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Community Center Activities, August 2016

August 2016

Calendar Grid of Activities for August 2016

Listing of Activities for August 2016

Register, Questions, and Cancellations: Call or Email


RSVPing for events in August will begin 7:00 AM on Monday, July 25.

To listen to an audio version of the calendar, call the Activity Line at 612-253-5155.

Reminder: Please RSVP for all activities every month. We ask that you RSVP at least 3 working days prior to event to ensure that we have enough registered participants, supplies, and volunteers.

Reminder: Please schedule your Metro pickups as close to the activity end time as possible. VLR’s hours are 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday (except when there are evening classes and activities). The doors are locked at 4:25. Please schedule your pick-ups before the building closes. Thank you!


*Abbreviations: MPLS=Minneapolis, SP=St Paul

8/1 (M): Games Extravaganza

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00

Come for lively fun with board and trivia games. There’s plenty of time for games, laughter, conversation, and a light snack. New people are always welcome!

8/2 (T): Tech: iPhone 101– BARD App

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00

Group lesson to learn about using the BARD app on your iPhone. Please have your Apple password on hand. One- on-one help is available from 11:00-12:00.

8/2 (T): DeafBlind Beading

4:00-7:00. In SP. Cost is $5 for the month, plus your kit. This is an arts and crafts group for deafblind consumers. Support staff (SSPs) are provided. Also meets on the 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th.

8/3 (W): 3Fs: Fabric, Fiber, and Friends

1:00-3:30. In MPLS. No charge. Do you enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, or creative hobbies? Then come in and bring your own project to work on as you enjoy the company of others. This group also meets on the 13th, 20th, and 27th.

8/3 (W): Supper Club

5:00-7:00. Join us for dinner at Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse on 7th Street in St. Paul. Bennett’s is an intimate venue and a casual steakhouse atmosphere where you’re not only a customer, but more importantly, a welcome guest. They specialize in top-of-the-line cuts of the finest meats and they also offer salads, burgers and sandwiches. Sandwiches start at $10 and entrees start at $17. Due to the size of our group, gratuity will automatically be added to each bill. Address: 1305 West 7th Street, Saint Paul 55102

8/4 (TH): 500 Cards

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00 Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards. Also meets on the 25th.

8/8 (M): Walking Group

9:00-11:30. No charge. Come join your friends as we walk for an hour, break for coffee and conversation, then walk for another hour at your own pace, paired with your own volunteer. It’s a fun, easy way to get up and moving! VLR will confirm RSVPs for Walking Group that are accepted due to the limited number of volunteers.

8/8 (M): Hearts

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00 Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

8/10 (W): Reader’s Choice Book Club

1:00-2:30. In MPLS. Erick Larson’s book, Devil in the White City (DB055748)—set against the backdrop of the Chicago 1893 World’s Fair—intertwines the real-life stories of Daniel H. Burnham, the renowned architect behind the World’s Fair, and Dr. Henry H. Holmes, the young doctor and serial killer who lured his victims to their deaths in his elaborately constructed “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the Fairgrounds. This infamous structure later became known as the “Murder Castle.”

8/10 (W): Bingo

5:00-7:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00 Everyone loves Bingo! Bring your friends and family for a night that is sure to be fun.

8/11 (TH): Alumni Group

12:30-2:00. In MPLS. No charge. Recent VLR Rehabilitation Program Alumni – bring a dish to pass and join us for a potluck lunch! Guest presenter Emily Ziteck, former VLR client, owns and runs EZ Vending and Gifts. She will speak about her journey through blindness, and about her company and the employment opportunities it offers.

8/11 (TH): Vision Speaks Communication & Speaking Group

2:00-3:30. In MPLS. No charge. Vision Speaks is a new speaking group at VLR, similar to Toastmasters. This is a fun group to help you improve your speaking and communication skills We will be seeking out opportunities in the community to speak about VLR and educate individuals about vision loss. Everyone is welcome and no previous speaking experience is necessary.

8/11 (TH): Guide Dog Support Group

4:30-6:00. In MPLS. No charge. Come and meet with other individuals to support one another on various topics ranging from canine issues, canine care, canine handling, and independent travel, etc. Open to those who already have guide dogs or those interested in becoming a dog guide handler may learn about the process for obtaining a dog and what handling a dog is all about. This is an open, group discussion.

8/15 (M): Cribbage

12:00-2:00. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Come in and enjoy some coffee and cards.

