We are thrilled to announce the launch of a major new program called LightHouse Little Learners. The program will serve families of children ages birth to three who are blind, DeafBlind, have low vision or neurological visual impairment, or whose developmental delays include blindness or low vision. Read on to find out more.
The launch of this new program comes after the Golden Gate Regional Center certified LightHouse as a provider of early intervention services for the youngest children who are blind or have low vision and their families in three northern California counties: San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties with other counties within the Bay Area and northern California to be added shortly. This approval allows referrals to the new LightHouse Little Learners program from regional centers, eye care specialists and community-based programs.
The Little Learners program will serve families directly in their homes as well as in community-based settings and northern California LightHouse locations, including renowned 311-acre Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa.
“When a family gives birth to a new baby or adopts an infant with blindness or low vision, they need immediate professional partnership to help raise their child to become self-confident and engaged with the world around them,” said LightHouse CEO Bryan Bashin. “If they get responsive parent education, encouragement and community connections, there is no reason why their children who are blind or low vision will not grow up to achieve their highest potential.”
The LightHouse Little Learners Program will provide services both remotely and in-person at families’ homes providing accessible toys and learning opportunities for infants and toddlers, in addition to introducing families to a network of other parents for support and local resources.
“The LightHouse is excited to offer deep and comprehensive early intervention services to northern California families,” said Dr. Sharon Sacks, LightHouse Board Chair and former Superintendent of the California School for the Blind in Fremont.
“The LightHouse Little Learners Program has been a dream of LightHouse leadership and staff for many years,” said Tony Fletcher Director of LightHouse’s Enchanted Hills Camp. “We have the beautiful welcoming facilities that will make year-round family bonding and education practical throughout northern California and we are thrilled to be able to launch this program now.”
LightHouse’s Little Learners Program is culturally responsive and rooted in the philosophy of progressive infant and family mental health as well as best practices in early intervention. In addition to home and community-based services provided by highly qualified specialists in early childhood blindness and low vision, many other LightHouse staff will be available to share experiences and their expertise with families to enrich their understanding of blindness or low vision, and to encourage their child’s active exploration of the world and growth toward independence.
Parents, teachers and others can learn more about the Little Learners Program by visiting https://lighthouse-sf.org/lighthouse-little-learners/. If you know a family with an infant or toddler who is blind or has low vision, please contact the program directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-694-7657.