Latest Update(s) To This WebsiteSeptember, 2018:

SVCB Resource Links

Lighthouse For the Blind and Visually Impaired - AMC Theatres user study (through April 1, 2019)

Indiana University Bloomington – Study to understand use of camera-based assistive technologies by people with visual impairments (through December 1, 2018)

(no link, go to SVCB Resource Links section)

 

SVCB Membership Spotlights

Bev Clifford – Kaiser Permanente San Jose and Presciption Labeling

Dawn Wilcox - Sea Trials: Around the World With Duct Tape and Bailing Wire by Wendy Hinman is now available on Bookshare. A shipwreck might end a dream of circumnavigating the globe. Not for the Wilcox family. In 1973, the Wilcox family sets off to sail around the world aboard the 40-foot sailboat, Vela. Do enjoy Dawn Wilcox’s saga as written by her daughter-in-law, Wendy Hinman.

SVCB Local Activities

Tabard Theatre

Vista Center - League of Women Voters of Palo Alto

Shared Vision - Low Vision Expo - FREE Event

CCB Northern California Regional Meeting – CANCELLED at this time.

Vista Center – Tech User Group Meeting October 3

(no link, go to SVCB Local Activities section)

 

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

Our Next Membership Meeting: tbd

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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

Back to SVCB Program List

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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

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018 (see the following)

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.

 

 

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SVCB Business Calendar

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

Back to SVCB Organization Links

 


 

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

 

Bookshare – Bookshare makes reading easier. Access a huge collection of ebooks for people with reading barriers.

 

Breast Cancer Support Group - For questions, call Lori Scharff

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

 

California Assembly Members (as of March 2018):

 

California Senate Members (as of March 2018):

 

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

 

Classical Guitar Using Braille – Let’s Play

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.

 

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

 

Guide Dog Users, Inc. - Publishes Handbook to Help People Who Are Blind Decide If the Guide Dog Lifestyle is Right for Them. Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI), the largest membership and advocacy organization representing guide dog handlers in the United States, is pleased to announce the recent publication of a revised handbook for perspective guide dog users which shares comprehensive information about acquiring and using a guide dog for safe and independent travel. "A Handbook for the Prospective Guide Dog Handler" is available as an E-book and in print from Amazon.com, Smashwords, and other online sellers. Visit this link for further information and to explore options for purchase:
www.dldbooks.com/GDUIHandbook/.

 

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

 

Indiana[VC1]  University Bloomington – Researchers are conducting a study to understand the use of camera-based assistive technologies by people with visual impairments. You are invied to participate in this study by taking part in a 15-20 minute online survey from a place of your convenience. To participate in the survey you need to have access to a computer or smartphone with a screen reader and Internet connection. For your participation in the survey, you will be enrolled in a random drawing with a chance to win one of ten $20 gift certificates and have a 1 in 10 chance of winning. I interested or have questions about the study, fill out the form at: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc_kcfYGKoQ_hUZJznxYe-bmzPAZ6C4ttwmjA9MCHAfW2GzjQ/viewform

Alternatively, you may email Taslima Akter at takter@iu.edu or call Tousif Ahmed at 1-812-606-6542. Participants must identify as visually impaired, be 18 years or older, and live in the U.S.

Regard,

Taslima Akter

Indiana University Bloomington

 

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

Get paid to watch movies: Seeking blind CA residents for paid AMC Theatres user study. Do you enjoy watching movies with audio description? Want to contribute to the accessibility of the AMC Theatres audio description experience for blind patrons? The LightHouse is seeking a limited number of committed, detail-oriented Bay Area and Los Angeles residents over age 18 for a multi-part, paid usability testing project. In 2017, the LightHouse settled a lawsuit with AMC Theatres wherein AMC agreed to ensure that audio description equipment was installed and properly maintained in all theaters, and as part of our collaborative agreement, it's now the LightHouse's task to investigate the progress of the accommodations at AMC's many California theaters.
This study is part of the continued collaboration between LightHouse and AMC to ensure straightforward and seamless access to audio description for all theater patrons. Study participants will document information about the audio description experience at pre-selected AMC theaters in the Bay Area and Los Angeles between September 1, 2018 and April 1, 2019. Sign up for the study at
lighthouse-sf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f40e17a83bbae60b5969a0798&id=78b4f2ee85&e=48a8c2e2d3

 

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

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 – tbd

 

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 The Tabard Theatre, 29 North San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA 95110.

