Artist Incorporates Braille Into Paintings so Visually Impaired Can Experience Artwork

Roy Nachum, 34, sculpts poems in Braille as backgrounds for his oil paintings as a way for the visually impaired to appreciate his work. His art — which will be featured at the POSH Arts & Interiors auction Monday — also experiments with color-blindness tests and reflective props, urging viewers with sight to confront their own limitations.


On the Ark, Two by Two, Creatures (and Performers) Great and Small

Benjamin Britten loved composing pieces for children, not just for children to enjoy but also to perform. There is no better example that “Noye’s Fludde” (“Noah’s Flood”), a 60-minute opera based on a 15th-century mystery play, written for amateurs, especially children, with professionals mixed in. This telling of the biblical story was first performed in 1958 at Orford Church in Suffolk, England. It was presented as part of Britten’s Aldeburgh Festival with artists from the English Opera Group along with a large local cast, including a children’s choir.

It was an inspired idea for Lighthouse International, an multifaceted organization serving people with vision loss, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School by joining with Arts at the Park, an affiliate of Park Avenue Christian Church, for an enchanting production of “Noye’s Fludde” on Friday night.


Disruptions: Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World

NEW YORK — Sunday, September 29, 2013 — In recent years, many smartphone apps that are aimed at blind people have appeared. Luis Perez loves taking photographs. He shoots mostly on an iPhone, snapping gorgeous pictures of sunsets, vintage cars, old buildings and cute puppies. But when he arrives at a photo shoot, people are often startled when he pulls out a long white cane.

In addition to being a professional photographer, Mr. Perez is almost blind

“With the iPhone I am able to use the same technology as everyone else, and having a product that doesn’t have a stigma that other technologies do has been really important to me,” said Mr. Perez, who is also an advocate for blind people and speaks regularly at conferences about the benefits of technology for people who cannot see.


Jewish Guild Healthcare and Lighthouse International to Join Forces as Lighthouse Guild International

NEW YORK – September 17, 2013 – Jewish Guild Healthcare and Lighthouse International, two of the most well respected not-for-profit vision care organizations in the world, today announced plans to join forces and operate as one organization under the new name Lighthouse Guild International. Together, the merged organization will offer the broadest array and most comprehensive scope of services currently available for people who are blind, vision impaired or multi-disabled, ranging from physical and mental health to rehabilitation, long-term care and education.


Read about it in The New York Times

Joseph A. Ripp Named Chief Executive Officer of Time Inc.

NEW YORK – Time Warner Inc. today announced that Joseph A. Ripp will become the Chief Executive Officer of Time Inc. Mr. Ripp, a former top Time Inc. and Time Warner executive, is currently the Chief Executive Officer of OneSource Information Services, Inc. and will begin his new role in September.


July 14, 2013: New computer programs Goodfeel and Lime Lighter help blind read, write music

Lime Lighter, which produces a readable digital score for people with low vision, and Goodfeel, a music notes-to-Braille translator, are being used in music schools across the world after being tested at Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School in Manhattan. Read more and watch the video...

March 26, 2013 -- Transit For All: How NYC’s Public Transit Serves the Blind

In many ways, how we view public transportation reflects how we see our societies.  Do we value shared resources, or prefer private ownership? Will vital services be available to all, or just a few? How accessible is it to those who are dependent on public transport to go about their daily lives?  We went to New York City, where Reporter Britta Conroy-Randall took a trip with blind advocate Romeo Edmead to find out how easy to is for him gets around town.

Read more…. Or listen to the interview

January 8, 2013: Lighthouse International and Creative Mobile Technologies Presented Taxi Technology for People Who are Blind and Visually Impaired

Lighthouse International in partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) gave a presentation on taxi technology for blind and visually impaired passengers to United States Access Board on Tuesday, January 8th in Washington D.C

Lighthouse International in partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) gave a presentation on taxi technology for blind and visually impaired passengers to United States Access Board on Tuesday, January 8th in Washington D.C. The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Half of its members are representatives from most of the Federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President, a majority of whom must have a disability.


December 12, 2012: Bill Requiring Accessible Payment Systems in NYC Taxis Signed

Lighthouse joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he signed Intro 599, a bill championed by Lighthouse and unanimously passed by the New York City Council, that requires an accessible payment system for people who are blind and visually impaired in all New York City Taxicabs

See more...

Presidential Proclamation: Blind Americans Equality Day

President Barack Obama proclaimed October 15, 2012 "Blind Americans Equality Day".

