Wayfinder Family Services
Wayfinder Family Services is the place for children facing the greatest challenges. Our mission is to ensure that children, youth and adults facing challenges always have a place to turn. Wayfinder strives for a world in which every child and family can overcome the obstacles they face—a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
Formerly known as Junior Blind of America.
"Wayfinder Family Services is proud to have been a recipient of the Georges and Germaine Fusenot Charity Foundation’s funding since 1973. As one of our longest standing foundation supporters, the Foundation’s loyal investment has enabled us to evolve to meet the changing needs of children with vision loss and profound disabilities. For many of our students and families, Wayfinder Family Services is the only agency in California able to provide the unique and comprehensive services they need to overcome their obstacles and achieve their personal goals. Through your generosity, you provide us with the ability to make these high-quality programs available to thousands of students and their families year after year at absolutely no cost. Thank you again for being a part of the Wayfinder community as our children continue toward greater independence!
Miki Jordan, President and CEO
Wayfinder Family Services
(Formerly Junior Blind of America)
She started seeing!
Gina was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first foster child. “She was supposed to be a perfectly healthy 3-month old,” Gina remembers. “But when she arrived, she was only 6 weeks old.” And something was very wrong with baby Kennedy: the little girl had been exposed to methamphetamines in the womb. It turned out Kennedy was legally blind and her development was severely delayed. The prognosis from doctors was so bad that Gina didn’t think early intervention could help her vision. “I thought, how are they going to teach a blind kid to see?” recalls Gina.
When Kennedy was 4 months old, Wayfinder early intervention specialist Bertha Preciado started making home visits. “When I first met her, Kennedy was very nonresponsive to stimulation,” says Bertha. “If she wasn’t being touched, she was unaware of her surroundings.” To give Kennedy more sensory input, Bertha introduced sand and water. Kennedy loved it. Bertha also brought an iPad with a glowing red bunny. Week after week, Bertha would work with Kennedy to follow the slow-moving red bunny with her eyes.
“It’s amazing how plastic babies’ brains are,” Gina says. “The improvement happened over months, but it was quick. She started seeing.” When Kennedy was 1 year old, “Bertha was using the same bunny, but it was bouncing all over the iPad, and Kennedy was following it,” says Gina.
With Bertha, Kennedy’s vision continued to improve, and she made rapid developmental progress. Now age 3-and-a-half, Kennedy is in a typical preschool and does not need special education services.
“Early intervention was totally life-changing for Kennedy,” Gina says. “I don’t know where she’d be now without Wayfinder. I didn’t know what to do for her. Thank you to Wayfinder from the bottom of my heart.”
The importance of donations & grants!
The generous funding from the Georges & Germaine Fusenot Charity Foundation allows Wayfinder Family Services to continue our specialized services for foster youth as well as children and who are blind, visually impaired and multi-disabled. Wayfinder is often the only agency that can provide such vital and comprehensive services and your continued support allows us to offer them completely free of charge. This is more important than ever as our clients face a world shaken by the COVID-19 virus. The safe haven of Wayfinder Family Services is only possible with the generosity of friends like you. We are so grateful for you, especially during this difficult time.