SACRAMENTO -- A portion of Society for the Blind's Sacramento headquarters has been sitting vacant for years but thanks to generous donors, it's about to become something beautiful.
"So, we're just delighted that we're ready to break ground and provide another 5,000 square feet of training space and a brand new teaching kitchen and dining room for our senior program," said Society for the Blind Executive Director Shari Roeseler.
Society for the Blind is a comprehensive center providing blindness training and education.
"Which means we provide training in white cane skills, called orientation and mobility," Roeseler said. "We teach braille, daily living skills and assistive technology."
In addition to extra training space, a teaching kitchen and senior dining room, the expansion will include a dedicated room for a music program.
Ramona Herriford, a self-employed health insurance broker, was frightened when she began having vision challenges around 12 years ago.
"You know, your whole life changes. You can't drive. All you hear is you can't, can't, can't, can't, can't," she told FOX40.
Then she got in touch with Society for the Blind.
"Coming here is about yes, you can. Yes, you can. You can do everything that you were doing, except for maybe drive," Herriford said. "I learned the skills to continue. I'm still self-employed, still own my home."
Now she works with Society for the Blind teaching those skills to others.
She was among the dozens thrilled to attend Monday's groundbreaking ceremony -- with a twist. It was actually a wall-smashing ceremony.
Society for the Blind serves more than 5,000 people living with blindness or low vision. The new space will help expand that mission.
Completion is expected by the end of summer this year.
"It's going to allow this agency to do a lot more and to bring in more people who are blind," Herriford said.
There are more than 100,000 people with vision loss living in the greater Sacramento region, according to Society for the Blind.
Society for the Blind is a nonprofit organization. You can find more information on their site, www.societyfortheblind.org.