Newsletter of the
A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind
March 2018

EDITOR: Susan Glass,
COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042
DEADLINE: for the April, 2018 issue: noonMarch 23
VOLUNTEERS: Naomi Grubb,
MEMBERSHIP: Mike Keithley,
LEGISLATION: Mike Keithley,
Legislative Hotlines, current issues for blind persons:
800-221-6359, after 5 PM and weekends
800-424-86663-9 PM and weekends

DISCLAIMER: This publication contains announcements from the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind and is also a forum for opinions relating to blindness issues. Signed articles reflect the views, and research, of their authors.

STATUS: SVCB is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization under the California Council of the Blind.

CHANGES OF ADDRESS: Contact Mike Keithley,

MEETING LOCATION: SVCB's monthly meetings are held in the community room of the Monte Vista Terrace Apts. at 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View. Meetings run 9:30 AM to 1 PM the third Saturday of the month and are open to all. Monte Vista Terrace is one block from the intersection of Grant Road and El Camino Real and is accessible by bus #22.


* President's Message
* Program
* NFB-NEWSLINE Adds New Publications to Brighten Your Winter Months
* Membership Corner
* * Fund-Raising Report
* Snack Shack
* Tidbits
* Event Calendar

by Susan Glass

It seems that I often write these dispatches while on the road. This one comes to you from Eau Claire Wisconsin, where John and I are visiting with my mother. But it's also a recap of the last week spent in Washington DC at the ACB mid-year Affiliates Presidents' Meeting and Legislative Seminar. I want to thank all of you for allowing me to represent our chapter, as well as participate in the California delegation activities. I took diligent notes, and I'm excited to tell you that despite Capitol Hill gridlock and the barrage of toxic messages that we hear about Washington politics, real work gets done, especially by passionate, smart congressional staffers and researchers (idealists yes, but also realists). They aren't yet jaded. Go millennials! Rather than try to cram all I learned into this president's message, I'd like to share it with you at our March program. In fact, it will be our program, but I'll keep things interesting, and we'll have plenty of time for questions and comments. For now, here is a summary of some lighter, fun stuff:

Twenty-five affiliates sent delegations, among them Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Illinois, Oregon, Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and of course, California. Ah, and lest we forget, we also had a delegate from Washington DC, the land of taxation without representation. To make introductions more fun and memorable, we were encouraged to share interesting trivia about our states. (Did you know that the state of North Dakota is the exact geographic center of North America? And did you know that they make maple syrup in Ohio, and that the state bird of Alabama is the Yellow Hammer? And how about this: The first cheeseburger was served in Kentucky. Perkins School for the Blind was founded in 1829, and the state of Florida boasts 18 lighthouses that serve blind and visually impaired citizens.) Okay, these facts aren't show-stoppers, but they'd be great in a Trivial Pursuit game, and combined with lots of friendly jibe sports talk about whose football and basketball teams should rule the world, we all warmed to each other and had a good time.

And, we worked. We learned about 2 bills and 3 budget items that are vital to advancing and protecting the progress and well-being of blind/visually impaired Americans. (Want to know what the bills and budget items are? Be at the March meeting.)

ACB's Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, Tony Stephens, is a master teacher who showed us how to turn our personal stories of living life as people who just happen to be blind into narratives that address values with which every legislator, despite party affiliation, can agree: lifelong independence, equal opportunity, inclusion, literacy, and maximum returns on financial and human investment. Every law for which we advocate has, as its basis, these core values. Tony Stephens also stressed the importance of building ongoing relationships with legislators. Those relationships can help us make the transition from one group of lawmakers to the next, so that the issues that matter to us stay on their minds, and the concrete projects that we launch stay alive. And, he said, litigation should always be the last tool that we use to get something done, because once you litigate, you probably destroy whatever good will and trust you've built up over time.

I think I'll stop writing now before your fingers develop calluses from reading this, and you reach for industrial plugs so your ears don't have to endure any more. See you at our March meeting.

by Mike Keithley

President Susan Glass, who got to Washington DC on her foot-tripping, mountain-jumping Omni Stick, will conduct the March program on the activities of the ACB mid-year Affiliates Presidents' Meeting and Legislative Seminar. This is your opportunity to learn what our national organization is up to; so expect a warm, adventuresome time.

Edited from the acb-leadership list

NFB-NEWSLINE announces the addition of several new publications: We have added EBONY Magazine. EBONY is the number one source for an authoritative perspective on the African-American community. EBONY reflects the cross section of Black America as delivered by our best thinkers, our trendsetters, our activists, celebrities, and next-generation leaders. EBONY ignites conversation, promotes empowerment, and celebrates aspiration. They are the heart, soul, and pulse of Black America, and a catalyst for reflection and progression.

