A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

July 2022

EDITOR: Sandy Quenzer,

COPY EDITOR: Beverly Clifford,

ADDRESS: Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB), P.O. Box 4116, San Jose, CA 95125

DEADLINE: for the August, 2022 issue: noon, July 18, 2022

VOLUNTEERS: Naomi Grubb,

MEMBERSHIP: Mike Keithley,

LEGISLATION: Mike Keithley,

PHONE: 888-652-5333



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.

CHANGES OF ADDRESS: Contact Victor Clifford,

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.



by Rob Turner

The winners of our Barbara Rhodes Assistive Technology grant were announced as part of the program at our June meeting. Each winner attended the meeting in-person and told us a bit about themselves and how the award would help them. The winners and their awards are:

Abby Tamara received an iPad Air and a Pedometer to help her access material for her assistive technology program at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN).

Grace Mata was given a blood pressure monitor and a color identifier.

Ray Ojinaga received a $450 subsidy toward a new iPhone to help him travel more comfortably around his neighborhood and to keep track of contacts more easily.

Zeanna Bunch was given a monitor with speakers and camera to help her with presentations for her Real Estate business.

As committee chair, I want to thank Alice, Beverly, John Glass, Lorraine and Lynnette for their participation.

The rest of the program featured a discussion of ham radio facilitated by John Glass. If this hobby is of interest to you, a good resource to contact is

See you at our July meeting.



by Mike Keithley

Hey guys, it's summer time! And you've got so much time to kill, so King and his cane Cecil suggested that I tell you about 1 wonderful source of memories that lives on the SVCB website.

It's the programs from past membership meetings. There are gaps, but we have programs back to January, 2007. And since we're all taking it easy, I thought I'd list names of people who attended the January, 2010 meeting.

But before I get into that, let me mention that we have the June, 2008 program where Roger Petersen presented Cathy Skivers talking over the phone about Sam Chen's award for translating the CCB publication Failing Sight and the Family Plight into Chinese. This is another bit of Cathy's voice living on our site. Check out:

So, let's take a look at who was at the February, 2010 meeting. "Um, master won't tell you this, but he was SVCB President, the nonsense years." No steak for you mister, terrible!

Anyway, people at the February, 2010 meeting were:

Mike Keithley, now Vice President; Dawn Wilcox, who now lives in Bain Bridge Washington; Julie Lovins, who does the presentation on recycling; David Hoffman from Cupertino and still a member, who works at El Camino Hospital; Allen Jones from Sunnyvale, Santa Clara now; Bev Clifford, who sounds like she does today; Victor Clifford, who has been Treasurer for close on fifteen years; Roger Petersen, who sounds twelve years younger; Michelle McGrew, who has disappeared in Tennessee and belongs to a chapter of the ACB affiliate there; Amy Glew; Amy Shaw, lost track; someone celebrating a 60-year anniversary; Barbara Dickinson, whereabouts unknown; Sam Chen, year of the tiger; Elmer Chapson, renowned rehab counselor; Art Takahara, still around; Elene Skidmore, sounding great; Naomi Grubb, still going strong and serving coffee at our meetings; John Kanze, who sounds the same today; Carol Ann Owens, who passed several years ago; Vernon Philips from San Jose; two people from San Jose I couldn't understand; and last but not least, Donna Sanchez doing lunch orders, just like she does now.

"Well master, I wonder what they're gonna say about that? Whatever it is." I don't know but let's wish happy July birthdays to Carol Silveria, Joe Silveria, and James Brown.

The SVCB picnic is really on for Saturday, September 17. The time slot is 11 AM to 3 PM, and the picnic site is Sylvendale at Hellyer Park. We'll have hot dogs, meat/vegie burgers, salads and drinks. Registration is $20 for SVCB members and $25 for guests. plans for activities are in the works. Register at the July or August meetings or through Paypal.

This year we're actively working to avoid past problems where Access drivers became very confused when picking us up. Thanks to Victor Clifford and Debee Armstrong, a map of Hellyer park with a focus on the Sylvendale site has been given to VTA Access dispatchers. This should remove confusions, but you need to be precise in specifying the Sylvendale site. Contact Mary at VTA Access direct. Her contact info is:

Mary Bennett in VTA Access reservations




compiled by Mike Keithley

Heumann-Armstrong Awards

Applications for the second annual Heumann-Armstrong Awards are now open! Equal Opportunities for Students in collaboration with The Coelho Center for Disability Law Policy, and Innovation and with funding from the American Association for People with Disabilities will be awarding $1000 prizes to six students, in the 6th grade or higher, who demonstrate their commitment to fighting against ableism in education. Students in middle school, high school and higher education (community college, college, university, and graduate and professional degree programs) are eligible for this award. Awardees will be interviewed about their educational experiences and their interviews will be published on The Coelho Center and Equal Opportunities for Students webpages and other social media platforms. For more information, please check out the Heumann-Armstrong Awards informational video, or email us at: or

Braille Forum Raffle

Get Your Braille Forum Raffle Tickets Before They're Gone! The ACB Braille Forum Raffle is back for another year. All the proceeds from the raffle go to support "The ACB Braille Forum." Prizes are as follows: third place, $500; second place, $1,000; and the grand prize, $5,000. Tickets are $50 each. You may combine the purchase with up to four of your friends. To purchase a ticket, visit the registration office in Blackstone A at the Hilton Hotel in Omaha, or contact our Brooklyn Center office at (612) 332-3242.

