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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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: