Braille Institute San Diego Welcomes Public to Annual Holiday Open House To Learn More About Free Classes and Services for Residents with Vision Loss

Braille Institute San Diego Welcomes Public to Annual Holiday Open House To Learn More About Free Classes and Services for Residents with Vision Loss
November, 2016 Client News

SAN DIEGO – Nov. 22, 2016Braille Institute San Diego will host its annual Holiday Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 at 4555 Executive Drive, San Diego, 92121. The staff and volunteers at the Braille Institute’s San Diego center offer programs, training, and services to help people with vision loss learn new ways to do the things they love while also reducing stigma of vision loss. People who are blind or visually impaired – as well as their family and caregivers – are encouraged to attend the Holiday Open House to learn more about the broad range of free opportunities for local residents to live well with low vision. More than 300 people are expected to attend. Guests will enjoy campus tours, interactive demonstrations, a holiday boutique (with art created by Braille Institute students) and an award ceremony to honor two standout students.

Peter Mindnich, president, Braille Institute of America, will present the awards to the two San Diego students for the J. Robert Atkinson Award and Contribution Award to recognize them for their time, talent and services provided to Braille Institute San Diego. The award winners will be announced at the Holiday Open House at 12 noon.

“Visitors are often surprised at the scope of free services offered by Braille Institute for people with vision loss due to macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or other conditions that cause vision loss,” said Jay Hatfield, executive director, Braille Institute San Diego. “Our staff and volunteers help people adjust to life with sight loss while also creating a unique sense of community and possibility for each person who walks through our doors.”

According to a recent National Health Interview Survey, 20.6 million adult Americans reported vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts. Nearly 90 percent of Braille Institute San Diego students and patrons have some remaining vision, and it’s the organization’s mission to support independence as their students’ vision changes. The organization’s classes and programs are open to adults with permanent vision loss as well as children with conditions affecting their sight.

Holiday Open House demonstrations will include (alphabetical order):

  • Adaptive Living
    • Tips for financial organization when you have vision loss (i.e. banking, money readers, folding techniques)
    • Home management techniques
    • Tips for cooking / safe food prep
  • Art
    • Displays of student art and opportunities to try art projects
  • Braille
    • Samples of braille (i.e. braille name tags, alphabet cards, etc.)
  • Mobility and Transportation
    • White Cane demonstrations (i.e. simulations, cones/obstacle course) and fun ways to accessorize canes
  • Technology
    • How to use Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD)
    • How to use the iPad, iPhone and other mobile technology
    • How to easily use the free audio books available in the Braille Institute San Diego Library
    • How different magnifiers can help people read bills, holiday cards, etc.
    • How to use technology to help scan items / organize kitchen
    • Simulators to help people understand what it is like to have different conditions that affect vision

Also, a holiday boutique will offer guests an opportunity to purchase unique gifts, including art created by students and unique items to help people who are visually impaired or blind. Proceeds from the holiday boutique go back to the student artists. For enrollment information, to volunteer or to donate to Braille Institute San Diego during the holiday season, visit

Holiday Open House – Braille Institute San Diego
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016
4555 Executive Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
FREE Admission
Ample parking available in the lot in front of the building.
RSVP online at or call 858-452-1111.

Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss. It serves thousands of people of all ages each year through a broad range of educational, social and recreational programs designed to help people with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives. Funded by private donations, all services are free-of-charge. Follow on Facebook and on Twitter @BrailleInst.