A Chapter of the California Council of the Blind

April 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 May, 2024 issue: noon, April 22, 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 from 9:30 AM to 1 PM the third Saturday of the month and are open to all.





By Alice Turner

One of the practices I tap into from my own personal toolkit is to practice gratitude every day. Gratitude is the Quality of being thankful for something or someone. We can be grateful for many things from a feeling of sunshine on a spring day, to a home cooked meal or a kind word from a friend. Gratitude practices also keep me in the present moment, which is so important now as we can be bombarded with messages about what is wrong in the world. I do believe it is important to be well informed about current events, and yet it is gratitude that brings me to my heart, and it promotes a feeling of well-being. A friend shared with me a simple practice when you want to insert gratitude into a morning practice. When getting out of bed and your feet hit the floor, simply think of the word “Thank You” and add one thing you are feeling grateful about… a moment hugging your pet or partner, a chat you had with a friend, a piece of music or a book that made you think or smile. How do you practice gratitude, and what is the impact on you and others in your life when you express gratitude?

We had a packed meeting in March and sending a word of thanks to Debee Armstrong for her program about trouble-shooting tech issues. The conversation was lively, and we all took away some ideas about being specific about describing what we are observing with the tech issue, in order to solve it properly. At SVCB, we are lucky to have members who are willing to share their knowledge or talent with us as a group, and if you have something you would like to share as a meeting program, reach out to Susan Glass, chair of our Chapter Program Committee. Our new member, Linda MacLeod, has put forward some wonderful ideas for future programs, and this Committee will be meeting to plan how to put these and other ideas into action.

Remember to attend the CCB Virtual Conference from April 4 through 7, and our delegates are Debee Armstrong and Lorrain Brown. When voting time occurs in the convention, reach out to either Debee or Lorraine to share your voting preference. You will find their contact info in our Membership list.

In closing, I am grateful for the diversity and dedication of the members of SVCB. Your support of each other and willingness to join in on meetings is a great example of community in action. Thank you for helping to keep SVCB relevant and thriving!



By King Keithley

Well folks, it's me again! Master has been spending much of his time taking care of Mommy (Star). She's 91, got a bad UTI, and was in the hospital for 4 days. She's home now and recovering nicely. But kids were here, turning the place upside down. Like putting in a new, high toilet seat, to make it easy for her to stand up, a (transparent) shower curtain Star needs, to avoid being claustrophobic while showering, and many other things. I pressed myself into a ball in the hall light fixture and just watched.

I learned that when you have Medicare, hospitals can discharge you into a rehab facility instead of home. Master insisted that Mommy should come home, and that was that! And then there are the various in-home care companies that will visit for 2 months, financed by Medicare, and they all have similar sounding names. Poor master had a hard time figuring out which person belonged to which company.

But that's all behind us, seemingly, and life is returning to normal.

And part of that was during the April membership meeting. Master wasn't in person, but the Zoom link was working just fine.

As Alice explained, we had a nice program on dealing with troublesome technology. The first thing to do is calm down. After some chair yoga and a cup of tea, you won't want to throw that device out the window. I used to challenge master to do just that, you can calmly approach someone for help.

You'll want to be able to explain what's wrong with your technology succinctly enough so helping techies can get a notion of the problem and propose solutions.

We don't know what's on for the April meeting, but you can check the phone tree for that. You can be sure we'll be talking about the just-completed CCB convention.

Let's wish happy April birthdays to Anna Bolino, John McNulty and Dawn Wilcox. We still hear from "Dawn from the north" on our social hours.

Check the Event Calendar and join us every Wednesday at 4 PM!

And finally, look for the spring membership list with this newsletter.


TIDBITS - April 2024

Compiled by Mike Keithley

-CCB Office Move

The CCB office has now moved. The new address is:

8880 Cal Center Dr.

Suite 400

Sacramento, CA 95826

The phone numbers will remain the same.

-ACB Community News

Congratulations to Patty Fletcher, ACB Community's Volunteer of the Month for February.

ACB Community recently celebrated its fourth anniversary and its 17,000th event.

