Image: Vista Center logo
Dear Friend,
 
Each year, Vista Center assists over 3,300 youth, adult, and senior clients living with blindness or visual impairment to improve their functionality in spite of visual challenges – to live their best life .
 
Each visually impaired client we serve receives a customized Vista Center Rehabilitation Plan, created by certified low vision staff and optometrists. The plan supports them on their journey from vision challenges - to where they want to be, and who they want to be.
 
Vista Center programs and services place Certified Teachers for the visually impaired in schools, helping youth prepare for adulthood. We send our social workers into homes to customize individual living plans. We train clients to find and use technology, and we host support groups to build a community that
energizes each person to live a rich and rewarding life.
 
Vista Center is the "YES, YOU CAN" for people living with vision loss:
  • Yes, you can continue your working career – check email and use the latest technology.
  • Yes, you can take care of your family with self-reliance – you can plan, shop, and prepare a meal.
  • Yes, you can go out to dinner with friends – continue your social life with confidence.
  • Yes, you can participate in Spring Ski Week – an opportunity to take risks and tackle challenges.
 
When your loved one's eyesight weakens, Vista Center is often the only option after a medical diagnosis . Medical insurance/Medicare does not cover the cost of vision loss rehabilitation. Vista Center bridges the gap - by offering our services at low or no cost to clients . Vision loss does not have to create stressful dependencies on families.
 
Vista Center recently completed a merger to serve the increasing demand for our rehabilitation programs.
Currently, we have over 100 people on our client wait list and each person is waiting over 30 days.
 
Our current budget has a significant funding gap. Only with your generosity can our staff and volunteers provide caring support for people trying to manage their vision loss challenges – socially, emotionally, and functionally – to live their best life .
 
 
 
In gratitude,
Karae Lisle
Executive Director
Image: Santi studying on his Braille NoteTaker
"YES, I CAN" - Santi's Story
Santiago “Santi” Hernandez was only eight years old when he first came to Vista Center. Blind since birth, due to a corneal anomaly, as his mother Rosa shared, “He was a smart student but very shy and cautious. He just needed more opportunities to open up, to make mistakes, and take risks to have new experiences.”

It took three years of interaction with the staff and clients at Vista Center for Santi to take a chance and formally join Vista Voyagers!
Voyagers is a youth program that provides a variety of immersive experiences to promote the development of important life skills, including:
  • How to navigate using a white cane and develop self-determination
  • Exposure to education and career opportunities
  • How to approach social interactions and heighten the senses of sound, touch, and balance
Image: Rosa and Santi on a Voyager Excursion in 2010

As Santi matured into a teenager experiencing typical growing pains, Rosa watched as he used the academic, social, and personal development skills learned through Vista Voyagers to achieve one personal goal after another. Santi’s shyness was steadily fading away.

As a mother, I remember with joy and pride Santi’s reaction the first time he traveled by himself from Hollister to Cupertino. I thought, WOW, my son has developed confidence. He's empowered to accomplish ANY goal he sets his mind to. That is a beautiful memory...Thanks to Vista Center, my son is energized about his career, getting married in the future, and having a family of his own. Vista Center gave us a second family to support Santi, to encourage and nurture him as he managed his visual impairment. "
Discovering social, academic, and career goals with other youth who are visually impaired, in a safe and supportive environment, enabled Santi to mature with his peer group and have a feeling of belonging. Santi reflects, “ Voyagers taught me the benefit of trying new things. I have learned how to be independent and feel confident in everything I do. I have learned how to live my life without sight.
Image: Rosa and Santi Kayaking in 2009

Now pursuing his Bachelor’s at California State University, East Bay, Santi utilizes the skills learned at Vista Center to pursue his career goal of working in cyber security, a seemingly unattainable dream before Vista Center.
Santi shares his insights with other youth experiencing vision loss:
Vista Center taught me how to orient myself and find out what is around me. There aren’t many things I haven’t tried, but I now feel confident to go into the world and live my life. I learned to take a deep breath and go forward.

Santi is living his BEST life!

By donating today, you can support programs like the Vista Voyagers – entirely funded by charitable grants and donations.