Legislative Hotlines, current issues for blind persons:
800-221-6359, after 5 PM and weekends
800-424-8666, 3 to 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.
Monthly meetings are held at the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center (Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired San Jose). Meetings run 9:30 AM to 1 PM the third Saturday of the month and are open to all.
Mentorship, the topic of discussion for the program at our April meeting, was well received. Several comments were heartfelt and showed their gratitude toward their mentors. There were so many responses that the start of our business meeting was delayed for a few minutes.
Our parent organization, the California Council of the Blind, has an upcoming virtual convention starting Thursday May 12 through Sunday May 15. To learn more, visit
"Well you guys, we're at church and master is trying to stay awake. He's thinking about how to start this column. To help him out I said:
'Lui lui, howl le lu ya'
Think I woke everyone up!"
Yes you did King, excellent! And that dog stop on the organ was quite rousing. But you better look out for that terrible swift sword. "O dear!"
And we had a nice "lu ya" event at our April program. It was all about mentors we knew, and I thought it quite interesting. It's one of those times when you learn something you didn't know about your acquaintances that harmonize to how they feel to you. I couldn't attend the meeting in person, so I used our Zoom link. It was quite good. So now there's no excuse for not attending SVCB meetings. You'll find the zoom information in the event calendar.
Does a cookbook with more than 165 mouthwatering recipes contributed by members and friends of the Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss, including main dishes, desserts, holiday favorites, and much more, sound appetizing to you? If so, the AAVL Cookbook, "The Food of Our Times" is just what you need! This special collection is available now in two formats for just $20.
The electronic version will entitle you to two downloadable versions: Microsoft Word and accessible PDF. There are currently six copies of the non-UEB (aka "regular") braille that are looking for a good home and ready to ship right away. Others will be ordered and shipped as soon as possible. To get a copy, visit
On March 29th, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45) introduced The Disabled Jurors Nondiscrimination Act, legislation that prohibits excluding a person from federal jury service on account of disability.
Currently, federal law prohibits excluding an individual from jury service on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status. The new legislation adds the word "disability" alongside those protected characteristics.
The bill also clarifies provisions of federal law governing juror qualifications, by amending the statute under which jurors are qualified to serve unless they are "unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to fill out satisfactorily the juror qualification form" or "unable to speak the English language". The bill clarifies that no person may be disqualified from serving on a federal jury under those provisions on account of disability. Under the bill, it would be clear that a person who uses braille or sign language is not "unable to read, write, and understand the English language" or "unable to speak the English language." Twenty-three states already have statutes that prohibit exclusion and/or disqualification from state jury service on account of a disability, including both Massachusetts and California.
Special Thanks Following Ukrainian Benefit Concert
ACB thanks all those who joined in and donated for the April 16th "We're With You" benefit concert for Ukrainians who are blind and impacted by the current conflict. Over 111 blind musicians and their allies performed for the event, which ran over 11 hours. The event has raised over $92k to date, including over $6k raised through the www.acb.org/ukraine website. The event will be rebroadcast on ACB Media. So, stay tuned for information on how you can listen again to this historic event!
Getting Geared Up for Omaha
ACB continues to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year with our 60-for-60 annual campaign. We're all quite excited to return to an in-person event, while at the same time providing a wealth of virtual and hybrid content for those who may be unable to travel to Omaha.
In celebrating our 60 years of success, we wanted to know what your own fondest memory may be from a past ACB convention. Share your story by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll include it as we highlight past convention memories leading up to Omaha. You can also share it on your social media account and use the hashtag #ACB60. And as always, we welcome contributions to our 60-for-60 campaign. You can click the 60for60 button on our home page at acb.org. Your tax-deductible donation helps make future conventions a success!
Invitation to Participate in a Focus Group Study
We invite you to participate in a study at Columbia University that explores issues of trust in a type of medical research called "precision medicine research." This looks at a person's genetics, environment, and lifestyle. It can help physicians improve prevention and diagnosis of diseases and develop new treatments.
You are invited because you are: A deaf or hard of hearing adult, a blind or low vision adult, or an adult with a mobility disability. If you agree, you will be asked to join a 2-hour online focus group to share your thoughts about precision medicine. You do NOT need to have prior knowledge about precision medicine research to participate in this study. The study will help us understand what deaf or hard of hearing adults, blind or low vision adults and adults with mobility disabilities think about how precision medicine researchers and research institutions can be more responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities.
The focus group will be conducted using Zoom. It will be available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. CART Captioning will be available, as needed. You choose the language that works best for you. Focus group dates and times will be scheduled soon. You are offered a $50 gift card for participating in our focus group.
Below is an upcoming haptic tour and live audio description for a production of "A Small Fire" on Sunday, May 29.
A Small Fire
Written by Adam Bock | Directed by Mary Ann Rodgers May 29 Haptic Tour & Live Audio Description
Adam Bock's meticulously crafted script follows Emily Bridges, a woman used to running all things, from her construction business to her family, until she suddenly begins experiencing mysterious changes. As her world shifts, her relationships transform in poignant and revelatory ways.
When: May 29 haptic tour at 3:30 pm PST, live audio description and performance at 5 pm PST.
Neil Simon's classic comedy is still just as hilarious as it ever was. When Felix Ungar, a neurotic, neat freak news writer, is thrown out by his wife, moving in with his also-divorced best friend Oscar Madison, a slovenly sportswriter, seems like an ideal plan. However, it does not take long for the pair's catastrophic incompatibility to come crashing down on their lives, to hilarious effect. The Odd Couple won Neil Simon a Tony® for best author in 1965.
Featuring: John Mannion, Jerry Lloyd, Matt Regan, Jim Woodbury, Will Perez, Ken Boswell, Kimberley Roberts, Mary Melnick, Karen DeHart, and Barbara Reynolds.
May 28, 2:15-2:30 pm FREE presentation for visually impaired patrons before the 3 pm show.
SVCB members and Vista Center clients should use Discount Code BC27 when ordering. Performances take place at The Tabard THEATRE, 29 North San Pedro Street, San Jose. The phrase "On Demand" means that the show can be viewed by services like Comcast.
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 email@example.com.
San Francisco LightHouse
To hear weekly events at the San Francisco LightHouse, call 415-694-7325.
Let's Talk Low Vision
The monthly "Let's Talk Low Vision" conferences are held on the third Tuesday of the month at 8:30 PM Eastern. Archives are available at:
Zoom information is distributed through the ACB Community Schedule email list, or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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 borp.org.