Newsletter of the SILICON VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

May 2019

EDITOR: Susan Glass,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

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

DEADLINE: for the June, 2019 issue: noon, May 24

VOLUNTEERS: Naomi Grubb,

MEMBERSHIP: Mike Keithley,

LEGISLATION: Mike Keithley,

PHONE: 888-652-5333



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,

Monthly meetings are held at the Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Vista Center San Jose) at 101 N. Bascom Avenue in San Jose. Meetings run 9:30 AM to 1 PM the third Saturday of the month and are open to all.


* President's Message

* Program

* Membership Corner

* Fund-Raising Report

* Tidbits

* Snack Shack

* Event Calendar


by Susan Glass

Greetings to all of you from Eau Claire Wisconsin where my sister, brother, and I are keeping vigil at our mother's bedside. She will soon make her final journey, and we are grateful to be with her now learning yet one more lesson about entering, living in, and leaving the world. This president's column will be short. Enjoy reading the newsletter, especially King Dog's Membership Corner. Please, King, go easy on Master Mike. We know that as a dog, you are a higher being, and an incredibly hard act to follow: No bones about it. The newsletter also has Michelle's fund-raising report, recipes from Suzanne, an event calendar, and probably some suspect items I know nothing about.

See you at our May meeting.


by Mike Keithley

The program for the May meeting has been requested by several SVCB members. You'll have an opportunity to share your life story, and anything else you want to share. Expect fun!


by King Keithley

That's right, King Keithley. Master has been hearing requests for more of my writing, so he found the psychic interface I need to type on the computer. Awfully hard, I haven't done this in ages, and Lancer was the real champ. And besides, have you ever tried imitating a human?

The main bark at the April meeting was Cora's [Alice Turner] presentation of District Day and it's two practice calls. Both Chase and Omni particapated "error!" in these calls, and Senator Janie said they did quite well. They're going to have fun running around district offices wagging barking points. Too bad I can't join 'em, resting from this job. "Poor baby!"

And Chase (John Vandervort) received the 2018-19 Tech Grant award, vidio [error] glasses. Sadly he couldn't use them, and gave them to John. Go John! Master gave a short, weird presentation of a writers group now forming to help CCB. "Ah King, that's not fair!" Oh, yes it is. You've said unfair things about me. "Looks like he's getting cocky."

Anyway, you can hear the program at

Wish happy May birthdays to Anna Bolino, John McNulty, John Glass, Susan Glass, and Dawn Wilcox. And send good thoughts to Dawn and stickdog: Glaucoma is visiting, and Dawn is having a rough time of it.

We elected a delegate and an alternate delegate to the CCB Conference and Convention. Rob Turner (with Stickdog Swishy) is delegate, and Mike Keithley (with me) is alternate delegate. If you have questions about the convention, talk to Rob or Mike (not me: I have a hard time getting my head around convention).

OK, glad I'm finished here; this interface is a whiner! "Good, now I can have my computer back. Gonna scan it for the Clairvoyant Worm."


by Michelle McGrew

We recently concluded our fund-raising event at Marie Callender's in Sunnyvale (April 22-23). Thanks to all who attended! We raised $176.11 for our tech grant fund! If you were unable to attend but would like to make a contribution to this fund, you're welcome to do so. Please make checks payable to SVCB, and write "tech grant" in the memo. Donations may also be mailed to the address at the top of this newsletter.

Thanks to all who got tickets for our raffle featuring donated items at our April meeting! Prizes included a burlap lunch bag, Wysocki note cards with envelopes and seals, cloth doll holding basket of lemons, vinyl shower curtain, decorative zippered pillow case, Japanese trinket container, set of 4 rectangular placemats, matching square metal flower pot and watering can, a new pair of flip flops, and an Easter bag. Our winners were Roger, Cherry, Naomi, Lupe, the Hoags, and our volunteer EJ. Thanks to all who donated prizes and to those who purchased tickets. We raised $64!

