BLIND CHILDREN'S CENTER
OUR GRANT SUPPORTED an Early Literacy Program purposed to build critical skills and enhance everyday communications for preschool through 2nd grades:
Infant Program (birth to age three), builds upon the crucial parent/child relationship by teaching parents to motivate their babies to sit and crawl; overcome their fear of sudden noises; and be open to new experiences, such as new tactile textures (e.g. solid foods).
Educational Preschool Program provides comprehensive, individualized education and training in sensory development, orientation and mobility, occupational therapy (physical development), and speech/language development.
Kindergarten Program offers a fully inclusive environment, meeting all state curriculum standards for the grade levels while continuing to provide support and expertise relating to visual impairments.
GRANT IMPACT the Blind Children's Center maintained the following measurable objectives:
Infant Program 95% of parents will strengthen their parenting skills, which enhances their child's development; 95% will utilize parent braille classes; and 95% will demonstrate increased knowledge and ability to help their child reach literacy goals.
Educational Preschool Program 95% will increase fine motor skills; 95% of children who are blind or severely visually impaired will develop pre-braille skills; 95% of children who are partially sighted will increase literacy skills; and 95% will enhance the clarity of their speech/language.
Kindergarten Program 95% will meet the requirements set forth in the California state standards for their grade level, 95% will attain age appropriate braille and low vision reading and writing skills.
HOW IT BREAKS THE LINK BETWEEN POVERTY & VISION LOSS The single greatest element of social and economic inequity facing blind and visually impaired populations is unemployment. Studies show that as many as 70% of legally blind adults are unemployed. Nearly 25% of blind adults never complete high school, and only 15% earn a bachelor's degree or higher. Research clearly links early childhood education with higher educational attainment and employment.
Moreover, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates that children with disabilities must have equal opportunities within public education settings. Our grant supported the full integration of their programming with sighted children when early research and focus groups was pointing this as leading to greater educational success.
The Blind Children’s Center reflects the diversity of Los Angeles and our surrounding community. 64% Latino; 23% multiracial; 8% Caucasian; 3% African-American; and 2% Asian-American. More than 60% of their students are from families with income below the poverty line.
Established in 1939, the Blind Children's Center has been fostering the educational development of blind and visually impaired children and working families, giving them the best possible advantage to succeed even with the barriers ahead of them.