We have also added Science Daily and Scientific American Online. These are both breaking news sources. Science Daily aggregates press releases and publishes lightly edited press releases (a practice called churnalism) about science, similar to and EurekAlert! It was founded by a married couple named Dan and Michele Hogan in 1995. Scientific American was founded by inventor and publisher Rufus M. Porter in 1845 as a four-page weekly newspaper. Throughout its early years, much emphasis was placed on reports of what was going on at the US Patent Office. It also reported on a broad range of inventions, including perpetual motion machines, an 1860 device for buoying vessels by Abraham Lincoln, and the universal joint, which now can be found in nearly every automobile manufactured. Scientific American Online was launched in 1996, and includes articles from current and past issues, online-only features, daily news, weird science, special reports, trivia, "Scidoku," and more.

Lastly, we have added Hollywood Reporter, another breaking news source. The Hollywood Reporter (THR) was founded in 1930, and focuses on the Hollywood film industry, television, and entertainment industries, as well as Hollywood's intersection with fashion, finance, law, technology, lifestyle, and politics.

To find EBONY Magazine using the telephone access method, press seven off the main menu for Magazines. To find Science Daily, Scientific American Online, or Hollywood Reporter, choose option five for Newspapers in Another State, and then option one for Breaking News. You can read these publications using the iOS app by choosing Publications, Publication Options, and then All Publications, and searching for your publication of choice.

We hope you enjoy these exciting new additions to the service.

[Editor's note: The traditional NFB-Newsline is accessed through your telephone, though there is now an iOS app. It's a free facility to read newspapers and magazines. To subscribe, call 866-504-7300, or visit]

by Mike Keithley

So you didn't go to SVCB's little outing to the Tabard Theatre to take in the Miracle Worker? You missed a good time even stuck-up guys like King, "master, I was sleeping, but now I've got to rise to the challenge" agree. Michelle's dog Garvey delivered a good show, "and all I did was cheer him on." But he's got to do it several more times. I'm not sure exactly how many went, but someone said that everybody that was somebody was there. They let Darin McGrew describe the layout of the stage, and he also sketched what would be going on in a scene where Helen (she was a nice person with small, slim hands) and Annie (her teacher) were fighting. Actually, Star was signing to me all through the fight, and that was even better. I had a superb cup of coffee, and one of those specialty cookies whose design had something to do with the play.

Despite that, I have to say that the notion that the theatre is small and no assistive listening devices are needed is not true. If Star wasn't signing, I would be lost and reading email, even though I know the story. Perhaps we need to listen to the stage blindfolded, appreciating hard-soled shoes walking to and from the stage, clicks, murmurs, and maybe an occasional snore.

"But master, you're supposed to be saying nice things." Yes, and the triumphant ending got through just fine, including the meeting with the actors afterwards. And then we all had a leisurely dinner at a place on San Pedro Square called 71 St. Peter.

We had a "my hobby" program at our February meeting. From keeping track of books read, to cooking, to rock tumbling, SVCB boasts many hobbies, and maybe we can make some adventuresome programs. I hear that CCB president Judy Wilkinson is coming to our May meeting, and staying with John and Susan: "Lucky people!" Anyway, you can hear the entire February meeting at

We lost around 10 SVCB members. They didn't renew! Too bad they'll loose their newsletters.

Let's wish a happy March birthday to Ruth Fisher. "Well, master, that's just one person. You could do better and include me." Happy Weird Day, King!

We have reserved a picnic site in Hellyer Park called Yerba Buena. It is next door to the Sylvandale site we've used for probably five years now, and closer to bathrooms. It's hoped that the San Francisco chapter will come and share the fun. The picnic this year will be on Saturday, August 18. Make a big mark on your calendar to come.

by Michelle McGrew

Save the dates and spread the word! Please join us at our next fund-raising event at Marie Callender's (751 East El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087) any time Monday, April 23 through Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (11 AM-8 PM) for a meal, dessert or snack, or even to purchase a pie to take home! Please call 408-245-3710 to make reservations if you have a party of 6 or more. Present one of our fund-raising event flyers to your server, and Marie Callender's will donate 20% of each purchase (excluding alcohol, tax, and tip) to SVCB's technology grant program! We'll have the required flyer at the March and April meetings, and should soon have the flyer available on our website at for you to download and print. (Note: Marie Callender's will not have extra copies, and we will not receive credit for your purchases if your party does not have a flyer.)

Thanks to all who got tickets for our 50/50 raffle at our February meeting! We sold $114 in tickets, so SVCB and our winner each received $57. Congratulations to our lucky winner, Lorraine Brown!

Join us at our March meeting for an auction! We'll list the auction items in the Phone Tree message. Also, if you have items you'd like to donate for a future raffle or auction, or if you'd like to suggest ideas for possible items for either event, please let someone on the Fund-raising Committee know!

