SERVICES

The East Texas Lighthouse provides training, services and a variety of programs for clients aged kindergarten through life. Whether it’s helping children through training and social programs, assisting teens transitioning into adulthood, or providing adults with training and equipment as their vision changes, our services are geared toward empowering all to remain productive in their daily lives.

The Low Vision Store carries high-quality adaptive technology and low-vision devices featuring a wide range of magnifiers, screen readers, and talking devices to assist in the home or office. Tools range from high-tech to incredibly low-tech, and training is available for all. Guests can try out various items to see what works best for their needs.

 

The store is located at 411 West Front Street in Tyler and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm.

INDEPENDENCE

The transition from dependence to independence comes easier for some than others. For those with learning disabilities, physical handicaps or other obstacles, the road to independence can be difficult to navigate.

 

At East Texas Lighthouse, we strive to empower the blind and visually impaired to become whatever they want to be. Our goal is to not only point out a path to independence, but to walk it with our clients until they feel empowered to face it on their own.

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind (ETLB) offers educational programs designed to prepare teens and young adults for life beyond high school. Through our college preparatory program, scholarship program, and annual summer camp, teens and young adults who are blind or have a visual impairment have the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills necessary to conquer their transition goals.

Camp Lighthouse

 

We believe summers should be full of fun, friends, and fearlessness! In 2022, ETLB launched “Camp Lighthouse” to ensure high schoolers who are blind or have visual impairments have an opportunity to safely experience a week of independence, confidence-building, and connections with friends like them.

 

During this six-day camp each June, students stay overnight on the University of Texas at Tyler’s campus and participate in fun and educational activities around the Tyler area. Activities are designed to incorporate the Expanded Core Curriculum and focus on skill development in the areas of independent living, orientation and mobility, recreation and leisure, self-determination, and social interaction. Campers can expect to engage in many indoor and outdoor activities, including cooking, teambuilding, ropes courses, climbing, horseback riding, goal ball, and much, much more!

 

This year’s program is offered June 23 – June 28.

Summer College Preparatory Program

 

For students with low vision, moving out and heading to college is a big step, and can be even more daunting without a local network. The ETLB College Prep Program allows recent high school graduates to experience college firsthand while receiving ongoing transition support and training from its staff.

 

During this five-week summer program, College Prep participants enroll in a three credit hour Learning Frameworks course at Tyler Junior College (TJC) and live independently on TJC’s campus while receiving skills training at ETLB in the areas of O&M, ADL, assistive technology (AT), and postsecondary education and career preparation. Students will also get the opportunity to explore the Tyler area and participate in recreational and leisure activities.

 

This year’s program is offered July 7 – August 9.

Scholarship Program

 

We believe in removing barriers and creating opportunities for those who are blind or visually impaired. Our scholarships could help cover school-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies, technology, housing, and transportation. The program is more than just financial support as students receive ongoing case management, ensuring a holistic approach to success.

 

All scholarship applications are reviewed and awarded each semester based on previous semester’s performance. Eligibility requirements include a minimum GPA of 2.0 and acceptance into an accredited college or university within the state.

 

Scholarships provide assistance to eligible blind persons and their dependents enrolled or seeking enrollment in regionally accredited post–secondary institutions. The program also aides in the purchase and/or loaning of adaptive technology and equipment.

 

Please note: Funding amounts are based on demonstrated need, student performance, and amount of funding available. Funding limits are based on funding availability and may vary between semesters.

 

Spring 2024 Scholarship Application and Renewal Deadline is November 27th.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES

We believe that when you combine eager learners with marketable skills, you find magic. Our approach is simple: Empower blind and visually impaired individuals to be efficient and proficient in the most widely used business software systems in the world while creating an inclusive environment, lasting professional relationships, and confidence to ensure continued success.

Assistive Technology Training

 

Assistive Technology Training empowers individuals of any technology skill level to fully engage in our technological world. This flexible course offers training on each user’s choice of assistive technologies and office applications. ATT courses are customized to a student’s starting skill level, learning style, and goals. Commonly covered topics include:

JAWS

NVDA

ZoomText

Narrator

Magnifier

Talkback

Voiceover

Zoom

Bluetooth Devices

Braille Devices

Braille Displays

Keyboard Mastery

Microsoft Office Beginner-to-Intermediate

 

MOBI equips beginner-level computer users with intermediate technology skills. During this fast-paced, two-week, synchronous learning course, students master intermediate navigational skills, features, and commands in Microsoft Office Suite, Google Chrome, and ZoomText, Magnifier, NVDA, or JAWS.

MOBI is the perfect starting place for beginners interested in the ProMOTEcourse.

Assistive Technology Instructor Program (ATIP)

 

Qualified Assistive Technology instructors are vital for the continued success of those who are blind. The Assistive Technology Instructor Program is a unique opportunity for practitioners in this vital role to expand their professional capabilities in a formalized training program which is designed and delivered by AT instructors working in the field.

