A non-profit organization whose goal is to promote social, economic and educational opportunities for the blind ...
Helping Hands for the Blind was founded to address the concerns mentioned on this website and other concerns, and as a vital resource for the blind. Helping Hands for the Blind is an organization of blind people who want to help other blind people. It is a problem solving organization. It is a guide that blind people can turn to in times of need.
Probably the most important service offered by HHB is that of assistance. This could mean financial assistance like helping with the rent or groceries. Quite often, however, it can take other forms. Referrals are made for legal matters concerning the blind, as well as arrangements for reduced fees from attorneys.
Assistance with government forms is also often requested and granted by HHB. Helping a blind person through all the paperwork can literally be a life saver. Another important form of assistance is to provide a Mobility Instructor. When a blind person is new to an area, it is important that they be shown how to get around by a trained and knowledgeable instructor. There is a large and growing demand for this service.
The main goals of Helping Hands for the Blind are to:
- provide timely assistance to blind persons in need of help
- provide legal assistance to the limits of our funds
- provide financial grants to blind students
- provide travel assistance for blind persons
- provide special programs specifically designed for the blind
- provide special requests based on individual evaluation of need
Helping Hands for the Blind was founded by Robert J. Acosta in October of 1990. Both he and his wife, Ruth Ann, were born blind, but have not only overcome their own handicaps in this area, but have dedicated a major portion of their lives to helping and working with the blind.
Robert has spent 33 years in the teaching profession, and was employed as the first blind teacher to teach sighted children in the L.A. Unified School District. He was also chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, joining a distinguished list that includes Arther Ashe, the late great tennis star, Bart Starr, former quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and Jim Ryan, Olympic track star. Then Governor Ronald Regan asked him to serve on the State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Robert is the Founder/President of HHB.
His wife and partner in this venture, Ruth Ann Acosta, acts as Board Treasurer. She attended Luther College where she majored in Music, then took graduate courses at the University of Iowa where she met Robert. They married in 1970 and have a sighted son, Tom. Mrs. Acosta formerly worked with the Social Security Administration. She took training to be an ADA Consultant, and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities, as well as on the Governor's Blind Advisory Committee for the State Department of Rehabilitation.