A Grandmother’s Love

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Summer 2007 - Junior Blind of America

SUMMER 2007

Stories of life-transformation exclusively for friends . . . made possible by supporters.

A Grandmother’s Love

speaking and sleeping are just

a few of the tasks that require a

great deal of assistance and care.

Before coming to Junior

Blind, Tyler was unable to do

any of these things, but now he

is a whole new boy. He sleeps full

nights, awakes eager to begin his

day and takes full advantage of

every opportunity life presents

him. He dresses himself, feeds

himself and goes to school.

“Tyler has a life—he has a wonderful new life.”

–Marcia Clevenger, Tyler’s Grandmother

With a smile on his face, 10-

year-old Tyler waves goodbye to

his family. After a heartwarming

visit with his mom, brother,

grandma and grandpa, he is ready

to head home. Home to Tyler is

Junior Blind of America, where he

has lived for the past two years.

A loving, intelligent and

humorous little boy, Tyler

has learned skills and made

accomplishments his family could

have never thought possible. He

has learned how to overcome

challenges in living day-to-day life

caused by autism and moderate

developmental delays.

At times, Tyler’s journey

through life can be difficult.

Dressing, bathing, eating,

Tyler’s grandmother, who

misses him dearly but is visibly

moved by his progress and

happiness, visits him every

weekend. And during the week,

she comes to Junior Blind’s

Children’s Residential Program just

to do his laundry. “It’s just what

grandmothers do,” she says.

A Family Reunited

Tyler also faced the challenge

of not knowing how to express

himself. His grandmother recollects

he often confused his emotions—

sometimes love came out in actions

that would typically be perceived as

anger or sadness.

(continued on back page)

Junior Blind of America • 5300 Angeles Vista Boulevard • Los Angeles, CA 90043 • 800-352-2290 • www.juniorblind.org


Sharing Our Vision

Whether it’s a baby learning

how to explore the world, a young

child learning how to get dressed,

or a mature woman learning how

to start a career, it’s a wonderful

thing to see a life take on new

meaning.

The opportunity to learn new

skills and maximize the ones

you have is key to one’s personal

development and future success.

For those who are blind, visually

impaired, developmentally

delayed or multi-disabled, these

opportunities aren’t always easy

to find. And for some, even when

the opportunity is presented, it’s

difficult to envision where it

can lead.

This is why it’s so important

that each individual understands

his or her potential and is given

the tools and support necessary to

reach it. Through the stories of

Tyler and Connie, we are shown

that regardless of age, disability

or life challenges, there is always

room to learn and grow.

The irony of their stories

is not the level of success and

independence they have achieved,

but that they never thought it was

something they could achieve.

Tyler’s family and Connie never

imagined they would be capable of

doing what they are doing now.

They never realized the vastness

of their own potential.

With your help, Junior

Blind now offers life-changing

opportunities to more than

8,000 people each year. Your

contributions have enabled us

to create an environment that

is encouraging and supportive,

allowing every individual we serve

to thrive. Your ongoing support

has assisted with the development

of six nationally-recognized

programs that give people of all

ages the tools, technology and

education they need to succeed.

As president of Junior Blind,

I feel privileged to be given the

opportunity to take part in some

of our students’ most personal

and significant milestones. To be

able to experience even a piece

of the joy and pride they feel is

overwhelming, and to be able to

share it with you is an honor.

On behalf of the Junior Blind

family, we sincerely thank you.

Warm Regards,

Miki Jordan

President

Eye on Eyesight

• 1 in 4 of all school-age children

have vision problems

• Nearly 13.5 million children

from birth to age seventeen

encounter some form of vision

problem

• Approximately 1 in 3

persons has some form of

vision-reducing eye disease

by the age of 65

• Vision impairment is

associated with a decreased

ability to perform activities

of daily living, leading to an

increased risk of depression

Mission Statement

Helping children and

adults who are blind or

visually impaired achieve

independence.

Junior Blind of America • 5300 Angeles Vista Boulevard • Los Angeles, CA 90043 • 800-352-2290 • www.juniorblind.org


Connie Was Determined

to Get Her Life Back

At the age of 71, Connie

Campbell is preparing for what

lies ahead. After losing her sight

due to glaucoma and age-related

macular degeneration, she is

finding new hope through Junior

Blind’s Davidson Program for

Independence (DPI).

with Parkinson’s

disease, there

will come a time

when Connie’s

husband will

have to rely on

her to run the

household.

