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LightHouse News

Adaptations Online Store Now Open

Adaptations Online Store Now Open

Just in time for holiday shopping, LightHouse for the Blind’s Adaptations Store is launching its new online store. Now you can shop 24/7 at www.adaptations.org and have our products sent directly to your door.

We are opening with a SALE!

Visitors save 10% at checkout when they use code LH10. In addition, now you can take 20% off the cost of TMAP orders on the site when you use code TMAP20 at checkout.

Discount codes are valid through December 20.

You can always contact Adaptations directly to talk with an expert for ordering and product guidance at 1-888-400-8933 or adaptations@lighthouse-sf.org. Our brick and mortar store in San Francisco is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Adaptations blindness technology store has been a brick and mortar operation since 1993. Nationwide demand for our popular items and unique line of LightHouse products has prompted us to go online.

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides education, training, advocacy and community for blind individuals in California and around the world. Founded in 1902, the LightHouse is one of the largest and most established comprehensive blindness organizations in North America, with a wide variety of programs, as well as a rich network of blindness advocates and professionals.

To support the LightHouse click here.

Welcome to Windows 10

Welcome to Windows 10

Come join the LightHouse access tech team as we explore features and functions of Windows 10, yes Windows 10.

Do you have concerns, are you skeptical, do you wonder why you can’t stick with Windows 7 instead of learning a new operating system? The time has come to make the transition and we will help to allay your concerns and share our knowledge of the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10. We will point out some of the new features of Windows 10, explore similarities and differences between the two operating systems and explain why the transition has become necessary.

You must be an enrolled LightHouse student to participate. To sign up for the class, contact Shen Kuan at 415-694-7312 or skuan@lighthouse-sf.org This class is free to participants through support from the City of San Francisco’s SF Connected program.

Tech Trainers Unite: LightHouse Hosts Blindness Technology Trainers Conference

Tech Trainers Unite: LightHouse Hosts Blindness Technology Trainers Conference

From October 22 through 24, LightHouse’s Access Technology department hosted their second annual Blindness Technology Trainers Conference. Trainers from blindness agencies and other organizations across California gathered to discuss strategies on training blind and low vision students on a variety of accessible technology needed for communication and day-to-day life, from smartphones, to screen readers, to magnification and more.

This year’s theme was Serving Students with Multiple Disabilities. Trainers discussed working with students who experience a range of access needs along with blindness. Topics included: working with students who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, working with students who use alternative methods to input text because of motor or learning disabilities, and working with students who have traumatic or acquired brain injuries.

The conference included both group discussion and presentations. Kathy Abrahamson, LightHouse Director of Rehabilitation Services, and Accessibility Evangelist Lucy Greco, presented. The conference keynote on Access Technology and Brain Injury was delivered by three guests from the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Executive Director Sassy Outwater-Wright, Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services Megan Briggs and Amy Ruell, Director of Adjustment Support Services. The keynote provided trainers with a variety of perspectives and experiences to consider when they returned to training their students.

Conference participant Matthew Morgan, who works at the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Stockton, said of the group discussion at the conference, “The questions we posed to each other were great. They were hard and they were challenging.”

Erin Lauridsen, LightHouse Director of Access Technology, noted how powerful it is when blindness technology trainers come together to share ideas. She said, “Technology changes rapidly, and one instructor can’t know everything, but together as a group, the level of knowledge and expertise in the room was truly impressive.”

Erin Lauridsen and student
Erin Lauridsen, LightHouse Director of Access Technology, speaks during the conference.

Professional development opportunities like this conference help LightHouse’s knowledgeable Access Technology staff continue to provide students with high quality training that considers a student’s individual needs. For more information, visit our Accessible Technology webpage or contact skuan@lighthouse-sf.org.

This conference was made possible thanks to a generous grant from Ability Central.

During the month of November – enjoy a very special blind wine tasting at One Market

During the month of November – enjoy a very special blind wine tasting at One Market

Attention lovers of good wine and food. Throughout November, the celebrated San Francisco destination restaurant One Market is fundraising for LightHouse. For only $15.00 you can enjoy a blind wine tasting of three terrific wines, with all proceeds to benefit LightHouse for the Blind.

When: Throughout the month of November, 2019.
Where: One Market Restaurant, 1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 415.777.5577, onemarket.com.
Just let your server know you are interested in the Wine Tasting benefiting LightHouse for the Blind.

Image: Wine being poured into a wine glass, with the words: "Throughout November, blind tasting, 3 great wines only $15. All proceeds benefit LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. One Market Restaurant, San Francisco, 415.777.5577, onemarket.com. Top 10 American Restaurants in the U.S. --Gayot Guide."

