EDITOR: Roger Petersen, email@example.com.
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042-0493
DEADLINE: for the July issue: noon, June 22
VOLUNTEERS: Bernice Kandarian, firstname.lastname@example.org..
MEMBERSHIP: Lorraine Brown, email@example.com.
Legislative Hotlines, current issues for blind persons:
CALIFORNIA CONNECTION: 800-221-6359, after 4 p.m. & weekends
WASHINGTON CONNECTION: 800-424-8666, 3-9 p.m. & 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.
MEETING LOCATION: SVCB's monthly meetings are held in the dining room of the Monte Vista Terrace Apts. at 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View. Meetings run 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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.
Note: Local contact information is removed except when requested to remain. For local contact info, access www.svcb.cc.
Note: Local contact information is removed except when requested to remain. For local contact info, access http://www.svcb.cc.
Again I find myself substituting for our president in opening this issue of SVCB In Touch. Lupe is still beset by family and computer problems that are occupying all of her attention. She hopes to be at our board meeting on June 6 and our next membership meeting on June 16.
Meanwhile, she asked me to extend her congratulations to fathers and graduates this month and to urge everyone to come to our meeting on June 16.Return to "In This Issue"
It is my pleasure to announce that the speaker at our June 16 meeting will be our new member and my long-time friend and colleague, Deborah (Debee) Armstrong (formerly Norling), Alternate Media Specialist at DeAnza College. Debee's and my paths have crossed several times, beginning in the 1970s and continuing through the old Baytalk computer users group and as co-workers at TeleSensory. She has a lot to say about assistive technology, having run a business in the field for a while, and is generally a fascinating person that I want all of you to know better.
If the previous announcement sounds familiar, it is because it's what I wrote last month. As it turns out, Debee got ill the day before and had to beg off, promising to come next time.
Let me also thank Star Keithley for stepping in at the last minute and sharing with us her passion for singing old songs.Return to "In This Issue"
Happy June birthday to our members Elizabeth Armenta, Ken Carey, Elmer Chapson, Victor Clifford, and Allen Jones!
My interview with Barbara Rhodes was done while we were rolling home on the train back to San Jose from Sacramento after the CCB convention. During the banquet the evening before, Barbara had been the recipient of the Community Service Award. After she had received the award, Cathie Skivers, CCB past president and emcee for the evening, remarked that we were witnessing a "speechless Barbara." The award was given to Barbara to recognize her for all of her contributions to improving accessibility to blind and visually impaired persons in California, especially in signage, transportation, and the "Talking Pill? bottle that is now used statewide in the Kaiser system.
As if one cannot tell from hearing her speak, Barbara was born in New York, Manhattan, to be precise. She grew up in Queens with four brothers--the second oldest or, as she put it, the fourth youngest. After graduation from high school, Barbara went to work for the New York Telephone Company where she worked for about four years as a business office representative. After that she worked for the Reuben H. Donnelley Corporation--Transportation Services--as the office manager and administrative assistant to the director of advertising, for nine or ten years. While working at Donnelly, Barbara married William (Bill) Rhodes. They had one son, Kenneth, who was born in Jamaica, New York.
During the time at Donnelly, there was a subway strike. One day Bill drove a group of people into the office and Barbara swore that she would not do that again. In order to get Barbara to work, her boss arranged for her to take a helicopter from the JFK Airport to the 42nd floor of the Pan American building on 42nd Street. The company paid for this for six or seven days. She said that it was a letdown to have to go back to riding the subway again.
Barbara's diagnosis is Retinitis Pigmentosa or, as we know it, RP. This was not diagnosed by an eye doctor, but by her internist. She had gone there because she had walked into a partially open door and had cut open her forehead. The doctor looked into her eyes, wrote down the diagnosis of RP, and sent her to an ophthalmologist. This doctor did the exam and sent the info back to the internist, who told Bill, not Barbara. It was up to her to look it up on her own. Barbara said that up to this time she had been driving every day to Manhattan and could not figure out why the cars were "popping up out of nowhere" in front of her.
After Barbara left Donnelly, the family moved to Hamilton Township, New Jersey. From there, they moved to California. Barbara said that she found her way to San Jose when they came to visit one of her brothers and decided to stay. They moved to California in 1976 and bought a home in the Almaden area of San Jose, where they have lived ever since. In addition to their son, Barbara and Bill now have two grandchildren: Alyssa, age 13, and Tyler, almost 11.
In 1981, Barbara joined her first blind organization--the RP Foundation, which is now called the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This was actually where our paths first crossed. She joined SVCB in 1991 and invited me to join also. For us, the rest is history.
Barbara has served SVCB at different times as president, vice president, board member, membership chair, and as member of the transportation committee, which has become her main interest.
California Council of the Blind (CCB):
Barbara is currently on the Board of Directors--this is her fourth term--08 will be the last. She has also served on various committees for the CCB, such as the Committee for Access and Transportation (CAT), governmental affairs, public relations, and the Senior Blind--she says that she is not a senior anymore.
