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Blind Children's Learning Center of Orange County

 18542-B Vanderlip Avenue
 Santa Ana, CA 92705
[P] (714) 573-8888
[F] (714) 573-4944
www.blindkids.org
[email protected]
Carolyn Baker
FOUNDED: 1962
INCORPORATED: 1964
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Blind Children's Learning Center
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 95-6097023 00000

Summary


Mission StatementMORE »

Our Mission:To prepare children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education and family support. 

Mission Statement

Our Mission:To prepare children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education and family support. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $2,980,500.00
Projected Revenue $2,980,500.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Global Infant Development
  • Early Childhood Center
  • Outreach Services

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview


Mission Statement

Our Mission:To prepare children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education and family support. 

Background Statement

Imagine being a blind person in Orange County in 1962. There were no services or support organizations. Transportation was scarce or nonexistent. You are in a world of isolation and dependence.
 
It was against this backdrop that six blind adults formed the Blind Children's Learning Center - originally called Services for the Blind, Inc.
 
The founders knew the critical needs of the blind and turned to one another for support, suggestions and solutions. The founders quickly discovered the key to helping visually impaired children was to start working with them at a very young age.

Equally important was the need for follow-through during their school years - to build confidence and self-esteem. Only then could visually impaired children overcome the many obstacles they would encounter as they grew and matured.

With this in mind, the Blind Children's Learning Center developed a learning model that draws children into the mainstream of life early and begins teaching them the skills they will need throughout their lives.
 

The mission of Blind Children’s Learning Center (BCLC) is to prepare children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education and family support. For 55 years, comprehensive programs have fostered independence for children in the greater Orange County area from birth to 21 years of age. These programs begin with home-based early intervention services for babies. Bright Visions Early Childhood Center maximizes learning through a multi-sensory curriculum for children aged 6 weeks through 8 years. Students through Grade 12 receive educational support and navigation training in public schools. An Independent Living Skills program teaches teens and young adults daily living skills and gives them opportunities to be leaders by mentoring younger students. In the most recent fiscal year, BCLC served 232 children and over 350 family members.

 
 

Impact Statement

Blind Children’s Learning Center is proud to celebrate 55 years of service in Orange County. We are particularly proud of the following recent accomplishments:

1) We expanded our capacity for onsite instruction by adding first and second grades to our school. Major facility enhancements were completed to accommodate the expansion, which will provide children with multiple disabilities more time and specialized services to reach their potential.

2) The inclusive environment of Bright Visions Early Childhood Center is a success. Children with visual impairments model behavior from typically developing sighted peers for accelerated progress. School districts adopting this structure—and a wait list for sighted peers— affirm the concept’s popularity in the community.

3) Our committed volunteers donated 11,663 hours of service, greatly contributing to the Center’s constant improvement. Volunteer support in the classrooms, administrative offices, around the facilities, at special events, and on the Board of Directors is crucial to the Center’s sustainability.

4) Our staff have become ambassadors for adaptive curriculums. Bright Visions director Amiee Goulding and teacher Raj Singh presented on how to adapt science, technology, engineering and mathematics for children with visual impairments at the STEM Conference in Anaheim and the OC Stem Ecosystem Institute Summer Intensive. Director of Outreach Irene Takahashi and Infant Stimulation Specialist Patricia Houlihan shared best practices at a three-day conference hosted by Bethel China in Beijing, China in summer 2017. Bethel China runs five foster care projects for orphans who are blind throughout China.

5) We have expanded our collaborative partnerships with Marshall B. Ketchum School of Optometry, Children's Hospital of Orange County and pediatric physicians throughout the county to improve access to early intervention services. In recognition of our work, we were proud to receive the V-Award from Marshall B. Ketchum School of Optometry in 2016 for Nonprofit Humanitarian Service.


Needs Statement

The Center depends on private funding from individuals and foundations to supplement limited program fees. For every dollar spent on life-changing services, 51 cents are unfunded. Outside funding also allows Blind Children’s Learning Center to intervene at no cost to families who cannot afford recommended services services. Since the average cost of raising a child with special needs is four times that of a typically developing child (U.S. Department of Agriculture), it is unrealistic to place the financial burden on families, 90% of whom come from a low-to-moderate income background.
Our top four most pressing current needs include:  
 
1) Funding to provide early intervention services (in the home or hospital) for babies no longer eligible for services due to state funding cuts - $400 per child per month.
 
 
2) Funding to help children bridge early childhood developmental gaps through therapeutic services (speech, occupational and physical therapy) for low income students without insurance - $100 per hour.
 
