National News

Braille Institute to Open Coachella Valley Neighborhood Center

New Center Opening in Palm Desert at El Paseo Plaza in January 2020

Braille Institute of America (BIA) is pleased to announce the opening of its third neighborhood center located in Palm Desert at the El Paseo Plaza. The new Coachella Valley center, scheduled to open on Tuesday, January 21, will be located at 74-245 Highway 111 Suite E101, Palm Desert — at the prime intersection of El Paseo Drive and Highway 111. The first-floor office suite will be easily accessible via public transportation and SunDial Access, in addition to having ample and convenient parking. Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment or speaking with someone can call (760) 321-1111.

Celebrating its Centennial milestone this year, Braille Institute is renewing its commitment to provide free programs and services in areas with a high concentration of need by utilizing the “Neighborhood Center” delivery model. By locating centers in geographic areas with a high population of vision-impaired individuals, BIA can provide more convenient access to its services. In July, BIA opened a Neighborhood Center in the city of Riverside, which is also the fastest growing county in California.

“We are delighted to open this new Neighborhood Center in a location that is so convenient to the residents of the Coachella Valley,” said Peter Mindnich, President of Braille Institute. “We now have two new centers, in Riverside and Palm Desert, providing services to those who are visually impaired in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.”

The new Coachella Valley Neighborhood Center will focus on core services — Low Vision Rehabilitation, Digital Literacy (library services and technology training), Orientation and Mobility, and Daily Living Skills. The Center will offer small group and one-on-one instruction for basic cooking classes, daily living skills and support groups. In-home services will be available for those unable to come into the center.

Additionally, Braille Institute is collaborating with other organizations in the area to provide enrichment classes to Braille Institute students at no charge. Cathedral City Senior Center will offer classes such as knitting and basketry, singing, piano, ESL, and exercise. Students can also participate in Cathedral City Senior Center’s existing lunch program and other social activities. “We are so pleased to welcome students from the Braille Institute to our center and happy that their volunteers will be teaching some of our classes,” said Geoff Corbin, Executive Director, Cathedral City Senior Center. Sensei Tamara Canedo, who currently volunteers her time teaching a karate class at Braille Institute, will be offering a free karate class to Braille Institute students for the winter semester at her Seidan Kai dojo in La Quinta.

The Braille Institute Rancho Mirage center will continue to provide classes and services through the end of the fall semester which completes on December 13. Students can then transition to the new Coachella Valley or Riverside Neighborhood Centers in the new year. Braille Institute has been helping those with sight loss in the Coachella Valley since 1973 with programs and services that are free of charge. “Braille Institute is a desert gem. They provide essential services that improve the lives of our constituents. As a doctor, friend, and advocate, I fully support their efforts and congratulate them on their move to a new facility. I look forward to our continued partnership to meet the visual health needs of our communities,” said Congressman Raul Ruiz M.D., who represents California’s 36th congressional district.

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