Created by Chef Bradley Ogden and restaurateur, and Managing Partner, Michael Dellar in 1993, One Market Restaurant has become a standard for sophisticated dining in San Francisco. For the past 14 years One Market has offered the award-winning farm-to-table cuisine of Chef/Partner Mark Dommen. One Market also boasts one of the city’s most impressive wine lists curated by Sommelier and Wine Director Tonya Pitts.

Ed Wong Brings Career Advice and Bread to the LightHouse

Ed Wong Brings Career Advice and Bread to the LightHouse

LightHouse Employment Specialist Ed Wong explains that he “took the total San Francisco route” when it came to his education. Born in San Francisco, Ed went to City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Ed has a lot of experience working in job placement, but once worked a very different side of the field. During the late 1990s dot-com bubble, when investors poured money into a flurry of internet startups, Ed worked at a now-defunct website called HotJobs where people could search online for jobs. He worked with companies who wanted to place their job advertisements on the website.

Several years later, Ed became a job recruiter for the Human Resources Department of the City and County of San Francisco where he worked to fill positions at that agency. This is when Ed first heard about the LightHouse. One of Ed’s projects was to recruit people with disabilities to fill jobs. “LightHouse was the organization that gave me the most qualified candidates,” he beams.

Because of the work San Francisco’s Human Resources Department was doing with LightHouse, Ed began learning about the blindness community. Getting to know blind jobseekers with different work histories made him better at his job. “I learned to speak with different hiring managers about hiring people with disabilities,” he elaborates.

Ed recently joined the LightHouse team as an Employment Specialist and works with LightHouse students who are looking for jobs. Besides teaching the fundamentals of resume writing and job interviewing skills, Ed also serves as a career mentor. He understands that being unemployed is frustrating. “A lot of people identify their worth with employment and it’s detrimental when they aren’t employed,” he remarks. One thing Ed does is work with students on crafting their “elevator pitch”, that is, a 30-second summary of the work experience and skills they bring to a job. “When they get good at that pitch, they just exude confidence,” he declares. While Ed serves as a guide, each student must take an active role in their job search. “I’m here to help, but students also have to search for their own positions.”

Ed has been married nearly twenty years and has two teenage sons. “One of the challenges I have right now is helping them navigate high school,” he explains. Luckily, he and his sons have time to enjoy fun things like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and savory Chinese pancakes at House of Pancakes on Taraval in San Francisco.

Another thing Ed enjoys doing is feeding his coworkers. “My mother-in-law’s good friend works at a bakery. The owner invited me to take the bread that isn’t going to be sold.” So once a week, Ed brings freshly baked bread for his fellow LightHouse staff to enjoy.

Ed describes how his work with students at LightHouse has impacted him: “Once you place a person in a job and see where it takes them, it’s an overwhelming feeling of joy and fulfillment.”

Want to learn more about LightHouse’s employment programs? Visit our Employment Immersion Programs page, or contact Wanda Pearson at 415-694-7359 or eiteam@lighthouse-sf.org.

LightHouse Observes White Cane Day with Mayor London Breed

LightHouse Observes White Cane Day with Mayor London Breed

On Tuesday, October 15, LightHouse celebrated White Cane Day. Eighty-seven LightHouse ambassadors, visitors and staff gathered to talk about the white cane as a tool for blind independence. San Francisco Mayor London Breed joined us and talked about San Francisco’s commitment to making the city a great place for seniors and people with disabilities to live and work. After her remarks, LightHouse received an official proclamation from the Mayor’s Office declaring October 15, 2019 as White Cane Day. Afterwards, the LightHouse group marched to City Hall to create awareness about the white cane and blind pedestrian safety.

Mayor London Breed
San Francisco Mayor London Breed holds a tactile map of the White Cane Day route to City Hall. Photo by Caitlin O’Malior.

The event was highlighted in the San Francisco Chronicle and profiled on ABC7’s evening news broadcast.

LightHouse O&M instructors, some wearing Safe Streets t-shirts.
LightHouse celebrates White Cane Day on steps of San Francisco City Hall.
LightHouse friends, many wearing “my cane is my right-of-way” t-shirts, stand on the steps in front of San Francisco’s City Hall holding the LightHouse banner. Photo by Sarika Dagar.

Many White Cane Day participants wore t-shirts designed in partnership with the Vision Zero SF Safe Streets project. Vision Zero SF is committed to eliminating traffic fatalities by 2024 in San Francisco, by educating the public about traffic safety and adopting policy changes that will save lives. The t-shirts come in orange, black and white. The front of the shirts show two blind pedestrians drawn in outline in a crosswalk, using their canes. A car is stopped outside the crosswalk at a stop sign. Words, above, read “My cane is my right-of-way.” On the back of the shirts, it reads, “My Cane is my right-of-way.” in English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog.