At our May meeting, we will have another auction. Items up for bid include a Sunbeam electric kettle, sake decanter with a set of four cups, Aqua Spa bluetooth shower speaker, Avon European Tradition porcelain cup and saucer collectable, yoga for the blind and visually impaired DVD, set of six Noritake bone china saucers and teacups, a black leather-like tote bag (large enough to hold a laptop), and a new large canvas tote bag (in red, white, and blue).

Our April Cookies of the Month fund-raiser, benefiting our tech grant, featured M&M cookies baked by Suzanne Smith (and some for the following Wednesday baked by me). You can find the recipe for these cookies, Super Chocolate Cookies, in the "Snack Shack" article in this newsletter. We sold 20 bags of cookies at our meeting, and another 25 bags of cookies on the following Wednesday at the Blind Center. Also, after I wrote last month's report, we sold an additional 29 bags of March's cookies at the Blind Center. Thanks to all of our supporters! Altogether since my last report, we raised another $74!

For May, I will be baking Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies. Each bag of cookies will sell for $1.

Looking for a special gift for Mother's Day or just want a yummy treat? Meltaways from Bakers Candies come in four-ounce bags containing about 13 individually-wrapped chocolates, and sell for $4 per bag. I currently 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, raspberry, coconut, and mocha), and milk chocolate wrapped caramel. (Sorry, we're sold out of the assorted.)

We also continue to sell candy bars from our new vendor! Made by Van Wyk Confections, these 1.5-ounce bars are peanut-free. We currently have four kinds of milk chocolate: with roasted almonds, creamy caramel, crispy rice, and plain. (Sadly, we're almost out of dark chocolate with almond.) To purchase or help sell candy bars, or to order Meltaways, please contact me by calling 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

Or, choose one of our other options! We're selling bags of nut mix as part of our Springtime Special Sale. These come with either sweetened dried cranberries or with chunks of dark chocolate. You can also purchase Kirkland nut bars (contains a sprinkle of salt and a little dark chocolate) and bags of Welch's Fruit Snacks (2.2-ounce bags of chewy fruit-flavored candies, in the following flavors: Mixed Fruit, Island Fruit, Apple Orchard Medley, Strawberry, and Berries 'n Cherries). The nut mixes, nut bars, and Welch's Fruit Snacks are all $1 each. To place an order, contact me as listed above.

See you at our May meeting!


Compiled by Mike Keithley

Convention Announcement

The 2019 convention announcement is online at: The link to the pre-registration form is in the announcement. The direct link to the pre-registration form is:

Thank you, Vita Zavoli

Paratransit at the ACB Convention

If you're planning to use Paratransit while you're attending the 2019 ACB convention in Rochester, New York, here's how to make sure you're all signed up and approved:

To be certified for paratransit in Rochester, NY, your current paratransit provider needs to send verification of your eligibility. They should provide the following information:

Applicant's full name;

Applicant's date of birth;

Applicant's full address, phone number, and e-mail address;

Applicant's paratransit ID number and expiration date;

Type of mobility aide used, if applicable;

If applicant is authorized for a Personal Care Attendant;

If applicant uses a service animal;

And start and end date of visit to Rochester.

Information should be faxed to 585-654-0229, or E-mailed to

Once Rochester's Paratransit service (RTS) receives the information, you will be contacted and provided with a temporary Access ID number, instructions for scheduling rides, fares, and the cancellation policy. Information must be submitted to RTS by June 14th.

Friends in Art Scholarship

Are you an artist, musician, actor, film maker, poet, creative writer, or involved in another artistic pursuit? And are you applying for or attending college? Here's information about a generous scholarship that can help. But hurry! Applications for the Friends in Art College Scholarship are due by May 15!

Friends-in-Art (FIA), a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing accessibility and opportunity for artists and audience members who are visually impaired, offers an annual $1500 scholarship to college students who are legally blind and live in North America.