 

ATIP promotes excellence in AT instruction by developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of current and future instructors. ATIP is a fast-paced, four-week experience covering an extensive curriculum. In addition to core Assistive Technology concepts, students gain knowledge essential to their effectiveness as instructors such as learning theory, teaching strategies, and more.

 

Our ATIP course reinforces new concepts and encourages learning through hands-on application, small groups, game-based learning, and interactive activities throughout this synchronous professional development experience.

 

Since the origination of the program, almost 60% of our graduates have achieved career advancement of some type. All agree they are more equipped as AT Instructors! 

 

2024 Calendar

June 3-29

FAQ – Assistive Technology Instructor Program

 

Are there eligibility requirements?

Yes. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent,  basic knowledge of Microsoft Office, type approximately 30+ wpm, possess strong problem solving skills, and pass the ATIP assessment.

What is the application and assessment process? 

Applications are accepted here.  Applicants will be contacted for both a written and functional assessment conducted via Zoom.

If I’m accepted, can I pick the date of the course?

Yes. If there is open availability in the posted classes, accepted participants may choose which class they attend. 

What is the cost?

$3,500 per participant.  Blind or visually impaired Individuals who are on a state vocational rehabilitation caseload are encouraged to discuss this course with their counselor. We do work with some state agencies and wish to expand. NIB affiliated agencies may be eligible for funding through a grant and can contact bparker@NSITE.org.

What can participants expect to gain from the course?

Participants will gain an excellent knowledge of JAWS and Zoomtext, with techniques for teaching those who are blind or visually impaired. All will be able to confidently configure Assistive Technology to meet a wide range of goals, and use  a variety of help resources to maintain their skill level. They will learn how to create custom checklists for teaching students with varying goals, and gain organization tools for planning, implementing, and reporting their students’ training. After the course, all participants are able to teach both speech and magnification users.

Who do I contact for questions?

Contact Megan Aragon at 888.565.3852 or maragon@tylerlighthouse.org. 

ProMote

 

ProMOTE takes users with intermediate technology skills to the next level and prepares them for competitive, upwardly mobile, computer-based careers. ProMOTE is an intensive, four-week, synchronous learning course allowing students to master expert-level navigational skills, features, and commands in Microsoft Office Suite, Google Chrome, and either JAWS or ZoomText.

 

ProMOTE simulates a modern remote-work environment with a full-time schedule, hands-on and timed assignments, and continuous, simultaneous use of multiple office applications and web conferencing programs.

 

2024 Calendar

April 1-26

FAQ – ProMote

 

Is this course for various types of Assistive Technology users?

 

Yes. Speech/JAWS users, magnification users, and even non-AT users are all welcomed to apply so long as they are legally blind or legally visually impaired, and are intermediate level users.

 

What is the complete application process?

 

Applications are accepted here. Applicants will be asked to complete a two step assessment process including a written self assessment and a live functional evaluation via Zoom.

 

What is the cost?

 

$3,500 per participant.  Blind or visually impaired Individuals who are on a state vocational rehabilitation caseload are encouraged to discuss this course with their counselor. We do work with some state agencies and wish to expand. NIB affiliated agencies may be eligible for funding through a grant and can contact bparker@NSITE.org.

 

Are there any forms of financial aid to help cover the cost of training?

 

Yes. If you are an employee of a National Industries for the Blind affiliated agency, you may qualify for a grant.  If you are on a state VR case load and would like to request this course, please contact us so that we may connect with your counselor.

 

Can participants choose which Microsoft Office Suites they wish to learn?

 

No, all participants follow the curriculum as is and will receive training in Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

 

Will participants be MOS certified upon completion?

 

Successful completion of ProMote earns an NSITE certificate but not an MOS certification.

 

Who do I contact with questions?

 

Please contact  us at 888-565-3852 or email  Jan Lynch at jlynch@tylerlighthouse.org or Megan Aragon at  maragon@tylerlighthouse.org.

EMPLOYMENT

Being blind, visually impaired or dealing with changes in vision should not prevent anyone from having a successful professional career. Through advanced technology and training available at the East Texas Lighthouse and our partnerships with employers in Smith County, there is a pathway for those seeking a job or advancement in their current role. 

 

East Texas Lighthouse is not only the largest employer of those who are blind in East Texas, but our vision is connecting committed employment partners with qualified job seekers in Smith County, where blindness is not a barrier to employment.

Employment Services Program

 

The purpose of The Lighthouse Employment Services Program is to facilitate its blind and visually impaired clients in successful attainment, retention, or upward mobility in competitive employment. This goal is achieved through two simultaneous focuses – Client Capabilities and Employment Opportunities.

 

The Employment Services staff works with clients to improve their skills, confidence, and competence while also developing partnerships and job opportunities with local employers.

 

Various training areas are determined by an individual’s goals, current skills and any gaps that exist. Specific trainings geared toward technology, soft skills, transportation, and more are designed to equip clients with the skills, abilities and confidence to thrive in the workplace.

 

Those seeking employment, to retain employment or seeking upward mobility can benefit greatly from the Employment Services Program. After an assessment of employment history and career goals, clients are classified by type and placed on a customized training path.