In celebration of White Cane Awareness Month, white canes are 10% off at our Adaptations Store for walk-in customers for the entire month of October! Visit us at on the 10th floor of 1155 Market in San Francisco. Store hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’re also open on the second Saturday, October 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Look for LightHouse on San Francisco Muni Buses

Look for LightHouse on San Francisco Muni Buses

As part of LightHouse’s involvement in the Vision Zero SF campaign Safe Streets for Seniors, and to celebrate White Cane Day, LightHouse has put up bus tails (advertising appearing on the back of a bus) on Muni buses across San Francisco. The whimsical ad depicts drawn images of blind pedestrians using a white cane to cross the street. Next to the image it reads, “My cane is my right-of-way.”

The bus tails can be seen through the end of October on many buses that run to and from downtown San Francisco, including but not limited to the following bus lines:

7/7X, 38/38R, 1, 8/8BX, 49, 47, 9/9R, 39, 14R and 14X.

Celebrate White Cane Day and meet Mayor London Breed

Celebrate White Cane Day and meet Mayor London Breed

Calling all members of the blind community, friends and allies. Tuesday, October 15 is White Cane Day. Celebrate and promote safety awareness at LightHouse Headquarters as we meet Mayor London Breed and walk to City Hall. Bring your canes or dog guides and be seen.

When: Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at LightHouse Headquarters on the 10th floor.
Light refreshments will be served before the walk.

We’ll get things started with a 30-minute welcome meeting at LightHouse Headquarters on the 10th floor to talk about the importance of the white cane, LightHouse’s involvement with the Safe Streets for Seniors project and pedestrian safety in the city. San Francisco Mayor London Breed will be there to say hello.

PHOTO: In a photo taken outdoors amongst a crowd of supporters, Mayor London Breed smiles broadly for the camera as she is hugged by a delighted young girl.

At 10:30, we’ll leave LightHouse as a group and walk proudly to City Hall and back to create awareness and visibility around the white cane and blind pedestrians. Photos will be taken, and we’ll be giving away free Safe Streets t-shirts (now in white!) to wear as you walk.

Please RVSP directly to Briana Kusuma at bkusuma@lighthouse-sf.org or 415.694.7335. If you’d like a new Safe Streets t-shirt, be sure to give us your shirt size. Or wear one you already have.

1n 1964, at the urging of the National Federation of the Blind and other organizations, the United States Congress adopted a joint resolution designating October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day, recognizing that white canes enable blind people to travel safely and independently.

San Francisco’s Market Street is being transformed and the city wants to hear from you

San Francisco’s Market Street is being transformed and the city wants to hear from you

You’re invited to a community gathering on Thursday, October 3, to learn more about and give input to the Better Market Street project.

When: Thursday, October 3, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse Headquarters, 1155 Market St, 10th Floor

Better Market Street is the City’s multi-agency project to transform 2.2 miles of Market Street, from Octavia Boulevard to Stuart Street, enhancing safety and accessibility, improving transit performance, replacing aging infrastructure, and revitalizing the corridor’s streetscape.

The project is advancing toward approval this fall and in the coming months, team members from San Francisco Public Works and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be joining us for community meetings to provide updates on the project.

At our first meeting, we’ll hear an overview with an emphasis on the first phase of the project, Market Street between Eighth and Fifth streets, right in front of LightHouse Headquarters. The team will also discuss proposed transit stops and passenger drop-off zones, as much of these streetscape improvements may affect the travel of blind pedestrians. This meeting is a key one in which we all can give input.

Please join us at 1155 Market Street, 10th floor, on Thursday, Oct. 3, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

RSVP directly to Jennifer Blot of San Francisco Public Works: Jennifer.blot@sfdpw.org or 415-554-6993.

Employment Immersion Students Make Their Mark at Federal Job Fair

Employment Immersion Students Make Their Mark at Federal Job Fair

On September 4, 26 blind and low vision jobseekers who are part of LightHouse’s Employment Immersion Program, assembled at LightHouse Headquarters and walked as a group to the Federal Building in San Francisco for a job fair.

The jobseekers, dressed in business attire and armed with resumes and cover letters, spoke with representatives from twenty Federal agencies including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Labor and more.

LightHouse’s Employment Immersion Program provides individualized training in job seeking skills to adults who are blind or have low vision. This includes resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, disclosing disability and more. With the unemployment rate for blind people in the United States at 70%, the Employment Immersion Program is dedicated to lowering that rate by providing students with the essential tools they need to be competitive in the job market.

Edward Wong, LightHouse Employment Specialist, remarked that other attendees at the job fair took note of the large group of blind people who sought the same employment opportunities as their sighted peers. “People noticed how many blind people were there. We were the white cane brigade.”

Are you a blind or low vision jobseeker? Visit our Employment Immersion webpage, call 415-694-7359 or email eiteam@lighthouse-sf.org to learn more.