Consumer Advisory Committee for the VISTA Center in Palo Alto; Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)--Committee for Transit Accessibility; Metropolitan Transportation Commission (serves the regional Bay area) on the Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee; San Jose Disability Advisory Commission--this group got over 40 audible pedestrian signals installed in the city; and county Advisory Committee for Outreach, Santa Clara County's paratransit program.
For quite a few years, Barbara has also spent time working for accessibility in other areas. One has been advocating for accessible signage. This comes under California Title 24, which requires that circles and triangles be on restrooms. When Barbara finds a place or store that does not have this, she goes into action. Such improvements have taken place at Kaiser and the San Jose Airport.
One of her latest projects has been the talking pill bottles at Kaiser. She said that this was done as a result of the CCB CAT committee working with Kaiser in Oakland. At Kaiser in Santa Clara, Barbara put in a grievance about something else and as an addendum to the conversation, she said we could also use talking pill bottles and the rest is history...they are now offered throughout the Kaiser system. Barbara said that any Kaiser client can request that talking bottles be put in his/her profile and then make the request for it every time a prescription is filled.
Quick Questions:What really pushes your buttons? Inaccessibility.
Santa Clara Transportation Authority (VTA) has done a Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA) and has proposed changes in our bus service that will go into effect in January 2008. Some routes will get increased and improved service and others will have their service decreased, eliminated or totally messed up!!!!
They are holding community meetings (some which have already occurred, but there are a few you may be able to attend):
Thursday, May 31, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.: Campbell Community Center Activity Room, 1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008. Transit Service: VTA Bus Lines 26 and 60.
Tuesday, June 5, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.: San Jose City Hall, W-119, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113. Transit Service: VTA Bus Lines 22, 63, 64, 65, 72, 73, 81 and 522.
If there is any way you can attend, please do, and let them know how these changes can impact your lives.
ADA and language accommodations: To receive an accessible format version of the informational brochure on the proposed changes or if you require an interpreter, including sign language services, or other accommodations at the public meetings, please contact VTA Customer Service five days prior to the meeting date(s) at 408-321- 2300, hearing impaired TDD only at 408-321-2330.
If you wish to provide written comments regarding the COA, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. or mail them to: VTA Marketing and Public Affairs, 3331 North First Street, Building B, San Jose, CA 95134. You can call VTA Customer Service and the call-taker will submit your concerns.
You can call members of the SVCB Transportation Committee, or SVCB board members, to get additional information on the routes affected, or call VTA Customer Service.
Please, please let your concerns be known!!!!!
Return to "In This Issue"
The BIRD, Blind Interest Resource Directory, is available on our website, www.svcb.cc. The BIRD is a comprehensive directory of resources ranging from art and entertainment to product catalogs. Inspired by Richard Rueda, it is assembled by Bernice Kandarian and Dawn Wilcox. I wish to thank Amy Shao for her help in coding the BIRD for our site.
To reach the BIRD, go to www.svcb.cc, move to the "Blind Interest Resource Directory" link and follow it.
Our "SVCB Meeting Programs" page continues to grow. We had a pleasant program of singing and laughter at the May membership meeting, and you can hear it by accessing www.svcb.cc, moving to the "SVCB Meeting Programs" link, and select either the "Listen" or "Download" links for May.
You may have heard that the Valley Transit Authority (VTA) is proposing significant bus-route changes, and there is a schedule of public meetings to present comment. Although these meetings may be history by the time you read this, the proposed route changes are very important; and you can read about them on our site. Go to www.svcb.cc, move to the "Flash Announcements" link and follow it.
Feedback on the accessibility or content of our site is welcomed. Contact Mike Keithley at 650-386-6286 or email email@example.com..
Return to "In This Issue"
Thanks to all who supported SVCB with your See's Easter candy purchases. After expenses, we raised $180 (SVCB receives 50% of the funds we raise from the candy sales).
Thanks to all who walked in and/or collected pledges for this year's Human Race walk-a-thon, and thanks to all who made donations! SVCB will receive 75% of the amount we collected, plus we received some additional funds that were donated directly to SVCB. Please plan to join us for next year's walk on Saturday, May 10, 2008!
Our cookbook committee is hard at work preparing our long-awaited cookbook featuring potluck dishes enjoyed by our members at our picnics and holiday parties. If you have contributed recipes to the cookbook, expect to hear from someone on the cookbook committee in the near future if you haven't already. The committee is conducting interviews to find out interesting stories about our recipes to include in the cookbook. We hope to send the cookbook to the printer in June if possible.
Remember to save your recyclable aluminum cans and plastic water bottles. Donna Sanchez (408-377-8311) is collecting plastic water bottles, and Charlie Stein (650-494-3258) is collecting aluminum cans. You may bring these items to an upcoming meeting, or call the appropriate contact to make other arrangements. Donna and Charlie redeem the bottles and cans for funds which are then used to support SVCB activities.
