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)


Website URL:

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 or email

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.  

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.

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

SVCB meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday of each month, 9:30 AM to 1 PM. The location is the dining room of the Monte Vista Terrace Apartments at 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View, one block from El Camino Real, 22 VTA bus.

Phone Tree Message for June, 2018

Our June Membership Meeting:

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM to 1 PM. Note that the room must be cleared by 1 PM.
9:30: Coffee and conversation. Lunch order deadline: 9:45.
10 to 11 AM: Program
11:10 to 12 AM: Business
12 to 1 PM: Lunch and socializing

Auction, see Michelle's blurb below.

Program: Our program speaker will be a staff representative from Senator Jim Beale's office. Chapter members should come to the meeting with information and questions about legislation that matters most to them at this time: restoring state funding to the Sacramento Braille and Talking Book Library as well as to the Braille Institute; supporting our dog attack bill; budgeting cost of living adjustments for people on SSI. Presumably, she will be telling us about the Senator's knowledge of, and progress for, people with disabilities and especially blind and visually impaired Californians.

Come and register for our August picnic on Saturday, August 18. It’s at Hellyer Community Park in San Jose, and our picnic site is called Yerba Buena. Access drivers will know how to find this site.
The address for Hellyer Park is 985 Hellyer Ave, San Jose. Registration is $20 for SVCB/CCB members and $25 for guest. Register at the meeting by contacting Victor Clifford. The chapter will be providing hamburgers, hotdogs, vegie burgers along with condiments. Be sure to tell Victor which meats you want. Bev Clifford is coordinating desserts, snacks and drinks. Contact her if you want to bring something.

Pam Row Passes: Long-time SVCB member Pamela Row passed away on Monday, June 4 following a prolonged struggle with kidney disease. There will be a memorial service for Pam this coming Tuesday or Wednesday, at the 1st Presbyterian Church on the corner of Miramonte and Cuesta Streets in Mountain View. We'll have more information about the service in the next day or so, and will pass it along. We will also devote time at our June membership meeting to sharing memories of Pam. 

Michelle’s Blurb: We’re having an auction at our June meeting. Items up for auction include a Prodigy Voice Blood Glucose Monitoring System (with case and instructions), a basket crocheted by me, a rolling suitcase, and two duffel bags. (Minimum bids still to be determined.) We'll have the following for sale at the meeting for $1 each: nut mix (with cranberries or with chocolate), Welch's Fruit Snacks, Nut Bars, and lemon cookies baked by Suzanne Smith (for our June Cookie of the Month). Funds from the cookie sales benefit our tech grant. To pre-order any items, please call 888-652-5333 (leave a message to be forwarded to Michelle, or look her up on our Membership List to call her directly), or send email to

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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  

Feedback is welcomed. Send comments to

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.


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

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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,

Vice-President   Alice Turner,

Recording Secretary   John Glass,

Correspondence SecretaryNaomi Grubb,

Treasurer Vic Clifford,

Board MembersMike Keithley, John McNulty, Lupe Medrano,

Immediate Past-President   Rob Turner,

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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  

Committee: Alice Turner, John Glass, Susan Glass, Diane Harms, Bev Clifford, Lynette Kersey, Mike Keithley, Michelle McGrew


Braille Literacy:

Chair: Bev Clifford

Committee: Bev Clifford, Susan Glass, Mike Keithley, Rob Turner


Constitution & By-Laws  – Roger Peterson,


Database Information  – Mike Keithley,






Goodies  – Bev Clifford,


Fund-raising  – Michelle McGrew,


Hospitality  – Naomi Grubb,


IN-TOUCH Newsletter:

Chair: Susan Glass

Copy Editor: Bev Clifford


Legislation Mike Keithley,


Membership Mike Keithley,


Sound  Mike Keithley,


Transportation Lupe Medrano,


Volunteers   Naomi Grubb,


Webmaster   Vic Clifford,

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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:

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018


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SVCB Business Calendar

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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 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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 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

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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."


Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors - Departs every Sunday at noon from Pier 40 in San Francisco.

Visit  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   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.


Breast Cancer Support Group - For questions, call Lori Scharff

516-887-1336, or


Career Corner - Organizations serving the blind, and employment organizations.


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:


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:



CSUN, California State University, Northridge – Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference.  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.


Exercise To Try At Home For Disabled People


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. 1-800-295-4050


Hidden Talent - How Leading Companies Hire, Retain, and Benefit from People with Disabilities, edited by Mark L. Lengnick-Hall


Legislative Hotlines, current issues for blind persons:

800-221-6359, after 5 PM and weekends

800-424-8666, 3-9 PM and weekends


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

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.  1-415-431-1481


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.              

