Latest Update(s) To This WebsiteJuly 15, 2018:

Research Opportunities:

Latest Update(s) To This WebsiteJuly 10, 2018:

Help Colleagues With Disabilities Succeed in Meetings

Navigating Learning Disabilities and the Cost for Treatment

Online Shopping For Consumers With Disabilities

 

Silicon Valley Council of the Blind

"Access to Life"

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042–0493

Phone: 888-652-5333 (leave a message)

eMail: svcb@onebox.com

Website URL: www.svcb.cc

The Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization under the California Council of the Blind. We are a membership organization of persons who are blind or visually impaired, our families and friends. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for all persons with vision loss through advocacy and mutual support. We are organized as a chapter of the California Council of the Blind, which is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, and draw our membership largely from Santa Clara County.

Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB) Purpose

SVCB Organization Links

 

Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB) Purpose

The Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB) is a membership organization of persons who are blind or visually impaired, and our families and friends. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for all persons with vision loss through advocacy and mutual support. We are organized as a chapter of the California Council of the Blind, which is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, and draw our membership largely from Santa Clara County. To accomplish our mission, we have undertaken the following activities:

Ø   Educate both the public and ourselves about the capabilities and responsibilities as well as the special needs of persons who are blind or visually impaired.

Ø   Work jointly with other organizations who share our goals.

Since our founding in 1987 both our size and the scope of our efforts have increased substantially:

Ø  Regular monthly meetings are held where persons with vision loss can learn about and discuss issues of concern to them with public officials, professionals in the field of blindness and other blind persons.

Ø  Through our annual Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant, we offer up to $1500 to a blind or visually-impaired person who can best demonstrate the need for adaptive technology that will improve his/her quality of life of advance her/his educational and/or employment opportunities. To access the current grant application, see www.svcb.cc or email svcb@onebox.com.

Ø  A newsletter is published monthly featuring items of current local interest provided in large print, braille, E-mail, and cassette tape.

Ø  Our web site has links to resources and contact information.

Ø  We continually educate ourselves about legislation and government regulations related to blindness, while actively trying to improve them through testimony and negotiation. For example, we are continuously engaged in efforts to maintain and improve the quality of public transportation, which is so vital to the independence of our members.

Ø  SVCB sponsors social and recreational activities where persons who share our goals can get to know one‑another and experience the solidarity which helps us all to "keep up the good work".

Participation in SVCB is extended to all persons who share our desire to improve the quality of life of persons with vision loss. Suggestions, donations and volunteers to support our work are welcome.

Rev 1/2018

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SVCB Organization Links

California Council of the BlindCCB is a non-profit tax-exempt organization composed primarily of Californians who are blind or have low vision.  www.ccbnet.org  

Toll-Free in California: 800-221-6359 

Outside California: 916-441-2100

American Council of the Blind - ACB strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.  www.acb.org

Phone: 202-467-5081

SVCB Meetings

SVCB Officers / Board Members

SVCB Committees / Chairpersons

SVCB IN-TOUCH Newsletters

SVCB Business Calendar

SVCB Membership

SVCB Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant

SVCB Constitution & By-Laws

SVCB Resource Links

SVCB Local Activities

SVCB Membership Spotlights

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SVCB Meetings

Our meetings take place every third Saturday in the community room of the Monte Vista Terrace Apartments (1101 Grant Road in Mountain View) and run from 9:30 AM. to 1 PM. The Monte Vista Terrace Apartments are one block from the intersection of Grant Road and El Camino Real and are accessible by bus #22. To read timely announcements and find out what will be happening during our next meeting, read our SVCB Phone Tree Message.

SVCB Past Meeting Recordings

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SVCB Phone Tree Message

SVCB meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday of each month, 9:30 AM to 1 PM. The location is the dining room of the Monte Vista Terrace Apartments at 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View, one block from El Camino Real, 22 VTA bus.

Phone Tree Message for July, 2018

Our July Membership Meeting:
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM to 1 PM. Note that the room must be cleared by 1 PM.
9:30: Coffee and conversation. Lunch order deadline is 9:45.
10 to 11 AM: Program
11:10 to 12 AM: Business
12 to 1 PM: Lunch and socializing

Place: Community room of the Monte Vista Terrace Apartments, 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View


Event: 50-50 raffle, see Michelle's blurb below.

Program: Our July program will be about shopping, on and off line. Rob Turner will demonstrate InstaCart and John Glass will show us the Door Dash app. Plus you’ll be invited to share your shopping experiences.

