Illuminations  Newsletter

Volume 15, Issue 1: August,  2015

Note: This is a text only version. For the Full PDF version with images, please go to: Illuminations Volume 15 in PDF with Full Color and Images 

Summer Camp students learn about Palm Tran Services

Pictured in PDF version: summer camp students from the Lighthouse stand outside of a Palm Tran Connection bus along with staff from Palm Tran. They learned about transportation services and were able to explore the vehicle.

In this issue:

Summer Camp students and Palm Tran Services, Page 1

Table of Contents, Page 2
College Week for Transition Students, Page 3

Summer Camp and College Week Photos, Page 4

Transition students at Technology Day 2015, Page 5

Highlights from Focus Group, Page 6

Enhanced Vision Presentation, Page 7

Lighthouse Student Presentation, Page 7

Consumer Action Presentation and Book Club, Page 8

Lighthouse Open House and White Cane Safety Day, Page 9
The Florida Division of Blind Services Open House, Page 9

Technology Corner: Donation from Able Trust, Page 10

Welcome to New Staff, Page 10
Lighthouse Ladies KDW Fishing Tournament, Page 11

Music for the Mind, Boot Up and Freedom Scientific Event, Page 12

Insight! A New Support Group, Page 13


Pictured in PDF version: Genie Salzverg, rehabilitation teacher, teaching Wini Suss how to use a large print timer.

College Week for Transition Students

The old phrase “Back to School” used to be triggered in September, but nowadays, our students head back to school in August.  There are sales of school supplies and clothes and computers to set the parents of school children off budget.  When the little ones grow up and head to college, it is a whole new set of “back to school" issues.  Well, imagine having, or being, a blind or low vision student.  Leaving the nest for the first time could be truly intimidating if you have no idea what to expect in your dorm or apartment, or on campus or how to get the help you are not even sure you need!  The Lighthouse took a group of transition students with visual impairments on a trip for College Week. From August 3rd through the 7th, nine students between the ages of 14 and 19 went with three chaperones to the Orlando area. 


They stayed in an extended-stay suite hotel, having a kitchenette, allowing for the students to practice meal planning and preparation. The students were in charge of selecting the menu, buying the ingredients, preparing the foods and cleaning up too! For the college experiences, the group went to the University of Central Florida, Full Sail University, and Valencia College.  They had the opportunity to tour the campuses, and meet with students and staff.  They had some time for fun and games, including swimming, working out and even a trip to the mall. You can’t visit Orlando without going to a theme park, so they planned a day of fun at Universal Studios.


All in all, it was an action packed week, but gave the participants an opportunity to try college life in a small way.  Now, they can do their independent research to determine what they need to do to prepare to attend the college of their choice. These students have been inspired to work towards this goal. Now these students with visual impairments have several tools and more information to ease their fears of going” back to school” or to college in the future. 

 Summer Camp and College Week Photos

 Pictured in PDF version: Top to bottom: Summer Camp enjoying a picnic and  transition students at Islands of Adventure during College Week.

 Pictured in PDF version:  From top to bottom: Transition students at  Technology Day 2015 learning how to type using typing software (Top) and  playing accessible Wii Games (Bottom).


Highlights from Focus Group

The Focus Group is a social club for adults that meets once a month at the Lighthouse. On April 3, 2015, the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches recognized its Focus Group volunteers with a Spring themed celebration.  Each volunteer was presented with a Publix gift card and a survival kit filled with items to remind them of how much they are appreciated. The items included were as follows: Candle to make your day brighter, candy kisses and hugs for when you need a little TLC, chewing gum  thanks for “sticking” with us and making such a difference, puzzle piece  to remind you that you’re an important part in a lot of people’s lives, cotton ball  to remind you of the softness of the human heart, crunch candy bar  without you we’d be in a crunch, golden eggs  volunteers are a treasure, almond joy  for all the joy you bring to others, band-aid  for when things get a little rough, string  for when you reach the end of your rope, marbles  to replace any you may have lost, batteries  to keep you going and going, soap  to wash your hands of any troubles, lifesavers to remind you that you’re appreciated a “hole” lot, smiley faces  to keep you smiling. The Lighthouse loves its volunteers! Thank you for all you do! Meetings take place the first Friday of the month at the Lighthouse.


Upcoming Focus Group Meetings:

September 4, 2015: Lighthouse student presentation

October 2, 2015: Clinics Can Help

November 6, 2015: Supervisor of Elections

December 4, 2015: Consumer Action, Understanding the IP Transition and Internet Safety

Enhanced Vision Presentation

You are Invited to a Low Vision Technology Open House

If you have macular degeneration or other low vision conditions,
here’s an event you don’t want to miss!


WHEN: Friday, September 18, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches

1710 Tiffany Drive East, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Please call or email to RSVP:
(800) 440-9476 Ext. 2231 or


Join us for a FREE event featuring hands-on demonstrations of the latest
technology available for people with low vision. Low-vision technology can help you read, write, see loved ones and enjoy hobbies again. Enhanced Vision representative Barbara Brown will be on hand to answer questions and help you find the right solution for your low vision needs. A FREE Pebble-mini electronic magnifier (Value $295) will be given away as a door prize to one lucky winner!


Lighthouse Student Presentation

Congratulations to Winston Callum and Henry Levine, two Lighthouse students, on their endeavors to obtain their insurance licenses. They will be speaking at the Lighthouse following the Enhanced Vision Presentation on Friday, September 18, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:15 p.m. They will share information about some of the obstacles and challenges that they overcame in order to reach this goal.

Consumer Action Presentation

On October 16, 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Consumer Action, a national non-profit education and advocacy organization that serves community agencies around the country will be providing a free workshop on Internet safety and privacy, preventing identity theft, avoiding scams, and practical tips on keeping costs down when using mobile services and devices. This effort is part of their consumer education project funded by AT&T.


Book Club Update

We are excited that the Lighthouse Book Club has expanded to include participants of the Blind Café. This is an opportunity for readers to join us via computer from wherever they may be…around the corner or around the world. We connect from a website using a microphone so we can hear them and they can hear us. We continue to meet the third Friday of each month at the Lighthouse from noon to 1 p.m. In August, we discussed “Switch," by Grant McKenzie DB79078. Over the past few years, we have read fiction and non-fiction. We have read short and long books. We have read recent best sellers and classics. We have read biographies and autobiographies. Each month the members select the next book, and cartridges are handed out for those who do not download from BARD. The Lighthouse Book Club also has a meeting on the fourth Thursday of each month from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Indian River County Library in Sebastian. For more information, please contact the Lighthouse.     

Lighthouse Open House and White Cane Safety Day

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, come celebrate this important symbol of independence with us and learn about how the Lighthouse helps people with visual impairments become independent. Tours: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.


Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches

1710 E. Tiffany Drive

West Palm Beach, FL   33407

Please RSVP to 561-586-5600 or


The Florida Division of Blind Services Open House

DATE: Wednesday, September 23, 2015       TIME: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM 

ADDRESS:     2000 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Ste. 200

                       West Palm Beach, FL 33409 


Come learn about hiring individuals with visual impairments. Learn about the various adaptive technologies available today that can accommodate visually impaired employees. Vendors will be on hand to show case items such as talking computers, magnifying hardware and software, and devices capable of converting print to braille. Meet our staff and listen to success stories about visually impaired clients who have worked in a variety of settings including retail, computer science, engineering, law, and many other fields. Please call 561-681-2548 for additional information.


Technology Corner: Donation from Able Trust

Thank you to the Able Trust for a grant in the amount of $2,500 to the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches for “Individual Services for Macular Degeneration.” These funds were used to purchase an Apple iMac computer with needed accessories. Pictured below, a transition student learns to adjust the magnification and accessibility settings on the iMac.


