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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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Earle Baum Center of the Blind - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Earle Baum Center of the Blind
4539 Occidental Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 523-3222 (Local)
(707) 636-2768 (Fax)

Brief Description

The Earle Baum Center of the Blind (EBC) is a nonprofit regional community center, serving the blind and visually impaired from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. The EBC is a certified vendor of the State Department of Rehabilitation and receives referrals for training. Local support groups and other organizations that serve the blind meet at the facility. They include the California Council of the Blind, Blind Veterans Association, Veterans Administration VIST Program, Santa Rosa/Sebastopol Macular Degeneration Support Group, Thursday Thinkers Support Group, and the Blind Babies Foundation.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Clients served on average per year: 500
Number of staff: 15
Geographic area served: Northern California


Jeff Harrington, Manager, Assistive Technology Specialist
Susan Hirshfield, Independent Living Specialist
Patricia Jefferson, Vision Rehabilitation Instructor
Regina Kutches, Orientation & Mobility and Independent Living Skills Specialist
Dan Needham, President and CEO
Denise Vancil, Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Maura Wong Cooper, Orientation & Mobility Specialist

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Reading and writing instruction in Braille: Practical use of Braille includes labeling such items as foods, files, clothing, games and more. Course content is based on individual needs.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Evaluates skills and needs; offers instruction in the use of adaptive hardware and software, such as computers, note-takers, cell phones, screen readers, and Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) systems.
  • Counseling
    • Designed to address an individual's emotional adjustment to sight loss.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Teaches adaptive skills for cooking, hygiene, shopping, financial management, cleaning, clothing color matching, and more.
  • Low Vision Services
    • A Low Vision Optometrist evaluates the patients' current visual abilities and explores vision aids to help maximize current vision.
  • Recreation Services
    • Offers tap dance classes, Art History through Touch and Sound, craft classes, fitness classes, and yoga classes.
  • Support Groups
    • Support groups located in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties are open to visually impaired seniors age 55+.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Teaches the physical and communications skills required to travel independently, safely and confidently through one’s environment.

Services for Children

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Provides braille instruction.
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