Poster for Employment AwarenessVia the Presidential Proclamation:

As business leaders and public advocates, teachers and scientists, musicians and athletes, and in countless other ways, blind and visually impaired Americans have profoundly enriched every part of our national life. Today, we celebrate their innumerable contributions, and we recommit to guaranteeing equal access, equal opportunity, and equal respect for all Americans.

Read the full text of the proclamation.

Download a National Disability Employment Awareness Month Poster

Lighthouse International Celebrates AMD Awareness Week with the Re-Launch of “Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight” by Henry Grunwald.

book coverThis powerful book is a must for anyone who has personally experienced Macular Degeneration or other degenerative eye diseases. No one has told the story of vision loss more personally or poignantly than Mr. Grunwald.

"Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight" is now available in paperback, digital audio and eBook formats.

Purchase the paperback

Purchase other formats

Additionally, the new paperback edition includes a foreword by Lighthouse President and CEO Mark G. Ackermann.

Dorrie Rush, Marketing Director, Accessible Technology at Lighthouse International, reviews the newly released e-book format on several digital devices: iPad, Kindle and Nook in time for AMD week, September 22nd- 30th.

Henry Grunwald was Managing Editor of Time Magazine and Editor In Chief of all Time, Inc. publications. His love for the written word was in his heart and soul. As a side effect of aging, Mr. Grunwald began to experience the slow, progressive loss of central vision caused by macular degeneration.

“Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight” speaks of a world millions are living in, yet few are willing to discuss; Mr. Grunwald felt as if he was involuntarily joining a “secret society.” If you know someone with macular degeneration, this is a must read. He takes us into the dimming and distorted reality of central vision loss and leads us directly to the gifts of his gained insight.

I first read the book shortly after its publication in 1999 and was taken aback by the many experiences Henry and I had in common. I too was diagnosed with a degenerative disease of the macula and my eyesight was changing. I knew what it was like to stare in the face of an old friend and not recognize them; to ask someone a question then realize it is a statue I have spoken to; to leave my seat at an event and have trouble finding it again; to put on black socks and later discover they are brown; to pick up a book and not even be able to make out its title.



Going blind still

Documentary Airs on Saturday, October 6 at 3 p.m.
In Recognition of October’s World Blindness Awareness Month

“Going Blind: Coming out of the Dark about Vision Loss,” a documentary on the experience of coping with diminishing sight, begins airing on public television stations across the country this month in recognition of October’s World Blindness Awareness Month, and National Disability Awareness Month.  In the New York metropolitan area, “Going Blind” will be broadcast on WLIW21 (Channel 21) on Saturday, October 6, at 3 p.m.

The film follows Peabody-award winning director Joseph Lovett as he adapts to life with low vision caused by glaucoma, an optic nerve disease that robs 4.5 million people of their vision worldwide. Lovett meets and interviews several people along his journey, among them Dr. Bruce P. Rosenthal and Dr. Michael Fischer of Lighthouse’s Low Vision Center.  The Lighthouse’s team of experts help introduce Lovett to the numerous resources available to people with vision impairment, in particular the life-changing devices and technologies which can be prescribed by low vision specialists.   

“Going Blind” is a powerful documentary which underlines Lighthouse’s central message -- that with help, hope and resources, people with impaired vision can continue to lead engaging, productive lives.  Be sure to catch the screening this Saturday! 

Visit for more details about Joseph Lovett and his film.

In Memoriam: Marvin Hamlisch, American Conductor, Producer and Friend of the Lighthouse

August 6, 2012- Marvin Hamlisch was honored by Lighthouse International during the 2009 LightYears Gala, saluting those making outstanding contributions to the arts. During that time, Mr. Hamlisch visited the Lighthouse Music School and sat in on a performance by one of our students, Debbie Deyo. Watch the video.

Henry A. Grunwald Award For Public Service To Honor Best-Selling Crime Novelist Linda Fairstein and Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman

July 12, 2012- The annual Henry A. Grunwald Award for public service will be bestowed upon two outstanding individuals who have committed themselves and have advanced causes that benefit society overall. The awards will be presented at a luncheon held on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. The annual event hosted by Lighthouse International, will honor Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel and Linda Fairstein, Noted Author and Former Head Prosecutor of the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office.


Annual POSH Fashion Sale

May 16,2012- The POSH Sale was once again an exciting event for the Lighthouse. With Benefit Preview coverage from Fox 5's Julie Chang, Good Day NY's Jill Niccolini, and a TV spot from Joan Rivers that ran on Time Warner Cable, the POSH Sale was off to a great start.

