A new light will be beaming across the horizon from the brand-new, state-of-the-art Lighthouse for the Blind facility.
It has been a three-year project -- from design to ground-breaking -- and just weeks away from completion of the 53,000-square-foot facility.
“We have thought of everything from the lights to the darks on the floor, to the bathroom to the sinks and lower (levels) for wheelchairs,” said the Lighthouse's Nancy Lipton.
Designers got input from employees and then toured the country to make sure every detail was considered to make it accessible for the blind and vision-impaired.
The first floor will be for manufacturing, but the second floor will be for new programs.
The upper floor will have classrooms to teach children -- starting as infants to age 14-- how to be independent. They will learn how to make their bed, dress themselves and will learn to read Braille.
Their parents will also learn right alongside them.
"If you start them very young, then they don’t know any better. They think, 'This is how it is. This is what we can do,'” Lipton said.
Another special feature of the Lighthouse will be seven exam rooms.
Eye doctors from the School of Ophthalmology at the University of the Incarnate Word will perform eye exams on patients with the assistance of students.
"Third- and fourth-year students will get practical experience with doctors on patients,” Lipton said. "Where else can they get that kind of experience?"
The facility is set to open at the end of October.