Lighthouse Louisiana offers a variety of services to help individuals of all ages who are blind, visually impaired and who have other disabilities. Our mission is to provide the tools for independence, self-reliance and success, regardless of disability.
Your support allows us to provide over 6,000 services annually that help individuals regain and maintain their independence.
Low Vision Clinic
When your vision is changing and your eye doctor has done all she can do, Lighthouse can help.
We’re here to help you cope with and maximize your ability to use your remaining vision. Our Low Vision Clinic is staffed by Occupational Therapists that specialize in low vision. They will help you get the most out of your remaining vision through the use of magnification, visual aids training or adaptation.
All you need is a referral from your eye doctor.
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I have learned new techniques. I’ve learned there are different tools so that I can do things more efficiently and with ease.
— Sharon, Lighthouse Louisiana client
I’m grateful to have found a supportive community at the Lighthouse, and I am truly giving thanks that I am now a member of the team that changed my life.
— Louise, Lighthouse Louisiana staff member and former client
I went from thinking, ‘My life is over,’ to thinking, ‘I just need to learn new ways of doing things.'
— Jeff, Lighthouse Louisiana client
Lighthouse Louisiana offers a full roster of services to meet the needs of adults who are blind or visually impaired in our community. An overview of our offerings is below, but you can get more information about any of our services by calling (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 327.
New Vision Program
We offer hands-on assistance to help develop the basic adaptive techniques necessary to function independently with vision loss. Topics include meal preparation, money management, organizing your home and more.
Next Step Program
This program helps students achieve advanced independence by developing orientation and mobility skills, community integration skills and recreational interests.
Orientation & Mobility
Let Lighthouse Louisiana help you safely navigate your world and take back control of your life with orientation and mobility training. The way you travel affects every aspect of your life, including your ability to care for yourself, your job options, your social life and both your mental and physical well-being.
Does your visual impairment cause you to:
- Lean over to see the ground?
- Worry about bumping, tripping or falling?
- Feel anxious about going out of the
house or beyond familiar areas?
- Avoid crowds, parties and other gatherings?
- Depend too much on others
to help you run errands?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may wish to pursue Orientation & Mobility (O&M) training. This is training specifically for people who are visually impaired to teach the skills needed to move and travel safely and independently.
Learning to use a long white cane is an option but not a requirement of O&M training. You can choose the skills you want to work on.
*Lighthouse provides instruction in O&M at the New Orleans and Baton Rouge campuses and on-location at individual homes, schools or businesses.
Losing your sight is a frustrating experience. If you’re at a loss as to how to move forward, you’re not alone. Our licensed social worker is available to help you connect with community resources, learn self-advocacy and manage personal issues related to vision loss including issues with housing, transportation, mental health and public benefits.
We also host a monthly support group, which meets the first Wednesday of each month at our Uptown location from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. The group is facilitated by a licensed social worker who plans each discussion around the needs and interests of the group participants. Topics include fears after sight loss, changes in friend or family relationships after sight loss, changes in personality and appearance after sight loss and more. The support group is ongoing and clients are welcome to attend as often as they choose.
We offer beginner and advanced level classes for instruction in contracted and uncontracted Braille.
Students can learn basic Braille for home use, community Braille to promote independence in public, or contracted Braille for reading books.
There’s no need to feel intimidated by computers or smartphones, or feel like your blindness or vision loss prevents you from using the Internet.
The world of technology is rapidly evolving, but Lighthouse is here to help you feel confident when you use a computer or smartphone and to help you decide which piece of technology will benefit you most. We offer free typing classes, customized technology assessments and training to help narrow down which types of technology will most benefit you. You’ll then receive personalized training on its hardware and software.
The Lighthouse also offers introductory lessons to using iPhones and iPads. You can learn how to use your device to identify money, read the labels on items in your home such as cans or DVDs, and much more.
