Supporting the Physically & Emotionally Challenged

Catholic Guild for the Blind

The Catholic Guild for the Blind, a program of Catholic Charities Community Services, offers a guiding hand, proven expertise and a full menu of services that enables persons with vision impairments to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for an independent lifestyle. The Guild provides services for all people in need and works with each person to identify personal goals to achieve his or her fullest potential.

We provides services to children and adults starting at age five through the senior years for those living in Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan Counties. Our menu of services includes:

Vision Rehabilitation Therapy: Certified Rehabilitation Teachers provide
instruction in the following areas:

Daily Living Skills: Instruction in meal preparation, home management and managing personal care.

Communication Skills: Training in use of assistive technology
including operating computers for personal use as well as accessing electronic reading and recording systems.

Financial Management: Organizational strategies for managing documents, developing household budgets, bill paying and banking.

Community Integration: Assistance with accessing the community for appointments with health care professionals, social services and visiting friends and family.

Orientation and Mobility: Certified instructors provide training in use of long and support canes, traveling in unfamiliar environments, movement in home surroundings, street crossings and use of public transportation.

Vocational Training: The Catholic Guild for the Blind provides computer training for employment using assistive technology such as JAWS (software that reads the text on the monitor) and ZOOM TEXT (magnification software). Small group instruction in Microsoft applications including Power Point,
Excel and Word is provided, as well as conducting internet searches and composing and sending email.

Work Readiness and Job Placement Services: Work readiness training includes developing a resume, practicing interviewing skills and
reviewing “soft skills” that help individuals who are seeking employment to succeed. Staff assists with job development, job placement and post-
employment services.

Social Casework Services: Case Managers assist individuals with identifying and coordinating services and help with obtaining entitlements and housing. Short term intensive counseling services are also provided.

Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Catholic Pastoral Ministry

Catholic Pastoral Ministry is a program of Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County where compassionate staff who are skilled in American Sign Language (ASL) offer spiritual, social and supportive services to the deaf and hearing impaired which include:

  • Interpret Parish Masses/Religious Services
  • Monthly Interpreted Mass for Deaf
  • Provide religious Education for Children and Religious Education
    for Adult Converts at parishes
  • Offer Bible Study/Faith Sharing and other religious gatherings
  • Provide lay ministry training for Deaf Lectors/Readers and
    Eucharistic ministers
  • Pastoral Visits to Deaf who are Home-bound, Sick, Hospitalized
    or Imprisoned
  • Newsletter for Deaf
  • Promote community Deaf awareness
  • Provide referral to community services as needed

Social Activities/Events

  • Monthly Socials after Signed Mass
  • Monthly Pot Luck Lunch and Games
  • Annual Picnic and other Special Events

These services are also available in Orange, Ulster, Putnam and Sullivan Counties. For more information contact 845-452-1400 or email