Two-hundred people were lined up to enter the first full day of the sale to shop for items from Oscar de la Renta, Henri Bendel, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Jimmy Choo and many more. The 2012 Spring POSH sale commenced on May 15th at the annual POSH Affair Gala at the Pierre Hotel.

Lighthouse International Announces Board Transitions

April 27, 2012 Lighthouse International, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those who are blind and visually impaired overcome the challenges of vision loss, announced that Roger Goldman has retired as Chairman of the Board of Directors and has been succeeded by Joseph A. Ripp. Sarah Smith was also appointed as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Board. Smith will serve as Vice Chair along with Jonathan M. Wainwright. These transitions officially became effective March 15, 2012.

“We welcome Joe Ripp’s dynamic leadership, future vision and experience and are equally pleased to have a person of Sarah Smith’s caliber serve as Board Vice Chair and Treasurer,” said Mark Ackermann, CEO and President of Lighthouse International. “Through the years, Joe and Sarah have demonstrated exemplary leadership in both the non-profit and business worlds, and their stewardship, along with Jon Wainwright, will help Lighthouse continue to maintain its status as a leading organization fighting vision loss. Sarah brings a strong complement to the business and legal expertise provided by her co-Vice Chair, Mr. Wainwright, who also serves as Vice Chair & Senior Counsel, Financial Services, at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.


Guggenheim Museum To Offer Tours For People Who Are Visually Impaired or Blind

In conjunction with Partners in Preservation, The Guggenheim Museum is having an open house this weekend regarding the architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. There will be two tours tailored for people who are vision impaired or blind, with visual description and touch. Both tours will be at 3pm, the first on Saturday, May 5th and the second on Sunday, May 6th. The museum is offering 1/2 price admission to anyone interested in attending the tour which would be $9.00. For more information please call The Guggenheim Museum at 212-423-3500 or visit their website.

Vacca, Creative Mobile Technologies, Lighthouse International, former Governor Paterson to Unveil Pioneering Taxi Technology for Blind and Visually Impaired Passengers

Partnership leads to accessibility improvements for blind and visually impaired taxi riders in New York and around the nation

April 17, 2012, New York-- In partnership with Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) and Lighthouse International, Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Council Transportation Committee, and former New York Governor David A. Paterson today announced groundbreaking software enhancements designed to enable blind and visually impaired taxi riders to independently access the credit card payment system and other technology features in New York’s yellow medallion taxicabs as well as taxi fleets around the nation.

CMT created adaptive software that will allow blind or visually impaired taxi passengers to hear the fare changing in regular intervals during the trip and facilitate all aspects of the credit card or cash payment functions upon reaching their destination, including selection of payment options, verification of fare and selection of tip percentages. CMT’s audible touch screen system, which can be activated by a special card or by simply asking the driver, will transform the screen into large, easy-to-navigate sections that are operated by touch and prompted by step-by-step spoken instructions.

“I consistently hear that New York City is one of the most difficult places for blind and visually impaired individuals to navigate,” said Vacca. “The payment system in taxicabs has been a great improvement for passengers, and visually impaired riders deserve to enjoy the same benefits of that system. This nationwide initiative to make taxis more accessible for visually impaired riders is a major achievement, both for the industry, and for this community. I want to commend CMT and Lighthouse for making this a priority. This technology will make a real difference for people who need it.” Read more.

View photos from the days event below:

Lighthouse International Offering Tax Preparation for the Blind and Visually Impaired

montage of tax documentsThrough a partnership with the IRS and the Food Bank NYC, Lighthouse International is offering 2011 tax preparation services to persons who are visually impaired for the filing of federal, state, and city income tax returns. Tax agents will be at Lighthouse International on the following days:

  • Monday, March 12, 2012, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday, March 13, 2012, from 12:30 PM to 7:00 PM

An appointment is required to reserve your place with a tax agent, and appointments are available on a first come, first served basis.

To make an appointment, please contact Rosie Lopez Monday through Friday 9AM - 5PM at (212) 821-9682.

Appointments are limited to one hour. Important personal documents that you will need to bring with you include:

  1. W2 forms.
  2. Certificate of legal blindness or letter from your eye physician to attach to the federal form. (If you are filing for the first time, certificates may be obtained from the NYS Commission for the Blind.)
  3. Copy of last year's returns.
  4. All 1099 SS forms that you received.
  5. All 1099 G forms for unemployment.