Business: We’ll hear about the ACB convention and the final discussion about the August SVCB picnic.

From President Susan Glass: Get ready for the picnic! It's on Saturday, August 18 at Hellyer Community Park in San Jose, and our picnic site is called Yerba Buena. Registration is $20 for SVCB/CCB members, and $25 for guest. The address of the park is 985 Hellyer Ave. It is accessible by VTA Access and bus lines, and Access will not be required to pay for parking. The chapter is providing hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegie burgers. Register at the July meeting by talking to Victor Clifford, and be sure to tell him what food you want. Let Bev Clifford know whether you are bringing drinks, a dessert, or an appetizer. 


Michelle’s blurb: We're having a 50/50 raffle at our July meeting. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six tickets. We'll have the following for sale at the meeting for $1 each: nut mix (with cranberries or with chocolate), Welch's Fruit Snacks, Nut Bars, and Sugar Cookies baked by Diane Wetzel (a client at the Blind Center who has graciously volunteered to bake our Cookie of the Month). Funds from the cookie sales benefit our tech grant. If I am not at the meeting, please see Carol Silveria to make your purchases. 
Also, we'd like to find a home for a Prodigy voice blood glucose monitoring system (with case and instructions). If you can use this, please call 888-652-5333 (leave a message to be forwarded to Michelle, or look her up on our Membership List to call her directly), or send email to fundraising@svcb.cc. A donation would be appreciated.

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SVCB Past Meeting Recordings

SVCB Meeting Programs – To skip instructions, click SVCB Program List.

Welcome to the index page for SVCB's meeting program segments. Through links on this page, you can stream or download presentations that occurred during the program segments at monthly meetings of the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind. Program segments posted here have been approved by their presenters for online availability. Other segments that have not been approved are available to SVCB members by contacting membership@svcb.cc.  

Feedback is welcomed. Send comments to webmaster@svcb.cc.


What is streaming and downloading?

Each month in the list below has two links associated with it: "stream" and "download." Both links let you listen to your selected program but in different ways.

When you select "stream," your media player starts, and you hear the program almost immediately. Problem is, you can only listen to it, you can't move forward or backward easily nor do you have a copy of the program on your computer to listen to later. But if you just want to sit back with your favorite "whatever," selecting "stream" is the right choice. When you need to stop the program, exit your media player (typically with the alt-f4 key combination).

Selecting the download link for a program starts the sequence you use to download a file. After the file is downloaded, you start your media player, open this file and begin listening to your program. The difference is that now you can easily move backward and forward through the program as well as increase the speech rate (on some players). The downside of the download process is that getting the file to your computer can take some time, perhaps two minutes.


Trouble?

Depending on file associations on your operating system, you may have trouble with the audio links. If nothing happens when you click on the "listen" link, try the "download" link as experiments indicate that this may behave like the "listen" link.

If you can only listen to audio, the audio file can still be downloaded. Here's how:

Do the keystroke to stop the audio. This is control-p in Windows Media Player.

Pull down the file menu:, typically with alt-f.

Select the "save as" function.

The name of the audio file will be highlighted so all you have to do is click the "save" button.

You will be returned to your media player after the file has downloaded to your computer.



 

SVCB Program List

Choose a year, and then select stream or download.

2018 programs

2017 programs

2016 programs

2015 programs

2014 programs

2013 programs

2012 programs

2011 programs

2010 programs

2009 programs

2008 programs

2007 programs

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SVCB Officers / Board Members

All SVCB Officers and Board Members may be contacted by phone at: 888-652-5333 (leave a message).

President Susan Glass, president@svcb.cc

Vice-President   Alice Turner, vice.president@svcb.cc

Recording Secretary   John Glass, recording.secretary@svcb.cc

Correspondence SecretaryNaomi Grubb, corresponding.secretary@svcb.cc

Treasurer Vic Clifford, treasurer@svcb.cc

Board MembersMike Keithley, John McNulty, Lupe Medrano, boardmbrs@svcb.cc

Immediate Past-President   Rob Turner, past.president@svcb.cc

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SVCB Committees / Chairpersons

All SVCB Committee members and Chairpersons may be contacted by phone at: 888-652-5333 (leave a message).

Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant:

Chair: Alice Turner  techgrantchair@svcb.cc  

Committee: Alice Turner, John Glass, Susan Glass, Diane Harms, Bev Clifford, Lynette Kersey, Mike Keithley, Michelle McGrew  techgrantcommittee@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Braille Literacy:

Chair: Bev Clifford  braillelitchair@svcb.cc

Committee: Bev Clifford, Susan Glass, Mike Keithley, Rob Turner  braillelitcommittee@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Constitution & By-Laws  – Roger Peterson, constitution@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Database Information  – Mike Keithley, membership@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Events:

Chair:   eventschair@svcb.cc

Committee:   eventscommittee@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Goodies  – Bev Clifford, goodies@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Fund-raising  – Michelle McGrew, fundraising@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Hospitality  – Naomi Grubb, hospitality@svcb.cc

__________________________________

IN-TOUCH Newsletter:

Chair: Susan Glass  editor@svcb.cc

Copy Editor: Bev Clifford  copyeditor@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Legislation Mike Keithley, legislation@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Membership Mike Keithley, membership@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Sound  Mike Keithley, sound@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Transportation Lupe Medrano, transportation@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Volunteers   Naomi Grubb, volunteers@svcb.cc

__________________________________

Webmaster   Vic Clifford, web@svcb.cc

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SVCB IN-TOUCH Newsletters

Due to content sensitivity, for online IN-TOUCH Newsletter review prior to February 2018, email an access request to: web@svcb.cc

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

 

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SVCB Business Calendar

http://www.svcb.cc/business_calendar.htm

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SVCB Membership

Become a member of SVCB

SVCB is a support group for visually impaired people. If you're visually impaired or want to help, become a member. Although our meetings are open to everyone interested in the blindness community, SVCB membership has these additional benefits for you:

Ø   Opportunity to serve on the Board or committees and directly influence chapter activities in the blindness community.

Ø   May participate in special SVCB activities such as parties and outings.

Ø   Become a member of the California Council of the Blind, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for visually impaired people in California. SVCB is a local chapter of CCB, and we actively assist members to participate in CCB conferences and conventions as well as network within the CCB family.

Ø   Become a member of the American Council of the Blind, the national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for visually impaired people in America and the world. Since CCB is a state affiliate of ACB, you'll belong to the ACB family, and we help visually impaired people attend ACB conferences and convention.

Becoming an SVCB member is easy - fill out a membership application, and along with membership dues send it to P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042-0493. Dues are $10 per year (or $13 if between 7/31 and 12/31 to cover through the next year). Click SVCB Membership Application for a print application to be downloaded that gives all the instructions. For more information, email membership@svcb.cc or call our voicemail box at 888-652-5333 (leave a message).

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SVCB Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant

Launched in 2010, this program annually awards a grant of up to $1500 to a blind or visually impaired person living in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz or San Benito Counties who can best demonstrate the need for adaptive technology that will improve his/her quality of life or advance his/her educational and/or employment opportunities.

Examples of items that the grant might fund include, but are not limited to:

Ø   Polarizing sunglasses

Ø   Hearing aids and audiologist fees

Ø   Mobility aids (like white canes) and payment for mobility instructors

Ø   Adapted mobile devices

Ø   Adapted computers

Ø   Repair of adapted computers

Ø   Magnifying systems

Ø   Medical aids

Ø   Bar code readers

Past awardees

2010

Grant Recipient Awarded $1000 for a Trekker Breeze

Our first recipient, Fulton Mah of San Jose, received a Trekker Breeze, a GPS system designed for visually impaired people, at SVCB's February, 2011 meeting. Fulton told us how his award will help him travel on foot and use public transit.


2012

The 2012 grant recipients were Ms. Lynette Kersey and Mr. Abdihakiin Ahmed, both from San Jose. Both award recipients are blind. Ms. Kersey was awarded a Language Master talking dictionary to help her teach braille to blind students whose first language is not English. She also used her grant funds to purchase a 1-year maintenance agreement for her braille notetaker, a computer that she uses for teaching, and for her work as a braille proofreader.

Mr. Abdihakiin Ahmed is the founder and developer of a nonprofit organization called East African Visually Impaired Community (EAVIC) which advocates for the East African Blind Community in both the Bay Area and Africa. He was awarded an iPhone, which he plans to use to enhance both his personal independence and his nonprofit organization.


