Florida Lions

The Florida Lions Conklin Centers For The Blind is a nationally-accredited human service organization in Daytona Beach, Florida. We are widely respected for being the first and only agency in the United States dedicated to providing coordinated vocational and independent living services to individuals who are blind and have another handicapping condition. We are owned and administered by the Lions Clubs of Florida

Our Mission: "It is the intent of the Florida Lions Conklin Center that a significant percentage of blind and otherwise disabled people will be returned to a useful role in society."

Our Purpose: "Our purpose is, therefore, to reduce or eliminate their dependence on institutional or homebound care and prepare them with the living and working skills they need to exercise maximum choice in their lives and enrich the community! The primary purpose, however, is vocational training, placement, and support."

Short History: Multihandicapped blind persons are a neglected segment of our population. Due to their multiple disabilities, they often lead dependent lives, relying on families or institutions to provide for all their needs. This does not need to be the case. Given the chance, many can become independent and work in competitive jobs. Millard Conklin, a prominent Lion internationally, realized this and founded the agency in 1979 to offer services that provide that chance. Our growth and success over the past twenty-three years has been due, in part, to the commitment of staff and widespread support from the public and private sectors.

We Are Making a Difference:  Since our inception, the Conklin Center has significantly changed the lives of hundreds of multihandicapped blind adults and children. We serve about 120 individuals annually. The approximate 100 adults we assist every year learn employment and daily living skills, enabling them to be productive and more self-sufficient. They are young people who could rely on welfare; instead, they choose to work, earn their own way, and contribute to their community. Most are Floridians, but students have come to us from the rest of the United States, South America, and the Caribbean. The 15 - 25 children we serve annually are aged birth through five, and we help teach them skills to prepare them for kindergarten and a life of independence.

The Conklin Center takes great pride that over 80% of students who complete our vocational training program every year become gainfully employed, graduate to further academic or vocational training, or gain sufficient skills to be more self-supporting. In recent years, the Center's reputation has generated a substantial increase in requests for services. Incoming students must now wait several months to enter our programs. Our community-based programs have been providing post-training lifelong supported employment and supported living services since 1987 to help graduates maintain competitive jobs and live on their own. Some multihandicapped blind young adults have been living and working on their own for 10 years or more with assistance from the Conklin Center's supported employment and supported living programs.

Programs and Services:

For More Information about the Center or

Giving Opportunities or If You Would Like to Become Involved: If you would like to learn more about the Conklin Center programs or giving opportunities, or you would like to know about how you could volunteer or become involved, please call us at (386) 258-3441, or e-mail us: .

So many people have given their time, talents, and financial support in the past year to help multihandicapped blind citizens achieve their full potentials as human beings.

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