to becoming fluent and confident braille display users, allowing for increased access and upward mobility in the workplace.

Thank you Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound, for your support of the Lighthouse and our Computer Training Program.