2013

The 2013 technology grant was awarded to Ms. Susan Durst of Santa Cruz California. Ms. Durst is a client of Vista Center for the Blind, and she has been losing her eyesight for some time now. She received a Junior Goose Neck Lamp that affords good lighting for low vision people, and a Pico Magnifier, a small CCTV that fits in a purse. Though retired from her career, she enjoys an active life complete with lots of reading.


2014

The fifth-annual Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant, awarded at SVCB'S April, 2015 membership meeting, was awarded to Mr. John Vandervort of San Jose! Mr. Vandervort has partial sight, and for some time now has found reading difficult. He requested the following items: Reinecker MANO Portable CCTV (a portable video magnifier), ZoomText Update version 10.1, and the Jim Bliss Low Vision System +training course.


2015

Our 2015 Tech Grant award winner was Ms. Camille Gilmore. Diagnosed as legally blind with glaucoma at the Vista Center Low Vision Clinic, Ms. Gilmore has attended Mission College since 2011, where she is earning a Community Health Worker certificate, and an Associates Degree in Sociology. She has thus far completed 60 units, and she has 3 more semesters to complete. In addition to her studies, Camille volunteers as an assistant in the Adaptive PE program at Mission College. She will use her grant award to purchase school supplies and adaptive technology. From the Vista Blind Center store, she'll purchase Eyewear shades, 10-20 pens, bold line paper, Symantech Endpoint Protection, a Kurzweil 1000 upgrade, and a Clear View c Speech 24-inch HD Desktop Magnifier. Congratulations, Camille!


2016

The 2016 Barbara Rhodes Technology Award was given to Lupe Medrano. Lupe is a long-time SVCB member, and she received an iPhone along with funds to pay for training at the Silicon Valley Blind Center and funds to cover transportation costs to and from the center. Lupe hopes that her iPhone will help her be more independent.


2017

The 2017 Barbara Rhodes Technology Award was given to Gabriela Aldana. Gabriela is a mentor to new clients at the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, and she continues to learn new technology to further cope with her blindness. She received the grant to purchase accessible computer technology, specifically an Apple iPhone 7 Plus phone and an HP Laptop computer – replacing outdated and failing equipment.


For more info about the Barbara Rhodes Technology Grant, call 888-652-5333 or email svcb@onebox.com. Click SVCB Barbara Rhodes Grant for a print application to be downloaded that gives all the instructions.

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SVCB Constitution & By-Laws

http://www.svcb.cc/constitution.htm

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SVCB Resource Links

American Foundation for the Blind - "We’re the dreamers and the doers, improving the lives of the more than 20 million Americans who experience blindness or vision loss by amplifying those voices and ensuring equitable access for all."  https://www.afb.org/default.aspx

 

Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors - Departs every Sunday at noon from Pier 40 in San Francisco.

Visit www.baads.org  or call: 415-281-0212

 

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP) - BORP believes that everyone should have access to the unique challenges that outdoor recreation provides, and makes every effort to accommodate each person's needs, including providing transportation and volunteer support. Visit http://www.borp.org/   or call 510-843-4398 (Lori Gray)

 

Be Ready to Go: Disability-Specific Supplies for Emergency Kits

 

Blind Interest Resource Directory (BIRD) – Resource guide offered through VISTA Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  http://www.svcb.cc/resources/index.htm

 

Breast Cancer Support Group - For questions, call Lori Scharff

516-887-1336, or lorischarff@gmail.com

 

Career Corner - Organizations serving the blind, and employment organizations. http://www.svcb.cc/career/index.htm

 

Common Good Careers - A mission-driven search firm that is committed to social impact. Our purpose is to support the hiring needs of organizations that are dedicated to tackling today’s most pressing social problems. Contact Jessica Mah at:  http://www.commongoodcareers.org

 

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) - CCLVI is an advocacy membership organization for people with low vision ability. The monthly "Let's Talk Low Vision" conferences from CCLVI can be accessed as podcasts at: www.airsla.org/cclvidd.asp.  www.cclvi.org/

1-844-460-0625

 

CSUN, California State University, Northridge – Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference. http://www.csun.edu/cod/  1-818-677-4929

 

Disability Air Travel: Information for Seniors & Disabled

 

Disability Remodeling - What is the Average Cost to Renovate?

 

Ears For Eyes - A nonprofit public charity. We provide, free of charge, audio lessons that teach adaptive daily living skills to the vision impaired and their caregivers. www.earsforeyes.info

 

Exercises To Try At Home For Disabled People

When you live with a physical disability or illness, keeping fit can be difficult.

