2019 – 2020 Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired Annual Report
Serving San Joaquin Valley for 70 years – Lighting Paths to Independence
Caption: photo collage showing people practicing on Yoga mats, youth playing at summer camp, a teenager learning a Perkins Brailler and three women walking on the curb at the BART station.
Caption: Community Center for the Blind Logo with an impressionistic drawing of a lighthouse shining a light, with the waves of the ocean shown below the lighthouse. Below the drawing are the initials"C C B V I".
Message from President of the Board of Directors & Executive Director
Services offered by CCBVI
Meet the clients of CCBVI
WE NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER!!
Dear CCBVI Friends,
Community Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired is pleased to share our 2019 Annual Report. CCBVI is stronger than ever - continuing to offer many services through a variety of virtual platforms. These platforms allow group or individual sessions and we are proud to continue a wide range of educational services to clients in the comfort of their own homes, expanding their goals leading them into a successful journey on their path to independence.
At CCBVI we take into great consideration the planning of relevant training for our client’s life path. A large selection of services are offered - from Assistive Technology, Braille, Independent Living Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Summer Youth Classes and Camps, Older Individuals Who Are Blind (55+ years) program, Informational Webinars, Educational Workshops, to Yoga classes. CCBVI customizes options offering our clients a comfortable pace but expanding on the client’s skills and knowledge through customized education. From career development, resume writing or dressing for success, CCBVI is proud to say we believe in you and your life path. Together we do make the difference!!
CCBVI making a difference - past, present, and future! CCBVI has assisted the lives of thousands of San Joaquin County members. A huge thank you to the donors and supporters of CCBVI. Your dedication and genuine efforts make services available here at a local level in San Joaquin County. We are grateful to provide services here in the San Joaquin Valley for over 70 years!!
On behalf of our staff and board, Thank You…
Judi Howell & Michelle Galvan
Our mission at Community Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired is to provide the means by which people who are visually impaired can improve and sustain their capabilities and potentials to re-establish purpose and self-esteem in their lives and in society, while leading independent lives.
As society began to think about distance learning, the Staff at CCBVI was already preparing for their contingency plans. Preparing to teach remotely and ensure the safety of all their clients was already being planned weeks prior to the closure by the state in early March. As such, CCBVI was one of the first to adopt an easy-to-use, local, direct dial, conference call line where no additional passwords or codes would be needed for this local connection. Staff moved to using phone calls, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, UberConference, FaceTime and Google Duo all in an effort to communicate with each client in their preferred (or sometimes only) method of communication. With Clients actively attending multiple remote Yoga classes per week, mindfulness and meditation and peer support group sessions as well as technology, braille, and vocational skills remote lessons, CCBVI is shining brightly as a beacon of services that can be made available to clientele even in times of a global pandemic!
CCBVI’s Summer Camp 2019
CCBVI’s Summer camp was a blast for our students who participated in our daily activities. The group enjoyed an outing to Lodi Lake where they experienced the fun of tandem kayaks which taught them to work together as a team. The students created their own personal pizza’s as they learned important Independent Living Skills. One of the biggest highlights of the camp was a day trip to Big Trees where they were able to touch the different trees and enjoy the nature trail while reading braille. Not only did the students make everlasting friendships, they also learned teambuilding skills and experienced a whole new world that is there for the taking.
Caption: Boy reads braille sign that says Calaveras Big Trees Association.
Caption: A group of students sitting on a bench in the forest.
2019-20 Statistics *
262 People Served this Year
$42K Received in Grants
$81k Generous Donations
16% Youth (17 and under)
35% Adults (18 to 54 years)
49% Older Individuals who are blind (55+ years)
Sources of Income
13% Special Events
62% Contract Agencies
We encourage everyone to get regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist. The top three causes of blindness or low vision of people seeking services were:
55% Macular Degeneration
20% Diabetic Retinopathy
Want to learn more about our services? Visit us at http://www.communitycenterfortheblind.org
*Statistics were gathered from unaudited numbers.
Screen Magnification Software
Orientation & Mobility
Independent Living Skills
I became a client of the Community Center for the Blind in 2017. I had found a job as a therapist outside of Stockton, and CCBVI’s Orientation and Mobility instructor Joni was incredibly helpful while I was learning to navigate a very large and intimidating workplace.
The next year I was laid off from my job, and I decided to go to grad school for my master’s degree. CCBVI’s O and M instructor Joni and her intern Vince worked with me on my street crossing skills. They also helped me get set up with Dial-a-Ride and learn the bus routes I could take to travel to the UOP campus and to my summer internship at San Joaquin Regional Transit District (SJRTD). CCBVI’s team and their support made it possible for me to graduate from UOP with my Master’s in Business Administration last December.
Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired continues to be an invaluable resource for information about transportation, assistive technology, and all things blindness-related in our weird COVID world. I’m very grateful for all of the support CCBVI continues to offer me.
Caption: Craig Warren CCBVI client since 2017.
