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Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center Expands Programs with Barancik Foundation Grant

Support from the Barancik Foundation Expands Lighthouse Programs

For Immediate Release
January 25, 2022
Contact: Amanda Just, Communications Specialist 

Sarasota, FL - In an effort to further support client families and raise awareness about vision impairment, Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center has expanded programming to include family engagement and increased community relations.

Thanks to a generous grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, new funding will underwrite a Family Engagement Coordinator and a Communications Specialist for the agency. 


Family Engagement Coordinator Erin Vincent earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Salem State University in Massachusetts. Her previous work history within the field of social work and social services during the past 16 years includes work at agencies focused on specialized foster care, mental health counseling, elder care, addiction and recovery, and most recently human trafficking survivors. Her new role helps to expand support to families and loved ones of those impacted by vision loss. This new program will also teach family members and support persons the goals of vision rehabilitation and how to better assist their loved ones, and provide space for growth. 

Currently, Ms. Vincent is working one-on-one and providing support groups virtually, and opportunities for in-person support as well.

“When a person loses their vision, it is equally as difficult for their family and friends as they learn to cope with their loved one’s new circumstance,” says Lisa Howard, CEO of Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center.  “This generous grant from Barancik Foundation will not only enable us to finally address the urgent need for outreach and support for friends and families of clients, but will also allow us to increase our community relations that will tell our client’s stories, creating awareness and support.”

Amanda Just joins Lighthouse as its new Communications Specialist. Her role includes increased community outreach, press relations, social media and support of fundraising initiatives. Previously Ms. Just has worked with both local and national non-profit organizations in digital communications and outreach. She brings 15 years of non-profit experience to Lighthouse, as well as innovative approaches to expand the organization’s presence in the community.

About Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center: Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center is the only nationally accredited, private, non-profit agency providing rehabilitation training to blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages residing in a five county region that includes Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Charlotte and Highlands. The Lighthouse offers training and rehabilitation to foster independence, productivity, and improved quality of life. For more information, please visit


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Media Contact : Amanda Just

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