8/16 (T): Tech: iPhone 101– Notes and Calendar Events

10:00-12:00. In MPLS. Cost: $10.00. Group lesson in Minneapolis to learn about using Notes and Creating Calendar Events on your iPhone. Please have your Apple password on hand. One-on-one help is available from 11:00-12:00.

8/17 (W): Continuing Education

11:15-12:30. In MPLS. No charge. Join us for a presentation by Liz Anderson from the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science (CATSS). The vision of CATSS is to harness the University of Minnesota’s world-leading scientific expertise in sensory science to tackle the problems faced by millions of people with sensory deficits, such as low vision or hearing loss. Come learn about state-of-the art technology, rehabilitation, accessibility, and accommodations that are being developed in our own backyard in Minnesota!

8/18 (TH): Calendar Assembly`

9:00-11:00. In MPLS. No charge. Join the many helping hands that work together to assemble the Community Center Calendar. Treats served.

8/18 (TH): Craft – Painted Picture Frame

1:00-3:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00. We will be painting and decorating a wood picture frame for you to display a photo in or give it as a gift. There will be an assortment of paints and other materials available to decorate your frame with to make it a unique and original addition to any home. Everyone is welcome and no crafting or painting experience is necessary.

8/19 (F): Outing: Minneapolis Institute of Art Tour

10:15-11:45. No charge. This popular tour is back and we’re going to the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) to touch works of art while wearing stylish gloves. Receive more in-depth knowledge and fun facts about the works of art that grace this museum via three-dimensional objects, verbal description, and tactile diagrams. Enter through the 3rd Ave entrance and meet in the lobby. Space is limited.

8/23 (T): Crochet and Knit

12:00-2:00. In SP. No charge. Work on your own knitting or crochet project to donate to local charities!

8/23 (T): 2nd Annual VLR Fantasy Football Draft Party

4:00-6:30. In SP. Cost: $5.00. Join us in Saint Paul for a pizza party and draft picks! Fantasy Football is a competition in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a league and score points according to the actual performance of their players each week. Try something new and fun! The more who join us the better! Call Renee W. at 612-843-3403 with any questions.

8/25 (TH): Fitness is Fun!

5:00-6:30. In MPLS. Cost: $1.00. Get your body moving in our fitness center and stay on track with your fitness goals. Work on the various equipment and get guided instruction and ideas on how to improve your health through exercise. All levels of experience are welcome!

8/26 (F): Pottery

10:00-12:00. In SP. Cost: $5.00. Join us as we work on hand-built clay projects. Come learn how to make plates, cups, or create whatever comes to the imagination. No experience necessary.

8/29 (M): Outing: State Fair

10:00-3:00. No charge. Be one of the thousands that gather to try the new food-on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair. You will be paired with a volunteer and will see what you want to see and eat what you want to eat. Be sure to RSVP so you can get a volunteer for the day. You are responsible for your own lunch, beverages, and other purchases. Space limited. (Outdoor events may be cancelled if there is a high heat index. Please check the RSVP hotline for a cancelation message!)

Address: 1700 Como Ave, Loop Gate 9, Falcon Heights, 55414



One-on-One iPhone + iPad Consultations are available. One-hour sessions can be scheduled at VLR for $20.00. To set up an appointment, contact Renee at or call 612-843-3403. The following topics are available:

  • iPhone/iPad basics and instruction


  • Personalized advice on product purchasing decisions
  • How to use your technology to the fullest: useful and fun apps and accessibility features.

One-on-One Windows + Mac Consultations are available. One-hour sessions can be scheduled at VLR for $20.00. To set up an appointment, contact Jessie at or call 612-843-3437. The following topics are available:

  • Microsoft Office suite: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Navigating Internet Explorer
  • JAWS and other screen readers
  • MAC/Apple operating system basics

Feel free to bring your own laptop if you have one. Some practice computers are available at VLR to use during class. Meets in Room 120 along the classroom wall.

Living Skills Class in September– Learn a wide variety of low vision skills, adaptive techniques, and products in this four-week course. With these new skills and encouragement, you’ll think of new ways to accomplish daily activities and remain independent. Class size is limited. Reserve your place by calling the RSVP Hotline at 612-843-3439 or emailing,


Saturday 8/13 Foundation Fighting Blindness Meeting

Check in begins at 9:00. Meeting runs from 9:30-11:30.

The presentation is “Strategies for Success, Living with Vision Loss.” This is an FFB event. All welcome. No cost.

