A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

November 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 December 2022 issue: noon, November 21, 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 in-person 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

Usually, I get things done without too much trouble. Unfortunately, that was not the case when I needed to deposit a check. It was given to me after taking part in a research study. Typically, these studies supply payment in the form of an online gift card, but this one did not. My first job was to sign the check, but I needed to know where to sign. I have a reading stand that holds the iPhone about ten inches above the reading surface, so the camera can focus properly. Since the stand holds the iPhone, both my hands were free to manipulate the check and pen. I used the "Be My Eyes" iOS app to get help. The volunteer who answered was a very articulate woman from Oklahoma who was fun to talk with and gave perfect instructions. I was confident that the signature was applied properly. The next step was to deposit the check through my "Bank of America" iOS app. Unfortunately, no matter how I positioned the check, it wouldn’t recognize it. I have an account at Provident Credit Union and needed cash. I took an Uber to their Sunnyvale branch planning to deposit the check. The teller said that the check wasn’t dated so she wouldn’t allow it. She said that tellers aren’t permitted to modify checks and refused to fill in the date for me. As you can imagine, I was fit to be tied. One would think that an exception could have been made under the circumstances. Perhaps I should have hung around until I could find a customer to write in the date. My level of frustration was such that I didn’t think of that option at the time. A friendly neighbor recently offered to help me take care of this.

Enjoy this wonderful Fall weather. See you in November, where we will celebrate SVCB’s thirty-fifth anniversary.



By Mike Keithley

It's election time! The mid-term elections are upon us, and here are a few items that might help you get through the process.

First, if you're not registered to vote, you can go to any number of voting sites to register and cast a provisional ballot. Vista Center San Jose is an excellent choice, as the accessible equipment you'll need to vote is there. "So vote, and then relax and play with me!"

The Vista San Jose Voting Center is open from October 29 to November 8. Call 408-295-4016, and go to 101 N. Bascom Avenue, San Jose.

At our October membership meeting, Pete Stahl from the League of Women Voters described the seven ballot propositions plus state candidates. You can hear the October program at:

From this presentation we have two fine online resources you can use for research: for summaries of ballot propositions and for more in-depth stuff.

Let's wish happy November birthdays to Naomi Grubb, David Hoffman, Perla Kohs, Rob Turner, Vivian Younger, Steve Lehnhoff, and SVCB, which is 35 years old.

The SVCB holiday party is coming up. It'll be on Saturday, December 10, from 11 AM to 3 PM. Registration is $30 for SVCB members and $35 for everyone else. It'll be at Vista Center San Jose, 101 North Bascom Ave, San Jose. You can register at the November meeting, through PayPal, or mail a check.

Food will be catered, but at this point we're not sure who will do the catering. However, wherever the food comes from, you can expect a yummy feast. Stay tuned to our December newsletter for further details. If you want vegetarian food, be sure to inform someone on the Holiday Party Committee. John Glass will host old-time radio shows for our entertainment! You'll get an update in December.

Remember that you'll elect SVCB's 2023 administration at the November meeting. Be sure to read John Glass' article in this newsletter where a list of candidates is described.

Be on the lookout for the Fall 2022 SVCB membership list. It's distributed with this newsletter. It'll be short, as some of you haven't paid your 2023 dues. They're $20 or $7 for CCB life members. You can pay through PayPal using the name, or by check with "SVCB dues" on the memo line to be sent to the address at the top of any newsletter.



By Bev Clifford

It's nowhere near Christmastime yet, but I, your Goodies Chairperson, have already received a present. Who would give me a gift so early, you may wonder? Why, all of you, of course—all of you who have completely filled the goodies roster for 2023. My sincerest thanks to each and every one of you who volunteered, many of you chiming in with your preferred month at our last SVCB meeting. Your generosity will tickle the taste buds of the rest of us for a whole year to come. May the angels smile upon you!



Compiled by Mike Keithley



I am a postdoctoral fellow at Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. We are conducting a user study to develop an assistive mobile app that helps blind people navigate outdoors. We are looking for participants who live in the Bay Area and can visit our office in San Francisco for the user study. The information of the study is as follows.