We love providing an environment that fosters meaningful relationships between clients in our programs, and we don't want to see those relationships end when programs are completed. Fun 101 is a weekly open house for participants in vision rehab programs who are interested in maintaining social contact with their friends at Lighthouse.
"The Lighthouse is a Godsend... such a blessing in my life. The resources, support, offerings, and personnel are wonderful." - a grateful service recipient
If your child is struggling with vision loss, we can help.
Lighthouse Louisiana offers a variety of programs to assist youth who are visually impaired in developing their physical, mental and social skills.
Call (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 327 for more information.
Orientation & Mobility Training
Your child’s ability to safely and confidently navigate through their environment will go a long way toward ensuring their social, mental and physical well-being. Let Lighthouse Louisiana help them manage this crucial aspect of their lives with orientation and mobility training.*
Does your child bump into things, stumble or trip, especially in unfamiliar areas? Follow other people rather than lead the way? Or seem apprehensive about walking alone?
It is possible that these behaviors are due to your child’s visual impairment and that he or she could benefit from an Orientation & Mobility (O&M) evaluation.
Learning to use a long white cane is an option but not a requirement of O&M training.
*Lighthouse provides instruction in O&M at the New Orleans and Baton Rouge campuses and on-location at individual homes, schools or businesses.
Students Together Acquiring Recreational Skills (STARS)
The STARS program offers recreational activities on Saturdays throughout the school year for students who are visually impaired in first through eighth grades. Sign your child up to participate in activities like goalball, pottery, painting and exploring all the coolest parts of New Orleans.
Lighthouse Summer Camp
Our unique summer camp provides an outlet for fun and creative play. All youth who are blind or visually impaired from the age of 6 until completion of grade 12 are welcome to join.
Come have an adventure at Lighthouse Summer Camp; previous summers have included zip-lining, horseback riding, canoeing and line dancing.
In-School Visually Impaired Services
Are your kids having trouble keeping up with their sighted peers in school? We offer comprehensive in-school services to children in public or private schools through the expertise of a Certified Teacher for the Visually Impaired (CTVI). This teacher assists schools in creating an ideal academic environment for children who require special accommodations due to visual impairment, and to help parents advocate for their children’s needs.
Lighthouse Louisiana invites all children with vision loss and their parents to participate in goalball - a fun and challenging sport designed for people who are blind. Generously sponsored by area Lions Clubs, games are typically held on the fourth Saturday of each month. Contact us at 504-899-4501 x 264 for more information.
Lighthouse Louisiana provides a unique set of activities and training for teens with vision impairment to help them acquire the tools necessary to make smarter choices regarding their academic and employment goals. Activities are scheduled on Saturdays.
Need to get to a doctor’s appointment? We can come pick you up and make sure you get inside safely. Lighthouse Louisiana provides this door-to-door service for a small fee. Services are offered Monday through Friday. Please call (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 300 to learn more.
Need a ride to the Lighthouse? We can come pick you up.
Transportation is available to and from the Lighthouse for most of the services we offer. Call (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 300 for more information.
Lighthouse Louisiana’s Deaf Services Department is committed to providing high quality communication access, services, advocacy, and equipment to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, and Deaf-Blind communities. As the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf’s (LCD) Regional Service Center for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, we are the premier source for services, tools, and equipment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. These programs are all an integral part of Lighthouse Louisiana’s mission to ensure that all people have the opportunity to succeed.
Do you have clients, patients, or employees who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and use American Sign Language to communicate? Are you Deaf or Hard of Hearing and having trouble getting an interpreter?
We are a responsive and professional interpreting agency employing highly skilled interpreters to ensure full, culturally-sensitive communication access. We also administer LCD’s free, professional ASL interpreting program on a case-by-case basis as a last resort. Please contact us to request an interpreter or to get more information.
We administer LCD’s free hearing aid program for low-income residents over 50 years old. Call 800-256-1523 to add your name to the LCD waiting list. We also provide referrals for anyone who does not qualify for the LCD program. Please call us with questions you have about getting quality hearing aids that you can afford.
