Earle Baum Center of the Blind

General Information

Earle Baum Center of the Blind
4539 Occidental Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 523 3222

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, Veterans Administration and receives referrals for training. EBC also works with private pay students and offers partial scholarships based in a sliding scale according to student's income.

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.


Jeff Harrington, Director, Assistive Technology Specialist, harrington@earlebaum.org

Susan Hirshfield, Independent Living Specialist, hirshfield@earlebaum.org

Bob Sonnenberg, President and CEO, sonnenberg@earlebaum.org

Denise Vancil, Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, vancil@earlebaum.org

Regina Kutches, Orientation & Mobility and Independent Living Skills Specialist, kutches@earlebaum.org

Nick O'Riley, Low Vision Clinic Coordinator, oriley@earlebaum.org, 707 523 3222

Kati Aho, Director of Programs and Quality, aho@earlebaum.org, 707 281 1090

Ahlia Warren, Student Counselor, warren@earlebaum.org, 707 523 3222

Patricia Jefferson, Vision Rehabilitation Instructor, jefferson@earlebaum.org, 707 636 0133

Cathy Mulhern, Assistive Technology Instructor, mulhern@earlebaum.org, 707 206 8486

Jacques Law, Senior Assistive Technology Specialist, law@earlebaum.org, 707 703 9046

Services Offered

  • 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.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Teaches the physical and communications skills required to travel independently, safely and confidently through one’s environment.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Teaches adaptive skills for cooking, hygiene, shopping, financial management, cleaning, clothing color matching, and more.

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Provides braille instruction.

  • Recreation Services
    • Offers tap dance classes, Art History through Touch and Sound, craft classes, fitness classes, and yoga classes.

  • Counseling
    • Designed to address an individual's emotional adjustment to sight loss.

  • Low Vision Services
    • A Low Vision Optometrist evaluates the patients' current visual abilities and explores vision aids to help maximize current vision.

  • Support Groups
    • Support groups located in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties are open to visually impaired seniors age 55+.

  • 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.