Tag Archive

Technology

LightHouse’s 5-week Keyboarding Class, beginning October 3

LightHouse’s 5-week Keyboarding Class teaches students how to use the computer keyboard correctly for effective AT (Assistive Technology) Computing using the latest screen reader and/or magnification software.

This keyboarding class will focus on touch typing techniques, listening skills and the accuracy and speed that are necessary for competitive employment and academic advancement. Students will attend weekly classes and instructor-guided lab practices.

Where: the LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th floor, San Francisco, 94103
When: 15 classes from October 3 through November 4, 2016
Dates of classes: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the following dates: October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28 and 31 and November 2 and 4
LightHouse Instructors: Christina Daniels, Shen Kuan and Jeff Buckwalter
Cost: $1,125.00 per student. You may qualify for partial or full scholarship if you are 55 or older and not currently working with the Department of Rehabilitation or the Veterans Administration.

Space is limited, so sign up now.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Shen Kuan at 415-694-7312 or skuan@lighthouse-sf.org.

October Youth Employment Series (YES) Workshop

Photo: YES Academy students raise their arms in happy unison while seated in a MUNI F-Line heritage streetcar.

Would you like to be a YES Protégé?
We are currently seeking protégés for the Youth Employment Series (YES). Protégés will benefit from vocational and blindness skills training, meaningful work and volunteer opportunities, as well as career-specific mentorships with the working blind. This informative monthly series will provide transition-aged youth who are blind or have low vision with vital skills that will help them become more successful as they pursue their academic and employment dreams.

The October YES workshop is Making Advocacy Awesome!
When:
Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103.
Who:  Candidates must  be transition aged students ages 14 to 26 who are blind or have low vision. They must be eligible for transitional rehabilitation services, deemed legally blind by a physician or accredited agency, and able to fulfill the training and work required by the program.

Is There a Cost to Attend the YES Workshops?
The cost to attend one of the LightHouse Youth Employment Series workshops is $175 per day-long workshop. In addition to the day’s activities and curriculum, students will receive a light breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Department of Rehabilitation authorizations or other payment source must be secured before students will be eligible to participate.

If you have any questions or wish to apply, please contact Youth Services Coordinator Richie Flores at rflores@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7328.

Topics that will be discussed in October include but are not limited to:

  • Instruction in self-advocacy, individual rights, self-determination skills, and the informed consent process, as well as peer mentoring
  • Learn about accommodations available to college students and those entering the workforce
  • Acquire and use blindness skills that will enrich life and help achieve ones goals, be more confident and learn how to advocate needs
  • Learn how to smoothly navigate through any system as a student transitioning into college from high school or from college to a career
  • Learn strategies that will help student make strong and positive first impressions
  • Learn how to develop, enhance and utilize ones network and relationship with peers and mentors

Additional Scheduled Workshops for Fall

Making Work Exciting
Saturday, November 12, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Meet Actiview, the Ultimate App for Movie Theater Accessibility

If you’ve been to one of the LightHouse’s film festivals, our party at Pixar, or even just watched a movie in one of the living rooms at the New LightHouse, you’ll know that we care about making films as accessible as possible, no matter what kind of vision you have. That’s one of the big reasons why, when a new company called Actiview showed up at the doors of our old office this spring, we knew it was something great.

Fast forward six months, and Actiview now runs their operation out of the LightHouse’s new Toyota Robotics Innovation Lab, building the next big thing in entertainment technology. We’ll post more about the tech behind Actiview soon – but first, we’d like to give you an exclusive preview.

Bay Area residents can try out Actiview for the first time this Saturday, September 10th. To request an invite, send Actiview an email by Thursday, September 8th.

Founded on the basic principle that everyone deserves easy access to entertainment, Actiview is a San Francisco-based startup that promises to set a new standard for moviegoing. With close captions and any available secondary audio tracks (descriptive and amplified) bundled into one clean, easy-to-use app, Actiview aims to do what DMA did for Pixar films, for all movies in any theater across the world. And they need your help.

Actiview has put together its first version of its audio description and closed captioning tools and wants to show theaters and studios how powerful this new tech can be for audiences. They’ve set up a special user testing opportunity this weekend for kids, families, and individuals with an interest in the app to come, watch Pixar’s “Up”, never before seen with audio description on the big screen, and have feedback recorded to further the app’s development. It’s your opportunity to tell Hollywood what accessible movies mean to you.

If you’d like to attend the (free) event on the morning of Saturday, September 10, email alex@actiview.co with your name, age, and the number of family members or friends you’d like to bring along while you test the app. If there’s enough space, we’ll put you on the list. Meet you at the movies!

