Anchor Center for Blind Children

Anchor Center for Blind Children teaches visually impaired infants, young children and their families, providing hope and a nurturing environment where children reach their highest potential. Anchor Center is the only privately funded organization in Colorado dedicated to meeting the needs of these children.

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Organizational Overview

Name
Anchor Center for Blind Children
Phone
303-377-9732
Address
2550 Roslyn Street
Denver, CO 80238
EIN
84-0893509
Website
www.anchorcenter.org
Email
info@anchorcenter.org
Former
Names
(2002)The Delta Gamma Anchor Center for Blind Children
Mission
Statement
Anchor Center for Blind Children teaches visually impaired infants, young children and their families, providing hope and a nurturing environment where children reach their highest potential.
Social
  

In October 2015, Anchor Center welcomed Heather Cameron as its new Executive Director. She comes with an extensive background as a Director for various agencies.

Anchor Center provides high quality education and therapy services to children with any form of a vision impairment from birth through age five. Our children make measurable progress in all areas of development and have compensatory skills that make it possible for them to participate in everyday life experiences! The whole family receives services from Anchor Center including siblings. They find support from other families as well as from our dedicated staff.

We are excited to continue to offer a Respite Night Program to our parents and families. On the first Friday night of each month, nursing students from the Denver School of Nursing and Anchor Center staff provide an evening of care and fun for Anchor Center students and their siblings at Anchor Center for Blind Children. Respite care provides parents and caregivers an extremely important and valuable opportunity to take time for themselves.

Impact Statement

Anchor Center for Blind Children sets the standard as a nationally recognized leader in early developmental, education and support services for young visually impaired children, their families and the professionals who serve them.

At the end of our fiscal year in June 2016, we served 464 children, parents, caregivers and siblings through center-based services, home visits and rural outreach. Teachers and therapists provided 364 home visits to children too medically fragile to attend center-based services and made 19 outreach trips to rural Colorado. Seven children graduated from Anchor Center's preschool and will start kindergarten in their local public schools in the fall.

Dr. King, our volunteer pediatric ophthalmologist, conducted 101 eye exams on Anchor children and children referred to our program. Staff participated in 52 IFSP/IEP meetings - planning and goal setting meetings required by law for all children with disabilities. The Family Services team conducted 74 hours of trainings/meetings for parents in the form of parent coffees, parent pull outs, social worker consults and parent centers. Through the Night Watch program, 668 hours of respite care was provided to Anchor Center families.

Needs Statement

The 5 most pressing needs of Anchor Center for Blind Children:
1. General operating support for teaching blind infants, toddlers and preschoolers 2. Funds for parent education services 3. Funds to support home visits to children too medically fragile to attend center-based services and for teachers to visit rural areas of Colorado 4. Broaden donor base to deliver services more efficiently and partner with others on behalf of children with vision impairments.

Background Statement

Anchor Center for Blind Children provides direct services to blind, visually impaired and deafblind children and their families in Colorado. We serve children from birth to age 5. Founded in 1982 by a librarian for the blind and alumnae from the Delta Gamma Fraternity, Anchor Center has served hundreds of infants, toddlers and preschoolers through its accredited early intervention developmental education programs. Anchor Center is the only privately funded organization in Colorado dedicated to meeting the needs of these children and providing support services to their families.

Our staff is often called to see a newborn in the hospital who is suspected of having a vision impairment. We also get referrals from children's eye doctors and other service providers, and we frequently hear from parents seeking a vision assessment on their child.

As much as 90 percent of early learning takes place through vision (Warren, 1984). Children who are blind do not automatically compensate for lack of vision by overdeveloping their other senses. They need to be taught how to make sense of the information provided by these remaining senses.

As such, it is critical for children with blindness to receive specialized services to minimize developmental delays. If they do not receive appropriate services, they will fall behind in all areas of development. When the child is older, these delays will be more difficult or impossible to reverse. All of the programs offered at Anchor Center teach independence and provide the educational foundation needed for children with visual impairments to be successful in life.

Executive Director Statement

Anchor Center for Blind Children is located in a state of the art building that is designed to support the learning styles of young children with vision impairment. The building is doing everything it was designed to do, but what really makes the center work is the staff.

From the first time a family walks into the door with their child (who is often a newborn) to graduation at age five or six, the main support vehicles are education, respect and love. These, along with everything else, lead to a family going from lost and searching to having confidence and hope.

If one were to ask any family what happens at Anchor Center the answer would, in some form or another, be that their lives are transformed. Each child is taught in response to his or her unique learning style as every visual diagnosis presents different challenges. Each family is embraced and encouraged to enjoy their child as a child first; a child who just happens to have a vision impairment. It is our goal to help all children get the foundations needed to grow into responsible members of their communities.

Early childhood is a magical time for all children. At Anchor Center for Blind Children, it is no different. Children's curiosity is welcomed, exploration encouraged and a sense of wonder is nurtured. Children are provided an opportunity for a wonderful childhood here, and, with the support of their families and the community, to evolve into confident, competent and productive adults.

Board Chair/President Statement

One of the challenges is always ensuring the one on one attention the children need due to their different diagnosis and developmental levels. It is important to have a diverse staff of qualified professionals who can provide optimal early intervention services to meet the unique learning styles of young children with vision impairments.

Our Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Therapists (speech, music, occupational and physical) are truly experts in how to teach young blind children and how to support their families.

"We are eternally grateful for all Anchor Center has done for our son and our family. They have loved our child and helped us help him though the most difficult time on our lives."
- Anchor Center Parent
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