BCVI’s Comprehensive Eye Care Service would not be complete without its Rehabilitation Department.
There are several reasons why people become irreversibly blind. Once it has been established that a person’s sight cannot be restored, employees at BCVI begin to work with that person, helping them to adapt to the new challenges they will face. At BCVI we advocate the right of all blind & visually impaired people to have independent & fulfilling lives.
Alyssa Fisher was born on June 25th, 2007as a premature baby and diagnosed with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) a condition occurring in premature babies, especially those with a very low birth weight. Alyssa soon became enrolled in the Early Stimulation program at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). Through counseling, her mother, Carol, and grandparents were given the strength and courage to accept Alyssa’s diagnosis and were able to see that with the proper training, tools and support, Alyssa could live an independent life.
Regular visits were made to assess Alyssa and to ensure that she was reaching her developmental milestones through BCVIs training packages which had been given to the family. Activities from the Oregon Project were left with her parents in order for them to assist with and monitor her growth and development.
The Oregon Project for Preschool Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired (The OR Project) is a comprehensive assessment and curriculum designed for use with children birth to six who are blind or visually impaired. It can be used by parents, teachers, vision specialists, or counselors in the home or in the classroom setting.
Alyssa attended Building Blocks Preschool for two years where she received encouragement, love and care from both her teachers and fellow students. She was able to interact with the children in her class and was always included in social activities both on and off school grounds.
While at preschool, Alyssa was taught basic skills such as fine motor skills, cognitive skills, language and social skills. She interacted, and continues to interact, extremely well with her peers – while counting, reciting the alphabet, telling nursery rhymes, coloring, etc.
Braille training was provided by BCVI for Alyssa’s mother, Carol Fisher, who, in turn, trained the teachers at her school. Ideas were given to the teachers how to modify her assignments. A Braille button book was provided to the school so that the teacher could refer to it when working with Alyssa on the alphabet. Alyssa was given a Braille Typewriter which she used to learn her Braille alphabet. This machine allows Alyssa to write as well.
A bright, caring and inspirational child, Alyssa was feathered on news clip in 2010. She has successfully completed preschool and is now moving on to primary school.
Alyssa attended BCVI’s summer camp in 2012 for the second time. Carol applied for time off from her job to be able to take part in the camp with her daughter. They both took part in all the lessons and activities to ensure Alyssa would be ready for Infant 1 at Horizon Academy.
BCVI provided teacher training at Horizon to ensure optimal support for Alyssa. The training consisted of introduction to Braille, the use of the Cubarithm slate (for Mathematics) and ways to modify specific assignments. Alyssa’s teachers praise her skills, involvement in class and interaction with the other students. With the necessary equipment, guidance and support, from both her family and BCVI Alyssa is becoming an independent young girl, sure to be an asset to her society.
Twenty one-year-old Richard from Punta Gorda in Belize is a long-time DJ and radio personality, who maintains an impressive 3.60 grade average (out of 4.0) at the University of Belize.
Richard was born with a visual impairment called congenital glaucoma, and slowly lost his sight. When it became apparent that Richards’ sight could not be restored, the Belize Council for the Visually Imp
aired (BCVI) began to work with him, helping him adapt to new challenges. BCVI pushes for the rights of blind and visually impaired people, and supports them to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
To say that Richard is flying the flag for people with visual impairments is an understatement – he’s not only well known in his community for his dulcet tones on the airwaves, but he is an outspoken advocate for blind people’s rights. He was elected Vice President of the Advocacy Group he is a member of, as his strength, commitment and dedication are an example to others.
Throughout his school years, Richard’s grades have been above average, and his professors speak very highly of his performance at university, which will stand him in good stead to fulfill his aspiration to become a teacher.
(produced by BCVI and our partner Sightsavers)
Our Rehabilitation Department includes:
Early Childhood Intervention
Inclusive Education & Braille Unit
Summer Camp for Kids
Increasing Computer Literacy
Job Placement & Employment Support
Support for the Elderly