Thank you Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound!
In January, the Lighthouse was fortunate to receive a generous grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound to purchase a new van for our Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program. The new van will benefit more than 175 individuals who are blind or DeafBlind who will receive services through the O&M program this year. Thanks to Boeing employees who contribute to this fund, O&M Specialists at the Lighthouse are able to continue meeting the basic needs of employees who are blind and DeafBlind. This valuable training increases opportunities for new jobs, upward mobility within the workplace, independence within the community, and self-sufficiency.
O&M Training is a critical support service for Lighthouse employees who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities. O&M Training is integral to the success of each employee, whether they are working in our canteen production line or in our machine shop. Blind and visually impaired employees must be able to access their workspace, meeting spaces, computer and training labs, emergency evacuation routes, and safely navigate each area of the building. Individuals must also learn how to safely travel to and from the Lighthouse, learning how to access and effectively use the ever-changing transportation landscape. O&M skills instruction includes bus travel, route planning, assistive technology assessment, safety techniques for low-vision travelers, relocation and route planning for new community members, and supplemental training for guide-dog users.
The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound, known as ECF, is an employee-owned and managed charitable giving program. Since 1951, generous Boeing employees have contributed over six hundred million dollars to Puget Sound nonprofits. ECF grants enable local Health & Human Service agencies to purchase much-needed equipment, renovate their facilities, and build new construction that directly benefit their clients. Over the years, the Employees Community Fund has funded over $266,000 in direct grants to the Lighthouse. Thanks to each and every one of you for making a difference in the lives of people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities!