Latest Update(s) To This Website – May 2020:
New Resource: Career Guide for People With Disabilities [Updated 2020]
CANCELED - SVCB tech grant fund-raising event at Marie Callender's scheduled for May 18-19, 2020. Due to sheltering-in-place directive this event has been canceled. Please pass the word and watch this website for a future date.
Barbara Rhodes Assistive Technology Grant – Submission deadline extended to April 30, 2020
SVCB in-person meetings cancelled
until further notice due to COVID-19 virus and need for sheltering in place.
SVCB Local Activities
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: 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.
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:
● 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.
● 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:
● 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.
● Through our annual Barbara Rhodes Assistive 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
● A newsletter is published monthly featuring items of current local interest provided in large print, braille, E-mail, and cassette tape.
● Our web site has links to resources and contact information.
● 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.
● 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.
SVCB Organization Links
Toll-Free in California: 800-221-6359
Outside California: 916-441-2100
Meetings are held every third Saturday from 9:30 AM. to 1 PM at the Vista Center – San Jose Office, 101 N. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128, 1-408-295-4016. The center is now under the direction of Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Palo Alto, CA.
We offer a lunch function through Subway.
To read timely announcements and find out what will be happening during our next meeting, read our SVCB Phone Tree Message.
by Michelle McGrew
The Coronavirus has impacted our ability to do
fund-raising, and with the "shelter in place" mandate, we do not know
when our fund-raising activities will return to normal.
I can't get chocolate and other snacks to you right now, but if you would like to reserve Meltaways ($4 per bag), or for $1 each, candy bars, nut bars, or nut mixes (with cranberries or chocolate) to pick up when we meet again, contact me by calling 888-652-5333 (leave a message to be forwarded to me, or look me up on our Membership List to call me directly), or send email to email@example.com.
Please note that although the tech grant fund raiser at Marie Callender’s has been canceled, we are continuing with our plans to award a tech grant. If you or someone you know would like to make a contribution to this fund, please make checks payable to SVCB, write "Tech Grant" in the memo line, and mail your check to: P.O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042–0493
Phone Tree Message May 2020
Unfortunately our May in-person membership meeting is canceled. In its place is a virtual meeting on the telephone. It will be a Zoom meeting with the following information:
The Silicon Valley Council of the Blind is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: May membership virtual meeting
Saturday, May 16, 10 AM
Call-in number: 408-638-0968
meeting ID: 739825688
When prompted for a participant code, press the Pound key.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
One tap mobile
+14086380968,,739825688# US (San Jose)
If you're confused by all this, call President Rob Turner.
Business meeting plus a social after business. Our goal is to elect a Delegate and Alternate Delegate to the CCB conference and convention, plus a delegate to the CCB nominations committee. The business meeting should be less than an hour.
Our popular weekly SVCB social hour is now on Wednesday afternoon at 4 PM. It is also a Zoom meeting and has the same info as the above business meeting:
Call-in number: 408-638-0968
meeting ID: 739825688
When prompted for a participant code, press the Pound key.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
One tap mobile
+14086380968,,739825688# US (San Jose)
SVCB regrets that we had to cancel our upcoming tech grant fund-raising event at Marie Callender's scheduled for May 18-19, 2020. Once we can hold this event again, we will reschedule our fund raiser. If you were able to spread the word about our upcoming event at Marie Callender's, please let your contacts know that the event has been cancelled and encourage them to watch our website www.svcb.cc for the rescheduled event. once the Shelter in Place orders have been lifted.
Please note that although the tech grant fund raiser has been cancelled, we are continuing with our plans to award a tech grant. If you or someone you know would like to make a contribution to this fund, please make checks payable to SVCB, write "tech grant" in the memo, and mail your check to the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind, P. O. Box 493, Mountain View, CA 94042. Thank you!
SVCB Past Meeting Recordings
SVCB Program List
Choose a year, and then select stream or download.
All SVCB Officers and Board Members may be contacted by phone at: 888-652-5333 (leave a message).