Assistive Tool for Training Blind Users to Manipulate a Camera for Navigation: This research focuses on the use of computer vision and other sensor-based methods of extracting visual and other information from indoor or outdoor scenes, or from existing images, and of conveying this information using audio, visual, and/or tactile output, to be useful to blind and low vision individuals. Examples of current studies include the development of camera-enabled smartphone apps to help persons who are visually impaired receive wayfinding guidance indoors, and to make physical objects (such as documents, maps, devices, and 3D models) more accessible by providing real-time audio feedback in response to the location on an object that the user is touching.

If you are 14 years or older and are blind or visually impaired, you may be eligible to participate in this study. (If you are between 14-17 years of age, you will need permission from your parent or guardian to participate in the study.) Volunteers are compensated $30/hr. for participating in a 50–60-minute study, plus reimbursement for transportation to and from the experiment (appropriate receipts must be produced). However, the reimbursement for round-trip transportation may not exceed $150. Compensation will be provided either in the form of an Amazon gift card, cash, or check.

Best regards,


Jonggi Hong

Postdoctoral Fellow

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

2318 Fillmore St

San Francisco, CA 94115

*Action Alert

On Sept. 28, 2022, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Representative John P. Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced the Website and Software Applications Accessibility Act (S. 4998 and H.R. 9021) in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This bill would require the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to establish clear and enforceable accessibility standards for websites and mobile applications, reaffirm that existing disability rights legislation covers websites and software applications, and ensure that accessibility standards keep pace with new and emerging technology.

ACB encourages all our affiliates, members, and friends to contact their representative and both of their Senators and urge them to co-sponsor The Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act (H.R. 9021) in the House of Representatives, and S. 4998 in the Senate. For more information, visit:

*Insulin Accessibility Survey

As a member of the Accessible Insulin Pump Task Force, ACB Diabetics in Action is disseminating the survey from Insulet (see below) as far and as wide as possible.

Here at Insulet, we aim to simplify life with diabetes. We are looking for ACB and NFB members living with diabetes who seek to share what their experience with diabetes equipment is like. For more information, or to volunteer, email us at:

*Google Guided Frame

Google has announced a new accessibility feature that will help blind and low vision users take better selfies. Guided Frame is a voice coach that will tell users where to hold their phones in order to take a selfie. Hold the device in front of you, and it'll ask you to go up, down, or to the side, until its AI believes you're in the best place to shoot. When it does, it'll even trigger the shutter automatically.

*Amazon Accessibility Features

A series of new videos, just released by Amazon, features people with disabilities using many of their accessibility features across Alexa, Fire TV, Kindle, and more, to help all of their customers learn how these features can help them be more connected, entertained, and independent. has also redesigned to make it easier for customers to explore more.

*Waymo Accessibility Network

Waymo announced the Waymo Accessibility Network, a collaboration with disability advocates whose unique perspectives will help ensure that the future of transportation is shaped for everyone as they continue to scale. This collaboration formalizes Waymo's longstanding tradition of working with organizations that support people of all ages living with physical, visual, cognitive and sensory disabilities as they have developed their fully autonomous ride-hailing service, Waymo One. ACB is proud to collaborate with Waymo to ensure the autonomous vehicle future is accessible for everyone.

*Access Board Seeks Public Comment

Touchscreen kiosks and other types of self-service transaction machines (SSTMs) are a common feature in places of public accommodation, allowing users to independently conduct a range of transactions and functions. The U.S. Access Board has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on supplemental accessibility guidelines for different types of SSTMs, including electronic self-service kiosks for persons with disabilities. The Board seeks comments on accessibility related to the various types of SSTMs, use and design of SSTMs, location of SSTMs, and economic impacts on small business, non-profit, and governmental entities in the implementation of accessible SSTMs.

Public comments are due by November 21, 2022. Individuals may submit comments by Docket Number (ATBCB-2022-0004) via any of the following methods:

Federal Register: Select the "Submit a Formal Comment" link at the top of the notice "Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; Self-Service Transaction Machines and Self-Service Kiosks, and follow the instructions.