 

Fire Safety for People with Disabilities: A How-To Guide for Prevention and Evacuation

 

Guide Dogs for the Blind - Guide Dogs for the Blind empowers lives by creating exceptional partnerships between people, dogs, and communities.  https://www.guidedogs.com/ 1-800-295-4050

 

Help Colleagues With Disabilities Succeed in Meetings - If you’re working with a colleague with a disability in a new capacity, you probably have questions about how to address their needs. You and your organization can easily make accommodations for your colleague, whether you’re working with them remotely or in person. Here’s how to respectfully hold meetings with or onboard a disabled colleague. https://www.conferencecalling.com/blog/help-colleagues-with-disabilities-in-meetings/

 

Hidden Talent - How Leading Companies Hire, Retain, and Benefit from People with Disabilities, edited by Mark L. Lengnick-Hall  https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0275992896

 

Legislative Hotlines - current issues for blind persons:
CALIFORNIA CONNECTION: 

800-221-6359, after 5 PM and weekends
WASHINGTON CONNECTION: 

800-424-8666, 3-9 PM and weekends

 

Let's Talk Low Vision - The monthly conferences from CCLVI can be accessed as podcasts at www.airsla.org/cclvidd.asp.

Lighthouse For the Blind and Visually Impaired - Promote the equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or visually impaired through rehabilitation training, employment placement, Enchanged Hills camp and other relevant services. www.Lighthouse-sf.org  1-415-431-1481

 

Moving an Aging or Disabled Parent into Your Home: 4 Things You Should Know

 

National Braille Press - Supports a lifetime of opportunity for blind children through braille literacy and provides access to information that empowers blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community affairs.  http://www.nbp.org/   1-617-266-6160 or 1-888-965-8965

 

Navigating Learning Disabilities and the Cost for Treatment – ‘Simple Dollar's’ guide that outlines how to afford out of pocket treatment costs, and provides information on specific rights and services offered to families of children with learning disabilities. https://www.thesimpledollar.com/navigating-learning-disabilities-and-the-cost-for-treatment/

 

Online Shopping For Consumers With Disabilities – From ‘wikibuy’ a blog guide designed to help people with vision impairment and other common disabilities regain their independence by shopping online. The resources mentioned will help individuals with low vision, colorblindness, or dyslexia have a positive online user experience by helping them read what’s on their computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. https://wikibuy.com/blog/online-shopping-for-consumers-with-disabilities-f45fffeeb5c2

 

Online Writer’s Group for the Blind

Join Us for Our First Meeting!
Date: Saturday, July 14
Time: 5 PM Pacific, 6 PM Mountain, 7 PM Central and 8 PM Eastern.
Enter the Book Nook room at conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs7867a2369e0e.
Our goal is to improve the quality of our writing by sharing and discussing our work with each other. If you are a lover of fine writing, we encourage you to join us. Even if you're not an author yourself, you can help by critiquing.
We have created a mailing list, Writersretreat on groups.io. There you can post any writing you wish the group to discuss. To subscribe to the group, send email to writersretreat+subscribe@groups.io. The link to the group  is groups.io/g/writersretreat/topics.

 

Research Opportunities:

Ø     Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) – Research Details:
· National telephone and web interviews July 30th through August 10th   
· Looking for patients ages 18-60 who been diagnosed with Neuromyelitis     optica spectrum disorder who are currently being treated by a doctor
· Participants will be paid $125 for their 60-minute web and telephone interview. 
If you're interested, send an email to: Patient.Research@SchlesingerGroup.com with your name, state of residence and telephone number. 

Ø      Healthcare Survey

How many times have you all wished for better interactions with health care professionals? Carmel, a research assistant at the University of Texas-El Paso, is working on a study about that very topic. And you can help! My name is Carmel and I am a research assistant with the Judgment and Decision Making Lab at the University of Texas at El Paso. My lab is doing research with blind, low vision, and visually impaired adults and their interactions with healthcare professionals. We are currently administering a survey on this topic. The PI is a blind doctoral candidate. All participants will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card. If you are interested please e-mail us at utep.psyc.hcd@gmail.com, or give us a call at (915) 747-8659. If you get our voicemail, feel free to leave a quick message with your name and phone number so we can get back to you as soon as we can.

 

Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB) – Board Meeting

SVCB Board meeting. Call-in:

800-662-6992; ID: 1184109. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend, contact the SVCB President beforehand.

