A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

March 2024

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 April, 2024 issue: noon, March 18, 2024

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 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 Alice Turner

Happy March to all. And even though the weather is still feeling like some days are winter and some days are Spring, we are on the way to Springtime and also Daylight-Saving Time.

Rob and I traveled to Maui with a friend for the last week of February, and for me it was the first time to be in Maui in February, rather than late Spring or Summer months. Apparently, many travel to Maui during this time of year due to the abundant whale activity. Every time we were near the ocean, we heard the exclamations of people all around us as they saw the whales, including baby whales breaching and putting on the best show on this earth.

One evening, when we were sitting outside in the resort where we stayed, a fellow guest came up to us and played a recording of the whale sounds he had recorded on an excursion. We also went on a Sunset Cruise, and hearing the exclamations and descriptions from our fellow travelers filled in the blanks for not being able to see these amazing creatures. Rob and I spent time swimming in the warm Pacific Ocean, and for us that is always the highlight of a trip to Maui.

The bad news is that we came home with a very nasty flu, and even though we wore masks during all points of travel, and all dining was outdoors, it still happened. This did not diminish the memories of a wonderful week, but rather made re-entry to daily life a challenge.

CCB pre-convention activities will begin in March, and I hope you join in on the sessions that pique your interest. And a special thank you to our two delegates, Debee Armstrong, and Lorraine Brown. They will represent us for all voting, so do reach out to them when the CCB Convention begins in April.

I will keep this short, and send you all wishes to stay healthy and enjoy the glimpses of Spring on the horizon.



By King Keithley

Yes, that's right, King here. Master has an annoying cold and wasn't up to writing this column. Here, master, have some pity juice; it's just Cranberry Apple, but for you it's pity juice. "Thanks, King, I appreciate it (cough, sniff). Maybe I'll be back tomorrow."

Anyway, a very nice thing to report is that four new people joined SVCB at our membership meeting. Welcome, and expect a newsletter soon!

Pete Stahl from the League of Women Voters explained the March primary ballot and Proposition 1. You can hear the program segment at:

And remember that Vista Santa Clara is a county polling center with accessible voting machines.

Happy March birthdays to no one. Really, this is getting bad, but I'm glad to have a birthday myself in March. Just sing me a song and give me a balloon. "Bang!" Why not keep track of dog birthdays and report them. They're more important, anyway.

Debee Armstrong was elected as delegate to the CCB convention in April, and Lorraine Brown is alternate delegate.

Here is information about attending the convention virtually or in person:

Come Back to the Future with CCB!

Celebrate 90 years of achievement in the blind and low vision community.

Pre-convention kicks off Friday, March 1, 2024.

Main Event: Wednesday, April 3 through Sunday, April 8.

Post Convention Activities: TBD.

Please join the California Council of the Blind as we celebrate our 90th year!

CCB was founded on October 6, 1934 in Fresno, California, under the leadership of Newell Perry. His vision was to bring together people who were blind or had low vision, social workers, educators, and other supporters of the movement to build a network of advocates. These changemakers paved the road that we currently walk along... It's up to us to continue to embody the vision of Newell Perry and the other founders of CCB.

We can do this, in part, by continuing to come together each year, whether we are in person or virtual, to conduct business, empower independence and advocacy, and celebrate our wins and each other.

Details for attending virtually and in person are forthcoming.

The 2024 business calendar and budget were approved at the February business meeting. If you need updated versions, contact:

"Thank you for all the hard work, King. It's appreciated, and the pity juice was excellent." You're welcome, but you won't get away with this for long. "Yes, I'll take a nap and be better (sniff)."


TIDBITS - March 2024

Compiled by Mike Keithley

-Publications Needs Your Assistance

Two and a half years ago, the ACB Board of Publications created the ACB-Editor's email list and began hosting quarterly Editors' Gatherings. They provide opportunities for sharing ideas, concerns, suggestions, and support.

Things have continued to change. Now, instead of having one newsletter editor or co-editors, many affiliates have editing teams. With that in mind, and since many affiliate communications have evolved to include not just newsletters but also blogs, email lists, podcasts, social media, etc., we would like to expand our list to include everyone involved in your affiliate communications.

We need your help to make this happen. Please respond to

with the name of your affiliate, and the names and email addresses for those you would like to be included on the email list.