{Web Note: go to and Enter on SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT.} Enter - docket number ATBCB-2022-0004, Scroll down to and select "Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities: Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines; Self-Service Transaction Machines and Self-Service Kiosks", Select "Comment" (beneath the "View Details" link), and follow the instructions.

{Web Note: go to and Enter on Comment. Or you can skip the information and go directly to the comment at}


Include Docket Number ATBCB-2022-0004 in the subject line of the message.

Mail to:

Office of Technical and Information Services U.S. Access Board

1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20004-1111

For more information, visit:

*Beta Testers Wanted

Aira is working on improving its mobile app across both iOS and Android devices. As our apps evolve, we have invested in technology that allows us to write features once, and have them available on multiple device types, which means for you, the pace of updates and new functionality will be more consistent. We are seeking individuals, particularly Android users, who are interested in participating in a closed beta. We need people who are excited to try new technologies, enjoy giving feedback, and are not discouraged when things aren't working as expected. To apply for consideration, please complete the form at:

*Golf Tournament Postponed

The 2022 Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities and/or Mobility Challenges has been postponed due to the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.

Our tournament co-sponsor, Adaptive Golf Program Director David Windsor (PGA), has saved a tentative date (Dec. 3rd), with confirmation TBA. Visit:

for updates and more information.



Submitted by Mike Keithley

Disability Rights California (DRC) and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) are two nonprofit legal offices that are committed to making voting more accessible for people with disabilities. They advocate to make sure that voters with disabilities can vote privately and independently at voting locations and from home.

California allows voters to receive and mark their ballots electronically on their own devices, including computers and smartphones. Voters can do this using what are called Remote Accessible Vote-By-Mail, or RAVBM, systems. RAVBM systems make voting by mail accessible for some people with disabilities. However, RAVBM systems in California currently do not have an electronic return, or e-return, option. Without an e-return option, many voters with disabilities cannot use RAVBM to vote without assistance from another person.

DRC and DRA invite California voters who have disabilities that prevent them from reading, marking, or handling a paper ballot to complete an online survey at

This survey will help the attorneys at DRC and DRA gather information that will be useful to their advocacy. The survey asks questions about voters' experiences with voting, including using RAVBM systems. It also explores voters' thoughts about electronic ballot return. Voters who complete the survey have the option to provide their name and contact information if they are willing to be contacted by someone at DRC or DRA.

If you are interested in completing the survey, DRC and DRA encourage you to do so shortly after you vote in the November 2022 election (or, if you ended up being unable to vote, shortly after Election Day on November 8, 2022). If you experience a disability-related barrier to voting or have questions about your rights and options as a voter with a disability, DRC invites you to call its Voting Hotline for help at

(888) 569-7955.



By John Glass

I want to thank Gail Roe for her participation with me on the Nominating Committee this year.

Officer terms are one year. Director terms are two years. Here is the slate of nominees for the year 2023. The current 2022 term for incumbents is included.

President: Rob Turner: third term, up for election

Vice President: Mike Keithley, third term, up for election

Treasurer: David Hoffman, has been nominated

Recording Secretary: Debee Armstrong, has been nominated

Corresponding Secretary: Carol Silveria, third term, up for election

Current Board terms:

Director: John Glass, first term, first year, not up for election

Director: Joe Silveria: first term, second year, up for election

Director: Naomi Grubb, second term, second year, up for election

Susan Glass: immediate past president



by Mike Keithley

By now you will have received your mail-in ballot. Although you can handle it like you did in past years, there is a new process that allows you to use your own access technology to fill the ballot, get a print out, and mail the finished ballot in the provided envelope.

Noel Runyan writes:

"Here are some hints for using the Santa Clara County remote voting system.

"The Santa Clara County website says that, to use the RAVBM (Remote Access Vote By Mail) system, a voter must: download the application; mark their selections; print their selections; sign the envelope provided with the vote-by-mail ballot or the voter's own envelope; then return the envelope with the printed and signed selections either by mail or by dropping it off at a voting location."

"Don't waste your time browsing around on Santa Clara County's main web site to find the ballot. Just go to (or"

"Fill in your home address, which election, and your birth date to determine whether you are registered to vote and, if so, the proper ballot style to download to your computer."

