brailleinstituteClasses teach life and adaptation skills, technology use and art and entertainment


Braille Institute Rancho Mirage announced they are currently accepting enrollment for a range of free classes at the Rancho Mirage location for Coachella Valley residents living with low vision or vision loss. The classes, offered in English and Spanish, emphasize basic life skills and focus on adaptation, enjoyment and safety. The Fall classes begin September 12 and run weekly through December 12. There is no fee to participate in the classes, but students must register with Braille Institute by calling 760-321-1111 or in person at the facility, located at 70-251 Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage.
“We are dedicated to raising the quality of life for Coachella Valley residents who experience vision loss,” said Lisa Jimenez, Executive Director of Braille Institute Rancho Mirage. “Our classes teach basic skills, technology, current events, and enrichment, such as arts and music. All Classes emphasize that a decrease in vision does not mean a decrease in enjoyment of life.”
The classes are grouped into 5 different series. Classes are offered at specific times in an established schedule, but students can sign up for as many classes as they like. The five Class Series include:
1) The Business of Living: These classes teach basic skills, such as life skills (pouring hot liquids, organization, home safety, and orientation and mobility), Braille instruction, cooking basics, exercise/balance/mediation, and sensory awareness.
2) Staying Connected Through Computers: These self-paced classes teach students how to use software and adaptive technology, including internet basics, how to use software, play digital books, use voice commands and magnify text.
3) Support classes: Deterioration of vision can often lead to emotional issues. This series of support classes help students and their loved ones deal with the frustration that can be associated with adapting to reduced vision.
4) Express Yourself Classes: This series of fun classes is aimed at encouraging students to create music and art, dance, sing, and further express their individual creativity.
5) Classes to Expand Your Mind: This series allows students to explore a lighthearted range of activities, including games for keeping the mind active, the origin of words, current events and how to live an inspired life.
In addition, Braille Institute Ranch Mirage offers a series of classes at their Connection Pointe Technology Center that offers students the opportunity to learn about the latest mainstream and adaptive devices and assistive technology that is available to people with diminished or no vision. Students can sign up for Technology Center classes or choose individual instruction.
Also offered this Fall is a series of free seminars. These updates enable students and their families to get the latest updates on eye disease, treatment, and the latest technology and devices. These seminars start September 16 and are offered on Fridays through the beginning of December. All seminars run from 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. and reservations are required. The seminar schedule is:
• September 16: Understanding Vision Loss
• September 23: Guide: A User-Friendly All-in-One Software for the
Visually Impaired
• September 30: Glaucoma Update
• October 7 – Family Day
• October 14: Balance/Orientation & Mobility
• October 21: Understanding Vision Loss
• October 28: Diabetic Retinopathy Update
• November 4: Sensory Awareness Through Spices
• November 18: Understanding Vision Loss
• December 2: Let There Be Light (seminar on lighting and vendor fair)
• December 9: Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) – seminar and tour or the Connection Pointe Technology Center
About Braille Institute
Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss. It offers a variety of free programs, classes and services at five centers and 220 community outreach locations throughout Southern California. Each year Braille Institute serves more than 75,000 people. It provides an environment of hope and encouragement through integrated educational, social, and recreational programs and through our services, classes, and seminars.