A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

July 2023

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, 2023 issue: noon, July 17, 2023

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, 3-9 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

As I write this, just two days before the summer solstice, it's a blustery day with a predicted high of only 70 degrees. I'm not complaining; it's just a bit odd for this time of year.

If you want to participate in the weekly TeleVisit get together, tell me and I'll email your contact information to Mr. Chen.

Remember to sign up for our picnic, and pay your dues for 2024. See you at our July meeting, where we will discuss the ACB convention and who knows what else.



By Mike Keithley

Well now, what's happening? "Well, Master, you told your "story" at the June meeting, and some people thought it was OK. Me, so-so. After all, you told me all about it throughout our time together, so there wasn't much new. You should have had a bit more time, though." Well, King, I'm glad it's over, and expect an exciting story in July!

Wesley Chen from TeleVisit, a non-profit company in Santa Clara County, told us about his vision to connect elderly people to each other, so they aren't so isolated. I'm sure all of us have encountered people who have dementia or Alzheimers, and have lost interest in living because they've become isolated. TeleVisit works through organizations like the Vista Center to form groups where like-minded people can make contact online, free. You can hear Wesley's presentation at:

And, as Rob has said, be sure to contact him if you'd like to know more about TeleVisit.

Let's wish happy July birthdays to Carol and Joe Silveria. And remember John Vandervort and James Brown, (both recently passed). Plus, give Susan Glass a call. She fell off her horse recently and is recovering nicely.

The picnic in September is coming! Be sure to register for it at the July meeting. And while you're at it, bring your 2024 membership dues. Registration for the picnic is $20 for SVCB members and $25 for non-members. SVCB dues are $20. See the picnic article below in this newsletter, and we'll have a formal picnic announcement in the August and September newsletters as well.



By Victor Clifford and Susan Glass

It's time to sign up for our annual SVCB picnic. This year we are picnicking at Martial Cottle Park, located at 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose, CA 95136. The site name in the park is Edith Lester. It is near restrooms and easily accessible by sidewalks.

-Here's the pertinent information, followed by some fun facts from the park website:

Picnic Date and time: September 16, 2023, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

BBQ choices will be hamburger, hotdog, veggie-burger all you can eat, with side dishes, drinks, and dessert provided. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Sign-up and payment starts now, and can be done at our meetings, by mail, or by PayPal using:

When you sign up, be sure to include your BBQ choice. The cutoff for signing up and paying is Monday, September 11th. We are planning a "mega-raffle", so come prepared!

-Here is the additional park information that Victor found for us on its website:

Welcome to Martial Cottle Park, Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department's newest urban park. Martial Cottle Park celebrates our shared agricultural past, and highlights innovations in modern organic, sustainable, and urban farming practices. Throughout the park's 287 acres, visitors can enjoy aspects of a traditional urban park, such as trails, green space, and picnic areas, as well as learn the Cottle family's story and how agriculture remains an integral part of this historic ranch. All of this comes with an emphasis on organic farming incorporating the latest in water conservation techniques and ongoing community education.

See you all at the picnic.


TIDBITS July 2023

Compiled by Mike Keithley

-New Accessibility Features on iOS

Apple announced it will roll out new accessibility features this year. This includes Point and Speak, which will allow people with visual disabilities to interact with physical objects that have several text labels, and an upgrade to Voice Control that will enable users to phonetically edit text. Learn more about Apple's new accessibility features at:

-Student Researchers Need You!

A team of students at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor's Center for Academic Innovation is conducting a study to understand the experiences and needs of students with various accessibility needs while using educational software. If you are a current or former college student with unique accessibility needs, the team needs you! Participation involves one or two 45-minute sessions (either in person if you're in the Ann Arbor area or online if you're remote). If you're interested in participating or have any questions, reach out to Jessica at:

-ACB Link Upgraded

The ACB Media team is proud to announce the newly upgraded version of the ACB Link app. It brings the following additional features: A newly enhanced app with more modern support for iOS 16, with significantly improved performance and reliability.

ACB Link comes to the Mac platform! It brings a new revised look and feel for listening to the ACB Media streams and podcasts; better visual and color contrast support for those with low vision; more robust buffering and reliability when listening to streams and podcasts across ACB Media; and more reliable push notification support.

-FCC Adopts CVTA Video Conferencing Proposal

ACB commends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for adopting the proposal in the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA), that ensures video conferencing technology is accessible for people with disabilities. We thank Sen. Edward J. Markey and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo for their continued leadership on this legislation.

