East Bay Center for the Blind


Summer 2019
Newsletter of
The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc.
2928 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703

East Bay Center for the Blind

May – August 2019 News Bulletin

Editors: Dorothy Donaville and Jan Santos

Welcome to the Spring-Summer edition of the EBCB newsletter. Here are some highlights of what’s been going on in recent months.

Current EBCB Board

In January, members elected the board for 2019 as follows:

Dorothy Donaville re-elected to President.
Ray Marcus, Second Vice-President.
Connie Skeen, Corresponding Secretary.
Directors: Daveed Mandell and Claude Everett.

The other Board members remaining as before are: First Vice President Leah Gardner, Recording Secretary Patty Nash, Mike Castner Treasurer, and Directors Marie Jenkins, David Milne, and Jenna Rubin.

Our thanks go out to the departing Board Members for their service and dedication for the past year:  Larry Wolf, Second Vice-President; Daveed Mandell, Corresponding Secretary; and Directors Louise Wolf and Ray Marcus.

East Bay Center’s New Look

When entering through the front door, you will notice the new wall that now allows the Computer Lab more privacy and most of all much less interruption of classes.  This will make for more peaceful and efficient teaching and learning. It will also allow for a private meeting space when the lab is not in use for students.

We are now set for the rainy season.  Our new roof was installed in April, this was a long time coming.

This is a wonderful time of year to have our beautiful back-yard garden. Be sure to visit this peaceful lovely area the next time you come to the Center. Many thanks to Marie Jenkins, volunteers, and to those who continue to generously provide, donate and contribute all that is needed to make this an enjoyable beautiful garden.

Meditation Class

We want to apologize to member David Cook, who is generously volunteering his time to facilitate a wonderful meditation class at EBCB, which we failed to mention in our last bulletin.  Here is David‘s description of his class.

Mindfulness Meditation – Led by David Cook.

Wednesdays, 1:00 to 2:30PM.

This is a group equally suitable for ongoing attendance or dropping in anytime.

Our purpose is to practice being present with each moment of our lives, rather than letting life rush by us unnoticed.  These practices lead to greater contentment and freedom of choice as well as a deeper understanding of our true nature. Mindfulness meditation is compatible with any religion or philosophy. We begin with a short meditation period followed by a discussion.

From the Technology Staff

EBCB Computer Lab Usage Guidelines:
We have four computer work-stations in our computer lab, and to allow access for everyone we have some basic guidelines.  First of all, training time with an instructor is done by appointment. These times are usually the same day and time each week.  Please call the center or speak to one of the instructors to schedule training time. Since time is limited, please call in advance if you know you cannot make an appointment so someone else may utilize the services in your absence.  The lab is open for personal use and practice without an appointment, but if training is happening with someone else, you will be responsible for using the computer quietly, independently, and with headphones or ear-buds and not to interrupt the trainer.  Technical staff are available for questions, but time for serious technical support may be restricted. Finally, to keep the equipment clean and in good condition, food and drinks are not allowed in the lab. Most importantly, keep learning and having fun!

Summer break for Berkeley Adult School classes — Ceramics, Exercise, and Music—will begin on June 14 until August 26.  This will be a great opportunity for those of you who might want to share your expertise and skills to lead additional activities.  There have been suggestions of a possible nutrition class, cooking class, language, exercise, perhaps knitting or crocheting. We are also anticipating a summer outing with the East Bay Regional Parks District which is still in the planning stage.  Stay tuned for the specifics.



The East Bay Center for the Blind will be honored!  On May 31st The Warren Publishing Group is holding their 4th annual Older Americans Month Reception in partnership with the City of Oakland‘s Aging and Adult Services, honoring agencies that provide health-care services to the senior population.  This will be a great opportunity for EBCB to reach out to and be recognized by the larger community.  (Warren Publishing Group is a Senior Advocacy Alliance providing information to seniors age 50+ through Renew Magazine, community outreach, speakers’ bureau and philanthropy in the Oakland Bay Area.)

I recently heard some interesting information regarding low-cost hearing aids which I wanted to pass on, since hearing aids are so important and usually very expensive.  Please note I do not have direct experience with these, and am not recommending them, just passing on information to research if anyone is interested.  The 'MDHearingAid' website is www.GetMDHearingAid200.com

They offer three models of aids selling for $200, $400 and $600.  The other three are: America Hears; Hears Source; and Hi Health Innovations. I don’t have the specific contact information for these.


Grant News

By Daveed Mandell, Development Officer

We have just received a $10,000 grant from the Bothin Foundation   in San Francisco as partial payment for EBCB’s new roof. We are still seeking general operating support and capital improvements grants. We plan to request a grant from the William G. Irwin Charitable Foundation also in San Francisco.  This funder offers capital grants to non-profits, whose next funding cycle is expected to begin very soon. We have found several adult literacy grants, and are exploring these as possible application options. Earlier this year we received a $10,000 grant from the Peninsula Endowment in Santa Clara County towards our new computers and computer lab wall construction.  We plan to request further funding this fall after completion of their application process revision.

