Saturday, Sept. 21, a large crowd gathered at the Earle Baum Center to support their 20 years of providing opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired to improve and enrich their personal, social and economic lives.
The Earle Baum Center was launched in honor of Earle Baum, a blind farmer born in 1896. Since Earle lost the majority of his sight by age 17, his hopes of becoming a journalist were thrust aside but he went on to live a happy and productive life as a farmer, while developing many talents composing music and aspiring those around him. Up to the present the center has provided a warm and welcoming place for blind and visually impaired persons to gain skills, support and companionship they need to pursue their life goals of which many include employment, mastering a technical skill or just traveling the world.
The center serves more than 400 people each year in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino Counties. The base serves men and women from age 18 with an average age of 72.
The EBC has Core Training Services which range from on-on-one counseling to orientation and mobility classes. The center also offers educational and recreational program to enhance the lives of the clients. Included are ukulele, Birding by ear, tandem bike clubs, tap dance and iPhone training as well as field trips, museum visits and more. Many outreach sessions are held at libraries, senior centers and living facilities across the counties that are supported by the Earl Baum Center.