SVCB IN TOUCH

Newsletter of the

SILICON VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND

A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

October 2018

 

EDITOR: Susan Glass, editor@svcb.cc

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford, copyeditor@svcb.cc

ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042

DEADLINE: for the November, 2018 issue: noon, October 26

VOLUNTEERS: Naomi Grubb, volunteers@svcb.cc

 

MEMBERSHIP: Mike Keithley, membership@svcb.cc

LEGISLATION: Mike Keithley, legislation@svcb.cc

PHONE: 888-652-5333

EMAIL: svcb@onebox.com

URL: www.svcb.cc

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

 

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, database@svcb.cc.

 

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.

 

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE

 

* President's Message

* News From Your Roving Goodies Reporter

* Membership Corner

* Magical Bridge Accessible Playground

* Fund-Raising Report

* Snack Shack

* Event Calendar

 

PRESIDENT's MESSAGE

by Susan Glass

 

On Friday of Labor Day weekend, my husband John, my sister Jo Lynn, her friend Jim, and I visited and toured the Fort Point National Monument, which is situated just at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Point is one of 15 California national parks that now features an audio-described park brochure and mp3 tour. You can download both on a Victor Stream or other audio player, and you can also download the brochure on your iPhone. This will sound familiar to those of you who visited Muir Woods in late April. Originally, Fort Point was a military base active during the Civil War. Its purpose was to defend San Francisco and the West Coast from attacks by foreign powers who either sympathized with the Confederacy, or still had hopes of claiming West Coast territories for themselves. As things turned out, Fort Point never fired an offensive shot, but it was, and remains in its restored form, an impressive establishment. In addition to listening to the Mp3 brochure, John and I and our companions were treated to a one and a half-hour tour"usually tours are only 20 minutes"given by an enthusiastic and well-informed ranger named Nate. Nate had never conducted a tour for blind people before, but he proved himself a natural, marking off distances for us by talking to us as he walked them, and always facing in whatever direction he was pointing. He also encouraged us to touch everything: the iron-fortified oak doors of the building, the exquisite brick and stone masonry, the casks or barrels where gunpowder was stored, the muzzles of two different types of canons, as well as two different kinds of canonballs. We climbed a winding and precipitous staircase to the top of the building (fourth floor) where guards on watch paced the parapet. We toured the living quarters for military officers and for privates. The poor privates slept 24 men to a room, two men lying in each bunk and positioned head to toe so they'd be less likely to give one another head lice.

 

The weather on the day we visited was sunny, cold, and windy, pretty typical for the Golden Gate area except that usually its foggy, cold, and windy. We had a great time, and relayed our enthusiasm to the Parks Service, The University of Hawaii, and Google, who are the entities responsible for brringing audio-described brochures to all of California's national parks. There are several more parks in our area that need visits and feedback from the blind and visually impaired community, and the Google grant will pay $500 for every park visit by a CCB chapter. John and I did not collect any funds because we were visiting Fort Point as private citizens, not as representatives of SVCB. You'll recall that when SVCB and the San Francisco chapter visited Muir Woods together, we split the $500 between our two chapters, each receiving $250. SVCB may want to consider visiting other local national Parks: The Pinnacles and Point Reyes are two that come to mind. We can enjoy the parks together, provide feedback that benefits all blind and visually impaired park visitors, and earn a bit for our chapter's treasury.

 

Parks and recreation are a featured topic in this month's newsletter. Please take time to read the article on the Magical Bridge Project, which is a collaboration between Jay Gluckman, Director of Education for the Bridge Parks Project, and Yours Truly. And here is a shout out to SVCB member Abby Tamara for connecting our chapter with Magical Bridge.

 

At our October general membership meeting, Pete Stahl, a representative from the California League of Women Voters, will present pros and cons for  state and local measures that will appear on our November voting ballots. Mr. Stahl has presented for us in the past, and "?? done an outstanding job. At the November SVCB meeting, our focus will be on accessible play. Rob Turner will bring his audible darts, Noel Runyan will bring his nerf rifle, and John Glass will lead a Name that Tune game.

 

Are you interested in becoming an SVCB officer or director on our board? If so, contact Rob Turner or Roger Petersen, who comprise our Nominating Committee.