Prior to

This experience losing her vision,

has made me Connie led a full

who I am, and and productive

I feel proud. life. As her vision

deteriorated,

life began to change. She could no

longer work. She could no longer

go to the store. She had lost a piece

of her independence.

Determined to get her life

back, Connie searched for answers

and found DPI. Thanks to your

donations, she has learned Braille,

computer skills, how to travel and

cross streets. She has even learned

new ways to cook and clean.

Connie is so appreciative for the

doors Junior Blind has opened for

her, as is her husband. Diagnosed

Up to the

challenge,

Connie is

already planning

out what she

will do once she graduates from

DPI. She is learning how to

upload photos and create flyers,

hoping she can assist real estate

agents in selling homes. She

is also looking into

working for a property

management office.

One thing she

knows for sure, she

will spread the word

about Junior Blind. She wants to

present at clubs and senior citizen

centers, and share her story. She

wants to make people aware of

Connie’s Case—How does this relate to you?

• An estimated 1 million Americans over 65 years of age have experienced loss

of vision associated with glaucoma

• Approximately 75 percent of persons who are legally blind because of

glaucoma are over the age of 65

• Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of loss of vision

in people over 65 years of age

“I’m preparing for the rest of my life!”

I have learned so

much and it will

enrich my life for

as long as I live!

what they can do, regardless of

their age.

“I don’t know how to put into

words how grateful I am for all the

benefits this program has given

me. Your willingness

to take a chance on

me is so very much

appreciated,” says

Connie.

Connie, who

never thought she would go

back to school at 71, feels more

confident than ever. Although

the last few years have not been

easy, she wouldn’t take any of

it back.

Junior Blind and Connie

thank you for your commitment.

Without it, Connie and many

others coping with vision loss

may not have achieved the

independence they have today.

Junior Blind of America • 5300 Angeles Vista Boulevard • Los Angeles, CA 90043 • 800-352-2290 • www.juniorblind.org


A Grandmother’s Love (continued from front)

Because of support from

people like you, Tyler and his

family now understand each

other.

Can you imagine the During

frustration you might their visits,

feel not knowing how to Tyler gives

express love, anger, hugs and

happiness, sadness? kisses,

smiles and

laughs, and expresses desires and

dislikes. Additionally, Tyler is now

able to communicate what he

needs by using pictures and his

own form of sign language.

A Love to Learn

Tyler eagerly awaits the

new school year. It was just last

November that Tyler began to excel

in the classroom setting. Tyler can

now match colors, identify pictures,

and recognize and place letters of

the alphabet. He is now on his way

to learning the days of the week and

number concepts.

“Tyler can’t wait to get back

to school. He just loves it. I

can even sense a twinge of

disappointment when he has to

miss school just for a short time

to go to a doctor’s appointment,”

explains Heidi Zander, Case

Manager, Junior Blind.

This all makes sense when Tyler’s

teacher describes his progress.

“Tyler is more cooperative

and attentive and has improved

in all areas. We are extremely

proud of his progress!” exclaims

his teacher, Mrs. Hernandez of

the James J. McBride Special

Education Center.

Your contributions and

continued support have made a

significant impact on the lives

of Tyler and his family. Now

Tyler has a life filled with joy and

love. Tyler’s happiness is their

happiness. Thank you!

Lifetime Income and Tax Savings

Earn an immediate tax

deduction and a fixed

amount of income every year

for the rest of your life with a

Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA).

You can support Junior Blind AND

receive a lifetime income. How?

With a CGA.

To find out the best way to help

people who are blind and visually

impaired while planning for your

future, please call Ralph Gottlieb,

our director of planned giving at

323-295-4555, ext. 201.

This table illustrates a one-person

$10,000 annuity funded with

cash. Rates for a two-person

annuity differ.

AGE

Rate*

65 6.0%

70 6.5%

75 7.1%

80 8.0%

85 9.5%

90+ 11.3%

*Rates for a Single Life Gift Annuity.

Photos courtesy of Brian Lindensmith.

Junior Blind of America • 5300 Angeles Vista Boulevard • Los Angeles, CA 90043 • 800-352-2290 • www.juniorblind.org

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