Review of HANDS-ON, BACKSTAGE TOUR OF CAVALIA’S OdysseOBy Paul Raskin, Supervisor of Rehabilitation Services
Early Tuesday morning our group gathered at the Mountain View CalTrain station for an impromptu O&M lesson to a backstage tour of Cavalia’s Odysseo in San Francisco. I still cannot decide if I was more awed by the professionalism and skills of the production’s staff, their hospitality, the press coverage, or the exuberance of our students.
A cloud of media people greeted us at the Odysseo tents. We were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the press, with representatives from radio, television, and newspapers. Each member of our group was pulled aside and interviewed.
In true circus tradition, each of the Odysseo employees has multiple jobs. They call themselves “artists.” They first took us into the stable and each pair of our students was taught how to brush a horse, feed it, and braid its mane. They then escorted us into a practice arena to get an up-close experience with the horses as they performed around us. The artists explained to our students how they choreograph rider-less performances.
The staff prepared a wonderful buffet lunch for us with a live performance of music from the show. The musicians are also aerialists and acrobats. A few of the percussionists taught the students how to match the rhythm of the drums with the gallop of the horses. After lunch, some of the reporters gave our students a lesson on how to talk with people and get them to positively interact with you. As we were getting ready to leave, Odysseo surprised us once more by giving everyone four tickets to a live performance.
For our students who must so often quietly stand by while others discuss things visual, this was an empowering experience. Two of the students told me that they want to be Odysseo horse groomers when they grow up.
Wishing each of you love, peace, and all things good in the new year as together we help empower our blind and visually impaired friends and neighbors…
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
20 young Vista Center clients were treated to a one-time backstage tour of CAVALIO’S Odysseo (article and video on vimeo).
Odesseo Musicians performing for Vista Center students https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UOLiEnX01A
2015 Holiday Ice Skating Party
LETS GO FISHING!
THE CUPERTINO HOST LIONS HAS INVITED VISTA CENTER’S YOUTH TO ATTEND THEIR ANNUAL
WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 2015,
Participant sign in 8:15 to 9:30 A.M, Fishing 8:30 to 11:30, Lunch Served 10:30 to 12:00
WHERE: Stevens Creek Quarry, 12100 Stevens Creek Quarry, Cupertino, CA
IMPORTANT DEADLINE: Pre-Register by April 18!!!
WHO MAY PARTICIPATE: Youth With Special Needs. Family members can watch and enjoy lunch.
COST: FREE - All costs are covered by the Cupertino Host Lions
RSVP to: Vista Center Youth Coordinator, Ever Arreola:
(650) 858-0202 ext 183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org No later than April 18
''TEENS TOGETHER'' GROUP
First Saturday of each month, 1 to 3pm
"Teens Together" is an informal group for teens that are blind or visually impaired between the ages of 12 and 20 years. Together, we will talk about challenges, explore problem-solving techniques, find solutions, and use these strategies to be successful!
Together, we will:
- Focus on solutions for life's challenges as a young adult
- Enhance our independent living skills
- Share apps and technology
- Discover resources and community services
- Identify and address issues related to school
- Explore college and career opportunities
- Work on effective communication skills
- Discuss how to establish and maintain healthy relationships
- Develop coping strategies
- Encourage one another and lend support
- Learn new things and have fun!
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
3200 Hillview Avenue • Palo Alto CA 94304
For more info contact Lynda Johnson at:
Holiday Ice Skating Party 2014
Holiday Ice Skating Party 2012
Watch the video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP47k6vYRDo
Saturday, December 21, 2013 5:20 - 7:40 pm
3009 Middlefield Rd.
Palo Alto, CA
Holiday Party Video
All members of the Vista Center family
including staff, board members and families enjoyed a fun-filled evening including great food, games and the highlight of the party, the Karaoke event. There was a lot of great talent in that crowd!
First Presbyterian Church
1667 Miramonte Ave, Mountain View, CA
5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Food & Drinks, Live Entertainment, Music & Dancing, Karaoke, Hula Hoop Demonstration and Lessons, Games, Arts & Crafts
Ice Skating Party Video and Photos
Watch a fun video of Youth Group participants, their new found high school volunteer friends as well as family members, take to the ice at the annual Vista Center Ice Skating Party held at Winter Lodge in Palo Alto on Friday, December 14th, 2012.
