Message from the President and CEO and Board Chairman
As with every annual report, the document you’re reading is filled with graphs and numbers. As leaders of this complex social enterprise, we must deal with numbers every day. But far from seeming abstract or arbitrary, we know that these figures represent meaningful changes in the lives of real people.
There is one big number that The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. stayed focused on in 2010 — that number is 500.
Our goal is to create and sustain 500 livable wage jobs for individuals who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities by December 31, 2016. Reaching that goal is dictated by the strategic plan we adopted in 2009. It is an ambitious target that will more than double our current employment opportunities.
In our roles as President & CEO and Board Chairman, we know that no plan just happens; it takes the strategic focus of our Board of Trustees, our Foundation Board, our dedicated employees, and our volunteers to achieve it.
The work takes place in day-to-day and month-to-month activities, such as acquiring new refreshable braille displays, launching a pilot digital scanning project, and adding to our assistive technology resources.
It happens in the pursuit of emerging business opportunities, such as our new Base Supply Centers in North Fort Lewis, WA and China Lake, CA. It happens through providing new braille training opportunities for our employees. And it happens by inspiring the community to make charitable gifts to support Lighthouse programs and services at our Redefining Vision Dinner & Auction. We measure and track all these moving pieces, and it’s empowering to know that all these different steps move us closer to that crucial number of 500.
As audacious as our goal might be, it pales against other numbers — such as the 1.3 million legally blind adults in the United States or the troubling fact that 70 percent of them are unemployed.
Numbers and plans might sometimes seem separate from one’s everyday life, but these numbers represent our work. They represent jobs. They represent changes in people’s lives. They also represent the support provided by people like you making this work possible.
Thank you for your support and for making it possible for The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. to work toward the future.
Kirk Adams, President and CEO
Fred Mendoza, Chair, Board of Directors