Who We Are
At Lighthouse Louisiana our mission is to empower people with disabilities through services, employment, and advocacy.
Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge create jobs for people who are blind. Proceeds from the sales of high-quality, commercially competitive products help fund services for people who are blind, Deaf, and who have other disabilities.
We help people get jobs, regain their independence, and challenge expectations of the capabilities of people with disabilities. Even as a century-old nonprofit, we're constantly evolving to better serve our community.
We envision a world where:
- Everyone with a disability who wants to work can find a job
- People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing have access to communication with everyone
- Vision loss does not mean a loss of independence
- People with disabilities have equal access to community spaces, public transit, and safety net services
Partners and Programs
The AbilityOne Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act, helps nearly 50,000 people who are blind or have other severe disabilities to find employment. The program coordinates its activities with nonprofit organizations across the country to employ these individuals and provide goods and services to the federal government at fair market prices.
Lighthouse Louisiana works in cooperation and partnership with private, public and nonprofit entities. We have been an ISO 9001:2008 Certified company since 2011. ISO Certified means that an organization is meeting the needs of customers and other stakeholders while also meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product. Lighthouse Louisiana complies with International Standards of quality, customer service, and continued improvement.
Use the arrows below to read along with our story.
The Louisiana Commission for the Blind, made up of individuals who were blind and their friends, began meeting in 1915 at 1336 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA. They came together with the goal of providing meaningful employment for people who are blind.
In 1957, the Commission formally changed its name to The Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans.
Our History: 1996-2005
In 1996, Lighthouse aligned with its industrial peers and moved from a low-tech to a high-tech manufacturing facility, following the hiring of President Bill Price. The Lighthouse became a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility driven by the production of new, high volume, commercially competitive products. Services grew to include the blind and visually impaired, hard of hearing and Deaf, and individuals with other disabilities. Also, Lighthouse began providing call center services to the federal government.
Our History: Katrina
2005 and Hurricane Katrina brought many changes to Lighthouse. Faced with the need to continue meeting customer requirements while unable to operate out of the Lighthouse facility in New Orleans, we opened a secondary location in Crystal Springs, MS and began manufacturing paper cups there in October of 2005.
Our History: 2006
Another AbilityOne agency abandoned a warehouse and manufacturing site in Gulfport, MS that had been damaged by the storm, and we were able to find a silver lining in the storm’s aftermath. Due to constraints placed on the property when it was originally built, the site could only be used to employ people who are blind, so Lighthouse Louisiana worked with Lions International to repair the storm damage at the warehouse and, in 2006, opened for business in the Gulfport, MS location.
Our History: 2010
In late 2010, Lighthouse expanded its operations in Louisiana by purchasing a facility in Baton Rouge to provide employment and services for people who are visually impaired, hard of hearing, Deaf or have other disabilities in the Baton Rouge area. Eventually, the cup operation in Crystal Springs, MS was relocated to this Baton Rouge facility. With this expansion of both our geography and scope of services, it became apparent that “The Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans” was no longer an inclusive enough name. As a result, our new name became “Lighthouse Louisiana.”
Our History: 2015 and Beyond
Each year Lighthouse continues evolving to meet the needs of the blind and visually impaired, hard of hearing and deaf, and individuals with other disabilities by creating jobs, developing new programs, and providing quality products. Lighthouse Louisiana has a proud history and a bright future.
Board of Directors
Charlie Marts , Chair
Crescent Title, LLC
Cameron Currie, Chair Elect
Carpenter & Paterson, Inc.
Marcelle Wainer, Secretary
Drs. Worley, Magne & Plauche
Jason Jobes, Treasurer
Molly Vigour, At Large
Connie Bellone, At Large
Breazaeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP
Patrick Browne, III
The McEnery Company
Capital One Bank
Dr. Adham al Hariri
Eyelid & Facial Consultants
Dr. Renee Horton
Pastor Gregory Manning
Broadmoor Community Church
St. Bernard Project
Eli Lilly Company
Blue Hill Data Service
Andy St. Romain
Edward F. Stauss, III
Dr. Seema Walia
McEnery Residential Real Estate
ADVISORY COMMITTEE: BATON ROUGE
Danielle Borel, Chair
Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP
Summit Electric Supply
Dr. Michael Morgan
Andy St. Romain
Louisiana National Bank
Edward F. "Ed" Stauss, III
Keogh, Cox & Wilson, Ltd.
Lard Oil Company
Associated Builders and Contractors
Vice President of Development & Communications
(504) 899-4501 ext. 219
Elizabeth “Liz” Fussell, Ed.D., CRC
Director of Baton Rouge Services / WIPA Project
225-529-2749 ext. 344
Natalie Harrison, CESP
Director of Employment Services
504-899-4501 ext. 259
Director of Manufacturing
(504) 899-4501 ext 229
Director of Human Resources
(504) 899-4501 ext 229
Molly Sanchez, CFRE
Director of Development, Baton Rouge
(225) 529-2749 X308
Director of Facilities
Robert Trahan, LOTR, SCLV
Director, Vision Rehabilitation
(504) 899-4501 X270
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