Tag Archive


Just in Time for Tax Season: Special Pre-Move Sale at Adaptations

We found a way to make tax time a little more palatable for our customers. We’re offering a 10% discount on ALL Products (excluding CCTVs and digital video magnifiers), while supplies last.

This moving sale will run from now through April 22nd (that is, the last day we’ll be open at our current address of 214 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco).

LightHouse t-shirt

Adaptations Store Associate Starrly Winchester holds up a t-shirt emblazoned with the historic LightHouse logo

Historic LightHouse Logo
With our move to 1155 Market Street, our logo will change to reflect this exciting next step in our agency’s growth. Meanwhile during April you have a last chance to get a piece of LightHouse history. We have all kinds of swag branded with the “historic” LightHouse double-yellow-doors logo representing 214 Van Ness Avenue. Our pull-over sweatshirts, ladies t-shirts, water bottles, coffee tumblers and assorted writing guides are all on sale for 10% off through April 22nd, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Please note that there are no returns on this merchandise.)

So stock up on everything you need from canes to talking watches, kitchen supplies to lighting needs, plus brailling supplies, magnifiers, color readers, games, sunglasses and more…all at 10% off their regular price.

Stop by the Adaptations Store at 214 Van Ness San Francisco through April 22nd, call us at (415) 694-7301 or email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org.

LightHouse San Francisco Headquarters and the Adaptations Store will be closed from April 23rd through May 1st and will re-open at our new address of 1155 Market Street on May 2nd.

Now Available at Adaptations – Redesigned Rainbow Color Reader, Braille Greeting Cards

The Rainbow II Color ReaderNow available at Adaptations: the recently redesigned Rainbow II Color Reader. Small, accurate and easy to use, the Rainbow Color Reader will easily fit in a pocket. The Rainbow Color Reader provides accurate color discrimination for over 40 colors, without confusing the user with odd color names or vague descriptions of the color. Only one button and only a single AAA battery (included) means simple operation and maintenance.

See a video demonstration of the Rainbow II Color Reader.

The Rainbow II Color Reader is available at Adaptations for $99.00. To order yours, call us at (415) 694-7301 or stop by our store for a demonstration at 214 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.

a braille birthday card

Braille Greeting Cards
The Adaptations Store at the Lighthouse now stocks braille greeting cards, designed by inBraille™ in Chicago. The cards offer sentiments such as Thinking of You, Happy Birthday, Congrats, Thank You, Sympathy, Hugs & Kisses and are available for $5.00 each.

Adaptations is located at 214 Van Ness in San Francisco, open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call us at (415) 694-7301 or email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org with any questions.

Learn and Teach Tactile Map Reading Skills with our New Training Guides

Tactile Maps Training Book Now Available from the Adaptations Store
At LightHouse for the Blind in San Francisco, we are a leading provider of tactile maps – taking visual or graphical information and conveying it through raised line and textural media, making it possible to access the same information as others, without your eyes.

To fully benefit from these maps, though, one must understand “mental mapping.” The ability to create mental maps in your head comes to many naturally, but like most valuable pursuits, requires practice and teaching. To that end we’ve developed the Tactile Maps Training Book, built on best practices and tailored around our maps, which serves as a teaching aid to help teachers unlock their student’s potential.

Start in the Classroom and Move to the Real World
Through hands-on exercises and activities, students will use these books to learn strategies for reading tactile graphics and understanding our incredibly informative maps. We provide an orientation to tactile map symbols, symbol recognition exercises and a variety of exercises around transit, campus and floor plan maps.

Also available, the Tactile Maps Training Book: Audio Supplement. Intended for use with any of the Audio-Tactile Maps created by the LightHouse, this guide introduces readers to the Smartpen – how it works and how to use it, followed by a series of map exercises.

Tactile Maps Training Book
Large print and braille, 53 pages: $50.00

Tactile Maps Training Book: Audio Supplement
Large print and braille (Smartpen enabled), 14 pages: $25.00

To Order: Contact the Adaptations store at 1-888-400-8933 or visit us at 214 Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco.

If you are interested in tactile maps or graphics, please contact Access to Information Services today at MADLab@lighthouse-sf.org.

February Specials at Adaptations

Stella Desk LampThe Stella desk lamp is making waves in the low vision community and is now available at Adaptations in both black and white. It’s a very dynamic lamp with a total of fifteen different lighting intensities. You can choose from three primary light levels – bright white light, soft white light and a softer orange. You can also toggle through five different brightness modes within each of these three light levels. The Stella retails for $180.00, but during February, if you enter the store yelling “Stella!” (à la Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire), we will give you 5% off your purchase of this lamp. You’ll save some money and we’ll share a laugh together.

Special Valentine’s Day Promotion – 10% off select red products
Save 10% on most red and red-packaged items at Adaptations. This includes red wallets, red liquid level indicators, red touch-dots, red magnifiers, redline flashlights, red low vision playing cards, Braille Uno, Wikki Stix, red sunglasses and more. Come by Adaptations to check out our deals for yourself. This sale does not include canes and digital video magnifiers.