 

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC) - A non-profit, non-residential organization which serves all people with all types of disabilities, including seniors with disabling conditions, who live in Santa Clara County.  http://www.svilc.org/  1-408-894-9041

 

Transportation Options for Seniors Who Don’t Drive

 

VISTA Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Empowers individuals who are blind or visually impaired to embrace life to the fullest through evaluation, counseling, education and training.  http://www.vistacenter.org/ 

1-650-858-0202 or 800-660-2009

2500 El Camino Real, Suite 100, Palo Alto, CA 94306

 

VTA/ACCESS - VTA ensures a comparable paratransit service is provided to eligible individuals with disabilities who cannot use conventional public transit service due to their physical, visual or cognitive disabilities. Read to learn more about paratransit Service, eligibility, and how to apply.

VTA Access: Call 408-321-2380. After dialing the VTA Access number, press 1 for English or press 0 for an agent and you'll get the recording you need. Then press 1 to schedule a ride, 2 to cancel a ride, 3 for status of a ride (late vehicle), and 4 for general info and client account info. With complaints, concerns, or compliments: call Robert Gebo at 408-321-5954. Your Guide to the Disability Process

 

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SVCB Local Activities

Tabard Theatre

Tabard Theatre shows: To order tickets, call the Tabard box office at 408-679-2330 and speak to Marilyn Watts, or visit tabardtheatre.org. SVCB members and Blind Center clients should use Discount Code BC27 when ordering. Performances take place at Theatre on San Pedro Square, 29 North San Pedro Street, San Jose.

 

AUDIOVISION.ORG – SJ and SF

For shows described by AudioVision:

Get tickets for Broadway San Jose by calling 866-395-2929. Performances are at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts (SJCPA), 255 West Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, on Sundays at 6:30 PM unless noted. Note:

For all San Francisco productions (Golden Gate and Orpheum theatres): Tickets are generally on sale four weeks before the production opens. To charge tickets and reserve receivers, call 

888-746-1799 (SHN Theaters), or fax your order to 415-581-2121 and ask for AudioVision tickets. If you have any questions, please email didisalvo@msn.com.

 

Los Altos Ye Olde Towne Band

Come and enjoy a free, old-fashioned band concert in a beautiful park setting. Each month, Ye Olde Towne Band of Los Altos provides an enjoyable concert presenting music ranging from rousing marches to popular musicals. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon sitting on the grass listening to your favorite concert music. A playground is available for the youngsters. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy. http://www.windband.org/oldtowne/

 

Vista Center

Vista Center's Next Technology User Group Meeting Will Be: TBD


John Glass
Access Technology Manager
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
2500 El Camino Real, Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94306
650-858-0202 ext. 123

 

****

From Alice Turner, VISTA Community Relations Manager

From: Kelly Gasque via leadership [mailto:leadership@acblists.org
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:34 AM
To: leadership@acblists.organnounce@acblists.org
Subject: [leadership] Article: New Web App Teaches Classical Guitar Using Braille

New Web App Teaches Classical Guitar Using Braille

Article Link: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/new-web-app-teaches-classical-guitar-using-braille/

With Let’s Play, people who are blind or visually impaired can take lessons, and read music using Braille.

When the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired opened in 1856, there were only three students. So in order to pay the bills, students were expected to make brooms and other goods to sell. Nowadays, students are able to focus on academics, life skills and enrichment opportunities, such as learning to play classical guitar. A new app is helping people learn through Braille.

It’s mic check before graduation at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin. Three students are playing their classical guitars.

The teachers making sure the volume and music are just right are Matt Hinsley and Jeremy Coleman.

Today is the culmination of many achievements for these students. Their performance will showcase one of the skills they’ve learned. But as perfectly choreographed as the graduation ceremony will be, Hinsley says the guitar program at the school began because of a series of serendipitous events. The first was in 2011.

“They built this facility and we were touring it,” Hinsley says of that time.

When the tour arrived at a classroom, the principal introduced Hinsley as someone who worked with an organization called Austin Classical Guitar.

“And one of the girls in the room put her hand straight up in the air and said: ‘I want to learn guitar.’ And then the boy next to her did exactly the same thing. ‘I want to learn guitar!’ So, that’s kind of where it all started,” Hinsley says.