Are you having difficulty hearing on the telephone or hearing the doorbell ring?
We distribute a range of adaptive equipment through LCD’s long-term lending program, including amplified telephones, visual alert systems, and more. Please contact us to learn about your options.
Advocacy & ADA Compliance
Do you have questions about your communication rights as an individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or your responsibilities as a business or organization?
We provide information and advocacy as well as assistance in becoming more ADA compliant and supporting the Deaf community. Please contact us so that we can help to ensure full communication access for you, your family, or your business.
New Orleans Director of Deaf Services
504-899-4501 ext. 253
Video Phone: 504-571-9123
Baton Rouge Deaf Services Coordinator
(225) 275-1200 ext. 343
Video Phone: 225-224-3147
"What a wonderful program for hearing aids. I didn't know how much I couldn't hear until I got my hearing aids. I can hear a clock ticking, blinkers, birds chirping and can actually follow a conversation." - a grateful service recipient
We help chronically unemployed individuals with disabilities get trained, get a job and keep it.
The meaning that employment gives to a person’s life is profound and powerful. But many employers don’t hire people with disabilities because they simply don’t recognize their potential.
Lighthouse Louisiana works with individuals to identify and understand their goals, skills and challenges related to employment.
We offer Work Readiness Training to prepare people for employment, providing guidance and instruction on soft skills like collaboration, conflict resolution, appropriate dress and behavior, résumé writing and interview skills.
We also provide concrete skills training and internships for certain types of jobs.
Once an individual is prepared for successful employment, we search the community for an employment opportunity with requirements that match his or her capabilities and goals. We connect this work-ready individual with
an employer, who will benefit by having the opportunity to hire a prescreened, qualified and reliable candidate that brings diversity to the workforce.
Lighthouse Louisiana continues to support these individuals throughout the duration of a job by assisting with orientation, providing training specific to the job and offering general guidance.
New Orleans Office (504) 899-4501 Ext. 239 or 259
Baton Rouge Office (225) 275-1200
Video Phone (504) 267-2490
Freida Holland: Vice President of Employment Services
I think the most important benefit in working with Lighthouse Louisiana Employment Services is that the Lighthouse Louisiana staff are very involved with the employees they help place in our positions. Having that presence eases the transition for everyone, and everyone that has passed through our doors from the Lighthouse has been a pleasure to work with.
-Jason at Sodexo
My dad is losing his vision. Can you help him?
Yes! Lighthouse Louisiana has services for people with all different types of vision loss. Many people who use our services are experiencing changes in their vision due to the aging process. We also serve those who have been blind since birth, and people with visual impairments. For more information, call (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 327, or visit us here.
Do you have services for kids who are blind or visually impaired?
Yes! Lighthouse Louisiana offers a variety of programs to assist youth who are visually impaired in developing their physical, mental, and social skills. We even contract with area schools to provide services through a teacher for the visually impaired and an orientation and mobility specialist. Call (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 327 for more information, or visit us here.
My child is Deaf or hard of hearing. Can you help me?
Yes! We provide education, advocacy and referrals to a number of organizations designed to support parents of Deaf or hard of hearing children. Please get in touch if you need resources and encouragement. Learn more here.
I have a child with a disability. What are my rights as a parent?
You have the right to request an evaluation from your child's school to determine whether your child has a disability. Your child has the right to "free appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment." You have the right to dispute resolution, including mediation, complaints, and due process. Your child's school MUST provide these accommodations for students with disabilities if they accept federal funding.
My doctor referred me to the Lighthouse Louisiana Low Vision Clinic. What can I expect?
Our occupational therapist can help you get the most out of your remaining vision. It all starts with an evaluation that lasts approximately one and a half hours. Training sessions to follow can be thirty minutes to an hour long, depending on the individual. Sessions may include: visual skills training, magnification training, and adaptive skills training. The goal of low vision occupational therapy is to help you be as independent as possible in meaningful daily activities like: reading, preparing meals, managing finances, identifying labels, managing medications, grooming and self-care skills, enjoying leisure activities. The number of sessions will depend on each person's goals and amount of vision loss, but the average is four to six sessions. Call our clinic at (504) 899-4501 x 238 for more information.
