Tag Archive

Parents and Children

Saturday, November 5: Family Picnic and Hike at Lake Merritt

Join us for a gathering of LightHouse students and their families for a fun filled day at Lake Merritt. Meet at the Lake Merritt BART Station at 11:00 a.m. for a walk around the lake. During the walk the group will choose a picnic spot.

Who: Families (immediate family members or guardians) with at least one person that is blind or has low vision.
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Meet at Lake Merritt BART Station in Oakland
Cost: Free
What to bring: Picnic lunch for yourself and your family, water bottle, warm layers of clothing and any necessary mobility aids such as a cane or monocular.
Waiver: Each participant must complete a LightHouse Youth Program Application as well as all 2016 LightHouse release forms.

If you would like more information about this event or wish to sign your family up, please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7372 for more information.

Family Picnic and Hike at Lake Merritt

LightHouse students and their families will gather at the Lake Merritt BART Station for a fun filled day at Lake Merritt. Our walk will start at 11:00 a.m. and will take us around the lake. During the walk the group will choose a good location to stop and have a picnic.

Who: Families (immediate family members or guardians) with at least one person that is blind or has low vision.
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where:  Meet at Lake Merritt BART Station in Oakland
Cost: Free
What to bring: Picnic lunch for yourself and your family, water bottle, warm layers of clothing and any necessary mobility aids such as a cane or monocular.
Waiver: Each participant must complete a LightHouse Youth Program Application as well as all 2016 LightHouse release forms.

If you would like more information about this event or wish to sign your family up, please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7372 for more information.

Get Ready for the School Year: Parent and Student Workshop on August 27 [postponed]

Note: this event has been postponed. For questions, contact jgump@lighthouse-sf.org.

Join LightHouse students, parents and teachers for a day-long workshop aimed at helping blind students and their families be more prepared for the coming school year and beyond.

The day will start with a panel of students, parents and teachers who will speak about challenges that specifically affect blind students, such as how to make sure handouts are available in accessible formats and ideas on how parents can help their children with their homework.

Next youth and adults will break into separate groups. Parents and teachers will focus on topics such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), the role Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) plays in their child’s education and extra-curricular options for youth who are blind. Students will also learn about how DOR works, discuss transitioning to college, living skills and the importance of balancing work and play.

The day will wrap-up with an opportunity for families to get to know one another.

Who: Families with at least one youth under 18 and at least one family member of any age who is blind or has low vision.
When: Saturday, August 27, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103
Waiver: Each youth participant must fill out and submit a LightHouse Youth Program Application if they have not done so already.

If you would like more information or to RSVP for this event please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at 415-694-7372 or by email at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org by Wednesday August 24.

Family Camp I and II

Family Camp I: July 5 to July 8 (This session is now closed! Please contact the EHC Program Coordinator at 415-694-7310 to inquire about waitlist.)

Family Camp II: August 1 to August 4 (This session is now closed!)

Family Camps are offered to families with visually impaired children ages 17 and under, and to visually impaired parents with children ages 17 and under. The sessions are for immediate family members only. Camp activities include swimming, horseback riding, crafts, games, nature studies, parent discussion groups and evening activities such as the family talent show.

$175 per Adult
$150 per First Time Adult Attendee
$75 per Child under the age of 18
No charge for Children under 18 with visual impairments
No charge for Children under the age of 5

Scholarships Still Available for EHC Family Camp Sessions

Jessica Marenoff

Photo: EHC Lifeguard Jessica Marenoff wearing the 2016 Enchanted Hills Camp t-shirt.

The wonder of Enchanted Hills is available for the whole family. These camp sessions are offered to families with children ages 17 and under who are blind or who have low vision, as well as to parents who are blind or have low vision with children ages 17 and under. Camp activities include swimming, horseback riding, crafts, games, nature studies, parent discussion groups, and evening activities such as the family talent show.

  • Family Camp II: July 7 – 10, 2016
    (Cabins are now full for Family Camp II. Lodge housing is still available for families of 2-3.)
  • Family Camp III: August 11 – 14, 2016

You may qualify for a special scholarship for Family Camp. The sessions are for immediate family members only. To sign up for these sessions, contact Taccarra Burrell at tburrell@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7318 for an application or with any questions.

Join us for Birding by Sound: A Day in the Park for the Entire Family

On the Saturday, May 7 (Mother’s Day weekend) the LightHouse Youth Program invites youth, mothers and any other family members who wish to join us for our second Birding by Sound hike and picnic.

The morning’s activity will start with a hike around the San Francisco Botanical Garden, where we will use the Merlin Bird ID app to identify as many of the local birds as we can, as well as enjoy the other attractions the garden has to offer. After our stroll we’ll find a nice place in Golden Gate Park for a picnic and have an informative discussion about accessible activities the entire family can enjoy.

Who: Families with at least one individual (parent or child) who is blind or has low vision.
What: Bird Identification Hike and Picnic at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
When: Saturday May 7, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: The Botanical Garden is located at 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco
Cost: $17.00 per family
Waiver: Each participant must complete a LightHouse Youth Program Application, if you have not done so already.
What to bring: Good walking shoes, a Smartphone loaded with the Merlin Bird ID App, bag lunch, water bottle, warm layers of clothing and sunscreen.

Here’s more information about the Merlin Bird ID App. Please note that this app has some features that are not accessible with voice over.

If you would like more information or to RSVP for this event please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at 415-694-7372 or by email at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org.