Meanwhile, our Transportation Justice Projector Seniors and People with Disabilities is moving along very well. Jenna Rubin, our Outreach Coordinator for the project and her team have been hard at work, connecting with Life Elder Care and other organizations.    Jenna, Connie Thomas, Theodora McBride, and Lisa Logan participated in Momentum Expo on April 27 at the Ed Roberts Campus where they showcased our Transportation Justice Project, distributed a survey and invited people to work with us.

We are preparing to research best practices and alternative transportation models in the United States and abroad to propose a multimodal transportation model suitable for the Bay Area region.

I have been working with organization that comprise the Transportation Justice Movement to draft a vision and principles statement as part of an effort to advocate for a regional transportation measure expected to be on the 2020 ballot. Many of these organizations are new to working with senior and people with disabilities, however they have been extremely receptive to including and emphasizing such integral principles as freedom of movement and accessibility. Our breakthrough partnership has so far been rewarding and productive.


(Note: The Open Mic event that was scheduled for June 8th has been cancelled.)

Saturday, June 15: Training, 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Training on use of the Safeway website to order online for delivery of groceries using a screen reader. Please sign up by Wed. June 12.

Saturday, June 22:  Movie Day, 12:00 to 4:00 PM, lunch $10, menu to be announced, plus popcorn; reserve lunch by Wed. 19.  featuring Green Book, audio-described. The film is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American travelers written by Victor Hugo Green. In early-1960s openly and legally segregated America, two polar opposites, a distinguished and refined African-American classical pianist and an uncultivated Italian-American nightclub bouncer, form an unlikely friendship.

Saturday, July 20: Open Mic, 5:30 to 8:00 PM. (From Jenna Rubin) — Help us launch our new Open Vent Night.  This is a space for sharing what is on your mind your writing, your music.... whatever.  There is no charge, but this is a fundraiser, so bring small bills to purchase snacks, bevies, and light entrees.  No need to sign up. Just show up.

Saturday, July 27: Quarterly Business Meeting, 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  Lunch is $10.00, RSVP by Wednesday, July 24th, menu to be announced.

Saturday, August 24:  EBCB annual picnic, 12:00 to 4:00 PM. Lunch $10.00 RSVP by Wed. August 21; we’ll serve hamburgers, hotdogs and potato Salad and dessert, our traditional EBCB picnic fair.

Summer outing:  We are making plans for an outing, perhaps with the Regional East Bay Parks District; we will keep you informed of details as they develop.

Center Closures:  We will be closed on Thurs. July 4 and Fri. July 5 for the 4th of July holiday.  EBCB summer break will be from Tuesday August 6 through Fri. August 16, and we will re-open on Tuesday August 20.

Ongoing CLASSES and activities

Tuesday: Ceramics, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. — Instructor: Kathleen Rowe.

Tuesday: Exercise and Movement class, 2:00 to 3:30 PM. — Instructor: Kathleen Davis.

Wednesday: Mindfulness Meditation, 1:00 to 2:30. — Led by David Cook.

Thursday: Memory Support Group, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. — Instructor: Carol Kehoe.

Friday: Music Appreciation, 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Instructor: — Diana Perry.

First Thursday of each month: Bingo, 1:00 to 3:00 PM. — Cover charge $2.00.

First Friday of each month: Book Club, 10:00 to 11:00 AM. — Facilitators: Patty Nash and Dorothy Doraville. — Book club selections: June, DBC 16765 All Together In One Place; July, DB92036 With Every Breath; August, DB92510 Every Breath.

Second and fourth Fridays:  Vision Loss Peer Support group, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. — Facilitators: Carrie Carter and Patty Overland.

Third Friday of each month:  Writing Club, 10:00 to 11:00 AM. — Facilitators: Dorothy Donaville and Patty Nash.

Technology Training available by appointment:
Call specific instructor at 510-843-6935.  Adaptive computer with JAWS, Instructor Fran Franks. iPhone Instructor Fran Franks.  Zoom Text with JAWS (Fusion) Instructor Mike Gorman. Braille Instructor Patty Nash. Victor Stream Instructor Patty Nash.


The East Bay Center for the Blind is a Private Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization. Any tax-exempt donations are always needed.  Please remember us, and encourage donations from others to ensure the continuation of EBCB.

Mission Statement:

Founded in 1939, The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc. is a small, innovative, grassroots nonprofit membership organization that seeks to empower blind and visually impaired individuals underserved by traditional agencies. We strive to actively facilitate and foster independence, confidence, dignity and self-growth.

The East Bay Center for the Blind is open
Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM.

We are located at 2928 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703.

Phone: 510-843-6935

Email us at: eastbaycenterfortheblind@gmail.com.

Facebook: facebook.com/eastbaycenterfortheblind