The Colorado Center for the Blind provides training, support and opportunities that blind individuals and others need to empower them to develop positive attitudes and lead independent lives as fully integrated, productive and contributing members of society.
The Colorado Center for the Blind opened its doors in January of 1988 to provide innovative rehabilitation services to blind adults. This center is modeled on the positive philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind. We believe that with effective training and opportunity that blind people can compete equally with our sighted peers and live the lives we want.
The center was established because "traditional" training centers all over the country were failing blind people - reinforcing dependency and a sense of inferiority. Always subject to low expectations, blind people were not being challenged to learn competitive skills or to gain confidence and belief in themselves. We are one of three centers in the country that focus on confidence-building using challenge recreation and positive blind role modeling along with blindness skill classes. Most centers even today only teach classes on skills and do not employ staff who have full belief in the capabilities of blind people. From five students in the first group in 1988,today we have more than 30 students on any given day in our Independence Training Program, and have developed vibrant and growing programs for blind youth and seniors.
In addition to our weekly meetings and skills training, we offer a Seniors in Charge residential program three times a year. This comment came at the end of one of our programs:
"I'm not staying in my room anymore," Alice announced at the closing Friends and Family Seminar. From Grand Junction, she still has the Brooklyn accent of her youth. "I had everything worked out, everything I needed in my room, and I wasn't going to leave that room unless someone came to take me, but I'm not staying in it now!"
Family member of a Senior
"Coming to the CCB group was the best thing we ever did. It just gave us hope. This is the most positive group you'll ever meet."
"You saved my life!"
From a Parent of two blind kids in Initiation to Independence for Middle School
The boys had a great experience. I am already seeing the benefits of their time there. At the airport, R. asked me where the bathroom was and then proceeded to just leave and go there on his own...although we travel a lot, this was a first.
B. came home the first day and proceeded to make his own lemonade and then asked me if I would like one. Yes, there was a big mess, but I got to ignore that for the moment and enjoy the lemonade!
A 17-year-old participant in 2014 Earn and Learn, a summer Youth Program
"I wasn't comfortable with my cane … I felt misplaced, as though I was the wrong item on a shelf in the wrong aisle of the store called Society. At the start of the program I expected to gain very little. I learned more than I could have imagined. My independence and self- esteem had grown to great heights… I have come to accept my blindness as well as my cane. My cane has become part of me. And it is because of your program that I was able to do those things, and I want to thank you for that."
Independence Training Program (ITP)
A journalist who has since returned to work in is profession
"There is no question in my mind that the instruction I am receiving here is top-notch and robust. After just a couple months, I've noticed a quantum leap in my confidence (both in everyday situations and in my expectations for myself in the years ahead). The constant challenges from the staff to outdo my previous day's work carries over to my life outside the classes, where I look for more opportunities to push myself beyond what previously been my limits in travelling independently, reading Braille, using assistive technology and managing my home. The sense of community here is also far beyond anything I had imagined; The CCB will be a part of my life long after I get back to work. "
A Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/Supervisor who came for training after vision loss
"I wanted my independence back, and this program gave that to me!"
A Mother at Her Daughter's Bell Ceremony (Graduation from ITP):
"This place should be called the Colorado Center for Miracles!"