Services

 

Lilac Services for the Blind believes those who are living with blindness or low vision have the right to live as independently as they choose.

The Independent Living Program, our primary service, provides in-home training, which includes alternative communication methods, home management, activities of daily living, and more. Both on-site and in-home training is available. Another significant service we provide is our adaptive computer lab. Within the lab, participants learn how to use adaptive software and other adaptive computer products.

Other important services include our expanding Braille transcription services and Braille library, a low-vision department that includes adaptive aid demonstrations, low-vision assessments, and a magnifier program. Lilac also hosts support groups. For more information on meeting details, click here. In addition, we provide information and referral services within the community. We continually update our services in order to meet the needs and goals of our blind and low-vision participants.

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Independent Living Program

 

This program helps you to:

Why the Independent Living Program?

  • accomplish everyday tasks with independence

  • remain living independently within your home

  • participate in your favorite recreational activities

  • better understand your feelings about your vision loss

  • receive the training needed to live a satisfying life at your potential level of independence

As our primary service, the Independent Living Program provides in-home training to help clients function independently in their homes and other surroundings while minimizing their risk of falls and injuries. Our Vision Rehabilitation Specialists help clients develop individualized goals to help maintain or regain skills and activities that are affected by their loss of vision. The provided training may cover things like alternative communication methods, home management, assistive technology, and more. Clients may also receive adaptive devices and optical aids such as lighted magnifiers, big buttoned phones, and talking watches, among other helpful devices that provide alternative ways to accomplish daily living activities.

All clients are seen on a regular basis until their personalized training goals are met, which typically takes about three months.

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Assistive
Technology

Use assistive technology to maximize the use of your remaining vision! Our Assistive Technology Specialist offers demonstrations and training for a variety of products and software, such as magnification and text-to-speech, that can enhance your computer abilities and independence at home, work, and school environments.

 

Examples of Assistive Technology:

A man in a red and white flannel collared shirt sits at a computer that has ZoomText software on his desktop

ZoomText

ZoomText is a magnification and reading program tailored to people with low-vision. This software is able to magnify anything on your computer screen and read through all text, including words you type as you go!

CCTV

A CCTV, otherwise known as a Closed-Circuit Television, or as a Video Magnifier, is another great tool for people with low-vision. This tool allows the user to magnify any physical thing such as books, mail, crossword puzzles, etc., and display them on a computer screen at any desirable size.

A CCTV in use. A man's hand with a yellow bracelet sits on top of a flyer under the camera
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Orientation Mobility

 

Learn techniques to navigate around your area of residence, neighborhood, and public places while making productive use of residual vision. If needed, clients also learn to use a long white cane. This training also extends to using public transportation, crossing streets, medical facilities, workplaces, and other common areas.

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Braille

 

Transcription Services

Father Palmer Memorial Braille Service is a division of Lilac Services for the Blind. Staffed by volunteers, its purpose is to transcribe materials such as books and music sheets into Braille. We provide this service not just for the Inland Northwest but for all who have a need. We annually print an average of 10,000 pages, with over 125 million pages in the past 25 years.

History of Braille Services in Spokane

The transcribing of print into Braille in the Spokane area began as a result of the interest of the Rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Spokane, Father John Palmer. He had a special concern for the blind, and in the late 1930s he became a Certified Braille Transcriber. He taught sighted people to transcribe print into Braille, and at the time of his death in 1953, he had 14 registered transcribers and 12 students. Two years later, in 1955, Florence Brockmier formed the Father Palmer Memorial Braille Service. The organization was incorporated in 1961, and in 1994 became a division of Lilac Services for the Blind.

Who We Serve:

  • Students of K-12 School Districts

  • Community College and University

  • Students

  • Businesses

  • Restaurants and the Hospitality Industry

  • Community Organizations

  • Individuals

Transcribable Materials:

  • Printed Data

  • Literary and Text Books

  • Mathematics and Scientific Data

  • Foreign Languages

  • Tactile Graphics (maps, charts, graphs)

  • Music

We also teach the Library of Congress Literary Braille Transcribing course for those interested in learning to transcribe braille. If you have a request or question or if you would like to become a volunteer, please call (509) 325-1442 or (800) 422-7893. You may also email us at dotcarole@comcast.net

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Low Vision

Lilac Blind’s low-vision department provides vision assessments and demonstrations of magnification equipment and adaptive aids. Assessments are by appointment only, and can be performed in our offices or in the client’s home.

 

Adaptive Aids

When combined with rehabilitation instruction, adaptive aids help complete the training needed to maximize independence for our clients. Specialized adaptive devices may include talking watches and clocks, fluid level indicators, talking calculators, signature guides and bold-line tablets, loud tactile timers, large-print address books, talking glucose meters, special sunglasses, long white canes, and much more. Lilac Blind offers a wide variety of adaptive aids in order to meet the diverse needs of our participants.

Examples of Adaptive Aids:

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

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These community groups for blind and partially sighted people offer a wealth of support, inspiration, and fun. They extend a heartfelt invitation to you to join them in a variety of activities and events. If you are blind or have low vision and wish to share your experiences with others and make new friends, gain helpful information to improve your quality of life, and participate in fun-filled activities and events, these support groups are just the ticket.

Support Groups

 
Spokane Council of the Blind logo - drawing of blind blonde woman walking with a guide dog and a long white cane

Spokane Council for the Blind

During the months of October, November, and December, Spokane Council for the Blind will host several events for the public to join. After Jan 1st, they will meet regularly on the 3rd Monday of every month.

For more information, check out their
Facebook Page or contact Cindy Glidden at 509-979-5143.

Sports 4 the Blind logo - a blue stick figure and sillouette of a dog ride on a bicycle, w

Sports 4 the Blind

The mission of Sports 4 The Blind is to enhance independence and quality of life of persons who are blind and visually impaired through indoor/outdoor recreational programs and activities.

For more information, check out their
website or contact them at (509) 688-7173 or info@sports4theblind.org.

Unfortunately due to COVID-19, many other support groups meeting through Lilac Services for the Blind are not meeting at this time. Feel free to check in online in the future or contact us directly to see if there are any changes. 

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What's
'App'ening?

Individuals with vision loss can feel lost and unsure of how to do their daily activities. Thankfully some people thought ahead and created apps to help people with vision loss.

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Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers who, through a video call, can assist them with daily tasks, like reading food instructions and matching pairs of socks.

Seeing AI is a free app created by Mircosoft that is currently only availble for IOS. The app allows people with vision loss navagate the world around them The apps has many features including but not limited to reading text, barcodes and currency.