Tag Archive

Parents and Children

A Few Spots Left in Enchanted Hills Camp Sessions

We still have a few openings for blind and low vision campers in our Summer 2015 sessions. This summer we’ll offer the most loved traditional camp activities you won’t want to miss, such as hiking, swimming, boating, nature programs, arts and crafts and more. We also have fresh sessions such as Music Academy, a new science-rich track during teen session and our very first Horse Camp (see below).

Sign up online using one of the applications on the Enchanted Hills page of our website. For a hard copy of the application, please contact Taccarra Burrell at ehc@lighthouse-sf.org.

Enchanted Hills Camp Sessions for 2015

Here is the schedule for the Enchanted Hills Camp 2015 summer sessions.

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Cycle for Sight Bike Ride for Enchanted Hills Camp: Saturday April 18
Sign up now at http://www.cycle4sight.com/. If you’d like to ride tandem, contact Tony Fletcher at afletcher@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7319.

Chemistry Camp: May 1 to May 3
Family Camp I: June 11 to June 14
Blind Babies Family Camp: June 19 to June 21
Adult Session: June 27 to July 2
Special Needs: July 3 to July 8
Family Camp II: July 9 to July 12
Youth Session: July 13 to July 19 (TouchSTEM session is July 15 to 18)
Teen Session: July 20 to July 26
Family Camp III: July 29 to August 1
Music Academy: August 2 to August 8
Horse Camp: August 2 to August 8
Deaf-Blind Camp (Adult): August 9 to August 13 (5 days)

Online applications will be available starting noon on February 2, 2015 (not February 1st as previously stated)

For questions about Cycle for Sight or Camp session, contact Camp Director Tony  Fletcher at 415-694-7319 or afletcher@lighthouse-sf.org.

We can’t wait to have you up to Mt. Veeder soon!

Become Empowered, Define Your Future, Discover You!

Discover You
A seminar presented by The Bay Area Chapters of the National Federation of the Blind of California & LightHouse for the Blind


Join the National Federation of the Blind of California and LightHouse for the Blind for an action-packed day. Come learn how you can live the life you want. Blind leaders in the community will present on topics such as employment, technology and recreation. Learn about your options and how you can advocate and raise expectations so that blindness need not hold you back from accomplishing your dreams.

What? A free seminar where you can learn the skills essential to success.
Continental breakfast, lunch and happy hour will be provided free
of charge!
Why? Low expectations are often the obstacles which stand between
blind people and the desire to succeed; and it is time to change
that perception.
Who? You! – Especially if you are a blind or low vision youth or adult;
have a family member who is blind; a professional in the blindness field; and anyone else who wants to have fun.
Where? LightHouse for the Blind | 214 Van Ness Avenue | San Francisco
When? Saturday august 23 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

RSVP now to Lisamaria Martinez at info@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-431-1481. The first 25 people to sign up will receive a gift card. Limited transportation may be arranged if there is a specific need.

LightHouse Hosts Boisterous Braille Challenge

Last month young budding braillists from all over Northern California converged at the LightHouse for the most important braille competition to be held all year.

Twenty K through 12 kids, with their families there to cheer them on, put their braille skills to test in a variety of competencies including; Reading and Comprehension, Speed and Accuracy Proofreading, Spelling, and Chart and Graph Reading.

The Braille Challenge is a two-part contest for K-12 youth who read and write braille. It is a unique academic competition designed to encourage and reward students for emphasizing their braille reading and writing skills. In addition to the competition, the event included an “Amazing Race: LightHouse Version” a hands-on tech workshop and resource fair, as well as a self-defense demonstration and workshop for the children by 1-Touch Self Defense. Overall, it was a fun-filled day promoting the importance and value of Braille literacy.

LightHouse would like to thank the following for their very generous collaboration and support:

Braille Institute of America, California School for the Blind, Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Junior Blind of America, Humanware, Seedlings, California Council of the Blind (San Francisco and Silicon Valley Chapters), Beulah Reamer Legacy, National Braille Press, McKenzie by Sew-On, Subway, Stephen Gray, Richard Warner from 1-Touch Self Defense, our wonderfully dedicated volunteers, Keynote Speaker Hoby Wedler, all of the TVIs who taught, supported, and encouraged the contestants, and of course, our amazing Braille Challenge contestants.

Congratulations to our Braille Challenge 2014 Top 3 Finishers in Each Division!

3rd- Josephine Fatuesi
2nd- Theresa Liu
1st- Luke Phillip Pilar

3rd- Mario Chitwood
2nd- Monserath Espinola
1st-Patricia Figueroa

3rd- Kaitlyn Austin
2nd- Nikhil Dadlani
1st- Ethan Fung

Junior Varsity
2nd- Alexia Arriola
1st- Sean McGee

2nd- Connor Wong
1st- Santiago Hernandez


First Place Winner in the Varsity Division, Santiago Hernandez smiles while holding his trophy

Theresa Liu

Transit Orientation Guides Featured on Speaking Out for the Blind

The latest Speaking Out for the Blind podcast focuses on how the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is expanding independent travel in the San Francisco Bay Area. The agency’s brand-new Transit Orientation Guides help riders navigate the Bay Area’s complicated transit routes. Frank Welte, staff member with the LightHouse’s Access to Information Services department, joins the show to talk about the new guides and some of the LightHouse’s additional services. You’ll find the podcast here: http://bit.ly/transitroutepodcast.

Get your free Transit Route Orientation Guide today, or request free Orientation Training to help you ride public transportation with confidence. Contact Frank Welte at 415-694-7363, or fwelte@lighthouse-sf.org.