617-266-6160 or 888-965-8965


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.  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. 

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

Library Services Funding

From: Jeff Thom 
Date: 05/27/2018 01:23 PM
Subject: [Ccb-l] library services funding

I am following up on yesterday's message in order to provide you with information on how we can work to secure state budget funding for library services for the Braille and Talking Book Library and the Braille Institute Library. Remember that we need everyone to phone or e-mail on this issue. With decisions being made in early June, it is essential to advocate next week. Here's what we need to do. The Assembly version of the budget contains $500,000 for funding that will be allocated to the Braille and Talking Book Library, which shares funding with the Braille Institute Library. The Senate version of the budget does not contain this funding. The Conference Committee has been appointed composed of members from both the Senate and Assembly to come up with one budget plan to send to the Governor. We need to persuade the Senate conference committee members to agree to adopt the Assembly version on this issue. The committee has co-chairs, one from each house and the Senate co-chair is Senator Holly Mitchell from Los Angeles. Probably the easiest way to contact Senator Mitchell is by phone to her Capitol office at (916)-651-4030. Another alternative is to send an e-mail to Ms. Anita Lee, at Ms. Lee is the budget staff person that handles library issues. If you are a user of services from either the Braille and Talking Book Library or the Braille Institute Library, it is important to emphasize how important these services are to you.  

Next, I will give you the names of the other Senate conference committee members and their Capitol office telephone numbers. I urge you to call any or all of them, no matter where you are from.  

John M. W. Moorlach, Republican from Costa Mesa, (916)-651-4037 
Jim Nielsen, Republican from Tehama, (916)-651-4004
Richard Rot Democrat Riverside, (916)-651-4031
Nancy Skinner Berkeley (916)-651-4009 

For all five of these Senators, an alternative to telephoning them, would be to contact them online. To do so, go the senate website,, click on the Senators link and find the contact link under each Senator's name.  

Remember to spread the word and do what you can. Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Notice to Taxi Users In the San Jose Area 

The TRE Legal Practice has received complaints about taxi services in San Jose that have discriminatory service animal policies and inaccessible mobile iPhone apps.  Attorneys from TRE Legal are investigating the accessibility of taxi services in the greater San Jose area.  They would like to hear from those with guide dogs who want to use traditional taxis (not Uber or Lyft) and who could use Apple VoiceOver to book taxi rides via a mobile taxi dispatch app if it were accessible.  Please contact attorney Timothy Elder at 410.415.3493.  We appreciate your help as we advocate around traditional taxi services in the region.  Taxi providers remain an important transportation option notwithstanding the ridesharing trend.  Thank you for helping us ensure that the taxi option is accessible to those with service animals.

Timothy Elder 
TRE Legal Practice 
4226 Castanos Street 
Fremont, CA 94536 
Phone: (410) 415-3493 
Fax: (415) 952-9898
Twitter: @trelegal


Tabard Theatre

Tabard Theatre shows: To order tickets, call the Tabard box office at 408-679-2330 and speak to Marilyn Watts, or visit SVCB members and Blind Center clients should use Discount Code BC27 when ordering. Performances take place at Theatre on San Pedro Square, 29 North San Pedro Street, San Jose.

Ø      Jun 8-24 (select dates): Tabard Theatre, LOVE LETTERS   

        (starring our honorary chapter member, Cathy Cassetta)

Ø      Jun 23-Jul 8: Tabard Theatre, RED. 

Ø      Jun 24-Jul 9: Tabard Theatre, GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. 



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


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.


Vista Center

Location: Vista Center for the Blind and the Visually Impaired, 2500 El Camino Real, Suite 100, Palo Alto, CA 94306


Tech Users Group
Microsoft's Seeing AI Engineering Q & A

Date: Wednesday June 13
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Location: large conference room

Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects. Used by over 150,000 users, the app has helped people complete over 5 million tasks unassisted.

Vista Center, Palo alto, was contacted by a researcher from Microsoft to coordinate a research study for 27 individuals. Alice Turner, Community Relations Manager, coordinated the one-on-one meetings in our Palo Alto office, and worked with our Santa Cruz team for one day in Santa Cruz. Through this connection, we are fortunate to be introduced to our speakers.

If you are interested in joining Vista Center's Research Team, please contact alice Turner, Community Relations Manager. Alice is located in Palo alto, however, she handles all studies for our branches. You may reach Alice by email at, and include your name and contact info, or you may call 650 858-0202, ext. 130, and alice will get back InTouch mid-June. Join this ever-expanding research team; it is fun and rewarding in many ways!

