Now Enrolling Students: Your First Shot to Learn Effective Blindness Skills This Year

Changing Vision Changing Life, Immersion Training at Enchanted Hills

Next session begins January 11 – sign up now by contacting Debbie Bacon at 415-694-7357 or

Since June 2013, the LightHouse has hosted our 6-day Changing Vision Changing Life Immersion training program at Enchanted Hills Retreat located in the clear air and beauty of Napa’s Mt. Veeder. Each session brings together up to 25 adult students from all over Northern California and the Central Valley. They range in age from mid-20’s to 90 and are either new to low vision or blindness, or have had a significant change in vision and have requested additional training. While gaining skills and confidence with changing vision is the overall theme of the week, the experience of coming together with other adults who are blind or have low vision to learn or relearn skills that bring them back to the kind of life they desire, remains the pivotal impact of the week-long experience.

How do you flip an egg if you can’t see it? How do you keep colored socks together? What’s a secret way to tell the difference between shampoo and conditioner? During our week of immersion, students find new ways to accomplish familiar life activities with like-minded peers – an experience which is supportive, motivational and enjoyable. Students are introduced to skills, strategies and tools that can transfer from home to school to work, from sun-up to sundown, from cooking to home repair. And for many students, this is the first time they have had the chance to meet others and learn from low vision, blind instructors and mentors. While it is an active week, time out is provided for students to relax and share their personal experiences with each other, gaining insight, perspective and support for moving forward.

This week with the LightHouse is life-changing, but the follow-up work we do is just as important. We know our students want more focus “after” the training so we provide Telephone Conferencing so the group can keep in touch and support each other. Plus we contact each student one week after training to see what they are up to, if they are using their skills and how they are applying them. Each student creates their own “Next Steps Check List”, a sort of road map focused on their education, training, social interaction, community engagement and recreational involvement. This Check List provides the focus that students require, allowing each the opportunity to further develop skills after leaving their week of training.

Some of the specific areas that are introduced throughout the week include:
Reading print materials – from magnification to scanning and listening
Enhancing useable vision; understanding how lighting, contrast and magnification can help organization and labeling
Taking Notes
Financial Management
Time and Calendaring
Successfully accomplishing day-to-day tasks
Basic cooking skills
Traveling and moving safely and confidently in home and in the community
Accessible computer and other low-tech equipment
Training your family and friends – “helping” through understanding
Introduction to Braille
Community, state and federal resources
Personal advocacy
Leisure and recreation

There is a fee to attend the Changing Vision Changing Life Immersion week, however, if you are eligible for the training and living in the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Humboldt or Del Norte, this Immersion Retreat is at no charge.

Dates of Next Session: January 11-16, 2015
For more information please contact: Debbie Bacon at 415-694-7357 or

Students practice yoga at LightHouse Immersion in Napa