Deaf-Blind Retreat – Another Successful Year of Camp!
Now in its 36th year, The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.’s Deaf-Blind Retreat continues to play an important role in the lives of many Deaf-Blind individuals. During the last week of August at the Seabeck Conference Center on the shores of Hood Canal, the annual Retreat hosted 60 Deaf-Blind participants and 120 volunteer interpreter/guides for a week of networking, connection, leadership, and empowerment in an accessible environment.
Each year the Retreat offers a variety of recreational and educational activities. Some activities are a favorite year after year such as wax hand molding, tandem biking, a shopping trip to the mall, and boat rides provided by Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation Board Chairman Howie Dickerman.
Although most Deaf-Blind participants don’t typically attend consecutive years, part of the Retreat’s mission is to offer new activities and experiences that are otherwise inaccessible in daily life. This year we were excited to have a giant waterslide built of blue tarp material and construction cone barriers!
Along with some incredible outdoor adventures, Retreat participants had plenty of time to connect and socialize with fellow participants while relaxing in the hot tub, lounging in hammocks and rocking chairs, or learning how to infuse their own olive oil. The opportunity to build and strengthen lifelong friendships not only enhances the camp experience, but provides peer support throughout the year.
The Retreat is also known worldwide for its workshops about the latest research on Usher’s syndrome (a common cause of Deaf-Blindness), the latest innovations in tactile communication, and new assistive technologies that are providing breakthroughs in communication and information access for Deaf-Blind people.
The retreat is an essential part of the Lighthouse’s nationally recognized Deaf-Blind program that has provided employment, services, and support to Deaf-Blind individuals for thirty-seven years. The Lighthouse is proud of the continued success of the Deaf-Blind Retreat and the transformative experience we are able to provide to participants. We are grateful for the community’s consistent support and the dedication of the hundreds of volunteers for making all this possible.