Items must be totaled in advance of your submitting papers to the tax agents. Please arrange items in logical groupings to speed the process.

Self-employed individuals should bring proof of:

  1. Gross purchases (dollar value) of items purchased for sale.
  2. Gross sales (dollar value) of items SOLD.
  3. Net income (#2 minus #1).
  4. Itemized business expenses with corresponding amounts.

PLEASE NOTE: This service is provided for people with vision impairment only.

Anyone with more than $50,000 in income or large Schedule D (stock market) and Schedule E (real estate) transactions are not included in this program.

Professor Clare Gilbert Awarded Prestigious Pisart Vision Award by Lighthouse International

Professor Claire GilbertProfessor Clare Gilbert, of London, an important leader who has made a significant contribution to global eye care by putting prevention of childhood blindness at the forefront of the global eye care agenda. In recognition of her work, Lighthouse International is pleased to honor her with its distinguished 2012 Pisart Vision Award.

The prestigious Pisart Vision Award is given annually by Lighthouse International to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to preventing and treating vision impairment.

Read our press release for more information.

Eyebobs Teams Up With Style Icon and Friend of the Lighthouse, Iris Apfel

eyebobs Famous for her signature eyeglasses, inimitable style icon Iris Apfel joins forces with eyebobs, designer of eyewear for the irreverent and slightly jaded, to create an exclusive collection. The collaboration launches with a special, limited edition “Iris” frame in January 2012 and rolls out to a full “eyebobs by Iris Apfel” collection in 2013.

To kick off the partnership, eyebobs will embark on a year-long charity initiative. Beginning in January 2012, eyebobs will introduce “Iris,” an oversized round frame available both as a sun reader and a polarized sunglass. Proceeds from the sale of this frame will benefit Lighthouse International, one of Ms. Apfel’s favorite charities.

Eyebobs will then expand on its partnership with Ms. Apfel with the “eyebobs by Iris Apfel collection” in 2013, a line including readers, sun readers and polarized sunglasses. This collection will be sold in specialty stores, optical shops and online at Prices will range from $75 to $99.

“Without a doubt, eyewear is an important accessory because it can change your whole look, and I think accessories are the most important part of a woman’s wardrobe. The beauty of eyebobs is that the price points allow for different frames for different looks,” says Ms. Apfel, the subject of an upcoming documentary directed by “Grey Gardens” filmmaker AIbert Maysles.

November 2, 2011: Lighthouse International Hosted VisionServe Alliance 2011 Fall Executive Conference

Vision Serve Alliance Logo Seventy-five executive directors, CEOs and leaders of nonprofit vision rehabilitation organizations from across the country attended the VisionServe Alliance 2011 Fall Executive Conference and Meeting at Lighthouse International from October 26-29.

The VisionServe Alliance Conference is a national forum for executive directors and CEOs of private agencies and organizations that specialize in serving people who are blind or visually impaired.

The event provided an opportunity for the leaders to share information, learn the latest developments and best practices in the field and improve the effectiveness of their organizations. Topics ranged from the need for health care reform to cover people who are blind and visually impaired, to fundraising techniques and the latest in technology. Guest speakers included Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, M.D., who discussed a range of issues affecting nonprofits, including the impact aging baby boomers will have on legislation.

Vision Serve Alliance Members

“We were very pleased to host our colleagues for this important annual meeting," said Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International. "We had productive and fruitful sessions on how we can better serve our clients and improve our efficiency in challenging economic times.”

If you don’t know someone with vision loss today, chances are you will in the very near future. Eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts are robbing baby boomers, our parents and grandparents — all of us — of precious vision in record numbers. There are 61 million Americans at high risk for serious vision loss. The VisionServe Alliance Conference is an important event that brings together leaders in the visually impaired community to discuss ways to improve the services available to the blind and visually impaired. The 100 organizations in the VisionServe Alliance serve people who are blind and visually impaired through a variety of programs such as education, rehabilitation and advocacy.

October 19, 2011: Lighthouse Celebrates Opening of New Westchester Office

opening of westchester lighthouse. dr. faye cutting ribbonLighthouse International, which has been serving thousands of people in Westchester, NY for more than 50 years, will celebrate the opening of its new office at 95 Church Street in White Plains on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International, Mae Carpenter, Commissioner Westchester Department of Senior Programs and Services, elected officials, community leaders and others will participate in a ribbon cutting at 5:15 p.m.

