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Sharon Sacks

Dr. Sharon Sacks elected new board chair of LightHouse for the Blind

Dr. Sharon Sacks elected new board chair of LightHouse for the Blind

LightHouse for the Blind is honored and excited to welcome Dr. Sharon Sacks as its next board chair.

An internationally-recognized leader within education for blind and visually impaired children, Dr. Sacks brings her own brand of energy, expectations and ambition to her new role.

Dr. Sacks is blind and follows Architect Chris Downey, and scientist Dr. Josh Miele, who are both also blind, to become the most recent Board chair in the organization’s 118-year history.

Her belief in the abilities of blind people grew from her parents’ belief in her. As a blind teenager, Sacks babysat neighborhood children, volunteered locally and was a candy-striper.

Sacks was strongly affected upon observing the poor education other visually impaired students received even though her own schooling was well-resourced and supported.

Sacks became a Resource Teacher for visually impaired students within mainstream schools: advocating for and working to provide opportunities for their equal participation.

After obtaining her doctorate, Sacks was professor and coordinator of the Moderate/Severe Disabilities program at San Jose State University, and from there moved on to become professor & coordinator of the educational specialist program in blindness & visual impairments at California State University, Los Angeles. She conducted seminal research in the areas of social skills instruction, psychosocial implications of visual impairments, and career and transition programming for blind and visually impaired students.

The pinnacle of this distinguished career was being appointed superintendent at the California School for the Blind, from which post she retired in July 2017.

LightHouse for the Blind’s chief executive officer Bryan Bashin said:
“LightHouse has had a remarkable history in having its board led by blind people with Dr. Sacks record of scholarship, publication, executive leadership and passion for fellow blind citizens makes her the perfect next person to lead our Board of Directors.”

Sacks says she is humbled to join the succession of exemplary blind people who have served as past LightHouse board chairs.

“LightHouse is at the forefront of change in the visual impairment community. It leads many other organizations in the blindness sector both within the US and internationally with its philosophical approach and its ethos of partnering with sighted people and blind people working at all levels within the agency. It is doing great work, but I know there is more we all want to do.”

Under Dr. Sacks leadership, the LightHouse will complete the rebuilding of its Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind, damaged by the 2017 Napa wildfires, as well as expand services throughout California for people who are blind or have low vision.

Watch a 5 minute interview with Dr. Sharon Sacks, conducted by Jennifer Sachs, Director of Development and produced by Content Marketing Manager Sarika Dagar.

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact:

Lee Kumutat

Director of Communications

Email: lkumutat@lighthouse-sf.org

Phone: +1 (415) 694-7309

Notes to editors:

The LightHouse, an organization with 140 employees and a $17 million annual budget, provides programs and services to the 40,000 blind residents of the bay area and beyond.

Photo by Sarika Dagar