Tag Archives: San Francisco

This Spring, CVCL Answers the Tough Questions for New Students

“I’ve often thought about what I would do if I were to drop a sewing needle.” The instructor intones the answer in a gentle voice: “Listen for the direction and how far from you it has fallen.” Obvious? Not to me.”

When Eleanor Lew came to LightHouse in 2016, dropping a sewing needle or traveling through the dark were questions without obvious answers. These are just a couple of the hundreds of seemingly answerless riddles that we help people solve in our weeklong skills training, Changing Vision Changing Life.

Initially only held a few times a year, CVCL now happens every month. It trades locations between San Francisco and Napa to give students a holistic, two-part experience that builds confidence in all areas, introduces them to other individuals peers who motivate each other through peer learning, and gets them on the right track towards being happy, healthy people — regardless of level of eyesight.

“Introducing us to the scope of low-vision rehabilitation services so that we can live independently and maintain quality of life is the purported reason for the camp,” Eleanor writes. “But the healing power of connection is what surprises us.”

There are hundreds of stories like Eleanor’s that come out of CVCL each year. If you want to know more about her transformation, read about it in the New York Times and tell your friends with changing vision to get in touch with Debbie Bacon at dbacon@lighthouse-sf.org or by calling 415-694-7357.

Sign Up for our upcoming CVCL sessions:

CVCL II (San Francisco): March 20 – 24

CVCL I (Napa): April 3 – 7

CVCL II (San Francisco): May 8 – 12

CVCL I: (Napa): June 12 – 16

CVCL II (San Francisco): July 17 – 21


The Best Place to Get Your Regular Eye Exam – Visit LightHouse’s New, Hassle-free Weekly Clinic

This week we’re proud to announce that the best new place to get primary eye care in downtown SF – the new LightHouse for the Blind headquarters.

Internationally recognized for its excellence in patient care and leadership in vision research, the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry (UCBSO) and its Meredith W. Morgan Eye Center have provided comprehensive eye care to more than 80,000 members of the Berkeley campus and its surrounding community each year.

Call Nancy Aguilar at (510) 642-5726 to schedule your appointment for any Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Beginning in October, UC Berkeley faculty optometrists are bringing their expertise to LightHouse’s state-of-the-art exam rooms in the form of a once-a-week, primary care and general health eye clinic. This expansion of our current low vision clinic will be offered every Wednesday by Dr. Ashley Craven, for all types of vision.

The clinic is an extension of UCBSO and makes use of LightHouse’s facilities, which offer greater teaching capacity for optometry students and residents. LightHouse is thrilled to offer our new 1155 Market Street location as a friendly, convenient and accessible stopover for downtown commuters.

With minimal wait times and world-class care, the LightHouse is the best new place to get your eyes checked in downtown SF. A primary care exam provides a thorough assessment of each patient’s visual system. This includes a glasses prescription, optional contact lens evaluation, assessment of binocular vision and a complete health exam to detect conditions including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, high blood pressure, retinal detachment, cataracts and more.

Many vision problems and eye diseases often present minimal, if any, symptoms. A thorough eye exam may detect a number of general health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as treat more minor problems like dryness or irritation caused by too many hours spent staring at screens.

Eye clinics are open to all members of the community. With vision insurance, primary care eye exams cost between $10 and $20 copayment (Accepted providers include Vision Service Plan, Eyemed, March Vision, Medi-Cal, and Medicare). We do not currently sell glasses or contact lenses on site, but at the completion of your exam you will receive a copy of your prescription, which can be filled at your local optical retailer.

Please call Nancy Aguilar at (510) 642-5726 to schedule your appointment for any Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Hear the Sounds of the New LightHouse with our Acoustic Designers

Good acoustic design benefits everyone – that’s the best takeaway you could have from experiencing the new LightHouse for the Blind headquarters. San Francisco-based  Arup, the consulting firm of engineers who fine-tuned the LightHouse’s new facility in downtown San Francisco, worked hard to ensure that not only does our new space assist in wayfinding and orientation for blind people, but that it is inviting, logical and appealing for people with all kinds of vision.

Watch the in-depth interview below, featuring LightHouse CEO Bryan Bashin and Arup Senior Acoustics and Audiovisual Consultant Shane Myrbeck.

Does Your Credit Union Work For You?

photo of a credit card on a laptop keyboard

There are certain things today that we take for granted — like the fact that a blind person can (and should) have independent access to their banking. Having control over your own funds, potentially one of the most important aspects of living an independent life, wasn’t a given for blind folks until the ’90s, when attorneys representing the disabled prevailed in a tireless process of education and negotiation to ensure that ATMs would work for the blind.

Today, there are still strides to be made. The web is always evolving, and often when a change is made, a site is redesigned, or an app is updated, access for the disabled is not part of the conversation. With most large national banks now complying with accessibility law, the Bay Area-based Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is turning its attention to Credit Unions. DRA is interested in learning about screen reader users’ experiences in selecting and joining, and using a credit union.

DRA seeks adult plaintiffs who live, work or attend school in San Francisco or San Mateo Counties. You must be a screen reader user and have interest in locating, joining, or switching credit unions. You may not be a member of more than two credit unions already. If you meet these conditions, please contact Meredith Weaver at DRA by phone (510) 665-8644 or email mweaver@dralegal.org.