2018-2019 Season –

Another Roll Of the Dice – Sep. 14 – Oct. 7, 2018

The Explorers Club – Oct. 26 – Nov. 18, 2018

Uptown Holiday Swing – Nov. 30 – Dec. 16, 2018

Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook – Jan. 11 – Feb. 3, 2019

Beau Jest – Feb. 15 – Mar. 10, 2019

Queen Of the Mist – Apr. 5 – Apr 28, 2019

 

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 – Tech User Group Meeting October 3 -

You are invited to attend our next meeting on Wednesday October 3, from 2:00-4:00 in the conference room at Vista Center’s Palo Alto office. Our presenter will be Damian Pickering with HIMS. He will be showing us their brand new product, the QBraille.

A unique blend of a Perkins Keyboard and QWERTY Function Keys! QBraille XL represent an entirely new type of 40-cell Braille display. The QBraille XL replaces the need for special keystrokes with the intuitively placed function keys found on all QWERTY keyboards. With the QBraille XL, closing an application means simply pressing the dedicated and familiar Alt+F4 buttons.

We may also have some Stanford students visiting, who are interested in getting our input on an assistive technology project they are working on.

If you are able to attend, please rsvp by sending a message to: techusergroup@vistacenter.org. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Sincerely,

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


 
Vista Center
League of Women Voters of Palo Alto presents: Pros and Cons - The arguments For & Against Ballot Measures to be Voted on November 6th, 2018

 

Presented by Members of the League of Women Voters Jean Lythcott and Veronica Tincher

______________________________________________

 

Vista Center Palo Alto is proud to host the Palo Alto League of Women Voters at our office for an informative summary of the ballot measures for the upcoming November 2018 election.

 

Date:    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Time:    11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Location:    

Vista Center Palo Alto

2500 El Camino Real, Suite 100

Palo Alto CA 94306

 

Volunteers will be available from noon to 1:00 PM to assist individuals in registering to vote in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

 

Discussion will include ballot measures from the State of California, Santa Clara County, City of Palo Alto and Palo Alto Unified School District

 

The League of Women Voters is a national civic organization that was formed in 1920 to help women take a larger role in public affairs after they won the right to vote. Its purpose is to promote active, informed citizen participation at all levels of government through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters is officially nonpartisan--it neither supports nor opposes candidates or parties. This presentation is one of education: to explain the proposal on the ballot and provide the arguments proponents for and against the measure.

 

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SVCB Membership Spotlights

Bev Clifford – Kaiser Permanente San Jose and Presciption Labeling

Before I begin this narrative, I want to pay tribute to the woman who started it all: the late Barbara Rhodes, long-time and treasured member of our Silicon Valley Council of the Blind chapter. Due to her tireless effort and New York chutzpah, Kaiser began offering Talking Pill Bottles to its patients in our area sometime in the early 2000's. We miss her, and our chapter has since created our Barbara Rhodes Technology Grant in her honor. I was one of the patients who benefited from her work, and her example inspired me to take action.

