A Word from Sandy: Please Help Children Soar this #GivingTuesday!

I was about 4 years-old when my teacher of the visually impaired introduced me to Braille. While I was certainly not going to learn the entire alphabet and numbers at that age, my teachers knew it was critical that I become familiar with Braille as a child who was blind. Braille was not the only important thing for me to begin learning at such a young age. My teachers also showed me books and toys with different textures and sounds. Play time was by far my favorite time of the day at school! It was also during this time that my orientation and mobility teacher gave me my first ever white cane. I have fond memories of her showing me how to hold the cane when I was just a preschooler.

To me, all of these activities seemed like fun and games at that age. I was not aware that running my fingers over Braille letters, playing with toys that I could feel and hear, and exploring my surroundings with a cane were just a few of the ways in which my teachers began laying the foundation for my success in preschool and beyond. Reading Braille helped me get good grades in school, and I now use it to read books, letters and elevator signs. The tactile and auditory toys I played with as a child helped me better develop my senses of touch and hearing, and this allows me to be more independent in my day-to-day life. Since I began using a white cane as a young child, I can travel in familiar and unfamiliar places safely and independently. Without a doubt, all of these tools provided me with the skills and confidence that helped me soar in life.

Watch the video to see how you can help our preschoolers with vision impairments soar this Giving Tuesday!

Today, The Chicago Lighthouse provides these resources and support to children who are blind or visually impaired through the Judy and Ray McCaskey Preschool. From an early age, students in our Preschool are introduced to Braille, taught how to develop their other senses, and begin learning how to use a white cane. With the generosity of donors, The Lighthouse can continue providing these services to preschoolers with visual impairments for many years to come.

You can help preschoolers who are blind or visually impaired soar this Giving Tuesday! By donating to The Chicago Lighthouse’s Judy and Ray McCaskey Preschool, you can help us provide current and future generations of students with the tools and education they need to succeed. Your gift will help us to continue offering therapeutic services, adaptive learning and play materials, and other necessary resources. Thanks to our generous donors, Chicago Lighthouse Board Member Ed Jepson and his wife, Dr. Susan Sicotte, your donation will be matched up to $10,000! To donate or learn more, visit click here. 

On behalf of our students and teachers, thank you so much for supporting The Chicago Lighthouse this Giving Tuesday!

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