Decorative Arts Society Grants $25K to Blind Children’s Learning Center

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DARTS member Madeline Hayward, Blind Children’s Learning Center Executive Director Angie Rowe, DARTS member Angela Cord

Blind Children’s Learning Center (BCLC), a Santa Ana-based non-profit with the mission to prepare children with visual impairments and other disabilities for a life of independence, has received a $25,000 grant from the Newport Beach-based Decorative Arts Society (DARTS) to support BCLC’s Global Infant Development program.  Decorative Arts Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit membership group committed to improving the lives of women and children in Orange County.

The Global Infant Development program provides critical home-based early interventions services for newly diagnosed and medically fragile infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years).

The goal of the program is to ensure the optimal development of visually impaired babies and toddlers by ensuring they receive adequate stimulation to fully utilize any vision they may have, maximize their development, and minimize developmental delays.

Decorative Arts Society recognizes the importance of these early services and how life-changing these resources are for new moms and parents too so that they may best care for their children.  It is important for DARTS to support mothers throughout Orange County and BCLC’s Global Infant Development program helps them to do just that for a population that often gets overlooked, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Decorative Arts Society,” notes Angie Rowe, President and Executive Director of Blind Children’s Learning Center. “We believe our programs and services align with the mission of DARTS to improve the lives of women, children, and families in Orange County, and feel beyond thankful for this partnership that has helped us expand our Global Infant Development program this year and serve mothers and children during this unknown time.”

Blind Children’s Learning Center

Due to a growing and changing demand for services, BCLC has expanded its Global Infant Development program in 2020 and, with the help of DARTS, will serve 125 infants and toddlers throughout Orange County during the 2020-2021 school year along with 150 parents of visually impaired children (including 125 mothers) during this grant period.

Infant and toddler support includes Individual Family Service Plans, weekly home visits, referrals for optometry services, deaf-blind intervention, counseling, and more, and bi-annual progress assessments.

Parental support will provide necessary resources and support to parents so that they are equipped to help their visually impaired child meet their specific objectives and will also assist parents by attending medical appointments and providing individual and family counseling.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, BCLC had to quickly pivot in order to serve its children and families, especially those in the Global Development program.

Knowing this, DARTS worked quickly to get BCLC the awarded funding so that they may adapt quickly and effectively at a time that was so critical. Because of this, children, mothers, and parents were able to continue to receive services virtually with absolutely no down time or loss of learning. DARTS helped make it possible for BCLC to provide more than 2,000 sessions of early intervention, vision stimulation, and therapeutic services.

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