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Know Someone With Changing Vision? Our Next Immersion Training Sessions are Coming Up

Know Someone With Changing Vision? Our Next Immersion Training Sessions are Coming Up

Photo: Class Picture of the September CVCL Immersion Training Session 2 Class

Fall is a time for harvest and abundance. Over the past four years, 250 students have harvested their skills and received an abundance of support, opportunities to connect and a rich introduction to skills ranging from accessing print, learning about technology to organizing their households and traveling independently.

Holli Clark of Santa Cruz County has participated in both sessions and had this to say about her experience:

“Just a note to share my big thanks for the wonderful Immersion experience! One of my big reasons for wanting to go for Immersion training was because I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. I figured there were better ways of doing things than I had made up over the years. I was certainly correct in that, and am delighted to be learning many new skills. This translates to being more productive, efficient, confident, independent and safer. [The] week was packed with immeasurable value. I learned so much from each trainer and really appreciated your focus on scheduling us according to individual needs…Your staff are both exceptional trainers in their fields as well as wonderful, caring people.”

Sydney and Holli

Photo: Cooking Instructor Sydney Ferrario and CVCL student Holli Clark stand together in the Betty Ruhland Teaching Kitchen at the LightHouse

 We’re offering one last CVCL session before year’s end, and another in February. Details on both follow:

December Changing Vision Changing Life (CVCL) Immersion Training Session 2
This session is facilitated from the new LightHouse Building in the heart of San Francisco.  The focus of this week’s training is “boots hit the ground in training”. Students participating in this week must have already received basic skills training in orientation and mobility, access technology or independent living and must be committed to focusing intently in all three of these skill areas in a small group and individual learning environment. (Please note: students do not need to have attended a previous CVCL session to attend CVCL 2 in San Francisco.)

This five day session is designed for students who are committed to full days of instruction, homework and practice in the evening and will take full advantage of the professional training time, mentoring and peer support and self-study that will be available.

Students will participate in a minimum of three of the following areas:

  1. 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
  1. Orientation and Mobility Training 1:1
  2. Introduction to Braille
  3. Smart Cooking for Independence
  4. Low Vision Training – Using your Tools to Your Benefit
  5. Independent living skills

When: CVCL 2 will run from Monday, December 5th (arrival at 9:30 a.m. – training starts at 10:00 a.m.) through Friday, December 9 (leave at 11:00 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 $1,300 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. It is highly recommended that all students have a solution for taking notes, such as the Victor Reader Stream (training will be provided in how to use this recording device)

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February Changing Vision Changing Life Immersion Training Session 1
This session is held at Enchanted Hills Retreat in Napa and is specifically geared for students new to blindness and low vision. For five days, up to 14 adult students have the opportunity to develop basic skills in a range of areas – access technology; orientation and mobility; organization and labeling; magnification and lighting; cooking; braille and community, state and national resources.

The week is full, active, emotional and supportive and students are given the opportunity to meet others, to harvest their own skills and determine the direction of the quality of their lives. There are three scholarship openings for persons 55 and better living in Humboldt, Del Norte, San Francisco, Marin or Alameda County who are not consumers of the Department of Rehabilitation or the VA. For those who are consumers of the Department of Rehabilitation, we encourage you to discuss this opportunity with your counselor.

When: CVCL I will run from February 6th – 10th.

Where: The session will be held in at Enchanted Hills Retreat in Napa. Participants will stay overnight throughout the week in our lakeside lodgings. Transportation is available from San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin County.

Cost: There is a $1,300 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.

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For More Information, to Register for Session 1 or Session 2, or if you have questions, please contact Debbie Bacon at dbacon@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7357 in San Francisco; Jeff Carlson at jcarlson@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-258-8496 in Marin County or Janet Pomerantz at jpomerantz@lighthouse-sf.org or 707-268-5646 in Humboldt County.

 

This December – Learn How to Use Your iPhone

This December – Learn How to Use Your iPhone

Do you own an iPhone? Would you like to do more than make phone calls or ask Siri for today’s weather report?

Join us for a 2-day workshop in December for beginning iPhone users using VoiceOver (speech feedback). Our highly skilled instructors will provide hands-on instruction to make your iPhone use more complete. Learn to tap, flick and rotate your way through your phone for maximum efficiency.

When: December 15 and 16, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
Where: the LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th floor, San Francisco, 94103
Cost: $150.00. Scholarships may be available to persons 55 and over living in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda and Marin.
To participate you must own an iPhone.
Space is limited, so sign up now.