-Vispero Research on Restaurant Experiences

Do you ever eat out at restaurants or perhaps order takeout? If so, we would like to hear from you!

Vispero, a digital accessibility company, is conducting research into the restaurant experience of people who are blind or have low vision.

We would be grateful if you could spare about 10 minutes to complete a short survey and tell us about your restaurant experiences, both good and not so good.

The survey can be found at:

-Accessible Prescriptions in Virginia?

(I have no idea if out-of-state testimonies are valid, but this is important, so give it a try.)

The Virginia House is trying to pass a bill that will require all pharmacies to provide accessible labels for all people who need them. During one of the committee meetings, 10 pharmaceutical companies came and opposed the bill. En-Vision America is trying to get as many testimonies as possible to help drown out the opposition of the bill. If you could write your testimony, we would greatly appreciate the support. We want to make sure your voices are heard!

The link below will take you to the main page, where you must select HB516, then navigate to the lower right and select "next." That will get you to the page to provide a testimonial!


-2024 Final Rule to Update Older Americans Act Regulations

On February 6, 2024, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released a final rule to update the regulations for implementing its Older Americans Act (OAA) programs. The new regulations will take effect on March 15, 2024, but regulated entities have until October 1, 2025, to comply. ACL looks forward to working with partners in the aging network to implement the final rule, and will provide robust technical assistance and other resources to support states, tribes and tribal organizations, area agencies on aging, and others in the aging network in meeting its requirements.

The 2024 final rule aligns regulations to the current statute, addresses issues that have emerged since the last update, and clarifies a number of requirements. It aims to better support the national aging network that delivers OAA services and improve program implementation, with the ultimate goal, of ensuring that the nation's growing population of older adults can continue to receive the services and supports they need to live and thrive in their own homes and communities.

For an overview of what the final rule does, visit:

-SSI Restoration Act Introduced in the House

The Supplementary Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act has been introduced in the House. The bill would improve the lives of millions of SSI beneficiaries around the country, including over 2 million older adults receiving benefits who struggle to meet their basic needs due to inadequate benefit levels, and who often lose or are denied benefits due to outdated eligibility rules.

Some of the ways the bill would modernize the SSI program and better support those receiving SSI benefits include:

  • Increasing benefits to the Federal Poverty Level
  • Repealing the marriage penalty that provides less in benefits to SSI recipients if they are married.
  • Allowing SSI recipients to keep more of their income from sources like Social Security to supplement their benefits.
  • increasing the amount of savings that people can have while still qualifying for benefits.
  • Repealing penalties for people who receive help with food or shelter from friends or family members.

For more information, visit:

-Census Will Not Alter Disability Questions

In a major victory for the disability rights movement, the Census Bureau announced they are dropping plans to alter questions about disability currently included in the American Community Survey (ACS).

When the Census proposed the changes last fall, The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) swung into action, organizing the community to provide feedback and comments opposing the proposed changes. NDRN feared the new questions would result in undercounting the disability population, leading to reduced funding for critical federal programs and loss of data demonstrating the needs of the community. The Census Bureau also failed to consult with the disability community about the proposed changes, an unfortunate reminder of how often people with disabilities are left out of the decisions that impact them.

For more information, visit:

-Casting Call

We are casting talent for an upcoming summer production of a short film, crafted by an award-winning team. The storyline revolves around our lead character, Rachel, a 16-year-old blind high school student with retinitis pigmentosa. She becomes a guiding light for Alex, a Ukrainian immigrant struggling to reconnect with his passion for dancing and his emotions buried by war. Their profound connection weaves an integral part of the narrative, promising a compelling cinematic experience.

For further details, visit:

Actors with visual disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply, as we prioritize inclusivity in our casting. To express your interest or make inquiries, please reach out to us at:

-Lions World Song Festival for the Blind

The 5th edition of the Lions World Song Festival for the Blind, "Sounds from the Heart," will take place November 14 through 16, 2024, in Krakow, Poland.

The Lions World Song Festival is a unique project with live concerts at the highest level, with extremely talented blind or visually impaired artists who reach the heights of their talent and present songs that delight the audience. So far, 90 blind artists from 4 continents and 24 countries have performed in Krakow during previous editions.

