A $5 million gift from a foundation associated with Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries will help the Braille Institute of America offer free low-vision assistance across Southern California.

The AS&F Foundation of South Pasadena issued the largest single donation the East Hollywood institute has received in its history. The contribution comes as AS&F winds down, with plans to dissolve the charitable organization next year.

The funds will be used to sustain the Braille Institute’s Low Vision Program, offering free consultations to residents suffering from low vision conditions associated with conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

“As a long-time supporter of Braille Institute, we recognize the value of its free services for people with severe vision loss in our communities,” John Llewellyn, president of the AS&F Foundation said.

The one-on-one consultations with low vision rehabilitation specialists are offered at Braille Institute Centers in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Laguna Hills, Rancho Mirage, San Diego and Santa Barbara, in addition to hundreds of mobile clinic sites.

The donation will also enable community classes on home management, cooking, bill pay, mobility, transportation and technology adaptation for the vision impaired.

“We’re beyond grateful to the AS&F Foundation for this generous gift,” said Peter Mindnich, president of the Braille Institute, which has more than 4,000 volunteers who serve more than 75,000 clients across the region. “The Low Vision Program is crucial to our clients’ well-being.”

The AS&F Foundation was launched in 1951 as the Forest Lawn Foundation by Hubert Eaton, founder of American Security & Fidelity Corp. and creator of Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries. This year, its trustees elected to dissolve the foundation and distribute its assets by 2018.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.