-Member on the Mic

Member on the Mic is a highlight of the ACB Voices blog, where you can find the members who have had their turn at the mic by clicking:

For the last year we have been featuring ACB members who may not be well known by the membership; members who inspire, have interesting stories or are doing the "Good Work". We feature their projects and a photo along with a transcript of the interview.

We're looking for more members who inspire, create, motivate, have interesting stories, and/or do good work. Want to nominate someone? Send an email to

Please include the person's full name, state, or special-interest affiliate, contact email, and/or phone number.

-ACB Leadership Conference Survey

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's D.C. Leadership Conference! If you participated in the conference, in person in Arlington, or virtually at home, ACB would appreciate your feedback on this event. Complete the feedback survey online at

If you are unable to complete this survey online, call Kaitlyn Herrera at

(202) 467-8967

to complete the survey over the phone.

-Calling All Candidates!

The ACB Board of Publications is pleased to announce the 2024 Candidates Pages. We invite any ACB member who chooses to run for one of the five elected positions on our Board of Directors or the three elected positions on the Board of Publications to introduce yourself, respond to the four questions provided below, and, if you wish, post links, separately, to related personal, professional, or social media web pages.

Your response to each of the four questions listed below should not exceed 300 words. The ACB Board of Publications will not edit your responses for spelling or grammar.

Introduce yourself, and explain why you wish to serve as a director on the ACB Board of Directors or a member of the ACB Board of Publications. What have been your strongest contributions to ACB at the national, state, or special-interest affiliate, ACB Community, and/or local chapter levels, and why are these significant?

Like many not-for-profit, membership-driven organizations whose missions revolve around advocacy and support, ACB has chosen in recent years to adopt the core values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). How does ACB's stated mission of supporting people who are blind intersect with these core organizational values?

If elected, what specific actions will you take to increase diversity, promote equity, encourage inclusion, and support accessibility within ACB, and how will you persuade members who are reluctant to embrace these principles to support DEIA as core ACB values?

What is the most important challenge facing ACB? How will you work to address it?

Send your Candidates Page, either in the body of an email or as a Word attachment, to:,

with the subject line "My Candidates Page." The deadline for all submissions is 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Monday, May 20, 2024. Visit:

for more information.

-CCLVI Auction

The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) invites you to an auction, celebrating 45 years of serving our low vision community.

Join us Friday, April 5, 2024, at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Zoom. There will be many exciting items to bid on, such as mouth-watering goodies, kitchen gadgets, music boxes, large print calendars, gift cards and more.

For more information, contact Patti Cox at:

(502) 905-0869

or Terry Pacheco at:

(301) 806-4948.

-ACB Next Generation Auction

Come one, come all, and join us for ACB Next Generation's second annual Spring into Auction on Sunday, April 7, 2024. The auction will be held virtually on Zoom starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.

There are more than 50 items up for bid this year, including gift cards for places like Starbucks and Apple, apparel from Blind Girl Designs, and private lessons for cooking and technology. To register for the auction, visit:

-Device Helps Blind & Visually Impaired People Experience Eclipse

The next solar eclipse will be on Monday, April 8, 2024. A team of astronomers has created a device that lets people who are blind or have low vision experience a solar eclipse. The LightSound device converts light to sound, changing pitch as the sky darkens. Listen here:

To request your own LightSound device, visit:

Lighthouse Guild offers five tips to help protect your eyes while viewing the eclipse:

One safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. They transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them. Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter. Do not remove it while looking at the sun. Do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays could damage the eclipse glasses and allow harmful rays to enter your eyes, causing serious injury. Never look at the sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

-Paul Hearne Emerging Leader Award Winners

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recently announced the recipients of its 2024 Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Awards, an award given to emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community.

The recipients are Valois Vera and the Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness (MSDCI) team, Zainub Dhanani, Nora Newcomb, and Ifeoma Ikedionwu.

For more information, visit:

-AARP-Backed Bill Would Make Medical Devices Accessible to Visually Impaired People

By Natalie Missakian, March 22, 2024

Makers of medical devices such as insulin pumps and glucose monitors would need to make them accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired, under legislation endorsed by AARP.