View a slideshow of participants, family and friends during the always enjoyable annual event:
Very Special Day Drumming with Glen Velez
Note from client Nick Helms:
Thank you so much for the workshop on Saturday! I’ve been playing drums for several years now, and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d never heard of Glen, nor had I ever heard of a frame drum.
Everything was new to me, and it was interesting. Aside from a bit of experience with the conga drums, I’d never had much interest or access to other types of hand drums. I was surprised, not only at Glen’s being able to make a charer out of them, but at the sheer variety of hand drums that existed, not to mention the variety of tones he was able to produce with his own two hands. I’ve been with the youth group for several years, and there hasn’t been much of an emphasis on music
I was interested to see how everyone would react, and I really enjoyed everyone’s enthusiasm for the entire event.
About Glen Velez:
Four time Grammy Award winner, Glen Velez is the founding Father of the modern Frame Drum movement and is regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences world-wide. Velez brought a new genre of drumming to the contemporary music scene by creating his own performance style inspired by years of percussion and frame drumming studies from various cultures. Velez's virtuosic combinations of hand movements, finger techniques, along with his original compositional style, which incorporates stepping, drum language and Central Asian Overtone singing (split-tone singing), has undoubtedly opened new possibilities for musicians around the globe, resulting in a shift in modern percussion.
What is a frame drum? A frame drum is a simple, handheld single head drum, like a tambourine without the jingles. Why frame drumming? This type of drumming is fun, easy to learn,and community-building. Glen has a method of teaching that uses Voice, Simple Stepping Rhythms, and Hand Techniques that get kids and adults up and moving. The sheer enthusiasm and joy he brings to his teaching has to be experienced to be believed. This is a unique, can’t miss opportunity to participate with a true Drumming Master.
Drumming Workshop flyer (PDF)
Kayak Trip video
Watch our youth and staff in action on the San Francisco Bay. The piece featured the group's July kayaking trip to Angel Island with Environmental Traveling Companions. The segment aired on the local NBC affiliate station (Ch. 11) and Channel 3.http://www.nbcbayarea.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Traveling_Companions_Bay_Area-126782983.html
Our Youth Group engages in events that are recreational and educational, and of special interest to blind and visually impaired youth. The Youth Group presents a tremendous opportunity for students and parents to meet with each other and with blind rehabilitation professionals. It also enables us to alert our students to other recreational, educational, vocational, and scholarship opportunities.
We provide Youth Group opportunities for school children of all ages. For a complete list of events or for more information, please contact Paul Raskin at 650-858-0202 extension 112.
A partial list of past events includes:
Our students received instruction in community safety, being aware of their environment, knowing how to get help, and strategies for avoiding trouble and fending off attacks.
Always popular, Ride-A-Wave, a non-profit organization composed largely of volunteer firefighters and police officers who enjoy surfing, spent a day with our students, teaching them to surf.
Our youth group received instruction in kayaking and then paddled around the San Francisco Bay, taking time to eat lunch at an isolated beach.
Holiday Ice Skating Party
Following two hours of ice-skating, our youth group and their families enjoyed food, music, games, contests, crafts, karaoke, and Santa.
A Night at the Museum
Our students spent the afternoon at a local museum and, once the museum closed, brought in their sleeping bags and spent a fun night camping out among the exhibits.
Wearing headsets, our students attended a major theatrical production while listening to a narrated description of the action on the stage.
Winter Holiday Party
Our youth group members and their families enjoyed music, entertainment, dancing, karaoke, games, arts and crafts, good company, and truly good food. This annual event provides an excellent opportunity for Youth Group members, families and friends, grandparents, teachers, prospective Youth Group members, volunteers, and anyone interested in Vista Center to meet and have fun.
Overnight events are an especially fun way for our students to spend time together. We have kayaked to Angel Island and then set up camp, and we have also slept in a zoo, in a decommissioned submarine, and near the beach in Santa Cruz.
Vista Center is pleased to be a host of the Northern California Regional Braille Challenge. The Braille Challenge is a celebration of braille literacy in the form of a contest among blind school children. The contestants are public and private school students in grades one through twelve.
Divided into five groups based on reading level, the students engage in a fun day of braille challenges that include writing, reading comprehension, chart and graph reading, spelling, proofreading, and word search. Each participant in the Braille Challenge is a winner and receives an award of achievement. The students who achieve the highest scores in each reading level receive prizes and an invitation to participate in the national championship.
This short video clip is of seniors during a timed event where participants are scored on speed and accuracy.
Please note this video is not sped up. They are really that fast!