Earlier in the year Speaking Out for the Blind focused on being a blind parent and spoke to LightHouse psychologist in residence Connie Conley-Jung. Listen to this fascinating podcast by clicking on http://bit.ly/bestblindparent

LightHouse for the Blind Youth Program Presents: Halloween Costume Party & Social

Calling all ghosts, goblins, witches, warlocks, and wannabe celebrities!

It’s that time of year to put on your scariest, funniest, or most outrageous costume for a haunting good time at LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired! Come join the LightHouse Youth Program for a fun-filled evening of Halloween-themed games, contests, treats, and other festive activities for all ages.

From 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.

Who: Low Vision and Blind Youth and their Families and Friends
What: Halloween Party
When: Friday October 25 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm; please make your transportation arrangements pick you up no later than 8:00 pm
Where: LightHouse for the Blind | 214 Van Ness Ave. | San Francisco, CA
Waiver: Each participant must submit a LightHouse Youth Program waiver form, if they have not done so for a previous event
Cost: FREE
RSVP: Please RSVP by October 18th to Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org or (415) 694-7372

Categories for Costume Contest:

  • Best Family Theme Costume
  • Most Original/Creative Costume
  • Most Unrecognizable Costume
  • Scariest Costume
  • Coolest Costume
  • Funniest Costume

Spooky Activities:

  • Scary Dance Off
  • Spooky Food Potluck
  • Zombie Tag
  • Mummy Race
  • Mask Making
  • Costume Parade with Prizes

The Perfect Event Space Is Waiting Just For You

Are you tired of holding your get-together in the same old space? Do you have an upcoming staff retreat, workshop, reunion or wedding that needs an exceptional place to make it the most talked about event of the year? Well, look no further because Enchanted Hills Retreat is the place to be.Main Lodge and dining hall at Enchanted Hills as seen from a distance.  Lokoya Lake is in the foreground.

Book your winter event now and receive 20 percent off your daily rate!

Enchanted Hills sits atop Mt. Veeder Road in Napa and sprawls across 311 acres of redwoods, creeks, trails and some of the most breath taking sites Napa has to offer. Surrounded by nature, Enchanted Hills offers a most unique and relaxing place to hold your event. From a wedding to a reunion, our retreat space can provide you with an intimate and exclusive place to celebrate that special moment in your life. We can accommodate groups from 20 to 120. Best of all, we offer rates that simply cannot be beat.

Book now for an event between November 2013 and February 2014 and receive a 20 percent discount on your daily rate. All rental proceeds support the unparalleled programs of Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind. During the summer months, Enchanted Hills Camp is a place for blind campers to explore and create, gain courage, try new things, learn about the environment and make lifelong friends. By celebrating your special event with us you not only have an exceptional place to work or play, but you help give an exceptional summer camp experience to blind and low vision youth and adults.

So…experience the charm of Enchanted Hills this winter! To reserve your space or get more information, call 415-694-7310 or go to www.enchantedhillsretreat.com.


LightHouse Gets Special Tour of the New Exploratorium

Earlier this month a large group of LightHouse Board and staff members were honored to be invited to tour the Exploratorium at its new home on Pier 15 in San Francisco.

“What thrilled me about the exhibitions,” said Frank Welte, LightHouse Information and Referral Specialist, “is that because the Exploratorium is an interactive museum, it lends itself to promoting full accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired. For example, most of the exhibits allow a person to touch them and many of the exhibits also have an audio or tactile component. I believe the museum staff has the creativity and enthusiasm to discover ways to bring access to the visual elements.”

For example, the group examined an exhibit where live data is collected every hour on the changing tide in San Francisco bay. The data is fed into a machine that cuts small pieces of plastic into different shapes based on the data, plastic pieces that represent the tidal patterns. Frank said, “I could feel the changes in the patterns as the tide changed. You can read from left to right and see what the patterns are over months.”

There was also a discussion about ways to improve and increase the accessibility of the exhibits. Frank told us, “We had a very wide ranging and energetic dialogue between LightHouse and the Exploratorium staff about ways the exhibits could be modified to make them accessible to all visitors including those with disabilities.”

The Exploratorium’s new location is much more accessible to disabled visitors because it is much easier to get to. There is an F streetcar stop right in front of it. Frank said, “The Exploratorium is a museum that draws visitors right into their exhibits, much more than a traditional “behind glass” type museum will. More than that, it’s a museum that welcomes blind and visually impaired visitors.”

Frank Welte and LightHouse staff walking to the Exploratorium







LightHouse staff members at Exploratorium panel access discussion: (l to r) Greeta Ahart, BJ Epstein, John Liang, Jamey Gump and Isabel Arreola








See additional photos of our Exploratorium visit.


Have your Group Plan a Get-Together at Enchanted Hills Retreat

Dappled light shines between the line of olive trees as you wind down the driveway. Open sunshine greets you by the pond alive with frogs and a pair of geese and their gosling. Deeper shade makes it cool and quiet under the majestic Redwoods. The qualities of light at Enchanted Hills Retreat explain the name.  Why don’t you bring together a group of friends, family, or colleagues in the beauty and quiet of Enchanted Hills?

Just 8 miles from downtown Napa, and in the heart of one of the most prestigious appellations of Napa wine country, Enchanted Hills is a great location to get away from it all, without being far away. We’ve got comfortable cabins, spacious meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi and home-style meals. Everything you need to make your workshop, wedding or reunion superlative. And the proceeds from renting Enchanted Hills are returned to camp, to make Enchanted Hills a transformative, unparalleled opportunity for blind and low vision kids to explore, create and learn. Experience the magic of Enchanted Hills! To reserve your space for 20 to 120 or get more information, call 415-694-7310 or go to www.enchantedhillsretreat.com.

Beautiful Lokoya Lake at Enchanted Hills Retreat