Hello everyone! I'm Linda Prado, the Development Director for Lilac Services for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. I created this GoFundMe to help Lilac Blind in their efforts to update their office, library, and Assistive Technology Laboratory computers, which are too old and run down to function properly and efficiently anymore.
Our current computers from 2008 and older are outdated and struggle to run necessary updated software like Windows 10 and Microsoft office. These computers, built from leftover HP pieces, are especially strained when our visually impaired staff and clients must use accessibility software such as JAWS, ZoomText, and COBRA. Clients and staff must often sit with more patience than should be necessary to do even the simplest of tasks. So, after 10 years of the Technology Manager, Russell Smith, “putting Band-Aids on these old boxes,” Lilac Blind would like to retire these computers and purchase new ones that are much easier to use.
This upgrade will increase our efficiency and ability to continue our mission of enabling the freedom and independence of our blind and visually impaired clients. Most of our clients are over the age of 55 and low-income with multiple impairments—an underserved population that, according to our data, greatly benefits from our services. For 50 years, we have been the sole social service agency in the area providing these services and have established strong ties with medical and eyecare professionals, social service agencies, service groups, universities, and other sources to efficiently and appropriately support this often-overseen demographic.
Lilac Blind’s services are mostly provided through our Independent Living Program, which provides the training needed to help clients function independently in their homes and other surroundings while minimizing their risk of falls and injuries. Our Rehabilitation Instructors and specialists help clients develop individualized goals to help increase, maintain, or regain skills and activities that are affected by their loss of vision. Clients may receive training to:
• improve activities of daily living like home, health, and financial management
• learn alternative communication methods and techniques to navigate their phones, tablets and/or computers
• use adaptive devices and optical aids such as lighted magnifiers, big-buttoned devices, talking watches, and more
• and navigate areas of residences, neighborhoods, and public places while making productive use of residual vision with our orientation and mobility specialist.
Other important services we offer include our low-vision assessments, an in-house Assistive Technology Laboratory, and extensive Braille transcription services and Braille lending library.
All clients are seen on a regular basis until their personalized training goals have been met, which typically takes about three months.
Lilac Blind has a total of 18 computers in need of replacing: 9 office computers, 2 library computers, 2 Braille library computers, and 2 laboratory computers in the Spokane, WA office; and 1 office computer and 2 lab computers in the Wenatchee, WA office. We anticipate the total expense to purchase all of these new computers will amount to $15,686. Hopefully with the combined efforts of fundraising and applying for aid through grants, we will be able to reach this goal by spring of 2022.
Thank you for your support!