N. FORT MYERS, Fla. — Monday marks the final week of Disability Pride Month, a time where communities can come together to celebrate the diversity and awareness of anyone with a disability.
Lighthouse of SWFL, a non-profit said their goal is to help those who are visually impaired or have lost their sight remain independent and active in their daily lives.
Lighthouse of SWFL has a full-service rehabilitation center that serves Lee, Hendry, and Glades County.
More than 50 of their rehabilitation and service programs are offered for free, which includes training on new pieces of technology that can help make daily tasks easier.
For Miriam Blum, it’s an outlet that has helped her to adjust, after losing her sight and having to quit her job at the age of 51.
Blum, who worked as a Registered Nurse (RN) at Naples Community Hospital (NCH) was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which creates a loss of cells in the retina.
Losing her sight so late in life, Blum said she felt isolated from the world and it was non-profits like the lighthouse that helped pick her back up.
“I got sick and tired of being home alone, depressed and saying what am I going to do with my life.I knew that when I left my job I felt like I had no purpose anymore and I didn’t have a job I didn’t have my car I didn’t have anything that I could say was something that I got up in the morning to do,” said Blum.
Blum says classes at the lighthouse have helped her discover different apps on her phone that can identify objects she comes across during her day-to-day.
Blum quickly went from being a newbie at the Lighthouse of SWFL to someone who now advocates for those who’ve lost their sight.
She is currently the President of the Southwest Florida Council of the Blind where she uses her experiences to help others recognize that life doesn’t stop after you lose your sight.
Blum says nowadays she does everything she wants to do and that includes stopping by at the lighthouse of Southwest Florida.
I am doing art class and I didn't think that would be anything interesting or fun since I can't really see that much what I am doing but I am having a wonderful time,” said Blum.
If you would like to connect with the Lighthouse of Southwest Flordia, click here for their Facebook page.