Hinsley actually already had a curriculum ready. He’d been working with other schools, especially in under-privileged areas in Texas. But, the curriculum would need to be modified. It needed to be translated into Braille. And here’s where Jeremy Coleman, the other teacher we met during sound check, comes in. He’s a former Marine who got a degree in classical guitar performance at a college in Louisiana. And he became essential to the second serendipitous event.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do when I graduated,” he says. “I just wanted to move where the action was. For classical guitar, that’s Austin, and so I showed up at Matt Hinsley’s house one day for lessons. I wanted to be a music teacher – guitar teacher specially.”

While Coleman worked on his master’s at UT Austin, he started volunteering at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. That meant he needed to learn Braille.

“The Braille music is a different code. So I took what I learned from Braille and I learned another code,” Coleman says.

Coleman is the one who took Hinsley’s guitar curriculum and adapted it into Braille. Now, he’s the school’s full-time guitar teacher.

Coleman says his first day teaching was actually a learning opportunity

“What I thought would happen was – everyone would be prodigies and everyone would be, like, music geniuses,” Coleman says. “Because everyone I knew at that point who was blind was, like, a famous musician, you know?”

Of course, that’s not the case – blind and visually impaired musicians, like all musicians, rely on some talent and a ton of training.

It’s been seven years and the program is chugging along. Coleman and Hinsley’s students are improving by leaps and bounds, and some are becoming truly exceptional musicians. Recently, one of them moved to Arizona. She’s the protagonist of the final serendipitous event. She wrote to her teachers that her school in Phoenix, a school not for visually impaired kids, was able to translate its guitar program to accommodate her. Hinsley picks up the story.

“We were very excited that this transition had happened successfully – for like 30 seconds – after which I realized, ‘oh, my goodness, we have a problem here because we have kids who are learning a beautiful skill and are becoming passionate about guitar and the world doesn’t have resources to continue that study the way any other child would be able to,” he says.

But now, the world does have such a resource.

Coleman and Hinsley just released what they call a life-long learning app, called Let’s Play. It’s free guitar curriculum in Braille and it will allow a person who is blind or visually impaired to take advantage of the program that began here in Texas.

Back in the auditorium, I sit for a complete performance from graduating students Devin Gutierrez, Hector Lara and Davion Perez and notice that service dog Jetson and I move our heads in unison.

 

 

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SVCB Membership Spotlights

SVCB Recognized with California Senate Member Resolution No. 137

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California Senate Resolution

By the Honorable Jim Beall, 15th Senatorial District;

Relative to Commending

Silicon Valley Council of the Blind

 

WHEREAS, As a Mountain View-based, nonprofit membership organization, the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind has worked diligently for over 30 years to fulfill its mission to improve the quality of life for all persons with vision loss through its long-standing and singular advocacy, mutual support, and other consequential efforts, for which the Council and its members are deserving of special honors and commendations; and

WHEREAS, Extending a welcome to all persons who share its desire to improve the quality of life for persons with vision loss, the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind is a membership organization of persons who are blind or visually impaired, and their families and friends, that draws its membership largely from Santa Clara County and is organized as a chapter of the California Council of the Blind, which, in turn, is a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, a nonprofit organization with a nationwide reach; and

WHEREAS, In service to accomplishing its mission, the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind has undertaken a number of activities which include, among others, educating both the public and its own members about the capabilities, responsibilities, and special needs of persons who are blind or visually impaired, and working jointly with other organizations that share the Council’s goals; and

WHEREAS, Since the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind was founded in 1987, as its membership has undergone a substantial increase, so too has the scope of the organization’s efforts, which now include regular monthly meetings that provide opportunities for persons with vision loss to learn about and discuss issues of concern with public officials, professionals in the field of blindness, and other blind persons; the publication of a monthly newsletter in formats that include braille, large print, e-mail, and cassette tape; the hosting of a Web site with links to resources and contact information; and the sponsorship of social and recreational activities where persons sharing the Council’s goals can get to know one another and experience the solidarity that encourages them to “keep up the good work”; and

WHEREAS, Also reflective of the broader scope of the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind’s activities is the focus on members educating themselves about legislation and government regulations related to blindness, as well as members’ active efforts to improve legislation and regulations through testimony and hearings, especially in relation to matters vital to the independence of blind and visually impaired persons such as transportation; and

WHEREAS, In addition, since the initiation of its annual Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant in 2010 and consistent with its mission, the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind has offered up to $1,500 to a blind or visually impaired person who can best demonstrate the need for adaptive technology as a means of improving quality of life, or advancing educational or employment opportunities, or both; and

WHEREAS, Having worked diligently for over 30 years to provide its members and the wider community of blind and visually disable persons with “Access to Life,” the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind has proved itself to be an effectual and laudably mission-driven organization, whose members’ advocacy, provision of mutual support, and diverse beneficial efforts have improved the well-being and quality of life for persons with vision loss throughout Santa Clara County and beyond; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED BY SENATOR JIM BEALL, That he takes great pleasure in commending the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind for its exemplary efforts in fulfillment of its mission to improve the quality of life for all persons with vision loss, and extends his best wishes for the continued success of the Council’s invaluable services and programs in the future.