First-Timers and JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows

Joe Derrick Green and Gregg Wandsneider are this year's DKM First-Timers. Joe Derrick Green hails from Sacramento, Calif.; Gregg is from Waukesha, Wis. This year's Leadership Fellows are: Judy Brown, Shoreline, WA; Danette Dixon, Lynnwood, WA; Kristen Kelling, Grand Rapids, MI; Byron Lee, Minneapolis, MN; Cecily Laney Nipper, Covington, GA.

BADIE Award Winners

ACB is proud to announce the winners of the 2022 BADIE Awards (Benefits of Audio Description In Education). They are: Senior Category (ages 16 to 21), Grand Prize Winner: Brennan Lamarra; First Place: Brennan Lamarra; Second Place: Katelyn Divis. Junior Category (ages 11 to 15), First Place: Jurnee Rust; Second Place: Tateana Sampson. Sophomore Category (ages 7 to 10), First Place: Aaron Martel; Second Place: Achilleus Budgen. To read the full press release, visit:

Audio Description Project's 20th AD Institute

ACB's Audio Description Project will hold its 20th Audio Description Institute August 8-12, from 1 to 5 PM Eastern each day. The Institute will be all virtual. Topics include: audio description history and theory; the four fundamentals of audio description; active seeing/visual literacy-developing skills in concentration and observation; the art of "editing" what you see; vivid language; and using the spoken word to make meaning.

Register online at:

You'll be asked to create a login for the ACB database and continue to register for the Institute.

NLS Launches Braille-on-Demand Pilot Project

As part of its braille modernization initiative, NLS launched the Braille-on-Demand pilot project on Monday, June 20, 2022. This project will allow active NLS patrons to request and receive one hard-copy braille title per month, which they can retain for their personal use. Braille titles will be limited to books that are currently available on BARD. At this time, requests are limited to one book per patron per month. Only complete titles will be distributed.

To request a braille-on-demand book, fill out the form at:

Patrons may complete the form themselves or contact their network library for assistance.



Submitted by Deborah Armstrong

I had a very nice chat with Mary in VTA Access reservations. She has our map and will distribute it to the dispatchers on duty on picnic Saturday. She has also entered it in to the system they use for scheduling rides. She says three days before the picnic, SVCB clients should call her direct line to schedule their rides. She also said that with parks in Santa Clara County, the biggest problem is that clients fail to mention the picnic area or mention the wrong one. It is very important to be precise with the scheduler. However, since she knows about our picnic, scheduling with her is best. Here's her contact info:

Mary Bennett in VTA Access reservations





Recipes submitted by Suzanne Smith

Peachy Short Ribs

(From Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook)


4 pounds beef short ribs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 can (29-ounce) Cling peach halves (can use any brand)

1/3 cup Kikkoman soy sauce (can use any brand)

1/4 cup tomato ketchup

1 clove garlic, crushed


Brown ribs slowly in hot oil in Dutch oven with heat-proof handles. Drain peaches, reserving three-fourths cup syrup from peaches. Mix syrup with remaining ingredients, and add to ribs. Cover, and place in 350-degree oven. Bake for about two hours, or until tender. Add peaches to ribs, and return to oven for 10 minutes. Makes four to six servings.

Peach Gem Pie

(From The New Joys of Jell-O Gelatin Dessert Recipe Book


1 package (3-ounce) Jell-O orange gelatin

1 cup boiling water

2 cups ice cubes

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups sliced, peeled fresh peaches (about three peaches, or use 1 16-ounce can sliced peaches, drained)

1 baked 9-inch pie shell, cooled


Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add ice cubes, and stir consistently until gelatin starts to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove any unmelted ice. Add almond extract and peaches. Pour into pie shell. Chill until firm, about three hours. Garnish with whipped topping and toasted almonds, if desired.



Compiled by Mike Keithley


A weekly SVCB Social Hour is scheduled for 4 PM every Wednesday afternoon until forever.

Dates are:

July: 6, 13, 20, 27

August: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Join Zoom Meeting:

One tap mobile:


Call in number: 408-638-0968

Meeting ID: 739825688

Passcode: 222638

When prompted for a participant code, press the Pound key.

Note that the above call-in information is used for SVCB's virtual link to monthly in-person membership meetings.

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 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, Orpheum Theatres, Broadway San Francisco Theatre, and Broadway San Jose Center for the Performing arts (SJCPA)) 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


Audio described shows by TheatreWorks have resumed with descriptions by Gravity. Pre-register for tickets, which include a free "show talk" 30 minutes before the show, at the TheatreWorks box office at: 650-436-1960 or email: Shows are at the Lucie Stern Theatre or the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

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:

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

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



July 7, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you're not on the Board but want to attend this meeting, contact SVCB president Rob Turner.

Jul 17, 1 PM: COME FROM AWAY with descriptions by AudioVision, SJCPA, see notes.

July 18, noon: August SVCB newsletter deadline.


August 4, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

August 5 and 6 at 8 PM and 7 at 2 PM: Nan and the Lower Body with descriptions by Gravity, TheatreWorks, MVCPA, see notes.

August 20, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: August membership. If possible, arrange your VTA Access pick up at 1 PM.

August 22, noon: September SVCB newsletter deadline.





CONSTITUTION: Roger Petersen,


DATABASE: Vic Clifford,



GOODIES: Bev Clifford,



PRESIDENT: Rob Turner,

PROGRAM: Susan Glass,



TECH GRANT: Rob Turner

TREASURER: Vic Clifford,

VICE PRESIDENT: Mike Keithley,

WEB SITE: Deb Runyan,