Please RSVP to FFB at (866) 782-7330 or email

Location: Vision Loss Resources, 1936 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55403

Blind Ice Hockey Program in Minnesota –

Be a part of a new program being developed for hockey for the visually-impaired. Informational meeting is being scheduled for August 2016—contact Antonia asap to help set up a time. From there make plans to develop our Try Hockey for Free event. The goal is to establish a 6-week intro program which will lead to developing Minnesota’s first Blind Hockey Association. Contact: Antonia Gillen, USA Disabled Hockey Director- Minnesota District. Email or call 651-307-0660

AFB Announces Learn NVDA, Free Online Video Tutorials

The American Foundation for the Blind is pleased to announce the availability of Learn NVDA, a series of FREE online video tutorials designed to help people who are blind or visually impaired learn how to use the computer and/or improve their computer skills. The Learn NVDA tutorials cover how to use NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access), a free screen reader. The Learn NVDA tutorials will teach a person who is blind or visually impaired and entirely new to NVDA how to independently install the program and learn how to use it. Learn NVDA tutorials cover:

  • How to install NVDA on a computer
  • How to navigate Microsoft Windows with NVDA
  • How to use NVDA Hotkeys
  • How to install and use the Firefox Internet browser
  • How to use Microsoft Word and Excel with NVDA

Each tutorial contains step-by step instructions with audio of a presenter using NVDA and video of the computer screen. Additional tutorials from AFB will be available soon. To learn more, go to

10th Annual Twin Cities 5K VisionWalk

Join Foundation Fighting Blindness on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at beautiful Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, for the 10th Annual Twin Cities VisionWalk.  In addition to the 5K walk, this family-friendly event includes a ton of FUN activities: bounce house, face painter, DJ to rock out to, food, and so much more! We want to break the 2015 attendance record of 1,200 walkers. Help us do that and raise money for research too!

Sunday, September 25, 2016 Lake Harriet Band Shell, Minneapolis Registration Starts:  8:30am Walk Starts:  10:30am

If you want to be on VLR’s team, join “Team Vision Loss Resources” when you register!

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Lori Quinn at or call 847-680-0100.

To register for a team or start a new team, go to

VSA Minnesota has a list of audio-described, ASL-interpreted, and sensory-friendly plays, concerts, exhibits, tours, and special events in the Twin Cities. Contact them at 612-332-3888 or email for more information. The calendar is online at

Water Aerobics Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is offering water aerobics specifically designed for visually-impaired and blind participants. For more information, contact Stacy Shamblott at 612-775-2275.

The Way We See It: A Fresh Look at Vision LossVLR’s book is available on loan from SSB. For Braille, call 651-539-2315. For digital, call 651-539-2300. It is available on BARD, book number DBC02631.


RSVP and Cancellation Policy: You must RSVP for all activities. We ask that you RSVP at least 3 working days prior to event to ensure that we have enough registered participants, supplies, and volunteers. Registrants will be notified when classes are canceled due to low enrollment or weather conditions.

RSVP line: 612-843-3439 or

Severe Weather Days: Please call the VLR Weather Hotline at 612-284-8107 to see if VLR offices and activities are open for that day. The hotline will be updated by 5:00 AM if VLR is closing for severe weather. Participants who have RSVPd for a class will also be notified.

Refund Policy: All events that need to be pre-paid are marked on the calendar. To hold your spot for these events, we must receive your money. If you need to cancel when a ticket is purchased in advance, you will be charged for the ticket unless someone on the waiting list can take your place. If you need to cancel please call the RSVP line at 612-843-3439 or email

Scholarships: No one is denied participation due to inability to pay. Full and partial scholarships are available. Please leave your scholarship request on the RSVP line.

Visitor Sign-in: Please sign-in and sign-out at the front desk in MPLS.


Participants attending Community Center events will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of VLR’s Photography and Recorded Image Policy. When you attend an event at VLR, your image may be recorded for use by VLR. This use may include printed media, social media, or online uses. If you have any questions about this Policy or Acknowledgement, please contact Iris at VLR: 612-843-3425.


Christina Tucker, Program Coordinator, Community Services          612-843-3419

Jen Roehl, Community Center Specialist          612-843-3421

Minneapolis Office: 1936 Lyndale Ave S. 55403          Main Line: 612-871-2222

St. Paul Office: 216 S Wabasha St., 55107          Phone: 651-224-7662

Please note: For those being dropped off, parking, or needing an accessible ramp at the Saint Paul office, please use the back entrance (215 Starkey Ave).

Activity Line: 612-253-5155 to listen to an audio version of the calendar

RSVP: 612-843-3439 or