"Be aware that what the website refers to as links may actually be button controls that require the spacebar to activate, rather than the Enter that is required for links."

"You may find that the system displays a message like, 'Please enter a name in the following field' at the bottom of the screen. This last line may remain on the screen and is probably left-over garbage that is spoken but not visually displayed."

"It is best to put your resulting printed ballot in the return envelope the county should already have mailed you."

"You must sign your name on the back of the envelope, below the flap, between the two holes punched in the envelope. The left-hand hole is the one that does not go through the envelope. Those holes are below a printed oath, by which you will be stating that you are a 'legitimate voter'."

And King says, "So, who's gonna try this?" Oh boy, you're talking that ballot? so yeah, someone's gotta tell me what accessible technology to use. "Maybe Omni?"



Submitted by Bev Clifford

Recipe contributed by Suzanne Smith, from a cookbook called Favorite All-Time Recipes: Cambell's Famous One-dish Recipes)

Three-Cheese Pasta Bake


1 can (10-3/4 ounces) Campbell's condensed Cheddar Cheese soup

3/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (4 ounces or one cup)

6 cups cooked mostaccioli or ziti (about 3 cups dry)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

fresh parsley sprigs and tomato slices for garnish


1. In large bowl, combine soup, milk, and pepper. Stir in Mozzarella cheese. Add Mostaccioli, and toss gently to coat. Spoon into two-quart oblong baking dish.

2. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over pasta mixture. In small bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter or margarine. Sprinkle crumb mixture in rows over the cheese.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with parsley and tomato if desired. Makes about six cups, or six servings.

Preparation time: 25 minutes.

Cook time: 35 minutes.

Tip: For a change of pace, prepare the Three-Cheese Pasta Bake as directed above, except in Step 1 reduce the shredded Mozzarella cheese to three-fourths cup (3 ounces), and add one-half-cup shredded smoked Edam or smoked Gouda cheese (two ounces).

Note: Mostaccioli are large, two-inch long macaroni tubes with smooth or ridged surfaces that are cut on a diagonal. (The cookbook doesn't explain exactly what ziti is.)

{Web Note: Wikipedia says "Ziti is an extruded pasta, originating in Campania. It is shaped into a long, wide tube, about 25 cm long, that needs to be broken by hand into smaller pieces before cooking."}


EVENT CALENDAR: November to December 2022

Compiled by Mike Keithley


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

November: 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30

December: 7, 14, 21, and 28

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 Bay Area (formerly AudioVision)

For all productions (Golden Gate, Orpheum Theatres, Broadway San Francisco, and Broadway San Jose) 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: or visit:


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. A webpage with a listing of audio described shows is at:

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 at the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) official website 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



November 10 through 13: WAIT UNTIL DARK, Tabard Theatre; see notes.

November 19, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: 35th anniversary SVCB meeting. Elect 2023 administration.

November 21, noon: December SVCB newsletter deadline.

November 22: BOOK OF MORMON, SJCPA; contact Kristin at Broadway San Jose

669-242-8559, or


December 1, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you want to join this meeting, contact SVCB president Rob Turner.

December 4, 1 PM: AIN'T TOO PROUD, with descriptions by AudioVision Bay Area, Golden Gate Theatre; see notes.

December 6, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group meeting. Call-in: 605-715-4920; ID: 2776167. For questions, call Lori Scharff at 516-887-1336, or email

December 10, 11 AM to 3 PM: SVCB holiday party, see the Membership Corner article in this newsletter.

December 17 at 8 PM, Dec 23 at 8 PM, and Dec 24 at 2 PM: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, with descriptions by Gravity, TheatreWorks, MVCBA.

December 19, noon: January, 2023 SVCB newsletter deadline.





CONSTITUTION: Roger Petersen,


DATABASE: Vic Clifford,



GOODIES: Bev Clifford,



PRESIDENT: Rob Turner,

PROGRAM: Susan Glass,




TREASURER: Vic Clifford,

VICE PRESIDENT: Mike Keithley,

WEBSITE: Deb Runyan,