 

I was also inspired by a company called EnVision America, which for several years had been struggling to convince Kaiser Permanente that their product, ScripTalk (a playback unit that audibly reads a person all the information on their prescription labels) would be beneficial to its blind and visually impaired patients. Near the beginning of 2017, not long after Vic and I had signed up for the Kaiser Senior Advantage program, I determinedly began a phone campaign to encourage Kaiser to seriously consider ScripTalk—and that's making a long story short: there were many calls to many departments before finally, in April 2017, I reached someone who was willing to listen to and take notes on what I had to say. And whether because of their ongoing communication with EnVision America, or possibly spurred on by my insistent nagging, I received a call two months later informing me that my next prescriptions would arrive with a ScripTalk unit that would read the information that a mail-order pharmacist would record on a little label on the bottom of each prescription bottle or box. I was thrilled! And I made a special call to their Pharmacy Department that very day thanking Kaiser fervently for finally seeing the light.

 

In January of 2018, I became a member of Kaiser San Jose's Member Patient Advisory Council (MPAC), which meets once a month to glean important input from and listen to the concerns of patients on any and all issues, whether trivial or serious, surrounding their Kaiser facility here, so that patients and Kaiser staff can work together to address them. During my intake interview, I made it clear that my major reason for joining this committee was to advocate for people with disabilities, particularly (of course) those of us who are blind and visually impaired, and that I was especially interested in speaking with pharmacy representatives. For although I was extremely grateful for Kaiser's adoption of ScripTalk, I knew they could do more. I was aware that EnVision America also offers braille labeling on prescription containers (a fact that would be vital to the deaf-blind community), plus they have developed an iPhone app called ScripView that enables VoiceOver to read a specific kind of label affixed to the little instruction booklet that comes with each prescription, therefore allowing visually impaired patients with large print capability to read the information on prescription containers as well.

 

Just last month, when I received the agenda for our upcoming MPAC meeting, I saw that people from Pharmacy would be attending. And fortunately for me, I was in a position to demonstrate not only the ScripTalk unit, but also the braille labeling and the iPhone app, reason being that before I returned to Kaiser I was under AETNA's medical insurance, and AETNA had agreed to implement all three of EnVision America's options, wherez at that time Kaiser hadn't agreed to any of them. When I was asked which option I wanted, I requested them all, so that when the time came I could show somebody at Kaiser how they all worked. And now, at last, that time had arrived.

 

So I happily packed up my ScripTalk unit, an old AETNA prescription bottle with the braille label, the little instruction booklet to be used with the ScripView iPhone app (that I had just downloaded that morning), and off I went to the meeting. The other MPAC members and the assembled staff seemed impressed with the products--most of them had never heard about or seen them--and after the meeting one of the pharmacists came to my table to get a better look at the bottle with the braille label. I was pleased with my demonstration except for the iPhone app, which had worked (although slowly) that morning, but which I couldn't guarantee would work properly at the meeting. But at least I was able to explain the concept, showing them the app, and then turning up the volume to the max so they could listen to how VoiceOver can read the prescription information from the history of the labels it had previously scanned this morning. Then I went home and forgot about it all.

 

That meeting was about two weeks ago. And just two days ago, I received a call from one of the Volunteer Coordinators we work with, who was delighted to spread the news that Kaiser San Jose's mail-order pharmacy has just ordered the braille printer they need to emboss braille labels for prescription bottles, and that when I refill my next prescriptions, the bottles/boxes will have braille on them! And if they'll do this for me, that means that any other San Jose Kaiser patient who wants braille on their bottles can get it, too. Hallelujah! I'm not sure if every walk-in pharmacy will have a braille printer quite yet, and I have no idea whether Kaiser will implement the large-print option in the future, but this is a good start. Hooray for advocacy!

 

Dawn Wilcox - Sea Trials: Around the World With Duct Tape and Bailing Wire by Wendy Hinman is now available on Bookshare. A shipwreck might end a dream of circumnavigating the globe. Not for the Wilcox family. In 1973, the Wilcox family sets off to sail around the world aboard the 40-foot sailboat, Vela. Do enjoy Dawn Wilcox’s saga as written by her daughter-in-law, Wendy Hinman.

 

SVCB Recognized with California Senate Member Resolution No. 137

CA SENATE MBR RES 137.jpg

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)

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.

Certificate award to Ms. Cathy Spielberger Cassetta

 

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