“Lighthouse International has been pleased to be an integral part of the community for decades," said Mark G. Ackermann. "Westchester has over 200,000 residents over 65, many of whom experience or are at-risk for age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. We are pleased to provide low vision services to meet a growing need.”

Lighthouse comprehensive services in Westchester include:

  • Low vision examination services by appointment. Specialized eye exams by a low vision doctor evaluate a person’s remaining vision and visual functioning to make the best use of existing vision – often with the prescription of optical devices and instructions on how to use them effectively.
  • Vision rehabilitation, orientation and mobility, and vision rehabilitation therapy. These services enable people to travel effectively, navigate their home and neighborhood, cook, manage bills, etc. The services are provided in homes and in the community.
  • Social services, counseling and emotional support to people with vision loss.
  • Early intervention services for children (birth to 5-years-old). These services are provided in homes and in community based programs.
  • Adaptive technology for individual and group computer and technology training.
  • The Lighthouse Store offers a full range of vision friendly products and assistive technologies.

One of the clients who has received services at the Lighthouse in Westchester is Ann M. Chiappetta, M.S, Family Therapist with the Department of Veterans Affairs in White Plains. She received a full range of services, including computer training, which has greatly enhanced her ability to study and work effectively. "It opened up a whole new world for me and gave me the confidence to be productive and independent," said Ann.

To make an appointment at the Lighthouse office in Westchester, or for more information, fill out our contact form or call 212-821-9624 or 800-829-0500. Lighthouse International in Westchester accepts most major forms of insurance, including Medicare.

October 18, 2011: Lighthouse International Rings New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell

Lighthouse International rang the New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell on October 17, 2011 in recognition of World Sight Day and Double Up 4 Vision, Lighthouse International’s upcoming Tandem Bike Ride & Walk.

Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International, rang the closing bell with the help of Lighthouse staff and riders taking part in Double Up 4 Vision’s 24-Hour, Five-Borough Tandem Bike Relay.

Double Up 4 Vision is a Tandem Bike Ride & Walk dedicated to raising awareness about vision loss. Currently more than 285 million people worldwide suffer from a visual impairment and some 61 million Americans are at-risk for vision loss.

Double Up 4 Vision will take place on October 22 at Riverside Park in New York City. Ride or walk for yourself or for someone you love. Register today at

Watch the video and view some pictures from Lighthouse International's trip to the New York Stock Exchange below.

October 11, 2011: New York Times Profiles Lighthouse Client & Instructor

The New York Times has published a new article, “Navigating the City Without Sight, but With a Cane and a Teacher,” which profiles Yvonne Romero, a client at Lighthouse International who is working with Karen Kramer, a certified orientation and mobility specialist at the Lighthouse.

The article describes how Yvonne is adapting to life with impaired vision. With the help of Karen Kramer and Lighthouse International, she is learning how to use her long cane to safely navigate through the busy streets of New York City.

Click here to read the article.

September 19, 2011: Lighthouse Helping Sudan Teen

With the help of Lighthouse International board member, Ellen Ratner, and her brother, Bruce Ratner, the Lighthouse is providing a wide range of services for Ker Deng, an 18-year-old from the Sudan.

Ker, who was tragically blinded in the Sudan, is learning how to live independently with the help of Lighthouse International’s dedicated staff. The Orientation and Mobility team at the Lighthouse is working with Ker to teach him how to walk independently with a long cane. He’s also learning how to play the piano and drums at Lighthouse International’s Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School. According to the Lighthouse staff, Ker has displayed remarkable musical talent.

Learn more about Ker in the New York Post, on Fox 5 Good Day New York, and ABC Eyewitness News.

September 8, 2011: Lighthouse International Holding Congressional Briefing on Diabetes and Vision Loss

Lighthouse International, the 106 year-old leading nonprofit organization fighting vision loss, and nine major nonprofit organizations will hold an important Congressional Briefing on the link between diabetes and vision loss on September 13, 2011 from 12 to 2 p.m. in Washington D.C. at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-339. This briefing will focus on the growing number of people with diabetes and vision loss and the ramifications such projected growth will have on public health policy.

Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International will be the presenter. The featured speaker will be Neil Bressler, MD, The James P. Gills Professor of Ophthalmology, Chief - Retina Division, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital. “More than 25 million Americans have diabetes and the numbers are increasing,” said Mark G. Ackermann. “Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in the United States among adults age 20 to 74.”

