Adobe shares insights at Lighthouse of Collier Annual Summer Camp

Two eyes looking at each other with hand shake in the middle.

Image source: Celina Oseguera.

I recently had the rewarding opportunity to join the Lighthouse of Collier Summer Camp crew to give a presentation to their camp-goers about the importance of accessibility in our digital lives and share my own experience in the field. During the conversation, we discussed how Adobe efforts to develop technologies helps enhance people’s lives, including work on Liquid Mode for PDF being used to help students develop reading skills and how Adobe tools are used by Limbitless to allow kids to personalize the appearance of bionic arms.

The Lighthouse of Collier is a nonprofit organization located in Florida, providing services to many of the babies, children, and adults in Collier County who are blind or visually impaired. Each year the camp holds a two-week summer camp for children ages 6 – 13, offering an opportunity to apply skills they have practiced and learned throughout the school year. Activities throughout the camp address; assistive technology, communication skills, orientation and mobility skills, career education/job readiness and much more.

As one of their guest speakers this year, I had the opportunity to (virtually) sit down with camp-goers and talk about their daily lives, what they have learned in school and summer camp, their interest in technology and how accessibility plays an important role in our digital lives. In line with our Adobe For All In Action advice to strengthen inclusion, I also discussed that they should expect that technology will work for them in school, future work, or in creative activities, and that if it doesn’t that they should speak up and insist that it does.

This organization is one of several essential organizations offered around the globe to help individuals with disabilities of all ages feel empowered to be independent through experiences, education and socialization. These organizations are extremely vital for our society to help serve a community of people that make up 26 percent of the population in the United States, providing them with a voice of and the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of areas. At Adobe, we regularly partner with organizations that serve the community of individuals with disabilities, some of these include Disability:IN, Diversability, Easterseals, NVAccess, and Readability Matters, among others.

“As an agency for the blind and visually impaired, we provide vision rehabilitation services which enable our clients to attain, or maintain, independence in their daily lives. This includes home management skills, such as cooking and cleaning, money management, assistive technology, and so much more. Within our children’s programs, we cover what is called the Expanded Core Curriculum — this addresses needs beyond the standard core curriculum, which is what is covered in the schools, and enables independence,” said Jennifer Nieves, director of Children’s Programs at Lighthouse of Collier. “Providing instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum can prevent unnecessary developmental delays in these children, prevent gaps in concept formation and understanding, and increase the likelihood of these children becoming successful and independent adults when they get older. Additionally, we of course provide support to the families, such as providing resources to parents, or providing guidance to the spouses, children, or caregivers of clients in our adult programs.”

I am delighted to have been a speaker at this year’s summer camp presentation for Lighthouse of Collier and helping the camp-goers understand the importance of accessibility and how they can feel empowered to find a career that is right for them, no matter their ability.

For those that are interested in learning more about the Lighthouse of Collier, you can visit here.