 

 

NEWS FROM YOUR ROVING GOODIES REPORTER

by Bev Clifford

 

Vic and I are in the last throes of preparing and packing for our marathon train-and-car trip, but I wanted to take a minute to let you know how we're doing goodies-wise for 2019. The only months still available for you to bring scintillating snacks to an upcoming meeting are April, May, and November, so do consider filling in these slots. Who knows"your snacks may become the talk of the town! You can call our SVCB phone number and leave me a message at 1-888-652-5333, drop me an email at goodies@svcb.cc, or look me up in our SVCB Membership List and contact me directly by phone or email if that works better for you. We will be checking our home voicemail and email messages as we travel, so I won't miss any eager goodies volunteers. I'll be here until Saturday September 29, so if you're quick about it you can catch me before I leave. Thanks ever so much to those who've already chipped in, and thanks in advance to the newbies: We love you!

 

 

MEMBERSHIP CORNER

by Mike Keithley

 

"Well, Master blew it, again! He totally forgot to submit his articles to the newsletter. And I looked for the wet noodle he keeps talking about in regards to me, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Kasia finally told me that Master asked her to hide it somewhere on Uranus. Well, that planet isn't friendly to dogs like me, and I gave up. So please, punish him roundly. Thank you."

 

Well King, this is all true, and I humbly ask newsletter readers to forgive me. But I had a colonoscopy to prepare for, had a peck of trouble on a website wanting me to select images whose names JAWS kept secret, and I researched and ordered a new hearing-impaired cordless phone. So there!

 

"Yah yah, Excuses."

 

Enough of this! Let's wish happy October birthdays to John Kanze, Donna Sanchez, Brian Higgins, and Michelle McGrew--they'll love you!

 

Bev and Victor Clifford are embarking on a nine week trip starting in late September. Have fun you guys!

 

At the September meeting, we got a chance to get re-acquainted with Mickey and Sandy Quenzer, who were visiting from Grants Pass, Oregon.

 

And Bev Clifford told us about the chapter's braille literacy project of labeling a topographical map for the Nature Center in Watsonville. I think we'll do an outing there soon.

 

Leslie McNeil, a registered nurse from Vanda Pharmaceuticals,  described the Non-24 sleep disorder, where the body clock is not reset by circadian rhythms. You can hear her presentation, plus an auction, at svcb.cc/psaudio/ps0918.mp3.

 

Planning for our holiday party is underway. It will be at the Silicon Valley Blind Center on Saturday, December 15. Do plan to come! You can register by coming to the October meeting. Registration is $20 for CCB/SVCB members and $25 for friends. Give your money to Mike Keithley at the meeting. You can also send a check to SVCB's PO. Box. Use the address at the top of this newsletter.

 

We'll have another holiday show of old-time radio, produced by John Glass, and Armadillo Willys will be our caterer, so expect great food.

 

Very good news! The Marrakesh Treaty was passed by the House and now awaits the signature of President Trump and final preparations by the State Department.

 

 

MAGICAL BRIDGE ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUNDS

by Susan Glass and Jay Gluckman

 

If you're in the mood for some outdoor recreation this fall, and you either play with kids or are a big kid yourself, there's a playground in Palo Alto that is designed especially for you. It's called the Magical Bridge Playground, and it's nestled in the southwest corner of Mitchell Park (the official address is 600 E Meadow Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306, but if you use paratransit the best address is 3864 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303). Magical Bridge Playground was designed to be highly accessible (their word is inclusive) to people of all abilities and ages. More Magical Bridge parks are being planned for Redwood City, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Morgan Hill.

 

Magical Bridge Playground is divided into play zones, and the equipment found in each one has been specially created with children of varying abilities in mind, and a focus on autistic children in particular. The equipment helps these children develop their proprioceptive or spatial awareness, as well as their sense of balance. It comes as no surprise that developing proprioceptive awareness is also crucial for blind children.  The grouping of the equipment into play zones is helpful for those with visual impairments.  If you are in the Spin Zone, you know that all the equipment will spin.  If you are in the Swing and Sway Zone, you know that this is the only place in the playground that the equipment swings and sways.  The summit of Slide Mound is the only place to enter the slides at the playground.

 

Navigating the park with a white cane is easy. You walk on an aggregate pathway that parallels the play areas, the surfaces of which are a springy textured rubber. It's easy to detect surfacing differences with your cane tip, and as long as you stay on the aggregate path, you're safe from exuberant swingers, swayers, sliders, spinners, and climbers.

