Message from the CEO

Browse a collection of messages from Chicago Lighthouse President and CEO Dr. Janet Szlyk on what is happening around The Lighthouse.

Our Beacon Shines On

As we adjust to a new normal, The Chicago Lighthouse will be as bright as ever.

A lighthouse’s purpose is to serve in times of crisis. For more than 114 years, The Chicago Lighthouse has helped people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veterans through many different crises, including this most recent pandemic.

As the city and state issued “Stay at Home” orders during the coronavirus outbreak, we found ways to continue our programs and services. Our I.T. department worked tirelessly to set up remote capabilities for much of our staff. More than 100 Care Center Agents learned new procedures so they could provide essential information about COVID-19. Our Low Vision Clinics adopted telehealth services, answering questions and providing information to patients through video chats. Our research teams held Facebook Live events to keep our community connected. And our teachers helped children continue their education and development through remote learning.

This crisis brought The Chicago Lighthouse’s “Community of Care” to life. As we postponed in-person fundraising events, our supporters raised more than $40,000 in a Giving Tuesday event, while others offered additional, separate donations. Our program facilitators checked on clients, bringing food, supplies, and other needed resources to those who were homebound. Our in-house Art Therapist created packages of projects and supplies to help Preschool and Children’s Development Center students process their emotions during this stressful time.

Still, nothing can replace the value of in-person services. We look forward to the day when they can resume in full. As the city and state phase-in reopening, we will take extra precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Temperature checks, masks, enhanced cleaning, and social distancing will be our new normal for a while. We will take a graduated approach to restarting our programs to ensure the health of our most vulnerable communities. And we will continue to stand as a beacon to anyone who needs our services in the aftermath of this crisis, as we have so many times before.

With sincere thanks and appreciation

Janet P. Szlyk, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Low Vision Research Laboratory

Research & Publications by Dr. Szlyk

Interviews with Dr. Szlyk