Low vision and vision rehabilitation services are vital to the increased health, independence and safety of people with vision loss. By increasing medicine compliance and early access to vision rehabilitation some of the major complications of uncontrolled diabetes can be prevented.

Co-sponsors of this annual event are: Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Diabetes Association, American Foundation for the Blind, American Optometric Association, American Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Prevent Blindness America, The Vision Council and VisionServe Alliance. Lunch will be served at this well attended event.

To RSVP contact Dina Beaumont at

For more information, read our press release and visit our Advocacy section.

September 7, 2011: Lighthouse International Releases New Low Vision Publication

A comprehensive, updated publication, The Lighthouse Clinician’s Guide to Low Vision Practice, from the experts at Lighthouse International, is now available from the 106 year-old nonprofit leader in vision rehabilitation and education. The 200-page book will serve as the seminal text for training ophthalmology and optometry students and residents, as well as practicing clinicians, in the principles of low vision clinical care and vision rehabilitation.

“The guide addresses the needs clinicians have in dealing with a population that has vision loss but some functional, usable vision,” said Dr. Eleanor E. Faye, MD, FACS, Lighthouse International Medical Director Emerita, and a pioneer in low vision. “We believe that the benefits of taking a functional approach will carry over to your general eye care patients as well.”

The Lighthouse Clinician’s Guide to Low Vision Practice helps clinicians understand low vision principles, enhances their knowledge of disease consequences, provides insight for addressing patient complaints, and increases the effectiveness of treatment – both medical and surgical – through low vision rehabilitation.

The guide has been endorsed by, Mary Lou Jackson, MD, Chair of Vision Rehabilitation Committee, American Academy of Ophthalmology and John Musick, OD, Chair of the Low Vision Section of the American Academy of Optometry.

This book will help ophthalmologists and optometrists learn to:

  • Identify low vision patients
  • Evaluate functional impairment and correlate it to a patient’s disease
  • Assess how medical and surgical interventions impact a patient’s functional vision
  • Perform low vision refraction and prescribe appropriate low vision optical devices
  • Integrate low vision care and vision rehabilitation components into their practice
  • Recognize how vision rehabilitation specialists can improve the quality of life for patients

The book was supported by a grant from the Sanna and Victor Borge Memorial Fund. The book costs $39.95 plus shipping. To order please fill out an order form or contact us at or (212) 821-9470. For more information, read our press release.

August 22, 2011: Lighthouse International Partners with Dialog in the Dark

Dialog in the dark

As a leading nonprofit organization fighting vision loss, Lighthouse International is pleased to partner with Premier Exhibitions Inc., presenters of the Dialog in the Dark exhibit in New York City.

Dialog in the Dark, which opened on August 20, 2011, is a unique sensory tour of New York City where visitors are led by visually impaired guides through a specially constructed and totally darkened exhibition. Dialog in the Dark is an invitation to experience the world in another way and to re-discover New York using all of your senses except sight.

The exhibit replicates familiar Manhattan environments and landmarks and challenges individuals to navigate through these galleries in total darkness. A reversal of roles is created as blind and visually impaired guides introduce you to the world they know. Visitors are taken out of their comfort zone and familiar surroundings and daily routines become a new experience. Guides provide security and a sense of orientation and show us our eyes are not the only windows on the world.

Prior to entering the exhibition, visitors are provided with walking canes and given a tutorial on how best to use them before meeting their guides, all of whom hail from New York. For the next 45 minutes, Dialog in the Dark guides will be the link to the world around them leading small groups expertly and securely through a variety of interactive environments. Visitors will maneuver through well-known New York City locales, while New York-centric scents, sounds, temperatures and textures create an unforgettable experience.

Dialog in the Dark’s guides, like Eliza Cooper, were hired through Lighthouse International. “This exhibit powerfully touches everyone – and reinforces the importance of protecting and preserving our vision, as well gaining an important understanding of the courage and challenges for those who have visual impairment,” said Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International. “More and more Americans are facing vision loss and awareness of the issues and how to help is critical for us all. We are honored to partner with Dialog in the Dark and bring our expertise and perspective to this extraordinary experience.”

Visit Dialog in the Dark New York City at 11 Fulton Street in South Street Seaport. The exhibition runs through 2012. For more information, visit Dialog in the Dark.

August 3, 2011: Lighthouse International Recruiting for New BrainPort Research Study

Research study

The Arlene R. Gordon Research Institute at Lighthouse International is recruiting subjects for a new study using BrainPort, a breakthrough device that allows individuals who are blind to “see” the shapes of objects.