3) Funding to ensure K-12 students have the opportunity to succeed in school through Braille, low vision instruction, and Orientation & Mobility Training - $5,000 per child to receive weekly low vision instruction and mobility training.
 
4) Funding to retain highly credentialed teachers and provide continuing education opportunities - $200,000 per year. 

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Donations welcome via website, mail, telephone or in person. Individual and group volunteers welcome. Opportunities may include assisting with classroom activities, field trips, summer camps, maintenance, clerical work, fundraising, events, and professional services. 

Geographic Area Served

Other
North Orange County
South Orange County
West Orange County
Central Orange County
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Organization Categories

  1. Education - Special Education
  2. Human Services - Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services
  3. Human Services - Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services

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Programs


Global Infant Development

Provides early intervention services designed to give infants with visual impairments the best possible start in life by minimizing delays and encouraging appropriate development. Services are offered to infants and caregivers in the security of the home environment. Infant Development Specialists make weekly home visits to provide education and support for parents. Parents also learn how vision loss can affect healthy development and how to best encourage their child's full potential to grow, learn and gain independence. As their baby grows, a personalized program of sensory-motor activities and communication skills is introduced to strengthen body awareness, spatial orientation, environmental exploration and socialization. Counseling, occupational, physical and speech therapy is also available in home as needed. 

Budget  446,180
Category  Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) People/Families with of People with Disabilities Families
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Maximize any amount of functional vision whenever possible
  • Optimize each child's development while minimizing delays
  • Reduce isolation for parents and family members
  • Increase family members' knowledge, confidence, and ability to advocate for their child
Program Long-Term Success 
90% of children with visual impairments will make a successful transition into public school classrooms. 
 
 
 
 
Program Success Monitored By 
Achievement and success for blind children is typically measured through the ongoing and year-end review of their IEP (individual education plan) or IFSP (individual Family Service Plan). The IEP/IFSP includes objectives for each child in all developmental areas which are monitored and modified as appropriate through sessions with the Center's interdisciplinary staff and specialists assigned to work with the child and family. If the student is not making expected progress, further assessment follows and additional services may be added at any time. In addition parents are asked to complete evaluation forms on an annual basis requesting feedback regarding the effectiveness of the program. 
Examples of Program Success  "When Katie was a baby, we knew something was different. She was so delayed. When the doctor shined a light in her eyes, there was no reaction. She was diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment at five months, and Blind Children's Learning Center intervened right away. Infant Development specialists presented objects in a way she could process. She lit up and became motivated. I cried with joy. She has grown so much since then. Without early intervention and everyone rallying around her, I'm certain Katie wouldn't be where she is now."
​- Grace, mother of Katie, age 4​​​

Early Childhood Center

Includes infant, toddler, preschool, pre-K, Kindergarten, and First/Second grade classrooms for children from six months to seven years of age. Blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind and sighted children learn and play together in a model inclusive environment. The Center is licensed by the Department of Social Services and is accredited by the Department of Education. Individual Educational Plans are developed to help each child develop to their full potential and achieve meaningful goals. Curriculum meets state standards while focusing on providing specialized training in utilization of functional vision, adaptive skills and sensory development. Early Braille and mobility training builds a strong foundation for future success by giving children the confidence to move through the world independently. Students have access to a full range of therapy services as needed, including: counseling, nursing, optometry services, physical, occupational, and speech therapy. 
Budget  1,384,377
Category  Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) People/Families with of People with Disabilities Infants to Preschool (under age 5)
Program Short-Term Success 
100% of students will fully participate in all classroom activities through the use of adaptive equipment, magnification aids, and/or other adaptations made in the classroom or to the activity to compensate for their visual impairment.
 
90% of children will successfully transition into public school Kindergarten, first grade or second grade.
 
At least 80% of parents will have increased knowledge of the equipment and/or adaptations necessary for their child to compensate for his/her visual impairment and to reach their full potential.
 
80% of children will make improvements in their sensory skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech/language skills, and self-help skills - meeting specific goals and objectives in their Individual Education Plan. 
Program Long-Term Success 
Increased level of independence and daily living skills. 
 
Improved self-esteem and confidence. 
 
Increased level of participation in school and in the community.  
Program Success Monitored By  Achievement and success for blind children is typically measured through the ongoing and year-end review of their Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP includes objectives for each child in all developmental areas which are monitored and modified as appropriate through sessions with the Center's interdisciplinary staff and specialists assigned to work with the child and family. If the student is not making expected progress, futher assessment follows and additional services may be added at any time. In addition, parents will complete evaluation forms on an annual basis requesting feedback regarding the effectiveness of the program and suggestions for improvement. 
Examples of Program Success 
Derek "Diggs" was born 16 weeks premature and blind due to Retinopathy of Prematurity. As soon as he was healthy, Blind Children's Learning Center became his home away from home.

Teachers introduced him to different textures and sound, which made him comfortable in
environments that previously scared him. BCLC was the first place Diggs mastered with his mobility cane. By the time he graduated from the preschool, he could successfully track lines of Braille.

His independence has soared since he received his foundation at BCLC. He is focused on vocational training and plays several instruments proficiently. He even visited the Center recently to Braille books for current students!

Outreach Services

Provides individualized instruction for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade who have mainstreamed into the public school system. Credentialed teachers travel to classrooms throughout Orange County to ensure students learn the skills necessary to achieve success during their school age years. Individual Education Plans focus on each child's abilities and needs. This results in increased confidence and independence at school, at home, and in the community. Students receive the maximum benefits of mainstreaming while learning the specific skills necessary to compensate for their visual impairment. Services can include: 
 
Braille and/or Large Print instruction 
 
Orientation & Mobility Training
 
Adaptive Technology Training 
 
Daily Living Skills classes 
 
Tutoring 
 
Consultation 
 
Budget  $473,124.00
Category  Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Increased proficiency in academic skills.
 
Increased ability to travel safely and independently.
 
Improved self-esteem and confidence. 
 
Increased competence in daily living skills.
 
Increased participation in school and in the community.  
 
 
 
 
Program Long-Term Success 
Increased level of independence.
 
Increased graduation rates.
 
Increased number of young adults securing employment or entering higher education. 
Program Success Monitored By  Achievement and success for blind children is typically measured through the ongoing and year-end review of their Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP includes objectives for each child in all developmental areas which are monitored and modified as appropriate by the Center's interdisciplinary staff and specialists assigned to work with the student. If the students is not making expected progress, further assessment follows and additional services may be added at any time. 
Examples of Program Success  Henry's story perfectly illustrates the primary goal of our Outreach program. Although Henry is legally blind, he did not receive any early intervention services in the county where he previously lived. During his school age years, he fell further and further behind his sighted peers. By middle school, he had no interest in academics due to his inability to read and write and had no friends due to his poor social skills. He began to exhibit serious behavior problems and most of his teachers gave up on him completely. Thankfully, when he moved to Orange County, he had a history teacher who took him under her wing and connected him with Blind Children's Learning Center. We sent a credentialed instructor to his public school classroom each week to teach him Braille, provide adapted materials, and to help with socialization. Henry quickly caught up to his fellow classmates and even found a love for art. We are proud to say he excels in academics and was even moved into several honors classes this year. He plans to attend college and become a graphic artist. We are so proud of him and can't wait to what he achieves next. 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Carina Morris
CEO Term Start Jan 2018
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Carina has an extensive history at BCLC, beginning her work in the fundraising department 26 years ago. She has vast non-profit management and fundraising experience with organizations such as World Access for the Blind and United Cerebral Palsy. Carina has previously stepped in as interim Executive Director and is honored to do so again as the Center works to find a new leader to nurture and guide our children, families, and staff.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Colleen Roach July 2017 Jan 2018
Kathleen Buehler May 2012 June 2017

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Carolyn Baker Director of Development Carolyn has more than 20 years of professional community relations experience working in the corporate and non-profit sectors. She received her Bachelor's degree in Communications/Public Relations from Chapman University and Certificate in Corporate Community Relations from Boston College Carroll School of Management. Prior to her work with Blind Children's Learning Center, Carolyn was Director of Community Relations/Public Affairs for HomeAid Orange County.
Amiee Goulding Director of Bright Visions Early Childhood Center Amiee has devoted over 20 years of her professional career to Blind Children's Learning Center.  Amiee worked her way up from Intern, Lead Teacher to Director of Bright Visions Early Childhood Center.  She holds a Bachelor's degree from National University, as well as earning a Director Permit from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 
Irene Takashi Outreach Director Irene has worked in the field of Early Intervention for children with visual impairments for more than 19 years and has worked at Blind Children's Learning Center for more than 16 years, starting as an intern. Upon earning her Bachelor's degree at University of California, Irvine, and obtaining her Child Care Director's Permit, Irene joined the Center as Lead Infant Teacher. She moved to the Infant Family Focus Program as an Infant Development Specialist. Six years later, she was named Early Childhood Center Director. Most recently, Irene worked at the Center for the Partially Sighted as a Family Resource Specialist and contracted to conduct vision screenings with the Family Support Network.
Mindy Weinheimer Director Accounting Human Resources Mindy began her career at Blind Children's Learning Center in 1996. She holds a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources from the University of Phoenix. In addition she has received the CFO Community Service Award through the Orange County Business Journal.  

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
4 Star Rating Charity Navigator 2018
Guidestar Platinum Rating Guidestar 2016
V-Award for Nonprofit Humanitarian Service Marshall B. Ketchum University 2016
Stellar Support of Students California State University, Fullerton-Center for Internships & Community Engagement 2013

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Blind Children's Learning Center works with many community partners in order to leverage resources and provide the best possible services. Current collaborations include:
 
Marshall B. Ketchum University - operates a satellite low vision clinic and adaptive technology & training center on our campus.
 
Family Support Network - coordinates a network of organizations working together to provide free community wide screenings that detect hearing impairments, vision impairments, developmental delays and other health concerns. 
 
Our Early Childhood Center serves as a training site for graduate students to complete hands-on training in a wide variety of specialized fields (occupational therapy, optometry, psychology, early childhood education, mobility training, etc.). Current partners include Chapman University, UCI, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and Stanbridge University. 
 
Children's Hospital of Orange County contacts our staff of Infant Development Specialists when babies present with visual or developmental concerns. Direct referrals provide the best opportunity for early intervention.  
 
Other partnerships include Children and Families Commission of Orange County, school districts throughout Orange County, Regional Centers, Junior Blind of America, Braille Institute, Birth to Five, and OC Network of Teachers 
 
 
 

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 42
Number of Part Time Staff 14
Number of Volunteers 2,000
Number of Contract Staff 9
Staff Retention Rate % 83%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 9
Caucasian: 27
Hispanic/Latino: 23
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 3
Other (if specified): East Indian
Gender Female: 59
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses

Child Care Services

Education

CEO Comments

Values: We believe all blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind children deserve services and support to reach their full potential. We believe parents of blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind children deserve support and education to become the best first teachers and effective advocates for their children. We believe the community can and should embrace these special children and their families.

Foundation Comments

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Governance


Board Chair Jeff Hipshman
Board Chair Company Affiliation HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors
Board Chair Term July 2017 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term July - June

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Barbara Alvarado Community Volunteer Voting
Evangeline Andersen Community Volunteer Voting
Peggy Blaising Retired special education teacher Voting
Rosia Bruno UPS Voting
Debi Callahan Everett-Callahan Insurance Voting
Frank Gomez Cal State University of Los Angeles Voting
Jaimie Haver Banc of California Voting
Jeff Hipshman HMWC CPAs and Business Advisors Voting
Danielle King Mardek Enterprises & parent of visually impaired child Voting
Jeri Konopisos Community Volunteer Voting
Dr. Ashish Mehta Southern California Permanente Medical Group Voting
Margaret Moodian Brandman University Voting
Roger Rossier Retired, Rossier Education and Mental Health Voting
Dr. Ehsan Sadri Atlantis Eyecare Voting
Dr. Frank Villalobos Retired Cardiologist Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 2
Gender Female: 9
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

Mr. Jeff Hipshman is a Partner at HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors and has served on the Board of Directors at Blind Children's Learning Center since 2009. His service in the non-profit sector is extensive, having served as Treasurer of Beckstand Cancer Foundation and aiding endowment efforts at Orangewood Foundation. Additionally, he served on the boards of St. Anne School and J Serra Catholic High School.

Foundation Comments

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Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $2,980,500.00
Projected Expenses $2,980,500.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $2,889,952 $2,634,784 $2,573,383
Total Expenses $2,816,982 $2,646,187 $2,496,626

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,086,897 $1,291,768 $1,208,042
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 $0
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 $0
Earned Revenue $1,453,836 $1,192,196 $1,089,142
Investment Income, Net of Losses $5,780 $6,399 $16,193
Membership Dues -- $0 $0
Special Events $260,890 $141,706 $246,669
Revenue In-Kind $82,549 $132,567 $0
Other -- $2,715 $13,337

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $2,451,526 $2,277,649 $2,126,767
Administration Expense $156,915 $158,882 $145,831
Fundraising Expense $208,541 $209,656 $224,028
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.00 1.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses 87% 86% 85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 15% 15%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $2,181,797 $2,055,408 $2,081,954
Current Assets $16,505,911 $1,640,097 $1,834,301
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $232,727 $179,308 $194,451
Total Net Assets $1,949,070 $1,876,100 $1,887,503

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 70.92 9.15 9.43

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

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Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.