Tag Archive

Accessible Reading and Braille

Now Available at Adaptations: New LightHouse T-Shirts, Boldwriter 20 Pens

Photo: Smiling LightHouse Staffer Justine Harris-Richburgh holds a small, yellow megaphone while wearing our beautiful new t-shirt at the LightHouse Grand Opening parade in June.

You Asked for It – Now You Can Buy our New LightHouse T-Shirt

Many of you saw the debut of our gorgeous new charcoal-grey t-shirts emblazoned with our updated, persimmon and white LightHouse logo at our Grand Opening celebration. The calls came in fast and furiously from all over the Bay Area asking us to sell these beautiful, comfortable t-shirts.Image of new LightHouse T-shirt

Now you can buy these high quality, extra-soft shirts at the Adaptations Store for $15.00 apiece. Quantities are limited so be sure to grab yours!

Introducing the Boldwriter 20 Pen
With the demise of the PaperMate 20/20 Pen, the Adaptations Store folks have searched long and hard for an adequate replacement.

Boldwriter 20 Pen

We’re happy to present the Boldwriter 20: a thick-ink pen comparable to the 20/20 pen you know and love. Boldwriter 20 pens sell for $2.00 a piece and 6-packs are now available for $9.00. Call us or stop by the store for a demonstration.

Please note: Adaptations will be closed Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30 while we conduct inventory. We will reopen on Monday, October 3.

Adaptations, the LightHouse Store is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are located at the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th floor, San Francisco, 94103. Call us at 415-694-7320 or email us at volunteer@lighthouse-sf.org with any questions.

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.

Victor Reader Stream (VRS) 101 – A Class for Those who Already Own a New (2nd Generation) Victor Reader Stream

Do you own a New Generation Victor Reader Stream (VRS), but not not know how to use it? Let the LightHouse ensure that you become “victorious” in the use of this technology.

LightHouse Access Technology Trainer, Jeff Buckwalter, will facilitate a two-week intensive training course on Tuesdays and Fridays in September for students who have not yet taken a VRS class from us before.

When: Tuesdays and Fridays, September 13, 16, 20 and 23.Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: The LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

Cost: There is a $450.00 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.

If you don’t know all that the VRS can do, here are just a few things you will learn how to do in this class: access an enormous library of books and magazines in the palm of your hands; download and listen to audiobooks by your favorite authors; subscribe and listen to your favorite podcasts; listen to the latest newspapers and magazines; record critical phone numbers and calendar information with the touch of a button as well as accessing and reading text and audio files.

This class is open only to persons who currently own a New (2nd) Generation Victor Reader Stream and have not taken a VRS class from us before. If you are an active client of the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) or the Veterans Administration (VA), contact your case worker for eligibility and to sign up. If you are 55 and older living in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda or Marin, you may be eligible to take this class at no charge.

Contact Shen Kuan at 415-694-7312 or skuan@lighthouse-sf.org to sign up.

Our Volunteers Want to Read Your Mail During Our Off the Page Event on Saturday, August 13

Do you need an extra set of eyes to get you through a stack of mail, magazines or newsprint? On Saturday, August 13, the LightHouse is hosting an Off the Page Volunteer Event, the first of many. This month’s Off the Page event will be presented by volunteers from Oracle.

When: Saturday, August 13, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

At the new LightHouse building we have cozy, closed-door reading rooms available so that you and a vetted volunteer can go through your mail or paperwork privately. Refreshments will be available. This is a great way to potentially schedule additional reading time with a volunteer ongoing.

There are four slots available on August 13, so be sure to RSVP soon before they’re all filled up. Email 1altruism@lighthouse-sf.org (please put the words, “Off The Page” in the subject line) or call our volunteer reservation line at 415-694-7646.

Changing Vision Changing Life II – A New Addition to Our Immersion Training

PHOTO: Cooking Instructor Sydney Ferrario preps food with students.

Are you ready to kick your skills up a notch? 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 six-day overnight 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.