President – Rob Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-President – Mike Keithley, email@example.com
Recording Secretary – Gail Roe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Correspondence Secretary – Carol Silveria, email@example.com
Treasurer – Vic Clifford, firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Members – Naomi Grubb, Lupe Medrano, Joe Silveria, email@example.com
Immediate Past-President – Susan Glass, firstname.lastname@example.org
All SVCB Committee members and Chairpersons may be contacted by phone at: 888-652-5333 (leave a message).
Barbara Rhodes Assistive Technology Grant:
Chair: Alice Turner – email@example.com
Committee: Alice Turner, John Glass, Susan Glass, Lorraine Brown, Bev Clifford, Lynette Kersey, Mike Keithley, Michelle McGrew – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair: Bev Clifford – email@example.com
Committee: Bev Clifford, Susan Glass, Mike Keithley, Rob Turner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Constitution & By-Laws – Roger Peterson, email@example.com
Database Information – Mike Keithley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair: – email@example.com
Committee: – firstname.lastname@example.org
Goodies – Bev Clifford, email@example.com
Fund-raising – Michelle McGrew, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospitality – Naomi Grubb, email@example.com
Chair: Susan Glass – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy Editor: Bev Clifford – email@example.com
Legislation – Mike Keithley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership – Mike Keithley, email@example.com
Sound – Mike Keithley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation – Lupe Medrano, email@example.com
Volunteers – Naomi Grubb, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster – Vic Clifford, email@example.com
For online IN-TOUCH Newsletter review prior to 2019, email an access request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
● Opportunity to serve on the Board or committees and directly influence chapter activities in the blindness community.
● May participate in special SVCB activities such as parties and outings.
● 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.
● 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 $20 per year (or $30 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 email@example.com or call our voicemail box at 888-652-5333 (leave a message).
For current information and an application, see:
Click link for an application document in MS Word format.
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
This website shares information about audio described events in the Bay Area for the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI). We also list shows featuring ASL and relaxed events for neurodivergent folks.
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Business.com - Information on business plans, Assistive speech-accessible technology, marketing strategies, funding, training, networking and more - all tailored specifically for entrepreneurs with vision impairments and other disabilities
· Job-Search 101 - All You Need to Know
· Know Your Rights - All You Need to Know About ADA
· 73+ Careers for People With Disabilities
· Top 9 Job Sites for People With Disabilities
· FAQ - Everything You Need to Know
· Other Resources
Classical Guitar Using Braille – Let’s Play
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/
County of Santa Clara –
Office of Emergency Services
Public Risk Communication Officer
Office of the County Executive
55 West Younger Avenue, Suite 450, San Jose, CA 95110-1721
Office: 1-408-808-7818 Cell: 1-408-386-3055
Employment (courtesy of Fiscaltiger.com)
When you live with a physical disability or illness, keeping fit can be difficult.
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:
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
Hotlines - current issues for blind persons:
800-221-6359, after 5 PM and weekends
800-424-8666, 3-9 PM and weekends
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
Medicine Management (courtesy of Singlecare.com)
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 email@example.com. 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
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
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.
Contact theatre for current schedule.
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
Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters is modernizing voting and providing voters with greater flexibility and convenience.
Starting with the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election:
1. Every registered voter will receive a Vote By Mail ballot starting 29 days before Election Day
2. Voters can vote at any of the Vote Centers in Santa Clara County
3. Approximately 25 Vote Centers will open for 11 days including Election Day and approximately 100 Vote Centers will be open for 4 days including Election Day for a total of 125 Vote Centers
throughout the County on Election
4. Vote Centers will offer more space, additional services and new enhanced voting equipment
VOTERS will have more options and will get to choose WHEN, WHERE, and HOW to vote!
USE YOUR VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT
● Mail your ballot in a postage-paid return envelope
● Place your ballot in an Official Ballot Drop Box
● Return your ballot to any Vote Center
GET A BALLOT AT A VOTE CENTER
● When: Vote any day during election week
● Where: Visit any of the Vote Centers located throughout the County
● How: Vote a paper ballot or on a new voting machine
Check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNjrJ4KeVzE
Vista Center – Tech User Group Meetings. If you are interested, please send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Access Technology
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
2500 El Camino Real, Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94306
650-858-0202 ext. 123
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.