-Reintroduction of DATA

ACB commends Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Dina Titus for reintroducing the Disability Access to Transportation Act (DATA), legislation that would address numerous persistent challenges faced by people with disabilities when they use transportation services. It would establish a one-stop pilot program to help paratransit riders avoid excessive wait times between multiple trips, streamline the process for submitting accessibility complaints, and assist local communities with identifying gaps in transportation accessibility. Read the press release at:

-Blind Shell Free Monthly Wireless Service

With the Blind Shell Mobile, powered by Easy Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program, you can stay connected with your loved ones, access important information, and participate in the digital world with ease. The program provides free monthly wireless service to eligible customers. Individuals who are enrolled in a qualifying government assistance program like Medicaid, SNAP and SSI are eligible to receive free monthly wireless service through the program. For more information, visit:

-Audio Description Institute Registration Now Open

Registration is open for the Audio Description Project's 22nd Audio Description Institute! Sessions will be held virtually from 1 to 5 p.m. Eastern, Monday, August 14, through Friday, August 18. Join us to learn about the art and science of audio description through a mixture of lecture, discussions, and collaborative writing sessions. Register now for the Audio Description Institute at

-Accessible Air Travel and the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization

On the ACB Advocacy Update, ACB's advocacy team speaks with Heather Ansley, Associate Executive Director for Government Relations at Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), about opportunities to improve air travel experiences for people with disabilities within the ongoing Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization process in Congress. They discuss key items of interest to the disability community, including how advocates can keep in touch with the rapidly moving reauthorization process, and ensure provisions that would make air travel much more accessible and enjoyable remain in the final version of the FAA Reauthorization Act. Listen to the episode: Accessible Air Travel and the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization. (Note: Subscribe to the ACB Update on your Victor Stream.)

-DOJ Files Proposed Order to Require San Juan to Make Its Sidewalk System Accessible

The Justice Department filed a proposed stipulated order that will require the Municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to take critical steps towards making its public sidewalk system accessible to individuals with disabilities. The proposed order was filed jointly with San Juan and private plaintiffs, and pauses the Department's lawsuit against San Juan while requiring it to conduct a comprehensive assessment of sidewalk accessibility and to begin fixing accessibility barriers. The Department's lawsuit alleges that San Juan has violated the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) by failing to provide people with disabilities equal access to the municipality's sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, and other pedestrian facilities. For more information, access:



Submitted by Bev Clifford

Recipes contributed by Suzanne Smith


(From Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Recipes)


1 cup butter, (melted)

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 quarts popped corn


In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and then let boil 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove from the heat, and stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Gently pour the mixture over the popcorn, stirring and upturning with a large wooden spoon to coat all the kernels.

Pour coated popcorn into a large roasting pan, only partially filling.

Bake in a slow 250-degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, and let cool before breaking into 2-inch nuggets.

Store in a cool place in tightly sealed container.


(From Campbell's 75th Anniversary Cookbook)


1 lb. ground beef

1 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, (minced)

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 cans (10.75 ounces) condensed tomato soup

1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, undrained

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

hot cooked spaghetti (about 6 servings)

shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

sour cream for garnish


In a 4 quart sauce pan over medium heat, cook the beef, green pepper, onion, garlic, and chili powder until the beef is brown and the vegetables are tender.

Spoon off the fat.

Stir in the soup, kidney beans, vinegar, and cinnamon, and heat mixture to boiling.

Reduce the heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve the chili over spaghetti, and garnish with cheese and sour cream.

To reheat spaghetti in the microwave, place the spaghetti in a microwave-safe casserole dish covered with vented plastic wrap.

Microwave on high, 2 minutes for each 1 cup serving.

Stir after every 2 minutes of heating.


EVENT CALENDAR: July through August 2023

Compiled by Mike Keithley


1. Weekly SVCB Social Hour

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

July 5, 12, 19, and 26

August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30

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.

2. Tabard Theatre Shows

To order tickets, call the Tabard box office at:

408-679-2330 and speak to Marilyn Watts, or visit:

Events take place at The Tabard Theatre, 29 North San Pedro Street, San Jose.

For weekly information about these events, contact Marilyn Watts as above to be placed on Tabard Theatre's email list. There will no longer be Tabard Theatre articles in this newsletter about upcoming events unless something shows up that your Copy Editor thinks many of our readers might enjoy.

The phrase "On Demand" means that an event can be viewed by services like Comcast.

3. Shows Described by AudioVision Bay Area

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:

4. TheatreWorks

Audio described shows by TheatreWorks have resumed with descriptions by Gravity. Pre-register for tickets that 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:

5. San Francisco LightHouse

To hear weekly events at the San Francisco LightHouse, call:


6. 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:

7. 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:

8. 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 1 at 8 PM and July 2 at 2 PM: STEEL MAGNOLIAS, with descriptions by Gravity; MVCPA, see notes.

July 6, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you want to join this meeting, contact SVCB president Rob Turner.

July 11, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group meeting. Call-in:

605-715-4920; ID: 2776167

For questions, call Lori Scharff at:


or email:

July 15, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB in-person/Zoom membership meeting.

July 17, noon: August SVCB newsletter deadline.

July 22, 1 PM: LES MISERABLES, with descriptions by AudioVision Bay Area; Orpheum Theater, see notes.


August 1, 5:30 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group meeting.

August 3, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting.

August 6, 1 PM: BEETLEJUICE, with descriptions by AudioVision Bay Area; SJCPA, see notes.

August 1 PM: DISNEY'S ALADDIN, with descriptions by AudioVision Bay Area; Orpheum Theatre, see notes.

August 19, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: in-person/Zoom meeting.

August 21, noon: September newsletter deadline.





CONSTITUTION: Roger Petersen,


DATABASE: Vic Clifford,



GOODIES: Bev Clifford,



PRESIDENT: Rob Turner,

PROGRAM: Susan Glass,




TREASURER: Vic Clifford, (acting)

VICE PRESIDENT: Mike Keithley,

WEBSITE: Deb Runyan,