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

LightHouse Has a New Digital Printer That Will Create the Next Generation of Tactile Maps and Signage

PHOTO: Naomi Rosenberg (Designer, Accessible Media Specialist), BJ Epstein (Project Manager, MADLab) and Julie Sadlier (Designer, Accessible Media Specialist) stand next to the new UV flatbed printer holding examples of newly printed tactile maps and signage.

The LightHouse, through MADLab, has earned a reputation for producing fabulous tactile maps of all kinds for clients as diverse as South by Southwest, where we created maps of the Austin Convention Center for blind attendees to transit systems such as the Bay Area’s BART system and the City of Calgary, Canada’s Transit system. Up until now, these maps were printed on paper with its limited shelf life. But we wanted to be able to produce durable, physically long-lasting, braille and tactile maps and ADA signage for museums, amusement parks, trailheads and more.

tactile map

PHOTO: Tactile street map of LightHouse’s new location

Enter our new UV flatbed printer. It’s essentially an inkjet printer that prints melted plastic, accreting layer on top of layer, until the final, tactile image is built up. The new printer can print onto a range of materials including wood and metal.

Among the projects we’ve used it for are mid-Market tactile maps that cover the location of our new headquarters building (see photo, above). We’ve produced maps for the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando for the International Deaf Blind Exposition, we’ve created a variety of ADA signage and we’ve honored our significant donors with acrylic panels that are placed on the walls of our soaring three-level staircase.

 

donor_plaque

PHOTO: A photo of one of the panels of our donor appreciation wall, with our staircase and a view of City Hall prominent in the background.

MADLab Project Manager BJ Epstein told us, “The DCS is a game changer for us, and for the blind and low vision community. Not only can we now produce accessible signage, but also mountable tactile maps. Because of the unique ability to print both visual and tactile elements in one machine, our clients will be able to provide an inclusive experience to their guests, no matter what their level of sight may be. Our expertise at designing for the blind community was developed on our paper maps. Now, we are translating that expertise to more permanent and durable media.

“These maps can be used indoors or outdoors. They are cleanable; a bonus for something that will get touched a lot. And not only are they useful, but they are beautiful objects to touch and to see. We are so excited to be able to offer this amazing product to our clients.”

Now Available at Adaptations: the Newest Aftershokz Headphones model, the Trekz Titanium

The Adaptations Store is an official vendor for Aftershokz products, and to celebrate, we are showcasing several models of their Bluetooth headphones, including the just released Trekz Titanium headphones.

The Trekz Titanium Headphone is perfect for use while exercising – they’re lightweight, sweat-proof, bone conduction headphones that communicate with your device via Bluetooth.

All our Aftershokz headphones rest on your jawbone and send sound directly to your eardrum, without blocking your ears. These headphones are very popular among many different communities, including runners and commuters, but they can be particularly handy for the blind and those with low vision. Folks who navigate the streets using VoiceOver or other audio navigation tools can maintain an awareness of their surrounding environment without compromising their own personal safety.

Adaptations is carrying three styles of Aftershokz headphones: the new Trekz Titanium model ($129), the standard Bluetooth model Bluez 2 ($99.95), and the wired Sportz M3 with Microphone ($50).

To purchase these headphones by phone, call us at 415-694-7301 or take a look at them in person at our new store on the 10th floor at 1155 Market Street in San Francisco. Adaptations is 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.

Summer Concerts: Blind Music Academy Announces Three Concert Dates in August

PHOTO: Music academy students jam on keyboards and guitar.

Blind Music Academy Offering Free Concerts in August

In its third year, LightHouse’s summer Music Academy grows and expands. With an emphasis on composition, performance and learning to read and write music in braille for musicians who are blind or have low vision and are ages 16 to 24, our talent pool and ambition continues to grow. This year we’re excited to host students from the United States, Mexico and Canada. And with the opening in May of the LightHouse’s state-of-the-art San Francisco facility, Blind Music Academy will now be held both in the city and the country.

This year we have fourteen dedicated blind musicians, all under the age of 25, who are spending a week honing their skills as musicians and composers. The students are from all over North America, and though some of these individuals are already quite formidable talents, they are spending this week focused on not only becoming better performers but achieving fluency in braille music and other accessible forms of musical notation.