For more information, visit:


DAVID HOLLADAY of Westford, Massachusetts - March 2024

Submitted by Mike Keithley

David Holladay, age 70, of Westford, Massachusetts, passed away on February 15, 2024, at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts. He was married to Caryn Navy with whom he would have celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on January 2, 2025.

Born in San Andreas, California, he was the beloved son of William Lee Holladay and Jean Grosbach.

He graduated from Newton North High School with the Class of 1971, and also attended American Community School-Beirut for many prior years. He is a graduate of MIT with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.

He was employed by Duxbury Systems, Inc. for many years.

He was a member of Congregation Shalom in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

He loved the work he did with software to enable computer-assisted production of braille material in many languages around the world. He also loved creating software tools for archiving the wide-ranging information he always sought. While being cared for at home by the loving hands of his nurses and home health aides for over three years, he enriched their lives with his broad interests, humor, compassion, and generosity while he continued his enthusiastic work for Duxbury Systems.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his mother Jean Grosbach, son Seth Holladay and partner Morgan Hallion, his daughter Diya Holladay, his brother Martin Holladay and wife Karyn Patno, his brother Peter Holladay and wife Elana Wolkoff, brother Clark MacKenzie, and brother-in-law Joel Navy, Martin's sons Moses and Noah, Peter's daughter and son Mara and Josh, and Joel's daughters Allison and Heather.

He was the brother of the late Catherine Holladay of Boston, Massachusetts who died on June 12, 1985, survived by her husband Mike and children Anna and John with their newer family members Judy and Sarah. He is the son of William Lee Holladay of Amherst, Massachusetts who died on May 13, 2016, survived by his wife Patty and their daughter Meg along with David's brothers.


David Holladay of Westford, Massachusetts died February 15, 2024.

Funeral Monday, February 19, 12 noon at Congregation Shalom, 87 Richardson Rd, N. Chelmsford, MA 01863, with livestreaming available at

press the button labeled Play just after the level 3 heading Live streaming of services is now available! Burial follows at 1 pm at Beth El Cemetery, intersection of Waverly Ave and Housatonic Ave in N. Chelmsford.

Shiva will be held at the home of Caryn Navy in Westford on Tuesday, February 20 from 7 to 9 pm, on Zoom on Wednesday, February 21 from 7 to 9 pm, and at the home of Peter Holladay and Elana Wolkoff in the Roslindale section of Boston on Thursday, February 22 from 7 to 9 pm.

Memorials may be made in his name to OXFAM America,

The Greater Boston Food Bank

or Westford's Cameron Senior Center



UPDATE ON MR. SAYED - March 2024

Submitted by Victor Clifford


Hello everyone,

We would like to Thank You All for helping us help Mr. Sayed stay in a motel for over a year. With your donations, he was able to enjoy a roof over his head, feeling warm and comfortable, good healthy meals and of course his favorite burger king and homemade pancakes.

Last month he suffered abdominal pains and was admitted to the hospital. Thankfully his situation was not too severe, but his health was deteriorating, so the doctor decided to place him in a Skilled Nursing Facility where he can have 24-hour nursing care.

Mr. Sayed has repeatedly expressed his gratitude to each and every one of you, for the love and compassion you have shown in making it possible for him to live in a place where he was most comfortable.

Today, February 9th is his 95th birthday and we visited him. He is still able to remember us, and never forgets to Thank us for being there for him. We will keep visiting him so he will know that many people still care for him.

We will close his Gofundme since he no longer needs financial aid. A total of $55,378 was raised.

From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to Thank You for all your kind help.


Rose Gregorio

and Helping Hands Silicon Valley



Submitted by Mickey Quenzer

National Slam the Scam Day is March 7,2024

On National Slam the Scam Day and throughout the year, we give you the tools to recognize Social Security-related scams and stop scammers from stealing your money and personal information.

Help protect your loved ones and people in your community this Slam the Scam Day by:

  • Educating them about government imposter scams. Let them know they shouldn’t be embarrassed to report if they shared personal information or suffered a financial loss. It is important to report the scam as quickly as possible.
  • Sharing our Scam Alert fact sheet and helping educate others about how to protect themselves.

Report Social Security-related scams to the Social Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Office of the Inspector General: SSA Scam Reporting Form, Social Security.


for more information and follow SSA OIG on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest scam tactics. Repost #SlamtheScam information on social media to keep your friends and family safe.


