Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind: Making Sure the Vulnerable Don’t Get Left Behind

The most vulnerable populations are often the ones who are most at risk of being left behind during a crisis. The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, headed by FC2 Trustee Tony Cancelosi, went into high gear to make sure the region’s 60,000 visually impaired had extra support. “When everything shut down, our doors were wide open,” Tony says. He was featured on ABC news to talk about the organization’s COVID-19 efforts.

The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind is making sure visually impaired children are receiving enough educational resources. It delivered braillers to children’s homes and specially-trained teachers continue to work with children in virtual classrooms. Although camp has been canceled, children are receiving kits and supplies that they can use for virtual camp.

For adults, it is delivering services online through Zoom orientations about mobility, adjusting to the new normal and how to avoid loneliness and isolation. For the deaf blind, volunteers have begun dropping off groceries.

Now that most everything has moved online, website accessibility has become even more important. Tony and his team are working with several councilmembers from the District and Montgomery County to make sure their websites are more friendly to the visually impaired.

Thank you Tony and Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind for continuing to help one of the District’s most vulnerable populations.