Toyota Robotics Supports LightHouse Innovation Lab

Photo (left to right): Ryan Klem, Jennifer Sachs, Bryan Bashin, Josh Miele, Latondra Newton, Mark Boire, Douglas Moore and Rajiv Dayal inside the new LightHouse Innovation Lab Sponsored by Toyota.

On August 2nd, a contingent from Toyota and Toyota Robotics came to the new LightHouse Building to present us with a gift of $100,000 for the Innovation Lab Sponsored by Toyota. The Lab is a place for accessible robotics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and anything related to science for blind people of all ages. Toyota has been an active participant in LightHouse Labs since 2011 and their contributions have been invaluable.

As Josh Miele, past-board president said, “We want people who are blind to have a chance to do hands-on science, and only choose not to go into a STEM career because they want to do something else, not because they never had the chance to explore the possibilities.”

Blind Arduino Monthly Meetup (BAMM)

Interested in joining a hands-on group of blind and sighted Arduino makers for collaborative teaching, designing and building? We are thrilled to announce the Blind Arduino Monthly Meetup (BAMM) beginning on October 8, and meeting every second Saturday of the month thereafter at the new LightHouse Building in San Francisco.

Who: Makers of any age. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Where: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

When: Every second Saturday of the month.

The first meeting is Saturday, October 8.

Sign up to reserve a space at the first BAMM meetup on October 8.

Arduino is a widely popular microprocessor platform being used by makers, educators, designers, researchers, entrepreneurs and others to prototype and build robots and other powerful electromechanical devices. The Blind Arduino Project is led by Dr. Joshua Miele, and is a collaboration between the LightHouse and Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute to support blind makers who want to build things with Arduino.

Join us and be part of BAMM – the Bay Area’s regular in-person gathering of the Blind Arduino community. Spend an afternoon with us making, learning and connecting. Bring a project, a problem or just your curiosity and willingness to learn and help.

Learn Essential Touch Typing Skills

LightHouse’s 5-week Keyboarding Class teaches students how to use the computer keyboard correctly for effective AT (Assistive Technology) Computing using the latest screen reader and/or magnification software.

This keyboarding class will focus on touch typing techniques, listening skills and the accuracy and speed that are necessary for competitive employment and academic advancement. Students will attend weekly classes and instructor-guided lab practices.

Where: the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St, 10th floor, San Francisco, 94103

When: 15 classes between October 3 and November 4, 2016

Dates of classes: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the following dates:
October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28 and 31 and November 2 and 4

LightHouse Instructors: Christina Daniels, Shen Kuan and Jeff Buckwalter

Cost: $1,125.00 per student. You may qualify for partial or full scholarship if you are 55 or older and not currently working with the Department of Rehabilitation or the Veterans Administration.

Space is limited, so sign up now. For more information or to sign up, please contact Shen Kuan at 415-694-7312 or skuan@lighthouse-sf.org.

Two-Week YES Academy Takes Blind Kids from San Francisco to Orlando to More Independence

Photo: YES group sit around one of the many tables in the conference hall. LightHouse Youth Coordinator Jamey Gump sits at 9 o’clock, then going clockwise around the table: student Kyle Garcia, LightHouse mentor Sergio Lopez, student Billy Lei, LightHouse mentor Danielle Fernandez, students Robin Patche, Kevin Brousard, Christina Parra, Santiago Hernandez and Jacob Obeso.

In July close to a dozen LightHouse Youth attended our inaugural YES Academy – a two-week session for students ages 16 to 24 with the aim of teaching them to be more independent, confident and successful. During the first week of the training, students stayed at the new LightHouse Building in San Francisco. The students experienced full days that included classroom work, assignments and challenges both inside and outside our offices, mixed with time to relax, talk, have fun, compare notes and enjoy making friends and bonding with fellow blind students.

students in teaching kitchen

Photo: YES Academy students gather in our teaching kitchen for lunch.

Throughout the first week students benefited from a robust curriculum including outstanding blind college students as well as blind speakers representing a wide variety of career choices, a tour of the UC Berkeley campus, discussions that focused on becoming more independent and on finding work, including the use of adaptive technology, the importance of organization, best practices for writing resumes and cover letters and how to go on a job interview. They also experienced the excitement and fun of navigating the Bay Area while practicing their mobility skills. They traveled throughout the San Francisco on public transportation, participated in the San Francisco Pride Parade, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Pier 39 and went to the movies (using the recently-launched Disney Movies Anywhere audio-description iPhone app to watch the film Finding Dory.)