Each year Blind Music Academy culminates with a performance by our blind students, and this time around the group has announced that they will perform not once but three times, with additional concerts in both downtown Napa and San Francisco. Our students include a virtuosic classical pianist from Vera Cruz, Mexico and a locally-known jazz radio DJ and percussionist from El Paso, Texas, and the shows are guaranteed to be musically diverse and exciting.

Experience the power of Music Academy by joining us at one of these three, free concerts:

Blind Music Academy Summer Tour Dates

  • Friday, August 5 – Covenant Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m.
    1226 Salvador Ave, Napa, CA 94558
  • Saturday, August 6 – Enchanted Hills Camp, 4:00 p.m., with dinner following.
    3410 Mt Veeder Rd, Napa, CA 94558
  • Tuesday, August 9 – LightHouse for the Blind, 5:30 p.m., with reception following.
    1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco 94103

The concerts are free. For those attending the concert at Enchanted Hills Camp, we are requesting a donation if you wish to join us for dinner after the show. Please RSVP for all concerts to Tony Fletcher at tfletcher@lighthouse-sf.org.

Our students walk into the Music Academy session brimming with talent. Take a look for yourself. Watch these videos for two of our students, concert pianist Fernando Apan and percussionist Lawrence Brown:

Fernando Apan interprets Mozart

Fernando Apan: Fantasía Para Piano y Clarinet

Interview with Lawrence Brown

About Blind Music Academy
Enchanted Hills Camp has paired up with Bill McCann, founder and president of Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology. Bill McCann pioneered this specialized music academy model both in Canada and in the United States. Music Academy is for musicians who are blind or have low vision between the ages of 16 to 24 years old who are serious about music or might be thinking of entering the profession. This academy introduces students to using non-visual techniques to compose music, read the works of others, learn performance skills and gain the capacity to compete for and win employment in the music field.

This year’s Music Academy session is full. If you have questions about next year’s session, please contact Taccarra Burrell at ehc@lighthouse-sf.org or 451-694-7310.

Learn How to Use the Victor Reader Stream and Take One Home When You’re Done

If you are 55 or older, you are eligible for free LightHouse training on the Victor Reader Stream, a handheld accessible media player that is second-to-none. Upon completing the training successfully you’ll be able take your Victor Reader Stream home at no cost, at a savings of $329.00!

The Victor Reader Stream, manufactured by HumanWare, offers you an easy way to access written word and audio files. During this three-week intensive training course beginning on July 26, you will fully learn how to use this versatile technology that gives users the opportunity to hold an enormous library of books and magazines in the palm of their hands.

Class dates: Tuesdays and Fridays, July 26, 29, August 2, 5, 9, 12
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please bring your own lunch.
Location: LightHouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco 94103

Sign up now as space is limited. All students must register by Friday, July 22nd. 

Adaptations, the LightHouse Store sells the  Victor Reader Stream for $329.00. Students who fully complete the three-week course and demonstrate independent use of the device will leave the class with a free device.

With the Victor Reader Stream you can:

  • download and listen to audiobooks by your favorite authors
  • subscribe and listen to your favorite podcasts
  • listen to the latest newspapers and magazines
  • record critical phone numbers and calendar information with the touch of a button

To participate in this class you:

  • must be 55 years or older and not currently enrolled with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) or Veterans Administration (VA)
  • must not currently own a Victor Reader Stream
  • must be an avid reader and interested in downloading books and magazines from online sources

Note: If you are a consumer of DOR or the VA, please speak with your counselor to request individual training from the LightHouse.

Funding for this class is specifically from the Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program.

How to Register:
If you are new to the LightHouse, have not participated in LightHouse classes within the past year or have questions, please start by contacting Demenagement ADT and Debbie Bacon at 415.694.7357 or dbacon@lighthouse-sf.org.  If you are a current LightHouse student and meet the criteria we’ve listed above, please register with Shen Kuan at 415.694.7312 or skuan@lighthouse-sf.org.