Over the two-day workshop you will learn to take advantage of the following features of your iPhone:

  • Effective Use of Siri
  • Using your Calendar and reminder features
  • Setting alarms using your clock and your timer when cooking
  • Creating Phone Contacts
  • Text Messaging
  • Overview of native (built-in) Apps

For questions, eligibility or to signup, contact Shen Kuan at 415-694-7312 or skuan@lighthouse-sf.org.

World of Sex Series: Talking About Sex

World of Sex Series: Talking About Sex

Whether you are discussing sexual health with a health care provider; negotiating safer sex practices with a potential new partner; or disclosing a fantasy you’ve kept secret from your long-term partner, sometimes talking about sex and sexual health can be difficult. We understand, and we are here to help show you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Not only can talking about sex be fun, it can even be sexy!

You are invited to participate in this month’s “Talking About Sex” workshop led by LightHouse Sexual Health Services Program Coordinator Laura Millar, MPH, M.A. Laura will be co-presenting this workshop with a health educator from Planned Parenthood, Hana Afra, M.A.

Who: Adults (ages 18 and older) who are blind or have low vision. You may bring an adult guest with you.
When: Thursday, October 13, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103
Cost: Free to attend

Hana will provide an overview of the different services Planned Parenthood offers, and how to access those services. We will also discuss how you can feel more confident talking to your healthcare providers regarding your sexual health; and how to request information that is both accessible and meaningful for you.

Adults ages 18 and older are invited to join us in creating a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space to explore talking about sex. This workshop is open to all participants regardless of gender, sexual orientation, sexual experience or relationship status. Regardless of your current comfort level, come and join us for this fun educational workshop and leave feeling more confident and empowered to have the conversations you want to have.

These workshops are community inspired and led and we want to hear from you. If you have other topics you would like to propose for the World of Sex series, or ideas about how to be more involved with this series please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.

About the Workshop Leader
Laura Millar joins the LightHouse team as the Program Coordinator for Sexual Health Services. Legally blind herself with a Master of Public Health as well as a Masters in Sexuality Studies, she will be conducting research that examines how individuals with vision loss learn about and navigate the world of dating, sex and intimate relationships. In this role she will be offering workshops, trainings and in-services for individuals who are blind or have low vision, their family members and the organizations that serve them, ensuring that sexual health information and services are comprehensive, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

The LightHouse is pleased to be in a unique position to expand its services in this area. We know that for many, just talking about sex and sexual health can make many people feel uncomfortable. For people experiencing vision loss and the professionals that serve them, navigating these sensitive conversations poses its own unique set of challenges. Laura is here to help make those conversations a little easier for everyone. If you have questions about Laura’s role, the work she will be doing, or would like to talk to her please feel free to e-mail her at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or call her at 415-694-7345. She would love to hear from you.

If you have other topics you would like to propose for the World of Sex series, or ideas about how to be more involved with this series please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at info@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-431-1481.

Autumn Kitchen Basics Class

Autumn Kitchen Basics Class

Left to right: Janeen Rockwell-Owens, Gail McGaster, Victoria Hahn, Instructor Sydney Ferrario, Holli Clark work on two acorn squash soups.

Sweater-season is approaching, and an appetite for heartier meals beckons us inside and to the kitchen. Using a variety of tasty and interesting recipes for soups, one-pot meals, sauces, entrees and desserts, in this class, beginning October 11, you’ll learn cooking strategies with an emphasis on non-visual (tactile, auditory, olfactory and gustatory) techniques and create healthy, cost-effective and delicious meals.

Who: This course is designed for the beginner and intermediate level home cook.
When: October 11 through November 3. These eight class sessions occur every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: The LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, 94103
Cost: The class fee is $600.00. Those persons who are 55 and older, not a consumer of the Department of Rehabilitation and living in the counties of San Francisco, Marin or Alameda counties may be eligible for scholarship.
There is a materials fee of $50 for all students.
Space is limited to 5 students per class.

In this class we’ll use a variety of tasty and interesting recipes for fall soups, one-pot meals, sauces, entrees and desserts. Students will have the chance to learn, develop and practice kitchen skills such as:

  • Knife skills, safety strategies and professional level techniques
  • Measuring wet/dry ingredients confidently and accurately
  • Organization and labeling ideas for your kitchen, including setting up your workspace and cleaning strategies/techniques
  • Navigating oven and stovetops and testing for done-ness
  • Easy ingredient swaps for dairy/wheat-free diets, and how to boost nutrition

There will also be a technology overlap where students will practice accessing recipes via smartphone, Victor Reader Stream, or CCTV.

If you are a current student at the LightHouse, contact Sydney Ferrario to register for this class, at sferrario@lighthouse-sf.org.

If you are new to the LightHouse, please contact Debbie Bacon at 415-694-7357 or dbacon@lighthouse-sf.org. Please let us know at the time of registration if you have special dietary needs or food allergies so that we may accommodate recipes as much as possible.

