The LightHouse is proud to announce that we have hired Scott Blanks for the new position of Deputy Director. Scott will assist CEO Bryan Bashin in developing and implementing the organization’s strategic plan.
He said, “I’m excited beyond words to be at the LightHouse.” Scott, born and raised in Los Alamitos in Orange County, California, moved to the Bay Area fifteen years ago. “I heard that the Bay Area is a great place for a blind person to live independently, so I relocated, took classes at and began working for the Hatlen Center for the Blind.” Later he moved to Lions Center for the Blind as a teacher of adaptive technologies and became their Director of Rehabilitation Services. He said, “It was during my tenure at Lions Center that I developed a love of creating life-changing programs for the blind.”
As Lions Center focuses primarily on rehabilitation counseling, Scott found himself looking for career opportunities that would fulfill his need for creating more all-encompassing programs that include community services and access to information.
At the LightHouse, Scott coordinates services offered by our Access to Information Services (AIS), Rehabilitation Department, and Community Services with the main goal of creating a continuum of services that will appeal to all of our students. “I plan to integrate our programming between departments to make LightHouse even more relevant to a broader range of the blind community. I want people to be healthy and live rewarding lives. That means ensuring people know how to travel with a white cane, access email, engage in cultural events, go to sporting events, pretty much do anything they want regardless of their blindness.”
One of Scott’s first projects is to increase the amount of accessible technology training we offer our students. He will accomplish this by initiating classes taught interdepartmentally that will appeal to a broader range of students. “Newly blind students require 101 training, but for individuals who have been blind for years, we need to offer classes that are cutting edge and go beyond the basics. To accomplish this, I am working with my incredibly gifted staff to meet the needs and desires of our students by creating opportunities for everyone to grow.”
Scott is an avid reader, often juggling five books at once, though his two-year-old twin boys make reading a luxury. “They keep me busy when I’m not at work. Thank god for my wife, Carleigh, who keeps the family sane.” Scott is also a hockey enthusiast, “Hockey is sonically pleasing: the skates on the ice, the puck hitting the walls and hockey sticks, players ramming into barriers and other players; all of this makes hockey a highly engaging sport for blind spectators. Part of my mission at the LightHouse is to encourage our blind students to consider interests that at first blush may not seem engaging to blind people, such as reading, music and hockey.” Watch out though, Scott is a Ducks fan, which may be a dangerous admission as hockey season ramps up.
LightHouse is fortunate to have Scott join our robust community. If you’re interested in learning more about Scott, consider slap-shooting him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving him a call at 415-694-7371. Scott will attend the Wednesday LightHouse Town Hall Meeting on November 5 to introduce himself to the community.