Is transportation available?
Yes! Learn more here or call (504) 899-4501 ext. 245 or (225) 275-1200 ext. 300.
What type of products do you sell in your visual aids store, and how can I pay for them?
We have two retail stores, one in Baton Rouge and one in New Orleans that sell all types of visual aids from talking watches, electronic magnifiers, and sunglasses. Shop here. At this time, insurance carriers do not pay for optical devices of low vision aids.
I have a disability. Can you help me find a job?
Yes! We help people with all types of intellectual and developmental disabilities find the right jobs for them at no cost. We create jobs in two different ways: 1) Jobs within the Lighthouse and 2) Jobs in the community. To find out if you're eligible, call your Louisiana Rehabilitation Services office and inform them that you are interested in supported employment services. A counselor will determine if you are eligible for these services.
What kinds of jobs can someone with a disability do?
An individual's ABILITY determines the right job match. With improved access to technology and training, people with disabilities can perform a wide variety of jobs. We have placed people in jobs with a wide variety of employers ranging from large corporations to small locally owned businesses. Each placement is different and the length of time to find a job will depend on employment goals, support needs and job site location.
Do I open myself to liabilities when hiring someone with a disability?
No. National statistics show there is no more liability when hiring someone with a disability than without a disability.
I'm having trouble with my hearing. Can you help?
Yes! We can help connect you with hearing aids and other adaptive equipment. The first step in getting free hearing aids through the Lighthouse is to call the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf to add your name to the waiting list at 1-800-256-1523.
We provide flashing doorbells and amplified phones for those who are hard of hearing to maintain their independence and their ability to communicate with friends and family.
Please call us for additional information about the program and other referrals we can offer you: (504) 899-4501 or (225) 275-1200.
I'm having vision and hearing issues simultaneously. Can you help me?
Yes! Lighthouse Louisiana is uniquely qualified to provide services to people experiencing both vision and hearing loss, and we have resources to help people in the Deafblind community maintain their independence and be successful. Learn more here.
I need a sign language interpreter for an appointment, but I'm having trouble getting one. Advice?
If you're having trouble getting an ASL interpreter for an appointment, please contact us and we can reach out to make sure your doctor, employer, or another institution can provide you with full communication access. Learn more here.
I still have a question!
Call us at (504) 899-4501 x 245 or (225) 275-1200 x 327!
We are pleased to offer special training opportunities to groups seeking information about working with people who are blind, Deaf, and who have other disabilities . Presentations are customized to meet group needs and interests. We welcome the opportunity to educate students of all ages, employees and professional staff on best practices and reasonable accomodations. Contact our Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator Stephanie Kreller at (504) 899-4501 ext. 266.
Your experience as someone who has low vision, is blind or Deaf, or has a disability is specific to you, but know that you are not alone. These resources can help connect you with the help you need to overcome your personal hurdles and equip you with the information and tools you need to thrive.
Advocacy & Support
American Foundation for the Blind
American Foundation for the Blind Senior Site
American Council of the Blind
ADA-Americans With Disabilities Act
National Federation of the Blind
Blinded Veterans Association
AER-Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Louisiana Commission for the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
Support for Parents
National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) U.S. Department of Education
Council for Exceptional Children Division
The American Society for Deaf Children
The Parent Pupil Education Program
Louisiana Hands and Voices
Guide Dog Services
Recreation & Leisure
Southeast Louisiana Transportation
Education & Training
Louisiana Center for the Blind
Affiliated Blind of Louisiana
Louisiana Association for the Blind
Hadley School for the Blind
Louisiana School for the Deaf
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Delgado Community College's ASL Interpreting Program
The Helen Keller National Center
The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
Affordable Colleges Online