SNACK SHACK - March 2024

Submitted by Bev Clifford

First two recipes contributed by Suzanne Smith

-Fiesta Taco Casserole

(From Betty Crocker Cooking Basics: Recipes and Tips to Cook with Confidence)


  • 4 medium green onions with tops
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 pound (80 per cent lean) ground beef
  • 1 can (15-16 ounces) spicy chili beans in sauce, undrained.
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • shredded lettuce, if desired
  • additional salsa, if desired


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and slice the green onions to measure 1/4 cup. Chop the tomato to measure 3/4 cup.
  2. In a 10-inch skillet, cook the beef over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked. Place a strainer or colander in a large bowl. Line strainer with a double thickness of paper towel. Pour the beef into the strainer to drain. Return beef to skillet, discard paper towel, and any juices in the bowl. Stir in the beans and salsa. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. In an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish, place the broken tortilla chips. Top with the beef mixture. Spread with the sour cream. Sprinkle with the onion, tomato, and cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with the lettuce and additional salsa, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

-Apple Crisp

(From the same cookbook as above)


  • 6 medium tart cooking apples, such as Greening, Rome, or Granny Smith
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar.
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • ice cream or half-and-half, if desired


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Peel the apples, if desired. Cut the apples into quarters. Remove the core and the seeds from the center of each quarter. Cut each quarter into slices. You will need about 6 cups of apple slices. Spread the slices in an ungreased 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in the butter by pulling two table knives through ingredients in opposite directions, or toss with fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over apples.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown, and the apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream or half-and-half, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

-Cookie of the Month from February 2024

Bev's Scottish Shortbread (quadruple batch)

Contributed by Bev Clifford (who has no clue where she first saw this recipe)


  • 8 sticks sweet butter (2 pounds)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add almond extract, and mix thoroughly.
  2. Combine flour and salt, and blend into creamed mixture.
  3. Press dough evenly into two 9 by 13 pans.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 1/2 hour, then turn pans around to prevent one end from being darker than the other.
  5. Bake for another 1/2 hour, or until shortbread is a pale golden color. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
  6. Remove from oven, and cut into squares.

Makes 96 squares. Store in airtight containers.

Note: It is preferable to mix this recipe by hand.


EVENT CALENDAR: March through April 2024

Compiled by Mike Keithley


1. Weekly SVCB Social Hour

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

March: 6, 13, 20, and 27

April: 3, 10, 17, and 24

Join Zoom Meeting

One tap mobile




Call in Number: 408-638-0968

Meeting ID: 830 0919 6598

Passcode: 222638

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

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

2. Tabard Theatre Events

To order tickets, call the Tabard box office at:


and speak to Marilyn Watts, or visit:

Events no longer take place at the old Tabard Theatre building in San Jose, as that theater has permanently closed. Instead, events are staged at various other venues around town.

For weekly information about these events, contact Marilyn Watts as above to be placed on Tabard Theatre's email list.

The phrase "On Demand" means that an event can be viewed through 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:


(SHN Theaters), or fax your order to:


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:


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 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:

7. Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors

Departs every Sunday at noon from Pier 40 in San Francisco. Call:


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:


or visit:



Through March: CCB Pre-convention activities.

March 5, 5 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group meeting. Call-in:

605-715-4920; ID: 2776167.

For questions, call Lori Scharff at


or email

March 7, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board meeting. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend this meeting, contact Alice Turner.

March 16, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: SVCB monthly meeting. Consider resolutions for CCB convention.

March 18: April SVCB newsletter deadline.

March 24, 1 PM: MEAN GIRLS with descriptions by AudioVision, SJCPA, see notes.


April 2, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board Meeting.

April 3 through 7: CCB Conference and Convention.

April 18 through 21: The 64th Annual CTEBVI Conference, Higher Ground, visit

for details.

April 20, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: monthly SVCB meeting.

April 22: May newsletter deadline.

April 27 at 8 PM and 28 at 2 PM: TIGER STYLES with descriptions by Gravity, TheatreWorks, MVCPA, see notes.





CONSTITUTION: Roger Petersen,


DATABASE: Vic Clifford,



GOODIES: Bev Clifford,



PRESIDENT: Alice Turner,

PROGRAM: Susan Glass,




TREASURER: David Hoffman,

VICE PRESIDENT: Lorraine Brown,

WEBSITE: Deb Runyan,