Welcome to the East Bay Center for the Blind, a local service organization for people who are blind or have low vision.

The Center has re-opened — now including limited in-person classes, and continuing remote classes via Zoom.

Announcement: We are now accepting applications for a series of learn-at-home braille classes. Audio instructions and a braille workbook will be provided. If you are interested in learning braille or improving your knowledge of braille, we invite you to register for these classes. For more information, see under “Braille instruction” below, or visit the Classes page.

Announcement: The Center’s cookbook is now available for free download. Here you can download the cookbook in Word format, or you can download the cookbook in braille format.

We are pleased to offer a variety of instructional classes and support sessions, including our Computer Accessibility class with the JAWS screen reader, iPhone class, Braille classes, Computer technical support, Meditation, and our interpersonal Support Group. Please visit the Classes page for further information.  See also our Winter 2023-24 news bulletin.

The East Bay Center for the Blind is a member of the Vision Support Network, a collaborative that is spreading the word about free services offered by each of the member organizations. You can go to the organizations’ websites for details, or to ask us any questions. We will do our best to guide you to the best solution for your concern.

The Lions Center for the Visually Impaired offers Vision Screening, , In-Home Services, Discussion Groups, Active Excursions, and more!

The East Bay Center for the Blind offers Braille and Assistive Technology Training, Classes, opportunities for Socializing, and more!

The Lions Vision Resource Network offers Grants to improve quality of life, White Cane Day supplies, and more!

Who We Are

The East Bay Center for the Blind offers services and social activities to a diverse group of people who are blind or low vision, many of whom are not assisted by other agencies. We give particular attention to individual needs and circumstances. Members and non-members may attend classes and events. Members are also eligible to vote, run for office and serve on the Board of Directors.

Are you or a family member losing your vision and not sure how to cope? Would you like to share your experiences with other blind and visually impaired people in a nonthreatening setting?

Established in 1939, The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc. is an innovative, grassroots, nonprofit organization that seeks to empower blind and visually impaired individuals underserved by traditional agencies. We strive to actively facilitate independence, confidence, dignity and self-growth in our community.

Download our Brochure (PDF):   EBCB-Brochure.pdf

EBCB is primarily a membership organization. We don’t believe in the “client” and “staff” relationship. The Center is currently staffed mainly by our members. However, nonmembers are always welcome to participate in our classes, meetings and events.

At least 75 percent of EBCB’s members are blind or visually impaired. Members operate the Center. We open and close the building, make the coffee, clean the kitchen, run the office, and serve on the Board of Directors.

EBCB Front of Building

Mutual Support

EBCB seeks to cooperate with other organizations serving blind people. However, unlike other agencies, we don’t insist on rigid requirements and goals. Instead, we promote informal mutual support and encouragement in a nonjudgmental atmosphere. We invite you to take part in our support network by asking questions and talking freely about your problems and successes adjusting to blindness. Join us as we work together to help and nourish one another.

EBCB Building Entrance

What We Offer

Braille instruction:

Do you want to enhance your literacy skills and embark on greater independence by learning Braille?  Our “learn at home” braille program allows you to learn braille at home at no cost. No need to worry about transportation. Simply fill out the enrollment application online and get started. Follow this link to go to the registration sign-up form. Our “Braille 101” class teaches you how to read uncontracted braille, and “Braille 102” teaches you to read contracted braille. We provide audio instructions on a flash drive to walk you through the process of learning braille by using our braille workbooks.  We will soon offer “Braille 103” which will teach you how to write in braille using a slate and stylus and/or a braille writer. “Braille 104” will teach you how to be more proficient in reading and writing braille. In addition, you may also participate in our weekly webinars, “I Love Braille” on Thursdays (at 9:00 AM US Pacific time, 12:00 PM US Eastern time), and “I Learn Braille” on Fridays (at 8:30 AM US Pacific time, 11:30 AM US Eastern time), online via Zoom. Please contact us at (510) 843-6935 to inquire about access information for these online Zoom meetings. You can also access our online audio archives of previously recorded sessions here on our website. Follow this link to find archived episodes of “I Love Braille”, or follow this link to find archived episodes of “I Learn Braille”. If need be, our braille instructor can work one-on-one with you, if you can come to the Center in person. In addition, members can borrow books from the Center’s extensive braille and audio book library.

Technology instruction:

EBCB offers free assistive technology instruction. We approach technology training in an innovative fashion, gearing lessons to a consumer’s specific needs. We offer iPhone instruction workshops and individualized training. Do you own or want to buy a Victor Reader Stream or other note taking device? We can work with you to maximize the benefits of this accessible technology.

Do you want to learn how to work with a Braille display, use a screen reader to access your PC or laptop computer, explore the Internet, read and reply to emails, shop online, pay bills, do research, or download movies and books? To get started, call or email our technology instructors for information on scheduling and upcoming workshops.

Other Classes and Events:

EBCB offers opportunities for socializing and educational enrichment.  Join us for such classes as ceramics, low impact exercise, memory enhancement and music appreciation. We also offer a book club and creative writing group. EBCB organizes multiple social events throughout the year, including an annual Mardi Gras party, field trips, summer picnic, fall Harvest Festival and winter Holiday Party.

Other Activities:

Each year EBCB holds quarterly business meetings. We also offer vision loss support workshops and adaptive technology presentations. To inform members and other interested individuals about upcoming events and activities, we publish a newsletter in Braille and large print, via email and on our website.

EBCB Lecture Group Photo

Funding and Volunteering

The East Bay Center for the Blind, Inc. is a private 501C(3) nonprofit organization which relies on membership dues, donations, bequests, grants and fundraisers. We welcome volunteers to assist with reading, shopping or being on hand for various events. If you or your organization would like to contribute money, time or resources to EBCB, please contact us.

We believe that only we blind and visually impaired people can determine our destiny. We’re proud of what we do, and we hope you will choose to participate with us to make the East Bay Center for the Blind even better!

EBCB Dance