Our February Cookies of the Month fund-raiser benefiting our tech grant featured Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies, baked by Suzanne Smith. You can find Suzanne's recipe in the "Snack Shack" article in this newsletter. (Note that the recipe she used originally called for white chocolate chips, but she used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead.) We sold 11 bags of cookies at our meeting, and another 22 bags at the Blind Center. Thanks to all of our supporters! Altogether, we raised $33!

For March, Mary Castellano will be baking Biscocho Cookies. We'll have these special diamond-shaped cookies containing anise and cinnamon just in time for Easter! Each bag of cookies will sell for $1. If you would like to volunteer to bake cookies this year for this fund raiser, please call 
888-652-5333 (leave a message to be forwarded to me, or look me up on our Membership List to call me directly), or send email to (note the slight change in this address).

SVCB continues to sell chocolate! We sold out of several flavors of Meltaways in February, so I'm restocking our supply in time for our March meeting. Meltaways from Bakers Candies make great Easter gifts! These come in four-ounce bags containing about 13 individually-wrapped chocolates, and sell for $4 per bag. I will have the following flavors available: five kinds of dark chocolate (plain, mint, orange, cherry, and sea salt caramel), six kinds of milk chocolate (plain, mint, peanut butter, coconut, raspberry, and mocha), milk chocolate wrapped caramel, and the assorted (mix of both dark and milk chocolates).

And, we still have candy bars! We have See's dark chocolate with almond bars and World's Finest Chocolate bars (four milk chocolate: with almonds, caramel, crisp, and plain). The See's bars sell for $2 each and the World's Finest for $1 each. To purchase or help sell candy bars, or to order Meltaways, please contact me as listed above.

Or, choose one of our other snacks for $1 each! You may purchase bags of nut mix (containing lightly salted almonds and cashews) with either sweetened dried cranberries or dark chocolate chunks) as part of our Easter Sale, Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.25-oz bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies), or Kirkland Nut Bars (contains a sprinkle of salt and a little chocolate). To place an order for these items, please contact me as listed above.

See you at the March meeting!


Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Submitted by Suzanne Smith

I got this recipe from a newspaper article in December, 2012. The article says they got the recipe from, and Spry Living says it comes from Holly Clegg's Meals on the Move: Rush Hour Recipes.

These chewy drop cookies feature fiber-rich oatmeal, and use less sugar than similar cookie recipes. For the Cookies of the Month, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of white chocolate chips.


1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and egg until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, mix together the cinnamon, flour, oatmeal, and baking soda until well combined. Gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the dried cranberries and white (or semi-sweet) chocolate chips until well blended.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Compiled by Mike Keithley

If you have an item of interest to SVCB members and want it published in the In Touch newsletter, email or call 888-652-5333, and leave a message asking Mike Keithley to call you.

New phone number for ACB Radio--Larry Turnbull

Hi all:

There is a new phone number for ACB Radio, which is 

The ACB Braille Forum number remains unchanged at 

Google Launches a Disability Support Team--edited from the acb-leadership list

Google recently announced the public launch of a disability customer support team. The support team is available to answer questions about using assistive technology with Google products and accessibility features and functionalities within Google products. The support team can be reached by email at, and you will receive an answer by a support representative within 72 hours. The support team is exploring adding additional languages and support channels in the future. Explore Google's accessibility products and features at

EVENT CALENDAR: March Through April, 2018
Compiled by Mike Keithley


Tabard Theatre shows: To order tickets, call the Tabard box office at 
408-679-2330 and speak to Marilyn Watts, or visit 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.

Shows described by AudioVision: 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

The monthly "Let's Talk Low Vision" conferences from CCLVI can be accessed as podcasts at

Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors: Departs every Sunday at noon from Pier 40 in San Francisco. Call 
415-281-0212 for information and reservations, or visit

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. For event listings, call Lori Gray at 
510-843-4398, or visit


Mar 6, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group. Call-in: 605-715-4920; ID: 2776167. For questions, call Lori Scharff at 516-887-1336, or

Mar 17, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB membership meeting. Discuss resolutions for CCB Convention.

Mar 19 to 23: 33rd annual CSUN Conference in San Diego at the Manchester Grant Hyatt Hotel, San Diego. Visit

Mar 20, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Update and Advancements for Treatment of Macular Degeneration and Other Common Eye Diseases. Call 712-432-3447 with ID 145330.

Mar 21 to 25: Annual CCB Conference and Convention, Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova, 11211 Point East Way, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742; Phone: 916-638-1100.
Mar 23, noon: April newsletter deadline. Distribute spring membership list.

Mar 30 and 31 at 8 PM and Apr 1 at 2 PM: SKELETON CREW, TheatreWorks, MVCPA, the Visual Voice

Apr 3, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group.

Apr 5, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

Apr 21, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB monthly meeting. Present award to recipient of 2017 Barbara Rhodes Adaptive Technology Grant, hear convention reports.

Apr 27, noon: SVCB In Touch newsletter deadline.