At The Chicago Lighthouse, We Change Lives!

Please read our stories and watch our videos below, featuring Lighthouse employees and clients.

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Blossoming in a New, Brighter Life

One student at our Preschool, Rachelle, was adopted last year from Haiti and is completely blind. Because the orphanage where she lived in Haiti was not safe to roam without sight, she learned to stay still and keep to herself. She also became very timid about walking around the room and while reaching out to touch something. She only spoke Haitian Creole French when she came to our Preschool, but she quickly started learning English and how to walk with a white cane with our support. Her mom, Karin, says, “Rachelle has blossomed at school. I love the inclusiveness here!
I see the kids embracing her on a daily basis, while everyone is supporting her. Rachelle is truly coming into her own.”

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Seeing Hope for a Second Chance

Five years ago, Andy lost his sight after he was brutally assaulted and left for dead. He miraculously survived but awoke completely blind. Andy’s doctors referred him to The Chicago Lighthouse’s Low Vision Clinic to work with our renowned orientation and mobility therapists. While there, he qualified for a clinical trial of a new device being conducted in our laboratory, The Brainport™.

It helped Andy to “see” the world around him for the first time since his injury.  He could read letters, appreciate a Cubs game, and recognize his five children thanks to the device.  In Andy’s words, “When I saw my wife bat her eyelashes at me, AMAZING!”  He is grateful for the hope restored to him at The Lighthouse.

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Finding the Confidence to Adapt

Mary woke up one morning in January to a blurry world. She went to the doctor and learned that it was caused by macular degeneration. She also learned that it would continue to worsen. Mary sank into a deep depression and climbed back into bed, where she remained for several months.

Then, her doctor recommended that she visit The Lighthouse. At our Low Vision Clinic she received the specialized vision care she needed. Our doctors also outfitted her with custom-made glasses to maximize her remaining vision. They introduced her to services and assistive technology that helped her regain much of her independence. Mary says, “The Lighthouse put a stop to the downward spiral and helped me adjust to my new situation.”

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Building a Career with Purpose

When his former employer downsized, Robin, a Veteran with visual impairments, had extreme difficulties securing a new job.  His visual impairments keep him from driving, limiting his access
to job sites.  At job interviews, he was asked to fill out paperwork or take written tests that he could not see.

Robin had been unemployed for a year when he learned about The Lighthouse’s Employment Services Program. The Lighthouse provided him with the training and assistive technology he needed to work, at no charge. Now, he successfully supervises our Cook County Hospital Call Center and has already been promoted since he has been here. Robin is thrilled to come to work
at The Lighthouse each day and says that his job gives him more than a paycheck, it gives him
a purpose.