 If you are a high school senior or a college student planning to, or are currently majoring in the field of music, art, drama, or creative writing, and are blind or visually impaired, we encourage you to apply!

Note: Legal blindness is defined as an individual who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the corrected eye and/or 20 degrees or less visual field in the corrected eye. Only individuals who are legally blind in BOTH eyes are eligible to receive this scholarship.

To apply, please go to and complete the application and upload/mail the required materials, including documentation of visual impairment from a medical professional, per the directions on the form by May 15, 2019.

Please direct any questions to Peter Altschul, FIA's scholarship chair, via email at

From the March-April Talking Book Topics: Carroll Center Provides Online Electronic Training

The Carroll Center for the Blind in Massachusetts now offers online electronic training. eCarroll Technology Instruction brings technology training directly to blind and visually impaired individuals in the comfort of their own homes.

Using Zoom Meetings, an accessible video and web conferencing software, instructors offer guidance on a wide range of topics, from the nuances of different web browsers to using pivot tables in Microsoft Excel.

To learn more about eCarroll Technology Instruction, visit:


Submitted by ; Suzanne Smith

Campbell's Slow Cooker Hearty Beef and Bean Chili

This recipe comes from a Campbell's Condensed Soup Recipe Card.

1-1/2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (10-3/4 ounces) can Campbell's condensed tomato soup

1 (14-1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup water

2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chili powder

3 teaspoons ground cumin

Cook the beef in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir the beef, onion, garlic, soup, tomatoes, water, beans, chili powder, and cumin in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Quick and Easy Roast in the Crock-Pot

This is my brother Ken's recipe.

1 to 2-1/2 pounds chuck roast

1 (10-3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Vegetables (if desired): carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, celery, and/or onion

In small bowl, combine onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup. Stir until well mixed.

Lightly grease Crock-Pot. Pour in enough of the soup mixture to just cover the bottom of the Crock-Pot, setting the rest aside. Put roast on top of soup mixture in Crock-Pot. Pour remaining soup mixture over the meat. Add vegetables, if desired. Turn to low and cook for 6-8 hours, or until meat is so tender that it is falling apart.

Super Chocolate Cookies

I received this recipe from my junior high school cooking teacher. I chose to bake these for our April Cookies of the Month because the M&M's make these a colorful springtime cookie for Easter.

1-1/4 cup sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup M&M's plain chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream butter or margarine with brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients. Mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Decorate with M&M's, then bake 3-5 minutes longer.

Note: Or, you can use mini M&M candies. Instead of decorating cookies with M&M's, mix the mini M&M's into dough after mixing in dry ingredients. Then bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

EVENT CALENDAR: May through June, 2019

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 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

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


May: Healthy Vision Month.

May 2, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting; call-in 800-662-6992 with ID code 1184109. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend this meeting, please contact President Susan Glass.

May 7, 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

May 11, 2 PM: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, descriptions by AudioVision, Golden Gate Theatre, see notes.

May 18, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB membership meeting.

May 18, 2 PM: THE JUNGLE, descriptions by AudioVision, Curran Theatre, see notes.

May 21, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Curious About Convention; 712-432-3447 with ID code 145330.

May 24, noon: June SVCB newsletter deadline.

June: Vision Research Month.

Jun 6 to Jun 9: CCB Conference and Convention. See Tidbits in this newsletter.

Jun 6, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

Jun 8 and 9: INTO THE WAKE OF THE MOON: Tabard Theatre (see notes).

Jun 15, 9:30 to 1 PM: Monthly meeting. Finalize picnic plans. Remind members to acquire prizes.

Jun 18, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Tips and tricks to pursue a professional career.

Jun 27: Helen Keller Day.

Jun 28, noon: July newsletter deadline.

Jun 18, 5:30 to 7 PM: Let's Talk Low Vision, Tips and tricks to pursue a professional career.