About Us

"Just wanted to let you know what a positive and delightful experience my family and I had at the Blind Center on Wednesday.  I am 91, have macular degeneration so am vision impaired.  We went to your Center hoping to find an aid I could purchase.  We had such a great personal service from Hy and were really surprised when he said if the item I chose was in stock that it would be free to me.  What a nice surprise!  I am so grateful to the Blind Center for this experience and the vision aid I received.  Thank you SO much!  I have found the vision aid to be very helpful--I truly am thankful and blessed! May God bless you and your staff for the wonderful work and service that you are doing for those of us who are vision impaired."  —Virgina


Office Building of Community Center for the Blind

Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CCBVI) has served thousands of people in San Joaquin County--Acampo, Clements, Escalon, Farmington, French Camp, Lathrop, Linden, Lockeford, Lodi, Manteca, Mountain House, Ripon, Stockton, Thornton, Tracy, Woodbridge--for more than 70 years. CCBVI's mission 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.


To provide the information, tools, and resources that will empower and inspire people who are blind and visually impaired to achieve their full potential.


Elsie Hirata, M.B.A.
Executive Director

Sarah Bennett
Director of Finance


Fernando Avila, JAWS® Certified
Braille & Assistive Technology Instructor

Paul Bagan, B.A.
Case Manager

Joni Bauer, M.A., M.P.A., Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Grants and Social Media

Jose Onate
Assistive Technology Instructor

Audrey Tan
Administrative Assistant

Jaime Vargas, B.A.
Assistive Technology Instructor

Walter Vela, M.A.
Orientation & Mobility Specialist

Board of Directors


  • President: Daniel C. Nuss, University of the Pacific/Mayor's ADA Roundtable
  • Secretary: Shelia Patterson, Kaiser Permanente (Retired)
  • Treasurer: Vacant


  • Julian Cruz, Jr., BMO Bank
  • Scott Fry, Stockton Unified School District
  • Judi A. Howell, Stockton Unified School District (Retired)
  • Miguel Venegas, Stockton Unified School District
  • Craig Warren, Ability Central Cloud Consulting Service and Support

Honorary Members

  • Edgar W. Case
  • James R. Cox, Sr.
  • Mimi Eberhardt
  • Alexandra Ottesen
  • William H. Reynolds

The board can be reached by sending an e-mail to Board@CommunityCenterForTheBlind.org 

The board of directors checks e-mail weekly.

 Board Meetings

‚ÄčThe board of directors meets on the third Tuesday of each month, except July and December. All meetings begin at noon except open session meetings which begin at 5:30 p.m. as noted on the schedule below.  The annual meeting is held concurrently with the May board meeting without special notice as per by-laws.  The board can be reached at Board@CommunityCenterForTheBlind.org . The board checks e-mail weekly.

Meeting Schedule: Fiscal Year 2024

  • January 23, 2024 - NEW DATE postponed from January 16 - (Open Session to Community) at 5:30 p.m.
  • February 20, 2024
  • March 19, 2024
  • April 16, 2024
  • May 21, 2024 (Open Session to Community) at 5:30 p.m.
  • June 18, 2024

Public Financials Page