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Junior Blind of America

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Our History

In 1953, Norman Kaplan and a group of dedicated volunteers founded Junior Blind (formerly known as the Foundation for the Junior Blind) to provide recreational services for children who were blind or visually impaired.

In 1958, Henry Bloomfield gave Junior Blind access to a 40-acre campsite in Malibu, California. Since then, Camp Bloomfield has served as a year-round residential camp for youth who were blind, visually impaired, or multi-disabled and their families.

In the 1960s, Junior Blind acquired eight acres in the Windsor Hills area of Los Angeles, and expanded services to include educational and residential programs for young people who were blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled.

In the 1970s, to meet growing community needs, Junior Blind founded Southern California's only residential rehabilitation program for adults who were blind or visually impaired.

In the 1980s, founder Norman Kaplan retired and Robert Ralls joined as the new President and CEO. Junior Blind introduced an in-home program for infants who had visual impairments and other disabilities.

In the 1990s, Junior Blind remodeled its campus to include state-of-the-art education and rehabilitation facilities and also extended services to incorporate greater family participation.

In the 2000s, Junior Blind launched new services to address the emerging needs in the community, including a teen program with a focus on college and careers, a vision screening program that provides free vision tests to thousands of low-income pre-school children and an after school enrichment program that integrates typically developing children with those who are blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled.

Junior Blind also enhanced existing programs to meet the needs of current students. The infant program expanded its services to children up to age six, while adult programs began offering technology training and added an initiative to serve Veterans who were blind or visually impaired.

Camp Bloomfield celebrated 50 years of serving children and their families. Bob Ralls retired and Miki Jordan joined to lead the organization as the President and CEO.

In 2010, long-time supporter Stevie Wonder joined Junior Blind's Board of Directors.

In 2011, Junior Blind became accredited by the California Alliance of Child and Family Services.

In 2012, Junior Blind established its presence in Northern California with an extension of career and educationally focused programming for youth who are blind or visually impaired.

In 2013, Junior Blind celebrates sixty years of service to children, youth and adults who are blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled.

 

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Our Mission

Helping children and adults who are blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled achieve independence.

Junior Blind's Values

  • Putting people first.
  • Communicating effectively and transparently.
  • Engaging others through collaboration and inclusiveness.
  • Achieving meaningful and measurable results.
  • Continuously improving quality.
  • Exceeding expectations and inspiring through excellence.
  • Responsibly stewarding resources.