 

students cross golden gate bridge

Photo: Brandishing white canes and dog guides, YES Academy students cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

YES Academy and Fortune Dragon

Photo: Students Christina Parra, Robin Patche and Moe Josefowicz stand next to the colorful Fortune Dragon statue that sits in front of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum.

Week two brought the adventure all had been waiting for: the cross-country flight to Orlando, Florida where the group attended the annual National Federation of the Blind (NFB) National Convention. For some it was their very first time on an airplane. LightHouse Youth Services Coordinator Jamey Gump, who supervised the group throughout the two-week period told us, “The kids pretty much were struck by the scale and diversity of the conference right away. Imagine you are maybe the only kid in your school or in your community who is blind. Now imagine the impact of walking into a hall where there are thousands of blind people with their white canes or dog guides. Or attending a huge banquet where pretty much everyone there can relate in one way or another to your life experience? That’s amazingly empowering.”

Serena and Santiago

Photo: LightHouse Evening and Weekend Coordinator Serena Olsen stands with student Santiago Hernandez next to seated audience members in the NFB Conference Hall.

Included in their schedule: exploring the Exhibit Hall where vendors displayed adaptive technology and attending the Conference General Session, the National Association of Blind Students seminar and a youth mixer with kids from all across the country including Arizona and Maryland.

LightHouse Evening and Weekend Coordinator Serena Olsen, who supervised the kids overnight and in Orlando loved seeing changes in the kids, even in such a short period of time. She said, “Overall I saw a growing awareness among the group that it’s “okay” to be blind. I watched them become more comfortable in their own skin as blind people. For some or all of them there’s this idea of leaving home for the first time and that you can’t take your parents with you to, say, college. YES Academy gave them the chance to try new strategies and succeed, or even fail sometimes, in a safe space.”

Student Sarkis (Sako) Meehran Gekchyan summed up the feelings of many who attended, by saying, “The experience I had at The YES Academy was invaluable. I can safely say that no other program for the blind that I have participated in has impacted me so strongly, so positively and so permanently as this one. The lessons I have learned from staying at the LightHouse and the NFB convention have stuck. Doing this program was exactly what I needed. I was able to see blind people who took charge of their lives and were making a positive change not only for themselves but for others. I learned a lot both from my fellow students and the speakers and the mentors. It was the first time I ever felt a deep sense of pride in my blindness, the first time I actually felt like a part of the blind Community. The very people I once tried to distance myself from are now one of my greatest sources of inspiration and most importantly my second family.”

If you have any questions about YES Academy, please contact Youth Services Coordinators Jamey Gump at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org/415-694-7372 or Richie Flores at rflores@lighthouse-sf.org/415-694-7328.

Throughout the year we hold individual LightHouse YES workshops. Our first workshop is on Saturday, September 10.

Read more about YES workshops.

Changing Vision Changing Life II – Begins Sunday, September 18

Photo: Cooking Instructor Sydney Ferrario preps food with students.

Have you already received basic skills training in orientation and mobility, access technology or independent living and are committed to focus more intently in all three of these skill areas in a small group and individual learning environment? Changing Vision Changing Life may be for you. We’ve added a brand-new session to our Changing Vision Changing Life Series of small group trainings: The Changing Vision Changing Life (CVCL) II Immersion.

This motivating five-night session is designed for students who may have participated in CVCL instruction in the past and are now focused on practicing the skills they’ve learned in a more intensive and structured manner.

Note: You don’t need to have attended a previous CVCL session to attend this one. However, you need to have had some basic training in Orientation and Mobility, independent living skills and/or access technology.

This session is great for students who are currently training in all of the areas above and can benefit from multiple days of one-on-one and small group instruction.

In this session, students will work on all of the following:

  • Access Technology, including
  • Computer training (Mac or PC) – using the software you are currently learning
  • Smart Phone Training – Apple or Android
  • Tablet Training – Apple or Android
  • Peer Group Support – Moving Forward
  • Advocacy – Taking Control
  • Orientation and Mobility Training 1:1
  • Introduction to Braille
  • Smart Cooking for Independence
  • Low Vision Training – Using your Tools to Your Benefit
  • Physical and Recreational Exploration to Enhance Mobility

When: This session will run from Sunday, September 18 (arrival at 3:30 p.m.) through Friday, September 23 (leave at 10:30 a.m.)
Where: The session will be held in our headquarters building at 1155 Market St., 10th Floor in San Francisco. Participants will stay overnight throughout the week in our Student Residences.
Cost: There is a $1300 fee for this training but you may qualify for partial or full scholarship if you are not already working with the Department of Rehabilitation or the Veterans Administration.