Adaptations is located at 214 Van Ness in San Francisco, open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call us at (415) 694-7301 or email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org with any questions.

In Honor of Louis Braille – Adaptations Store is Ringing in the New Year with a Special Sale on All Things Braille

Portrait of Louis BrailleOver the last several decades braille educators have been updating the braille code to make it more consistent and user friendly. Beginning January 4, Unified English Braille (UEB), will become the official braille reading and writing system for the United States. Why January 4? Louis Braille, the 19th century French educator and inventor of the braille system of reading and writing, was born on January 4 and to commemorate his creation, the United States will launch the official UEB start date on his birthday.

Adaptations is honoring Louis Braille’s birthday by offering a 10% discount on all braille products and accessories for the entire month of January. That includes slates, styli, dymo tape labelers, pocket braille money keychains, and more. Stock up on these essential supplies for the discerning braillist now. And while you are shopping for your braille products, don’t forget to purchase our new UEB Contraction booklets for only $5.

Read more about the booklets.

Adaptations is located at 214 Van Ness in San Francisco, open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call us at (415) 694-7301 or email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org with any questions.

Let the Adaptations Store be your Holiday Haven this December

A red and white stocking filled with accessible gifts and surrounded by gold and silver ribbons.Come to Adaptations for Compact and Affordable Gifts for that Special Blind or Low Vision Person in Your Life

Looking for stocking stuffers?

10% off will help you fill those stockings with all kinds of choices such as oven rack guards, our measured 2-ounce wine-pourer, 20/20 pens, new retractable gel impact pens, liquid level indicators, talking clocks, bump dots and headphones. For the month of December, get an extra 10% off these items, including phone orders.

We’re going crazy with holiday hysteria!
Visit Adaptations between Monday, December 7 and Friday, December 11, and you might be chosen for a very special discount on your purchases. We’re giving one customer each day 25% off their entire purchase. This offer is for in-store purchases only and cannot be coupled with other discounts at Adaptations. Some restrictions apply, as certain products will not be available for discount.

December Discount/Bargain bin:
For the entire month of December, we’re hosting a special bargain bin sale on select products at up to a 50% discount. This includes some handheld magnifying glasses, LightHouse branded coffee mugs and water bottles, Forget-Me-Not Pocket recorders, large print pinochle playing cards, guide-doggie-doo bags, jumbo braille slates and more!

Stop by Adaptations and we will share our extra-super special deals with you. Adaptations is located at 214 Van Ness in San Francisco, open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call us at (415) 694-7301 or email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org with any questions.

Please note: Adaptations will close early on December 11 at 3:00 p.m. and December 16 at 2:30 p.m. All LightHouse offices, including Adaptations, will be closed for the holidays beginning Friday, December 25. We will reopen Monday, January 4, 2016.

Adaptations Product of the Month: 2016 Desk, Wall, and Braille Calendars

A variety of calendars on displayJust in time for the New Year, our 2016 Calendars have arrived.

Our calendars come in three flavors: two large print options and one in Braille. Get a jump start on your planning needs. The large print desk and wall models are each available at Adaptations for $11.00 + tax. And thanks to the American Action Fund, we are able to give out Braille calendars at no cost to you. Call us with any questions about our new calendars or any other products at (415) 694-7301.

You can also email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org or stop by the store at 214 Van Ness in San Francisco from 10am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

Celebrate White Cane Safety Day with 10% off Canes at Adaptations

LightHouse Information and Referral Specialist Frank Welte holds a hand-lettered sign that states a white cane equals equality.White Cane Safety Day has been nationally observed in the United States since 1964 and is celebrated on October 15th each year. On this day we celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of the white cane, a symbol of blindness and a tool of independence.

In honor of National White Cane Safety Day on October 15th, mention the password “CANE-DO!” and you can get 10% off cane and cane accessory purchases. This includes our full line of canes, tips, holsters, and other accessories.

Adaptations, the LightHouse Store has numerous white canes to choose from including telescoping, straight and folding styles, ranging in size from 40” to 67”, and from brands including Advantage/Revolution, NFB, Ambutech, WCIB, and Rainshine.

A display of color accented canes.Now available to order from Adaptations: the new Ambutech Aluminum Color Accented canes, available with handles of hot pink, neon green, electric blue, or, for you Giants fans, bright orange. We currently have demo models of these canes for you to try; stop by the store and check them out!! And we are now accepting special orders, please let us know if you are interested in purchasing one.

Adaptations carries a wide variety of low-vision and blindness products, including talking watches and alarm clocks, games, kitchen products, braille supplies and much much more. Give us a call at (415) 694-7301 or stop by our store between 10am and 5pm Monday through Friday.

September at Adaptations – Back to School Sale and our Newest Label Maker

Back to school sale: 10% off select products
Students and teachers can now save 10% on select back-to-school supplies including slates, styli, 20/20 pens, thick-ink ballpoint pens, braille and bold-lined paper, and more. Just present your student or teacher ID upon checkout.