We wrote to federal lawmakers March 15 in support of the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act of 2024. The bill, introduced in January by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana), would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop rules to ensure devices with digital readouts include accessibility features for the blind and visually impaired. A bipartisan companion bill was introduced in the House in 2023.

Roughly 6 in 10 people who are blind or visually impaired in the U.S. are 65, or older, and more than a quarter of U.S. adults 71 and older are visually impaired, AARP Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Bill Sweeney wrote in an endorsement letter to the bill's sponsors.

"People with all types of disabilities, including blindness and low vision, should be able to benefit from technologies that help them improve their health and make their lives easier," Sweeney wrote. "Ensuring that nonvisual features are incorporated into new medical devices will promote the independence and control that older Americans need to successfully age in their homes and communities - where they want to be."

The legislation would bring medical devices in line with most smartphones and computers, which include these accessibility features, Hassan said in a news release. There would be exceptions if features would change the fundamental nature of the device.

Read our letters to House and Senate lawmakers and keep up with AARP's eye health coverage.

Letters to House:

AARP's eye health coverage:



By Deborah Armstrong

BITS (Blind Information Technology Specialists) is an ACB affiliate with 700 members.

We want to give back to the ACB community by offering a twice-monthly training in technology basics through ACB community calls on Zoom.

Look for us teaching you through our Basics with BITS presentations on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at noon Pacific. You will need to get the zoom information from the ACB community internet mailing list. If you aren’t already signed up, send a blank email to:

Also, on the first and third Saturdays of each month, at the same time, there’s an iPhone Basics presentation so every Saturday you have a chance to get some beginner-level technology training absolutely free, from ACB community.


SNACK SHACK - April 2024

Submitted by Bev Clifford

Recipes contributed by Suzanne Smith

Corned Beef Barbecues

From Suzanne’s Grandma Jackson, who got it from Good Housekeeping, April 1964

Suzanne thought this would be a good recipe to help you celebrate a late Saint Patrick’s Day.


  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans corned beef hash
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 8 whole sweet pickles, sliced in half


  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients (chili powder through water) in skillet.
  2. Add hash, and break up into small pieces.
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mixture is thick.
  4. Toast split buns in broiler for about 2 minutes, or until lightly toasted. (Or you could toast them in your toaster oven or toaster.)
  5. Spoon 1/8 of the hash mixture onto the bottom half of a bun.
  6. Place two sweet pickle slices on top, and put on the top half of the bun. Enjoy!

(Copy Editor’s Note: Suzanne and I weren't sure whether Grandma Jacson intended us to use actual cans of corned beef, or cans of corned beef hash. But Suzanne makes it with the hash, so we're going with that. Besides, corned beef in a can may have been easy enough to find in the Midwest in 1964, but would be extremely rare in California in 2024.)

Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Pie

From the Nestle chocolate chip package


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (6-ounces) Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 unbaked 9 inch (4 cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream or ice cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl on high speed until foamy.
  3. Beat in flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
  4. Beat in butter.
  5. Stir in morsels and nuts.
  6. Spoon into pie shell.
  7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on wire rack.
  9. Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Makes 8 servings.


EVENT CALENDAR: April through May 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:

April: 3, 10, 17, and 24

May: 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29

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:



April 3 through Apr 7: CCB Conference and Convention.

April 4, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB Board Meeting. If you're not on the Board but wish to attend this meeting, contact Alice Turner.

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 SVCB newsletter deadline.

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


May 2, 5 to 7 PM: Breast Cancer Support Group meeting. Call-in:

605-715-4920; ID: 2776167.

For questions, call Lori Scharff at


or email

May 4, 7 to 9 PM: SVCB board meeting.

May 18, 9:30 AM to 1 PM: May membership meeting.

May 20: June SVCB newsletter deadline.

May 25, 1 PM: FUNNY GIRL with descriptions by AudioVision of the Bay Area, Broadway SF, 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,