Sign Up Now for Employment Immersion Sessions for October, January

Sign Up Now for Employment Immersion Sessions for October, January

Join the many LightHouse students who have found work through the LightHouse Employment Immersion Program. The program is for people who are blind or have low vision, from any background, seeking any job.

“Blind people forget that employers need them. We—the blind—have vast skill sets. We are scientists, artists, journalists, you name it. Often our blindness has nothing to do with our careers, except that it can make us stronger, and hiring us adds a diverse voice in the workplace. I remind my students that they truly are assets to any company. It’s not just a line we feed the students; it’s a reality Employment Immersion helps them discover.”
—Employment Immersion Program Leader Kate Williams

The next Employment Immersion sessions are scheduled as follows:

Where: The LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, 94103

When:
October 11 through November 10, 2016

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

January 10 through February 9, 2017
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

To learn more, contact Employment Immersion Coordinator Wanda Pearson at WPearson@lighthouse-sf.org or call 415-694-7359.

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

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

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.

 

 

Explore Animals by Touch as LightHouse Youth, Their Families and Exploratorium go to the San Francisco Zoo

Explore Animals by Touch as LightHouse Youth, Their Families and Exploratorium go to the San Francisco Zoo

PHOTO: A large sign for the San Francisco Zoo, near its entrance.

On Sunday, October 16 LightHouse students and their families, aided by Exploratorium Staff and Youth staff, will have the chance to enjoy a hands-on experience at the San Francisco Zoo, in the Sculpture Learning Plaza.

The Sculpture Learning Plaza is an exciting, innovative and accessible addition to the Zoo. It has nearly 100 sculptures and reliefs that are meant to be explored by touch and illustrate the amazing array of adaptations from some of the world’s most unique species.

Who: Families with at least one person that is blind or has low vision. Immediate family members.
What: A day of interactive animal science and exploration at the San Francisco Zoo.
When: Sunday, October 16, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: The San Francisco Zoo, 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco, 94132
Cost: Free for LightHouse Youth. Additional family members may need to pay an entry fee.
Waiver: Each participant must complete a LightHouse Youth Program Application, if you have not done so already.
What to bring: good walking shoes, bag lunch or money for lunch, water bottle and warm layers of clothing. Please be sure to bring necessary adaptive equipment such as a cane or magnifier.

With our friends from the Exploratorium leading the way we will learn about the ecological threads that connect all living things.

The sculptures are made from a variety of construction materials providing realistic textures. Microscopic species, such as an amoeba, are enlarged to show detail, while other sculptures, like that of the salt water crocodile, are life-size to exhibit their impressive stature.

Read more about the Sculpture Learning Plaza.

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

Join the LightHouse For Its First-Ever Blind Soldering Workshop in November

Join the LightHouse For Its First-Ever Blind Soldering Workshop in November

Photo: Close-up of a flame being used to solder wire.

The LightHouse is holding its first-ever soldering workshop for people who are blind or have low vision.

Soldering is an essential skill for prototyping and building electronics. While many blind people can solder with skill and safety, working with delicate components and high-temperature molten solder can be daunting for beginners.

Who: Adults 18 and up who are blind or have low vision.
When: Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6, 2016.
Attendees are welcome to check-in as early as 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4. The program begins at 5:00 p.m. that day and lasts through noon on Sunday, November 6.
Where: the LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th floor, San Francisco, 94103.
Cost: $300 which includes overnight accommodations in our new Student Residences and material fees.
Deadline to apply is Friday, October 28. Payment secures your spot.

During this weekend-long workshop, attendees will be offered a unique opportunity to learn non-visual soldering techniques from some of the most skilled and experienced blind solderers in the world. In addition to gaining hands-on experience with a soldering iron, students will finish the workshop with an understanding of the metallurgy behind the use of flux and solder, as well as a strong foundation in the practical aspects of electronics soldering.

Students will be guided in building their own accessible continuity tester – one of the most fundamental and flexible tools for electronics work without vision. Workshop tuition includes the basic tools needed for soldering, with the continuity tester, soldering station, and other tools yours to keep at the conclusion of the workshop.

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Joshua Miele, Associate Director of the Smith-Kettlewell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Low Vision and Blindness, Creative Director of LightHouse Labs, and founder of the Blind Arduino Project. Our team of highly-qualified soldering instructors all have decades of experience building electronics and teaching non-visual soldering techniques to students with a broad range of experience.

For more information or to apply to the first-ever LightHouse soldering workshop, contact Director of Community Services Lisamaria Martinez via email at info@lighthouse-sf.org or by phone at 415-431-1481.

Toyota Robotics Supports LightHouse Innovation Lab

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.”