 

I especially enjoyed the play equipment in the Spin Zone. One piece called the Net Spinner is like a jungle gym with a ladder that you climb to a platform where you rest your hands. You hang on while standing, and someone on the ground spins you round and round. Another delight is Disk Spinner, which is a saucer where you spin around while lying on your back. I also enjoyed a piece of equipment called the Roller Table, which is a narrow bed of metal cylinders that can rotate. I enjoyed lying on my back and pulling myself along the rollers using overhead metal bars.

 

Other attractions in the park include a wheelchair-accessible playhouse with a pretend hardware store complete with hammers and screwdrivers carved out of wood, plus a cafe with a toy cash register. There are boat swings, bucket swings, and slides. Three of the play zones have a Cozy Cocoon, a metal nest particularly for those with autism and other folks prone to sensory overload, to hang out in when active play feels overwhelming. The cocoon is a large sphere with openings, and provides a calming place to sit and regroup before emerging to re-engage in active play.

 

On Friday, August 17, I had the pleasure of being invited by Mr. Jay Gluckman, who is Director of Education at Magical Bridge Foundation, to a personal preview of some prototypes for a Magical Bridge Foundation project called Visual Magic. These prototypes are part of a plan in the works to make the new Magical Bridge Playground under construction in Redwood City friendly to people with visual impairments. Magical Bridge Foundation was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Bernard Newcomb Foundation to support the work of the Visual Magic Project's installations at the forthcoming Redwood City Playground.  (Bernard Newcomb was one of the co-founders of EininTRADE, and is currently a philanthropist.  Newcomb himself happens to be visually impaired.)

 

For the personalized preview, I had the pleasure of meeting the entire Visual Magic Project team that worked over the summer to refine the prototypes that I was shown.  The team included: Rachel Wallstrom, a design and engineering intern from Stanford University; Cathy Tran, a volunteer for Magical Bridge Foundation and a design researcher by profession; and Nikki Dadlani, a blind high school student, who has provided invaluable input to Magical Bridge Foundation to create a roadmap for how to make public playgrounds accessible to blind and visually impaired people.  Also present at the playground that evening were several members of the Mid-Peninsula Guide Dog Puppy Foundation who were invited there to give playground visitors an opportunity to learn about guide dogs, and for the puppies to have an opportunity to acclimate to a busy playground environment.

 

So for the Visual Magic preview, I was shown two prototypes of what the team calls Zone Entry Monuments.  The idea is to greet visitors to each playground zone with a place that provides information about the equipment found in that play zone.  So that the design is universal, the prototypes of zone monuments had text for those with low vision, a brailled map, and two- and three-dimensional models of the equipment found there.  In addition, detailed information about the playground equipment will be available online.  I was sent some of the drafts of the online information about the equipment, and it gave a good idea of what I could expect for my visit to the playground.

 

The Visual Magic team had the two- and three-dimensional models ready to show Nikki and me on August  17, and the team was eager to learn which models (the two-dimensional or three-dimensional) we thought would suit the needs of blind people. Hands down, we both preferred the three-dimensional models. Each model is a scaled miniature of a piece of the playground equipment, the purpose of which would allow us as blind people to experience the entire shape of the play equipment that we are about to encounter, and recognize the real thing immediately when we touch it. Two- dimensional models cannot deliver this immediate recognition.

 

Jay Gluckman and the Visual Magic Team at Magical Bridge would love more input and feedback from members of the visually impaired community.  If you want to learn more, schedule a presentation of the Visual Magic prototypes, or arrange a personalized tour of the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, contact Jay Gluckman by email at jay@magicalbridge.org, or call him at 650-793-5009.

 

In closing, I would like to thank Chapter Member Abby Tamara for putting me in touch with Jay Gluckman, for letting me know about the Magical Bridge Foundation Playgrounds, and for the opportunity for all of us with visual impairments to visit them and enjoy them"as well as to give feedback to their designers to make their future playground more inclusive and fun for people in our community.

 

 

FUND-RAISING REPORT

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, October 22 through Tuesday, October 23, 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 flyers at the October meeting, or you can download and print the required flyer by visiting www.svcb.cc. 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 donated items for our auction at the September meeting! We auctioned a pair of matching livingroom pillows, a sushi set for two, a wok set, a table lamp, a winter cape, a bartender set, and a 15.5 pound bag of dog food. Thanks to all of our participants and to Carol for assisting me with the auction. Congratulations to our highest bidders: Mike, John V., Frank, Kathy H., and Lupe. We raised $92, plus we received an additional $20 donation!

 

At our October meeting, we're having a 50/50 raffle! Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six.