Using BrainPort, subjects wear sunglasses with a small camera wired to a flat mouthpiece that sends electrical pulses to the users tongue. The pulses transmit the shape of the object seen by the camera, allowing the user to "see" what is before him or her. A hand-held control boosts the intensity of the pulses from mild to strong, zooms in or out, and increases the contrast of objects making them easier to sense.

"Testing ground-breaking technology to improve the quality of life of sight-impaired people is the core of our mission," said Dr. William Seiple, Vice President of Research and Director of the Arlene R. Gordon Research Institute at Lighthouse International.

Lighthouse International is looking for individuals to participate in the BrainPort study. Individuals who qualify will be trained to use the device and will be allowed to take the device home for a period of up to one year. The subjects must agree to use BrainPort at home for at least five hours per week and to return to Lighthouse International for testing every three months. Subjects who qualify will be compensated for their time.

If you are blind with no light perception and are interested in participating, please contact Ed Pei at (212) 821-9496 or

BrainPort has been featured on CNN, ABC Good Morning America, Fox News and Scientific American!

Read on for more information about BrainPort.

June 20, 2011: Child Development Center Dedicated The Ethel and Samuel J. LeFrak School

The Child Development Center at Lighthouse International was dedicated The Ethel and Samuel J. LeFrak School in recognition of a very significant donation by Mrs. LeFrak. Lighthouse International officially announced the dedication during a ceremony honoring Mrs. LeFrak on June 15, 2011. "Mrs. LeFrak’s extraordinary support will not only enable us to upgrade our facilities and technology but also explore opportunities to serve a greater number of children in the metropolitan area,” said Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International. “Our children will benefit from her generosity for generations to come."

Children from The Ethel and Samuel J. LeFrak School opened the ceremony by singing two songs before Broadway star, Brian Stokes Mitchell, made a surprise appearance and serenaded Mrs. LeFrak.

"I am glad to give this gift to the Lighthouse,” said Mrs. LeFrak. “When I visited the school I was so touched by the children. The Lighthouse teachers and staff help the children overcome many obstacles to gain the strength and confidence they need for their future development."

The funds donated by Mrs. LeFrak will be used for new classrooms and updated teaching technologies. The Ethel and Samuel J. LeFrak School has openings for 120 children. It is nationally and internationally recognized as a model program where preschoolers who are visually impaired learn side-by-side with their sighted peers. The curriculum is especially designed to use all the senses to provide an enriching environment for all the children. The school also provides home and school-based early intervention services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays.

June 15, 2011: Lighthouse Honors Dedicated Volunteers

Volunteers and Lighthouse Board members

Lighthouse International honored 20 outstanding volunteers on June 9, 2011 at the fifth annual Volunteer Recognition Award Ceremony. Lori Stokes, morning news anchor for WABC-TV Eyewitness News, was the Master of Ceremonies at the event, which celebrated the dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who support the Lighthouse mission of enabling people who are visually impaired to live productively. “The talent, spirit and dedication of these extraordinary volunteers inspire us every day and help sustain the organization and our clients,” said Mark G Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International.

The 2011 Volunteer Award Recipients Are:

June 9, 2011: Students Honored at Scholarship & Career Awards

Award Winners and Roger GoldmanOn June 7, 2011, seven individuals were honored at Lighthouse International’s 2011 Scholarship and Career Awards (SCA). Established in 1980 by Lighthouse International's Women's Committee, this time-honored tradition recognizes outstanding students who have overcome the challenges of vision loss by awarding them with $10,000 scholarships for college and graduate studies.

Lighthouse International was honored to have Carolyn B. Maloney, the U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district, as the keynote speaker during the 32nd anniversary of the SCA. “I have long been a supporter of Lighthouse International,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “It’s a remarkable organization. It's an anchor in the lives of so many constituents in New York as well as people across the country and the globe.”

The 2011 SCA recipients are:

Through hard work, each award winner has excelled in their academic field while continually surpassing expectations. “I congratulate the recipients of the Scholarship and Career Awards for their remarkable achievements,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

May 16, 2011: Record Turnout for POSH® Fashion Sale

A record number of shoppers turned out for the 2011 POSH® Sale, which was held at the legendary Plaza Hotel in New York City from May 12-15.

For nearly 40 years, the Lighthouse POSH® Sale has been the East Coast’s leading fashion fundraiser, offering new and gently worn designer clothing, accessories and footwear for women, men and children.