Now Available at Adaptations: the 6dot Braille Label Maker
Our newest technology product, the 6dot Braille Labelmaker, is an electronic device that prints braille on standard 3/8th inch labeling tape. Perhaps the most exciting feature of this device is that the 6dot Label Maker can receive input from both its built-in Braille keyboard as well as a standard QWERTY usb keyboard. So even if the user does not know how to read or write in braille, they can still print tactile braille labels.

The 6dot Labeler is available at Adaptations for $599. Come on down to the Lighthouse and try out this exciting new product.

For more information about these and other products we sell at Adaptations, visit our store at LightHouse San Francisco Headquarters between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call us at (415) 694-7301.

Please note: The LightHouse and Adaptations, the LightHouse Store will be closed Monday, September 7 in honor of Labor Day.

The LightHouse and Adaptations, the LightHouse Store will be closed Thursday, September 10 from 10:30 a.m. through 2:30 a.m. for a staff meeting.

Adaptations, the LightHouse Store will be closed Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2 for inventory.

Adaptations Sales Associates Provide Winning Customer Service

Ben Einstein (left) and Starrly WinchesterOne in a series of staff profiles.

“Did you know that Dave bought the large Magnabrite magnifier for his nautical maps?” asked Starr. “For his sailing trip down to San Diego?” Ben replied. Starr responded, “Yea, of course, though I bet he’ll end up in Mexico.” Ben and Starrly (who also goes by Starr), are two of the Sales Associates at Adaptations, LightHouse’s brick-and-mortar store, and they frequently check in with each other about regular customers, people they refer to as friends.

Store customer Dave was introduced to the LightHouse and its services through Adaptations. As his vision changed, Ben found products to immediately address his needs and then connected to LightHouse Orientation and Mobility instructors as well as the LightHouse Changing Vision Changing Life immersion program. Dave’s shopping experience at Adaptations ultimately enabled him to get back to the things he loves, like sailing.

I watch Starr and Ben welcome customers and laugh with them. Every single customer, and there were fourteen in 1.5 hours, smiled while picking out their cane or looking at their first magnifiers. First time visitors are sometimes nervous but Starr and Ben immediately put people at ease by welcoming them and addressing their needs. They are sales associates, but in reality, Ben and Starr provide reassurance and sound advice.

We asked Starr why she works at the store and her response said it all: “I’m not here to push products. Our store is non-profit; we don’t make a profit. I’m here to help people help themselves, and to help them enjoy being here. People are here shopping, shopping should be fun, so I make it fun.” Starr brings her sense of humor and levity to any room she’s in. A singer since she was young, it’s hard to keep track of which venue Starr will be singing at next – maybe The Utopia Café in Chinatown, the Society Cabaret at the Rex Hotel, or Martuni’s. “I love to sing cabaret the most. People think all sorts of things when they hear the word “cabaret”; to me it means intimate singing – a small crowd and an intense song.” Starr started as a LightHouse volunteer in 2009 and she continues to volunteer. “I love my family at the LightHouse, from my coworkers to my store patrons.”

Ben has a similar sentiment about Adaptations. “I first learned about blindness technology while working in accessible services for Apple where I loved teaching people how to make their lives easier. At Adaptations I get to do that, but with more than just technology.” In his free time, Ben is a long-boarder (“I don’t know enough tricks to be a skateboarder,” quips Ben.) Like Starr he is musical and his band, Bear Lincoln, performs throughout the Bay Area at illustrious venues such as The Independent and the Noise Pop Music Festival. “I also find time to bike,” Ben understates – what he really means is that he sometimes takes long and challenging bike trips, such as his recent ride from Portland, OR to Crescent City, CA.

During this interview two suntanned customers, Jeff and Rick, walk in. After flying in from Florida for work, they’ve made a bee-line from the airport to the store. “I’m particular about my cane,” Jeff explains. “I love my old cane, but it was so worn I had to buy a replacement online which I ended up hating. So when I learned we’d be in San Francisco, I said to Rick, ‘We have to go to Adaptations. They have the cane I love, and we can try out others to see if there are any better ones.’” Jeff went on to explain that near their home in Jacksonville, there aren’t stores where blind people can try out tools like canes and magnifiers. He said, “You have to hope what you order online will be good because you never have a chance to ‘try it before you buy it.’ Even worse, it’s sometimes hard or impossible to return adaptive equipment that you aren’t satisfied with. I wish I had an Adaptations near me, will you open a franchise in Florida?” Jeff jokes.

The Adaptations phone rings constantly with calls from people all across the country and even the world. People call Adaptations because of the incredible customer service and knowledge the Sales Associates provide. Ben and Starr have made Adaptations more than just a place to get the things you need; it’s a joy to shop there. And the Store is often someone’s first step towards a life of independence.

The Adaptations store in the new 21st Century LightHouse will be larger, feature more products and will offer people even more space to try out the products. Starr reminds us, “We’re one of the only stores serving blind and visually impaired folks in the Western U.S. It seems like almost every blind person within 200 miles has been to our store at least once in his or her life. In our new building, we’ll be one of the best stores of its kind in the country.”

We urge you to visit Adaptations and give the products a try. You might even be able to hear one of Ben or Starr’s songs. Call the Store at 415-694-7301 or email us at adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org.