Vernon Stewart (R), representing the City of Pensacola Mayor’s Office, presents a
proclamation in recognition of DBS’ 75 years of serving the blind and visually
impaired community, to Robert L. Doyle, III, Director of Division of Blind Services.
The Department of Education’s Division of Blind Services (DBS) commemorated its commitment to fostering independence for individuals who are blind and visually impaired during its final 75th Anniversary Regional Ceremony and Expo in Pensacola.
“Since 1941, DBS has made vast strides in attacking the barriers that have hindered persons with visual disabilities from fully participating in our society and our workforce,” DBS Director Robert L. Doyle, III, said. “This year, we provided services to 562 individuals in Escambia and nearby counties, which included 317 jobseekers who were preparing for or looking to retain employment. As we look to the future, we continue to charge toward our goal of Florida being a barrier-free environment for residents with visual disabilities.”
Through DBS, blind and visually impaired Floridians have access to many educational, vocational, medical, social and recreational services beginning at birth. In addition to helping younger clients learn to navigate the many aspects of life that may be more difficult for persons with visual impairments, the agency works with adults to attain independent living solutions and career and vocational education skills so they can accomplish their life goals.
Rep. Frank White (L) with Division of Blind Services Director Robert L.
Doyle, III, during the DBS 75th Anniversary Ceremony in Pensacola.
The 75th Anniversary Regional Ceremony and Expo featured informational sessions, networking opportunities, a community and technology showcase and inspirational testimonials from former DBS clients.
Pamela Wirick, who was born with only 10 percent of her vision due to macular degeneration, shared her story with the audience during the ceremony.
“I am very grateful for the Division of Blind Services and its resources that came to my rescue,” said Wirick, a child care resource and referral specialist for the Early Learning Coalition. “I am meeting goals and completing tasks that I never thought I could do. Thank you to the DBS staff who go beyond their job expectations to assist, teach, support and listen.”
As part of the celebration, DBS inducted new members into the “Successful 75,” an award program that recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses who have remained steadfast in the advancement of independence for persons who are blind and visually impaired.
For more information about the Division of Blind Services and its programs, visit dbs.fldoe.org.