About Us


Be The Light In Someone’s Life

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IE Lighthouse President (Ted) standing in front of the building with white cane

Who We Are

At the Inland Empire Lighthouse for the Blind, we teach legally and totally blind individuals independent daily living skills and provide recreational social outlets.  All of our services are available, free of charge, regardless of age, race, creed, color or gender. The only qualification is that a member receiving service be legally blind and have the capability to participate in a classroom setting.

We’ve made every possible effort to design our programs, classes and the activities to enrich and train the blind and low-vision people in our service area about the tremendous potential, normalcy, independence and joy possible for those living with challenges in their eyesight. 

What We Do

Independent Living classes

We offer immersive learning experiences to identify strengths and interests, help students build confidence, and gain a sense of direction.

Training Kitchen

We teach the visually impaired how to use the type of cooking method they have in their own home.

Braille Instruction

Participants are provided instruction in learning to read and write Braille.

Computer & SmartPhone Training

It is possible to learn to use your computer. Learning the keyboard is the first step and we can show you how!

Mobility and Orientation

We provide instruction on how to use a white cane properly and how to navigate our school campus.

Support Group

Every Thursday morning we have “Learning to Live With Vision Loss Support Group”. Family and friends are invited to participate in this important discussion on living with vision loss.

Independent Living classes

Training Kitchen

Braille Instruction

Computer & Smartphone Training

Mobility & Orientation

Support Group

** Tours are available. Please call (909) 884-3121 to schedule a visit and see our program on a first hand basis.

Help Us… Be The Light in Someone’s Life

Our services have made a difference in hundreds of families’ lives. Our unique curriculum and approach prepares our members to live independently and support themselves.

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woman working with pink braided yard on macrame project

Our Mission & Approach

Our Mission:

“To enhance the independent daily living skills and provide encouragement to overcome the disabling effects of blindness”

Our Vision:

“Blind people are capable of doing everything they did before their vision loss, they just need to learn a new way to do it!” 

woman working with pink braided yard on macrame project

Our History

Full auditorium for lunch with Christmas tree in the background

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  • 1951 – Our first location was purchased at 128 West 8th Street in San Bernardino.
  • June 20, 1951 – The Lighthouse officially became a private, nonprofit corporation.
  • 1968 – J. Dale Gentry purchased a 4,400 sq. ft. building at 762 North Sierra Way for the benefit of all our students. Mr. Gentry provided two 12 passenger vans for greater participation in classes, and enriching trips throughout Southern California.
  • 1979 – The Lighthouse Board of Directors began acquiring additional property for future expansion. Five adjacent properties were purchased on Vine Street and four on 8th street, providing slightly over two acres within the city block.
  • October 13, 1988 – Ground breaking ceremonies took place. An expansion of 24,000 sq. ft. was completed for classes September 5, 1989.
  • May 4, 2004 – San Bernardino City Unified School District expresses interest in purchase of Lighthouse property located at 8th and Sierra Way for construction of a new elementary school.
  • December 12, 2007 – District makes offer to purchase Lighthouse property.
  • June 18, 2008 – Lighthouse Board of Directors authorizes sale of Lighthouse property.
  • June 1, 2009 – Lighthouse makes offer to purchase building for development of our new school at 359 East Parkcenter Circle South in San Bernardino.
  • February 1, 2010 through July 31, 2010 – Tenant improvements.
  • August 3, 2010 – First day of classes at current location.
  • March 10, 2011 – Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Board of Directors

The Lighthouse for the Blind is organized as a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation and is governed by a board of directors. Community leaders from business, industry, labor and other professions serve on the 17 member board without compensation.

  • Ted Wilbrecht, President
  • Neil Slawson, Vice-President
  • Joe Loera, Treasurer
  • Charles M. Slaton, Secretary
  • Mike Warren, Immediate Past President
  • Jeff Breiten
  • Truman Day
  • Christel Dreier
  • Joe Falkner
  • Chief Ray Farmer, Ret.
  • Judge W. Robert Fawke, Ret.
  • Steven Filson
  • Michael S. Pattison
  • Chief Joseph Paulino, SBCUSD
  • Sheriff Shannon Dicus
  • John Ware
  • Judy Westcott

Executive Director

Sandy Wood

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Get In Touch

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  • Address
    359 E. Parkcenter Circle South
    San Bernardino, CA 92408
  • Office Hours
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Monday - Friday

The Inland Empire Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. EIN is 95-1996554 and is a public charity, exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)3.