Anirudh Koul, Seeing AI's Founder & Senior Data Scientist and Eugene Seleznev, Software Engineer will present. We hope you will join us for this informative session.

Optimized for use with VoiceOver, the Seeing AI app enables you to recognize:
Short Text: Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera.
Documents: Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting.
Products: Scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available. (works with iPhone 6 and later)
People: Saves people's faces so you can recognize them, and get an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions.
Scenes: (early preview) Hear an overall description of the scene captured.
Currency: Recognizes currency notes. (Requires iOS 11)
Color: Identifies color.
Handwriting: Reads handwritten text like in greeting cards
Light: Generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings.
Images in other apps Just tap "Share" and "Recognize with Seeing AI" to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter, and more.
The Seeing AI app was recently honored with Helen Keller Achievement Awards from American Foundation for the Blind as well as AppleVis Best Assistive App of the Year.

If you are able to attend, please rsvp by sending a message to:


Vista Center

From: AERNet [ <>] On Behalf Of Mark Richert
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2018 9:59 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [AERNet] You're Invited! Take AFB's Tech Surveys, and Tell Policymakers Your Story about How Well Industry is Doing. If you use a cellphone, watch television, use office communications equipment, or enjoy described TV, this invitation is for you! Visit: 
For further information, contact:
Mark Richert, Esq.
Director, Public Policy, AFB
(202) 469-6833 <>
The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the most comprehensive disability and technology policy enacted since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, became law in October 2010. We are asking for your help in determining how well the communications and video industries are doing to meet the expectations of the CVAA. The CVAA is intended to revolutionize the way in which people who are blind or visually impaired can fully use and enjoy today's most popular technologies, from mobile phones to tablet computers, from VoIP office telephone equipment to email and electronic messaging, from digital televisions and cable/satellite set top boxes to emergency alerts and TV programming accessibility through video description. To periodically assess how well industry is doing to ensure the accessibility 
and usability of communications and video technologies, we have developed an array of surveys to help us gauge and report on the experiences, both positive and negative, of consumers with vision loss who are using these technologies today.
By taking a few minutes to respond to these surveys, you can help us track how effectively these technologies meet your needs. In addition, your responses will help AFB keep policy makers informed about how well the communications and video programming industries are doing to comply with federal law and to offer truly accessible and usable products and services. We may share your specific feedback with Congress, as well as the Federal Communications Commission (the agency with enforcement responsibilities for much of the subject matter covered by this survey) so that they can hear directly, but anonymously, from consumers across the country. The more complete that your answers are, the more useful these survey results will be. If you do not have time to respond to all of the surveys right now, respond to the ones that you have time for now and come back as often as you would like to offer additional feedback. While you can take these surveys anonymously, we do invite you to share your contact information with us, particularly if you would welcome the opportunity to speak in greater detail about the challenges you may be facing using today's communications and video technologies.
Thank you for participating in this important work, and please do share this open invitation widely with your network.
Alice Turner
Community Relations Manager
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
2500 El Camino Real, Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA  94306
650-858-0202 extension 130
Confidentiality Notice: This e-mail communication and any attachments may contain confidential information for the use of the designated recipients named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this communication in error, and that any review, isclosure, dissemination, distribution or copying of it or its contents is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately by calling (650) 858-0202 ext. 130 to arrange for destruction of these documents.

Breast Cancer Support Group. May 1, 5:30 to 7 PM. Call-in: 605-715-4920; ID: 2776167. For questions, call Lori Scharff at 516-887-1336, or


Orpheum San Francisco - May 26, 2 PM: THE COLOR PURPLE, descriptions by AudioVision.


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SVCB Membership Spotlights

SVCB Recognized with California Senate Member Resolution No. 137


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


Pamela Row – Funeral Arrangements

Monday June 18th

VIEWING 6-8 pm

The Colonial Cusimano Mortuary

96 El Camino Real

Mountain View, CA 94040



Tuesday June 19th

BURIAL 10:30 am

Alto Mesa Cemetery

695 Arastradero Raod

Palo Alto, CA 94306




First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View

167 Miramonte Avenue,

Mountain View, CA 94040


Reception Immediately Following


Bill Tipton - Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

A person wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

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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:



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:

The family prefers that memorial donations be sent to the League of Women Voters (, Mountain View Educational Foundation (, Community Health Awareness Council ( and Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (

You can carry on Julie and Greg’s good work by volunteering with Mountain View coalition for Sustainable planning ( or Advocates for Affordable Housing (


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.

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Certificate award to Ms. Cathy Spielberger Cassetta


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