And finally, remember that you may still purchase the talking thermometer key chains ($10 each) and the white cane safety awareness T-shirts ($15 for those we have in stock or $17 for those we must order). To place an order or to request info, please contact me at 650-964-7973 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.. We have received some requests for T-shirts that we do not have in stock, so if you are interested, please do let me know. Once we have enough requests, I can send in another order.
See you at our next meeting!
Return to "In This Issue"
The Golden Gate Chapter of the California Council of the Blind is having a luncheon on June 2. We would appreciate your attendance and participation! The luncheon will be held at Powell's Place, 1521 Eddy Street at Fillmore in San Francisco, beginning at 11:30 a.m. By popular demand, our speakers will be Bernice Kandarian and Roger Petersen of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the California Council of the Blind. Many other guests will attend and various prizes will be awarded. Limited seating is available. The price for the lunch meal will not exceed $20.
Return to "In This Issue"
June: Vision Research Month.
Santa Clara Bowling Group: Every Saturday at Moonlight Lanes in Santa Clara, email@example.com.
Jun 1: Helen Keller Day.
Jun 1, 10 a.m.-noon: SAF lab tour. Call 408-245-7330 for reservations.
Jun 2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: SMCB meeting. Contact Frank Welte at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Jun 2, 11:30: Golden Gate Chapter of CCB luncheon. Powell's Place, 1521 Eddy Street at Fillmore in San Francisco.
Jun 2, noon to 5 p.m. and Jun 3, 2-5 p.m.: Superfest International Film Festival; Gaia Arts Center; 2120 Allston Way; Berkeley, CA. Tickets are $5-$20 at the door. All screenings are audio-described and closed- captioned. Large print and Braille schedules are available at the theatre during the festival or by calling 510-845-5576 or visiting www.culturedisabilitytalent.org.
Jun 6, 7-9 p.m.: SVCB Board meeting. Meeting Place, 650-260-9029 ID 7822222.
Jun 8, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 pm.: LET'S GET WORKING: A one-day workshop on job accommodation, creation, and retention for the employee with a visual impairment; hosted by Microsoft; Microsoft Conference Center; 1065 La Avenida, Mountain View. Sponsored by Northern California Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Sensory Access Foundation. Contact Kevin Kirby at SAF for registration information at 408-245-7330 or email@example.com.
Jun 9, 8 am-noon: "A Morning with the Sight Savers" presented by Prevent Blindness Northern CA at UCSF Laurel Heights Conference Center; 3333 California Street; San Francisco. To register for this free seminar, with doctors from UCSF, Stanford and CPMC, call 800-338-3041 or visit www.eyeinfo.org.
Jun 16, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: SVCB membership meeting; dining room, Monte Vista Terrace Apartments, 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View; Outreach reference: 650-940-9769. Lunch orders must be made by 9:45. 9:30: Coffee and conversation, 10: Program, 11: Business, 12: lunch. Program: Debee Norling Armstrong on the access technology field; Business: various reports.
Jun 20, 6:30-8 p.m.: ACB Open Forum; 800-633-8638, ID 53878255 (let's talk).
Jun 22, noon: SVCB In Touch newsletter deadline.
Jun 24, 1 and 6:30 p.m.: AMTSJ presents ALL SHOOK UP with descriptions by AudioVision.
Jun 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Ye Olde Towne Band free concert. Shoup Park; 390 University Ave.; Los Altos.
Jun 30-July 7: American Council of the Blind National Convention, Minneapolis. Convention hotels are the Hyatt Regency and the Millennium. They are located literally across the street from each other, and events will be held at both facilities. To make individual reservations at the Hyatt, call 1-800-233-1234; for reservations at the Millennium, call 612-332-6000 or 1-800-522-8856.
Jul 6, 10 a.m.-noon: SAF lab tour. Jul 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: SMCB meeting. Jul 11, 7-9 p.m.: SVCB Board meeting. Jul 18, 6:30-8 p.m.: ACB Open Forum.
Jul 21, 9:30-1 p.m.: SVCB membership meeting. Begin plans for White Cane Safety Day and Employment of People with Disabilities Awareness Month, appoint Holiday Party Chair.
Jul 27, noon: SVCB In Touch newsletter deadline.
Jul 28: SMCB bowling.
Jul 29, 1:30-3:30: Ye Olde Towne Band free concert.
Aug 3, 10 a.m-noon SAF lab tour.
Aug 5, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: SMCB meeting.
Aug 8, 7-9 p.m.: SVCB board meeting.
Aug 15, 6:30-8 p.m.: ACB open forum.
Aug 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: SVCB picnic at Baylands Park, Sunnyvale. Check newsletter and PhoneTree updates.
Aug 24, noon: September In Touch newsletter deadline.
Aug 25, SMCB bowling.
Aug 26, 1:30-3 p.m.: Ye Olde Towne Band free concert.Quick Links