We will also be offering Changing Vision Changing Life sessions in November and December, 2016:

CVCL I (for those who are very new to low vision/blindness and have not had skills instruction):
When: Monday, November 7 through Friday, November 11
Where: This session will take place at Enchanted Hills Retreat in Napa
Cost: There is a $1300 fee for this training but you may qualify for partial or full scholarship if you are not already working with the Department of Rehabilitation or the Veterans Administration.

CVCL II (for those persons who have had training and are ready for more focused instruction)
When: Monday, December 5 through Friday, December 9
Where: This session will take place at the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., San Francisco, 94103. Participants will stay in our Student Residences.
Cost: There is a $1300 fee for this training but you may qualify for partial or full scholarship if you are not already working with the Department of Rehabilitation or the Veterans Administration.

To find out which session is the best fit for you please contact Debbie Bacon at dbacon@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-357.

LightHouse Expands to Support East Bay

Photo: The front of the Ed Roberts Campus.

With the imminent closure of the Lions Center in Oakland, the LightHouse has stepped up to bring services to those who are blind or have low vision in the East Bay. To do this we’ll be expanding the services we offer at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. We sent out a press release earlier in the month and have received the attention of major bay area outlets such as KCBS and the East Bay Times.

Listen to Holly Quan’s report which aired on KCBS on August 29, 2016.

Read the article in the East Bay Times.

Youth Employment Series (YES) Workshops Now Year-Round

Photo: YES Academy students raise their arms in happy unison while seated in a MUNI F-Line heritage streetcar.

Beginning in September, the LightHouse Youth Program begins its new academic year with our YES Saturday Workshop Series for transition aged students ages 14 to 26 who are blind or have low vision. Students must be eligible for transitional rehabilitation services, deemed legally blind by a physician or accredited agency, and able to fulfill the training and work required by the program.

Participants in the YES Workshop Series will benefit from vocational and blindness skills training, meaningful work and volunteer opportunities, as well as career-specific mentorships with the working blind. Our goal is to help students become ready to attend institutes of higher education or move towards successfully employed. We’ll offer presentations by keynote speakers and collaborative skill-focused activities led by successful blind professionals. Students will gain invaluable wisdom that can help them grow and shape themselves into competent blind adults.

September YES Workshop: Making Lasting Impressions
When:
Saturday, September 10, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

Our September YES workshop will focus on teaching students how to make positive lasting impressions. Students will discuss in detail with experienced blind and low vision working mentors the  best ways to become proficient at making positive first impressions and how to confidently interact with the public’s perception of blindness.

Through fun and interactive hands-on activities, students will get the chance to learn what type of body language and attire will be appropriate for the real world situations they will likely encounter as they pursue their education and their career.

Additional Scheduled Workshops for Fall

Making Advocacy Awesome!
Saturday, October 8, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 Making Work Exciting
Saturday, November 12, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Is There a Cost to Attend the YES Workshops?
The cost to attend one of the LightHouse Youth Employment Series workshops is $175 per day-long workshop. In addition to the day’s activities and curriculum, students will receive a light breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Department of Rehabilitation authorizations or other payment source must be secured before students will be eligible to participate.

If you have any questions or wish to apply, please contact Youth Services Coordinator Richie Flores at rflores@lighthouse-sf.orgg or 415-694-7328.

What is the LightHouse YES: Youth Employment Series?
LightHouse YES: Youth Employment Series is a practical and educational series of monthly workshops providing transition-aged youth who are blind or have low vision vital skills and practices that will help them become more successful in higher education and their chosen career path.

Topics to be discussed during these workshops include but are not limited to:

  • Work-based learning experiences, such as in-school or after school work experience, and internships.
  • Guidance toward opportunities for enrollment in a comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational program at an institution of higher education.
  • School-based preparatory employment experiences such as role playing, social skills development and independent living training, coordinated with any transition services provided by the school.
  • Instruction in self-advocacy, individual rights, self-determination skills and the informed consent process, as well as peer mentoring.
  • Accommodations available to college students and those entering the workforce.
  • Acquiring access technology skills which can be applied to real world situations.
  • Acquiring and using blindness skills that will enrich life and help students achieve their goals, be more confident and learn how to advocate their needs.
  • How to smoothly navigate through any system as a student transitioning into college from high school or from college to a career.
  • Developing effective cover letters, resumes and interview skills.
  • Learning strategies that will help students make strong and positive first impressions.
  • Learning how to develop, enhance and utilize one’s network and relationships with peers and mentors.
  • Job exploration counseling.