The LightHouse Youth Program Presents Birding with the Blind: Identifying Birds Through Sound

Tom Grey GoldfinchJoin the LightHouse Youth Program as we explore the Quarry Lake Recreation Area for our first-ever bird identification hike. During the hike students will not be using binoculars, instead we will use our ears to identify the birds by sound. With help from the Merlin Bird ID Application, we will match the sounds we hear on our hike with recorded sounds from the app.

Who: Families with at least one low vision or blind student
What: Bird Identification Hike and Picnic
When: Saturday November 21, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Quarry Lake Regional Recreation Area located at 2100 Isherwood Way, Fremont, CA 94536
Meeting Location: We will gather at the Information Stand next to the restrooms and phone, closest to the main entrance and parking lots.
Transportation: Limited transportation from the Union City Bart Station can be made available upon request.
Cost: FREE
Waiver: Each participant must complete a LightHouse Youth Program Application, if you have not done so already.
What to bring: good walking shoes, a smart phone loaded with the Merlin Bird ID App, bag lunch, water bottle, warm layers of clothing and sunscreen.

Here’s more information about the Merlin Bird ID App. Please note that this app has some features that are not accessible with voice over.

If you would like more information or to RSVP for this event please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at (415) 694-7372 or by email at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org.

LightHouse Connect – Just in Time for School: Information, Resources and Rights for Parents and Students K-High School

Come hear a panel of experts talk about IEPs, literacy, transition to college and more.

Getting the most out of an education is critical for all students, including those who are blind or visually impaired. We welcome parents, students and teachers to an in-person education survival guide.

A panel of educators, blind students and parents who have firsthand experience will cover IEPs, literacy, transition to college and much more. The panel presentation will be followed by a connection period, allowing attendees to speak directly with panelists and get to know others in the room.

When: Saturday, August 29, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse San Francisco Headquarters
A complimentary lunch will be served at noon and our Adaptations store will be open to workshop attendees with a generous offer of 10% discount on back-to-school supplies.

Please RSVP to Kathy Abrahamson by Monday, August 24 at 415-694-7336 or kabrahamson@lighthouse-sf.org.

Cycle for Sight 2015: A Fundraiser on Wheels

Anthony Dalli, Jimmy Cong and Andy Rodriquez stand in front of the Enchanted Hills Camp banner. Jimmy is in the center playing gum gum style on the guitarWith sunny skies, mild temperatures and the largest number of blind riders on tandems, last month’s Cycle for Sight was a blast. What a great group of people – full of energy and vitality. It was wonderful to see all of the tandem riders and captains out on the road.

More than 2,500 people participated in this year’s event, a huge number for any Northern California ride. The Napa Rotary Club was aiming to have revenues exceed $250,000 for this event, which demonstrates how much effort went into it.

Heartfelt thanks go to: Our volunteers from Google and AmeriCorps for making the EHC water station an oasis, Jimmy Cong for playing his beautiful guitar tunes at the main rest stop, LightHouse Board member Gena Harper and camper Xianna Rodriguez for speaking with passion and eloquence from the stage, all of the riders who raised sponsorships to support Enchanted Hills and to Tony Fletcher for leading the team on a safe and fun adventure. Thank you to BORP (Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program) and Napa Valley Bike tours for lending tandem bikes to our fleet. And we truly appreciated the Silver Sponsorship of Sports Basement and donations of vittles from KIND Bars.

Most of all, thank you to the Napa Rotary Club for coordinating this fine event, making it possible for kids who are blind to have a transformative camp experience at Enchanted Hills.

Cycle for Sight 2016 will be on Saturday, April 16th. Don’t miss it!

Team LightHouse members (left to right) Elysia Arriola, Alexia Arriola, Maycie Vorrieter

A large group of Team LightHouse members gather in front of the LightHouse table at the festival

Adaptation of the Day: The MLB Pitcher

Here at the LightHouse, we’re excited for baseball season. As you may have heard, our SF Giants swept the Dodgers this week, and now you can be ready for every game with one of our brailled Giants schedules. As the season heats up, we are extra-heartened to hear another story of blindness and adaptation from the Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota Twins pitcher J.R. Graham wears special socks so that his blind mother can tell him apart from his teammates

Twins Pitcher J.R. Graham wears some pretty wild socks. With his pants rolled up, Graham wears knee-high, navy blue socks with skinny, stirrup-style bands reaching down to his shoes. Graham sticks out like a sore thumb around his teammates and on the filed — but that’s exactly the point. Turns out Graham dresses this way for his mother Julie, who has been visually impaired most of her life due to Best’s Disease. Though she’s legally blind, with the help of J.R.’s special attire, Julie can spot her son whether he’s pitching shut-out innings in Minneapolis or on the road.

Graham is brand new to the MLB, but has been adapting his appearance to keep his mom in the game since he was a kid. At the age of nine, his father suggested that since his teammates all wore black cleats, maybe he should try wearing white ones. At twelve, Graham first strapped on his stirrup socks and never looked back. Having the knowledge that his mom can follow the game is a great feeling for him and his family, and these little gestures are a part of their everyday life. “We’re all trying to do something to make it a little bit easier for her,” Graham said in an interview.

But this isn’t just a heartwarming story; It’s a good reminder that often the best adaptations are collaborations. Improving quality of life is not just about turning yourself inside out to make changes, but also working with the people and environments around you to find simple fixes for otherwise daunting problems.

Have an adaptation, question, or other story for us? Email tips to wbutler@lighthouse-sf.org