I first came to CCBVI in 2011 to be independent and to socialize with others. I was only a teenager when I first started at Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and I was able to get out of the house and meet other people on my own at CCBVI’s Summer Youth Camp. Judi, who is now the President of CCBVI’s Board was my counselor and she asked me what I wanted to try that I had not done before. CCBVI’s Summer Youth Camp went to a dock in San Francisco where you could get crab or fish. Our Summer Youth Camp group walked down the dock and stood there, listening to the seagulls continuing to squawk all around us. Judi told us that there were signs telling people who were fishing what kind of fish they were allowed to keep or had to throw back in the water. After a while there, we went for a walk on the Golden Gate Bridge. It felt like we were walking up a big, tall, high, steep, windy hill with SO many cars. Another day at CCBVI’s Summer Youth Camp we had a BBQ picnic at Weber Point and had "healthy cooking."
At CCBVI, I started taking technology classes, but really enjoyed my ILS classes with instructor Laurie. ILS was fun because I really connected with my instructor. She reminded me of how my mom cares for me. I was happy to get out of the house and learn from Laurie who is blind like me. I loved making tuna salad sandwiches in our cooking lessons. She also taught me how to identify clothes without any tags, how to make a bed, and ways of cleaning and organizing my home. After a while I finished lessons with Laurie and continued working only on my grade school education along with other extracurricular activities.
Recently I came back to CCBVI and met Assistive Technology instructor Matt. I knew technology was important to be successful in work and needed to know technology. I was in the Stockton Adult School at the time, and I faced significant challenges while using their inaccessible course curriculum, so I decided to continue with school elsewhere. About a year ago, while attending CCBVI and their AT services I found out about the Come Back Kids (CBK), a program available to San Joaquin County adults who wanted to acquire their GED. I was so happy to tell Matt about it. I went ahead and registered for classes. While working with CBK I was presented with a few math documents that were completely inaccessible. With the advocacy skills I’ve learned at CCBVI I was able to work with Matt and communicate to my teachers what I needed in order to be successful.
I'm proud to say that as of May of 2020 I've received my GED and amidst the current pandemic am looking for employment.
Caption: Jemiah Khoonsrivong CCBVI Client since 2011
Mildred Luck Lewis Foundation
The Mildred Luck Lewis Foundation awarded Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CCBVI) $5,300.00 to provide yoga sessions semiweekly for 48 weeks in 2020 and purchase six Rousettus Visually Impaired Yoga Mats (VIYMR). Six series of classes run for eight weeks each and accommodate up to six participants. As many as 36 people may benefit from the program. The VIYMR mats are designed specifically for people who are blind with clear raised markings to help participants maintain head and spinal alignment during yoga postures, foot and hand stations for placement and braille labels. Science supports the benefits of yoga, including the potential to decrease the stress that accompanies vision loss, relieve anxiety, improve balance and fitness, increase kinesthetic awareness and improve quality of life. Yoga also has been found to heighten activity in the part of the brain that correlates to greater levels of happiness and better immune function.
Caption: Two feet on a yoga mat made for the blind and visually impaired.
Caption: CCBVI Yoga session in progress.
Ability Central Philanthropy
Ability Central Philanthropy awarded Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CCBVI) $20,000.00 to build capacity to provide assistive technology (AT) services to people in San Joaquin County who are blind or visually impaired. The grant supported the professional development of CCBVI staff who are blind or have low vision, resulting in increased knowledge of current and emerging technologies available to mitigate the impact of disabilities other than blindness, more accurate assessments for clients with additional disabilities, and development of a curriculum to offer access to NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA), a free, open source portable screen reader for Windows. CCBVI staff attended the annual California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Assistive Technology (AT) Conference and pursued the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) and NVDA expert certification.
Caption: Matthew Morgan AT Instructor, NVDA Certified Expert Logo
Light a path to Independence!
The lives of thousands of individuals with low or no vision have been improved by social and educational programs offered at CCBVI. You make the difference! Your contributions extend services to clients in summer youth camps, assistive technology, social programs, career development, support groups and more!
We rely on donations like yours to continue offering services to those in need. Join with us and help give Vision to the Future.
Please contact CCBVI at 209.466.3836 or visit us on the web at http://www.communitycenterfortheblind.org/donate to make a donation.
We are extremely grateful to our donors who have sacrificed to help further the mission of CCBVI.
Volunteer and Help Make a Difference
If you are interested in volunteering at our agency we encourage you to contact our Director of Client Services, Elsie, at 209.466.3836 ext. 201 or send an email to ElsieH@communitycenterfortheblind.org.
Caption: Text “Thank you" with a photo collage of volunteers at CCBVI.
Board of Directors
- Judi A. Howell, President
- Shelia Patterson, Secretary
- Roy Patterson, Treasurer
- G. Archer Bakerink
- Julian Cruz, Jr.
- Scott Fry
- Ellen McKeegan
- Daniel C. Nuss
Lance Calkins – Edgar W. Case – James R. Cox, Sr. – Mimi Eberhardt – Alexandra Ottesen – William H. Reynolds
Connect With Us
2453 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite #5
Stockton CA 95207
Click here for a print edition of this report.