 

Our September Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant, featured a crunchy version of Dawn's Almond Cookies. (The recipe that we published in the "Snack Shack" column of our newsletter in December, 2016 makes a softer cookie. But if you like crunchy cookies, try flattening them with a glass or measuring cup dipped in white sugar, and bake them to the doneness that you prefer.) After our meeting, I baked more so we'd have enough to sell at the Blind Center the following Wednesday. But it seems we still didn't have enough cookies! I'll be baking more to sell the last Wednesday of September. So far, we sold 16 bags of cookies at our meeting and another 22 bags at the Blind Center. Thanks to all of our supporters! At the time of this writing, we've raised $38!

 

Please stay tuned to the Phone Tree to find out which cookie will be featured in October. If you would like to volunteer to bake cookies for this fundraiser, 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 fundraising@svcb.cc.

 

I am taking orders for next year's large print/braille calendars, featuring artwork by blind and visually impaired people of all ages (36 of 55 are already reserved). At the time of this writing, the calendars have not arrived yet, but I expect them to be here before our October meeting. Remember, these are great to share with others! This year, they will cost $10 each. To reserve yours, please contact me as listed above.

 

We hope to resume our chocolate bar sales in October, but as of this writing, we are still making the necessary arrangements. Until the chocolate bars return, we will continue to sell our nut mixes (with cranberries or with chocolate). Stay tuned to the Phone Tree to find out which we will have at the October meeting. And, whether we have chocolate bars or not, we will continue to sell Welch's Fruit Snacks and Kirkland Nut Bars. All snacks sell for $1 each. Contact me as listed above to order snacks or to check on the availability of our snack items.

 

See you at the October meeting!

 

SNACK SHACK

 

Broccoli Salad

Submitted by Suzanne Smith

 

This recipe comes from Favorite Recipes of WoW: High Desert Widows or Widowers Cookbook.

 

10 slices bacon

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup raisins

1 cup red onion, chopped

1 large fresh bunch broccoli

 

Dressing:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

 

Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble. Cut up broccoli in small pieces. Chop red onion. mix together all ingredients. Toss with dressing and chill.

 

Lemon Mousse

Submitted by Suzanne Smith

 

This is from Chef Tell Tells All (A Gourmet Guide from the Market to the Table).

 

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks, beaten

3 teaspoons lemon rind

4 cups heavy cream, whipped

 

Heat the lemon juice, sugar, lemon rind, and egg yolks in a saucepan. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Fold in the whipped cream and spoon into decorative wine glasses. Chill well before serving. Serve plain, with sweetened whipped cream, strawberries, or a lemon garnish.

 

 

EVENT CALENDAR: October-November 2018

Compiled by Mike Keithley

 

Notes

 

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 The Tabard THEATRE, 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 didisalvo@msn.com.

 

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

 

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 www.baads.org.

 

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 www.borp.org.

 

Calendar

 

October: Employment of People with Disabilities Awareness Month

 

Oct 1 to Oct 7: ANOTHER ROLL OF THE DICE, Tabard Theatre (see notes).

 

Oct 2, 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 lorischarff@gmail.com.

 

Oct 4, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend this meeting, please contact President Susan Glass.

 

Oct 6, 2 PM: ON YOUR FEET, descriptions by AudioVision, Golden Gate Theatre, see notes.

 

Oct 15: Blind Americans Equality Day, formally White Cane Safety day.

 

Oct 16, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Lighting and Eye Protection, 712-432-3447 with ID code 145330.

 

Oct 20, 9 AM to 1 PM: SVCB Membership Meeting: Formally consider Constitution and Bylaws amendments.

 

Oct 23 through Nov ??"' THE EXPORER's CLUB, Tabard Theatre, see notes.

 

Oct 26, noon: November SVCB newsletter deadline. Distribute fall membership list, publish slate of 2019 SVCB candidates.

 

Oct 26 and 27 at 8 PM and 28 at 2 PM: TheatreWorks, FUN HOME, descriptions by the Visual Voice, MVCPA.

 

Nov 1, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

 

Nov 3, 2 PM: MISS SAIGON, with descriptions by the AudioVision, Orpheum Theatre, see notes.

 

Nov 10, 2 PM: WAITRESS, described by AudioVision, Golden Gate Theatre, see notes.

 

Nov 17, 9 AM to 1 PM: 31st SVCB anniversary membership meeting. Elect officers for 2019, announce Budget Committee.

 

Nov 23, noon:: December newsletter deadline.