The Plaza Hotel hosted the POSH® Sale, graciously providing space and support which helped Lighthouse International attract a larger audience than ever before. The sale featured clothing from fashion icons such as Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Dior, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes and more! Thousands of designer, vintage, and contemporary clothes and accessories were sold at deep discounts up to 80 percent off retail. All of the proceeds from POSH® benefit Lighthouse International’s mission of fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment.

Leading up to the POSH® Sale was A POSH® Affair, Lighthouse International’s annual gala. The event, which took place in The Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, honored fashion icons Kim Baker Campbell, Amy Fine Collins and Linda Fargo.

Rosanna Scotto, co-host of Fox 5’s Good Day New York, was the master of ceremonies for A POSH® Affair. Kim Baker Campbell, the co-founder of POSH®, was presented with the POSH® Lifetime Visionary award. Amy Fine Collins, a special correspondent to Vanity Fair, was granted the POSH® Fashion Visionary award. Linda Fargo, Senior Vice President, Fashion Office and Store Presentation at Bergdorf Goodman, was given the POSH® Lifestyle Visionary Award.

Coverage of the POSH Sale was featured in The New York Observer, New York Social Diary, and WNYW Fox 5. View more POSH press coverage.

View some of the pictures from A POSH ® Affair below.

April 22, 2011: Music School Dazzles at 15th Annual Lighthouse at the Met Concert

Forty musicians from the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of Lighthouse International performed in front of a packed crowd at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 15 for the 15th Annual Lighthouse at the Met Concert.

The concert – “Musical Postcards from the Met: Travels through the Permanent Collection" – featured a digital display of art and music (along with a verbal description) from four continents. The audience was transported to all corners and cultures of the globe, as the Lighthouse Vocal Ensemble, instrumental and vocal soloists performed songs from Asia, Europe, South America and the United States.

“Lighthouse International and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have had a wonderful relationship for over 15 years bringing together the magnificent art of the museum and the art of the Lighthouse International school of music,” said Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International.

The 15th Annual Lighthouse at the Met Concert offered people with vision loss an opportunity to experience visual art through music and verbal description. “Coupling music and art together gives people a total experience of what it feels like to be an artist,” said Dr. Leslie Jones, Executive Director of the Music School. “It was a very exciting night for all of us.”

April 18, 2011: Dr. Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, foremost authority in medical retinal diseases and pioneer in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, receives 2010 Pisart Award.

Dr. Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, one of the world’s foremost authorities in medical retinal diseases, is the recipient of the 2010 Pisart Vision Award from Lighthouse International. Dr. Yannuzzi is a professor of clinical ophthalmology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, vice-chairman and director of The Retinal Research Center of the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital, founder and president of The Macula Foundation and a Board Member of Lighthouse International. The prestigious Pisart Award is given annually by Lighthouse International to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to preventing and treating vision impairment.

Pisart presentation

[L-R] Jack M. Dodick, MD, Professor & Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, NYU School of Medicine; Mark G. Ackermann, President & CEO, Lighthouse International; Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, MD; Roger O. Goldman, Chairman, Lighthouse International.

According to Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International, “Dr. Yannuzzi is a pioneer and leader in the field. He has shown a deep dedication to improving the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for patients with medical retinal diseases, particularly age-related macular degeneration (AMD).”

Pisart Award
The Lighthouse International Pisart Vision Award was established in 1981 and is partially funded through a bequest of Mme. Georgette Pisart, a longtime Lighthouse volunteer. This prestigious award carries a prize of $30,000 and a replica of the Pisart sculpture, originally designed by artist Gary Kleiman.

Nominations are now being accepted through May 23, 2011 for this year’s Pisart Award. The Award is open to anyone who has made a noteworthy contribution to preventing and treating vision impairment. For more information, contact Kelly Boyle at (212) 821-9428 or All nominations must be received by May 23, 2011.

March 30, 2011: Lighthouse International's 39th Annual POSH Fashion Sale Has a New Home at The Plaza Hotel

Posh logos

Philanthropy is always in fashion at Lighthouse International! The legendary POSH® Sale - New York City’s hottest fashion fundraiser offering new and gently used designer clothing and accessories for women, men and children - has a new home at the historic Plaza Hotel.

The POSH® Sale will kick off with an early shopping opportunity at a Sneak Peek Benefit Preview on May 11, followed by the opening of the public sale, which runs from May 12 through May 15. Thousands of designer, vintage, and contemporary clothes and accessories will be offered at deep discounts. New and vintage items have been donated by individuals



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