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LightHouse Blog

The terraced seating and stage of the Redwood Grove Theater surrounded by lush redwoods.

A New Gathering Place: EHC’s Redwood Grove Theater

Over the weekend, Enchanted Hills Construction Manager George Wurtzel placed the last screw in the final hand-constructed and carved redwood benches that are the signature seating of Enchanted Hills’ new 120-person Redwood Grove Theater. It’s a project that has come to fruition over the last 10 years through patience, perseverance and unrivaled community support. And it’s ready just in time for our annual Music Academy Concert on August 12. RSVP for our Summer Music BBQ this Saturday, 4 p.m. at Enchanted Hills in Napa. The idea for the theater was born out of a piece of Enchanted Hills’ history relayed ...
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LightHousers Jess and Jen run the 2010 California International Marathon.

Are you up to the LightHouse 5K Challenge?

Recently, our Community Services Department asked our community of blind individuals some questions about how they live their lives and get exercise. One question was: Do you think you’d be able to run a 5k race? Most respondents said no. Surprised? Whether it’s a normal response – many folks just don’t have an interest in distance running – or a testament to misconceptions about blindness, we decided a 5k was a goal worth taking on, and a realistic one, to boot. Running 5 kilometers sounds like a lot of work, and maybe the letter “k” turns people off of making ...
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The bright yellow handheld and portable Microspeak recorder.

Take Instant Audio Notes with the MicroSpeak Digital Recorder

Need to capture some quick reminders on the fly? Want to record important information like phone numbers, prescription numbers, up-coming appointments, etc.? This pocket-sized and easy-to-use digital recorder has you covered, and it’s now available in our Adaptations Store. Incorporating a high-quality microphone and and high-output speaker into a small, lightweight and compact design, this recorder is the perfect travel companion for those hoping to save info with the touch of a button. The MicroSpeak is rechargeable and offers 12 hours of playback time, so there’s no need to worry about changing batteries. This recorder also includes an on-board user ...
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A closeup of the braille and tactile Burning Man map.

Our Burning Man Maps for the Blind are Back

Burning Man has ten tenets — perhaps the first and foremost being “radical inclusion”. On their website, the first principle reads, “Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.” It’s a philosophy that we share at LightHouse, and one that led MAD Lab designer and longtime Burner Julie Sadlier to debut a one-of-a-kind tactile Burning Man map two years ago. In other words, a Burning Man map for blind people. This year, we’ve updated and improved the hybrid tactile-visual map for Burning Man 2017. The maps, with updated ...
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A closeup photo of the various bump dots available in the LightHouse Adaptations Store

LightHouse Life Hacks: 7 Ways the Bump Dot Can Make Your Life Easier

Ever wonder how someone with low or no eyesight turns their washing machine to the perfect setting? Yes, there’s an app for that, but as it turns out, the answer is way simpler: this week we’d like to tell you about the small but mighty sticker called the Bump Dot. Bump dots are a low-profile, low-cost way to strategically make your home or office space more accessible and increase your effectiveness and independence. What is a bump dot, you ask? These small, raised dots come in all shapes, sizes and textures and can be put on everything from home appliances ...
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Kimm

Yoga with Kimm: New Class Times

Photo: Kimm Ropicky sits in a yoga pose (photo by Karolina Zapolska). Yoga helps promote physical, mental and spiritual balance and can provide you with a foundation of flexibility and centeredness. If you experience challenges with balance and mobility, yoga can assist you in increasing your strength and tone, providing you with the confidence you may be striving for in your daily life. No experience with yoga is necessary – Instructor Kimm Ropicky will work with you no matter what level of experience you have. Class times are below and you must register prior to attending, or complete registration upon ...
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Masceo Williams serenades a camper at Enchanted Hills Camp.

Everything EHC Podcast: A Peek into our Camp’s Day-to-Day

Enchanted Hills Camp’s Enrichment Area Leader Masceo Williams is putting a fresh spin on Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, California through his new podcast, Everything EHC. “Years from now, I want people to be able to look back and see what we were doing in the past. There are so many interesting people here, and I want to be able to capture their stories through the podcast,” says Masceo (pronounced May-cee-o). Masceo, who is blind, got involved with camp in 2014 as the nature area leader and has continued being an active member of the EHC community. He started the ...
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The Robert S. Bray Award hangs on the wall at LightHouse. The wooden plaque reads, "Presented to The Jerry Kuns and Theresa Postello Media and Accessible Design Laboratory. In recognition of its work in the design and production of high quality tactile graphics, maps, accessible signage, educational material and artwork. July 5, 2017. Reno, NV. 

LightHouse’s MAD Lab Receives the Robert S. Bray Award for Innovation in Tactile Graphics

Last week, the American Council of the Blind awarded LightHouse’s Media and Accessible Design Lab with the Robert S. Bray Award for Media Excellence at the annual conference in Reno, Nevada. The Bray Award is given to a person or a company that has improved communication technology or devices, or expanded access to such devices for all blind people. Last year, the award was presented to LightHouse partner Apple for the company’s strides in accessibility and continued dedication to inclusion-based innovation for blind users. MAD Lab Alternative Media Specialist Frank Welte attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf ...
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music academy students

Our Blind Music Academy is Going on Tour in August and You’re Invited

In its fourth year, LightHouse’s summer Music Academy continues to grow and expand, literally. Each year, Music Academy culminates with a performance by blind students from all over the world. This time around the group will take the stage at Enchanted Hills’ brand new Redwood Grove Theater, which was completed this summer and features redwood benches made at camp by blind woodworker George Wurtzel. The students will also hit the road to perform at our headquarters in San Francisco.  Experience the power of Music Academy by joining us at one of these free concerts: Saturday, August 12 at 4:00 p.m. – Enchanted ...
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YES Academy Student Romesha Laird smiles while learning to use a white cane on Market Street.

YES Academy Week One: Cane skills, cooking and mock interviews

It’s been a lively week at LightHouse headquarters with our three-week Summer Youth Employment Series (YES) underway. The 10th and 11th floors have been warm with the chatter of blind and visually impaired youth attending four classes a day including orientation & mobility, technology, living skills and job readiness trainings. Many of the students at YES Academy are getting their first introductions to life skills like using a white cane, cooking, doing laundry, interviewing for jobs and volunteering. But it isn’t all work and no play. They also explored the city of San Francisco, including a ghost tour of Chinatown ...
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