Welcome to New Staff

The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches welcomes staff members Ayisha Herd-Witherspoon, Lori Brodie and Virginia Pollard to the team. Ayisha Herd is the Administrative Assistant. Lori Brodie and Virginia Pollard worked over the summer with our LITE Club children's program and Transition Program.

Lighthouse Ladies KDW Fishing Tournament

On June 6, 2015, StingRay Fishing Outfitters hosted the 5th Annual ?KDW Lighthouse Ladies Fishing Tournament benefiting the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. StingRay Fishing Outfitters' Debbie and Ray Lorenzo presented a check to the Lighthouse in the amount of the $20,061.20. Thank you, Debbie and Ray, for your most generous support towards the Lighthouse over the past five years. Also, thank you to all of our anglers, captains, sponsors and vendors who helped make this year's tournament the most successful yet! For more information:

Pictured from L to R in PDF version: Ray Lorenzo, Debbie Lorenzo, Mary Allen, Johnny Ringo, Jacqueline Desrochers, Tiffany Desrochers, Julie Katzenberg, Colette Smith and Loren Varvarigos.


Music for the Mind

The 4th annual Music for the Mind concert, featuring David Crohan, was held at the Harriet Himmel Theater in West Palm Beach, FL on March 17, 2015. All proceeds benefited the Lighthouse’s LITE Club (Learning Independence Through Experience). LITE Club offers year-round activities for children who are blind or visually impaired.


Boot Up Club

The Boot Up Club is a computer social club for people who are legally blind in the five counties served by the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches. These include Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Palm Beach Counties. Members must have either completed training in the use of assistive technology, such as screen reading software, magnification software, braille technologies, etc. or demonstrate a basic level of computer proficiency using any needed assistive technology. Some examples of software used by current members are: Windows accessibility features, Zoom Text, MAGic, JAWS for Windows, VoiceOver, Window Eyes, Guide, NVDA, System Access to Go. Many of the current members also use a wide variety of different accessible hardware technologies.


This group started in August of 2003 at the Lighthouse. Meetings are typically on the third Friday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon. We also join in with members from to allow members from our other counties join in, as well as Blind Café members from around the world. Activities include group discussions, new product information, demonstrations of devices and software by members or the facilitator, as well as presentations from manufacturers and vendors regarding technology for people with visual impairments.


Freedom Scientific Event (Save the Date)

Freedom Scientific will be presenting at the Lighthouse on Friday, January 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They will be demonstrating new features in JAWS 16 and 17, the Focus braille displays with JAWS, the use of Windows based tablet computers, MAGic screen magnification software and hardware magnification products. Please RSVP to


INSIGHT! A New Support Group

The Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches introduces a new support group for the blind and visually impaired. The group is called INSIGHT. This new support group will begin on Friday, September 11, 2015 at the Lighthouse. This group will meet weekly on Friday’s from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.   The INSIGHT Support Group Facilitator is Lighthouse Adjustment to Blindness Counselor, Cathy-Alice Koyanagi, who is legally blind.


The INSIGHT Support Group session will be divided into two parts. In the first part, everyone is invited to share their experiences and feelings. The last part of the group session will consist of open discussion.  At this time members are welcomed to talk about what they learned from the previous sharing.


An important quality about this group is that members will share feelings, emotions, experience. Giving advice is not a component of this support group. This sharing that unfolds is a gift that members give to each other. What grows from group involvement is empowerment and healing as members gain ideas that they can benefit from. Most importantly, INSIGHT focuses on the present - the here and now. Participation will help members to become aware of their emotions and feelings as they focus on the present, rather than what life was like before vision loss.


INSIGHT will provide a bridge for members and enable each to provide emotional and moral support to one another. With support, information, and cultivating relationships – members can become stronger and increase personal independence. To sign up to participate in the INSIGHT Support Group at the Lighthouse, please call 561-586-5600.


Illuminations, a publication from the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches, is edited by Rachael Sessler Trinkowsky, Ph.D. and Mary Allen.

Please consider making a donation to the Lighthouse. For information, please contact us at 561-586-5600,, or go to