Members Resolution No. 137

Dated this 10th day of March, 2018

Honorable Jim Beall

15th Senatorial District

 

Bill Tipton - Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

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Picture of Bill Tipton.

 

May 17 was Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). To celebrate that day and the importance of accessibility, Bill Tipton shares a blog posted by his employer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Community, which includes a tip to assist in increasing one component of accessibility. The blog also describes some of the importance of accessibility and its content can be located at this URL:

https://community.hpe.com/t5/HPE-Careers/Celebrating-Global-Accessibility-Awareness-Day-GAAD/ba-p/7005300#.Wv9-WLmWxdj

 

 

A Celebration of Julie B. Lovin’s Life

Picture of Julie B. Lovins.

 

Dr. Julie Beth Lovins, civic activist, active citizen, “language doctor”, Mountain View resident.

A celebration of life occurred Sunday, 11 February 2018, 12:30 pm at the Mountain View City Hall Council Chambers. The event was led by Lenny Siegel, Mayor of Mountain View, California, and sponsored by the Pacific Studies Center and the Old mountain View Neighborhood Association.

Julie died peacefully in hospice care at her home in Old Mountain View on Friday night, 16 January 2018, after a 15-month journey with brain cancer, supported by wonderful friends and neighbors. Julie’s beloved husband and civic partner Dr. Greg Fowler had died unexpectedly on 25 September 2016. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma – an aggressive, incurable brain cancer – in October 2016, just 18 days after the unexpected death of her husband of nearly 29 years. Born in Washington, D.C., in 1945, she grew upon on the East Coast and attended high school in Amherst, Massachusetts. She earned her associate degree with honors at Pembroke College (now Brown University) and her master’s and doctoral degrees in linguistics at the University of Chicago. Julie taught Japanese phonology for three years at prestigious Tokyo universities, implemented early speech synthesis at Bell labs, then engineered software at seven Silicon Valley firms and consulted on computational linguistics for many more through the 1990s. According to her family, she invented the first “stemming algorithm” that cuts endings off a word until just its meaning-bearing stem is left, enabling computers to understand and synthesize human speech. This past September, then-Mayor Ken Rosenberg described her diverse and devoted civic efforts in a tribute at a City Council meeting, saying of her and her husband, “They enlightened our discourse and anchored our civic conscience. Few have done so much to make our lives better. This couple set us a high standard for what it means to be citizens of a democracy.” The video tribute may be viewed at: http://mountainview.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2786

The family prefers that memorial donations be sent to the League of Women Voters (www.lwvlamv.org), Mountain View Educational Foundation (www.mvef.org), Community Health Awareness Council (www.chacmv.org) and Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (www.svcb.cc).

You can carry on Julie and Greg’s good work by volunteering with Mountain View coalition for Sustainable planning (www.mvcsp.org) or Advocates for Affordable Housing (joan_wally_macdonald@calalum.org).

 

Honorary membership in SVCB awarded to Ms. Cathy Spielberger Cassetta, Tabard Theatre Company

This certificate is awarded September 16, 2017, San Jose, CA to: Ms. Cathy Spielberger Cassetta

 

The members of the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the California Council of the Blind, celebrate and commend Ms. Cathy Spielberger Cassetta, Producing Artistic Director at the Tabard Theatre Company, for her lifelong dedication to bringing live theater to blind and visually impaired patrons. She does this through carefully choreographed pre-show descriptions of stage settings, and hands-on experiences that let blind patrons touch actors' costumes and other props and artifacts that are integral to a particular show. She also provides accessible play bills, discounted tickets, and donated tickets that are part of Silicon Valley Council of the Blind's fund-raising efforts. We therefore present her with a Lifetime, Honorary Membership in the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind, with all benefits and privileges that accompany such membership.

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Certificate award to Ms. Cathy Spielberger Cassetta

 

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