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Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 2:57pm

The first Louise Tefft Award was awarded recently to JCC's OTA program and the SUNY Fredonia Pre-Health Professionals Club. The award highlights a person or persons who have supported the Chautauqua Blind Association.

Louise, a CBA client for 28 years, credited the services that she received from the CBA for her ability to remain independent in her home until she died in 2016 at 101.

The award recipients were announced during the CBA’s annual Dining in the Dark event. For several years, JCC's OTA students have volunteered to be sighted guides for the event, guiding blindfolded individuals to tables, orienting them to the table settings and meal, and helping them experience eating while blindfolded.

Dining in the Dark allows guests to experience “eating without seeing” to gain a better awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by those with visual impairments.

“Both CBA and the many participants who attend this event would be lost without the student volunteers from both of these schools,” said Lisa Goodell, CBA executive director.

The field of occupational therapy is celebrating its 100th year in 2017. Over 300 students have graduated from JCC’s occupational therapy assistant program since the program began in 1997.

Occupational therapy provides intervention to increase independence for those who have deficits in the performance of their daily living skills due to physical and/or emotional impairments as a result of birth defect, illness, injury, or the aging process. Occupational therapy practitioners work with individuals of all ages in a variety of settings that include schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, and more.

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