Adaptive Technology Program Press Release

According to the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year study, over 700,000 legally blind individuals reside in California, with only 37.7% of working age adults gainfully employed. Not to mention, approximately 31.2% of legally blind people live in poverty (ACS 2012). Within San Diego, very few organizations provide dedicated adaptive technology training, let alone advanced adaptive technology training needed to equip individuals for the workforce. Due to these dire statistics and San Diego Futures Foundation’s (SDFF) niche within technology and education, SDFF recently launched an Adaptive Technology Program designed to offer competitive workforce and academic training for blind and visually impaired individuals.

SDFF’s mission is to improve the lives of San Diego’s most vulnerable populations through the distribution, adoption, and utilization of technology. We work across all sectors to increase access and promote economic, academic, and social equality. Since 1999, we have provided thousands of disadvantaged residents with free IT education, vocational training, job placement, and computer equipment. By expanding IT education/training and career opportunities, and cultivating the necessary vocational skills to pursue, secure and retain livable-wage jobs, we not only empower our clients, but also help create a more accessible, collaborative, and inclusive regional workforce.

Not only does SDFF hope to, simply, improve the lives of blind & visually impaired individuals, but we aspire to equip individuals with the technological skills, tools and equipment they need to thrive as individuals and to become gainfully employed and competitive within the workforce despite their barrier. Thus, ultimately leading to independent and sustainable living.

SDFF’s Adaptive Technology (AT) Program provides one-to-one AT training to blind and low vision clients referred through the Department of Rehabilitation, including:

  • Adaptive screen-reading software: JAWS, ZoomText, Window-Eyes, Voiceover
  • Windows OS with emphasis on mastery of alternative keyboard commands
  • Microsoft Office Programs: MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, Internet Explorer and other web browsers
  • Assistive technologies: electronic note-takers, refreshable Braille displays, Optical character recognition systems, DAISY DTB playback hardware and software, Braille translation software, Apple Mac products, Kurzweil, and OpenBook.
  • Accessible mobile technologies for iOS and Android
  • Internet search/navigation proficiency, communication and employment platforms (e-mail, Linkedin, on-line job boards and applications)

To learn more about SDFF’s AT Program, please check out our website: Or contact Kelvin Crosby, AT Program Instructor: or 619-269-1694, ext. 289

Improve your technology through our new Tech Fund!

Our October e-newsletter has been emailed out. In it we introduce a brand new staff member, new programs, and an opportunity that makes technology services more accessible to nonprofits.
If you missed it you can still view and share it online using the following link. October 2016 Newsletter: Improve your technology through our new Tech Fund!
To make sure you don’t miss any future e-newsletters make sure you sign up to our mailing list here. Newsletter sign-up

Top Tech Execs Recognize SDFF’s Gary Nimtz

Gary NimtzThe 2016 Small Nonprofit Top Tech Exec is a senior information technology director who supports not only his own organization, but also the technological needs of more than 200 nonprofit agencies that depend on his IT prowess to provide vital services to the community. This award was presented to Gary Nimtz, Director of San Diego Futures Foundation’s IT Services on May 19th 2016.

Click here to view the complete San Diego Business Journal Article

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Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Teresa!

A HUGE shout-out to Teresa Valenzuela for sharing her time and talents with SDFF! In her free time, Teresa is a freelance photographer and activist for disabled rights. Teresa’s passion is exemplified through photography. She has a unique vision for each picture she takes, and her distinct point of view is evidenced in every click of her camera.

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Promoting our Partners: San Diego Second Chance

First off, we just want you to know we are truly grateful to have partners like you and it gives us great pleasure to highlight the great work your organization is doing in the community.  Therefore, could you share with us a bit more about Second Chance? How did you get started? What is your mission and how do you serve the community of San Diego?

Second Chance Mission: To disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping people find their way to self-sufficiency.

  • Our programs provide job readiness and life skills training, job placement, behavioral health treatment and prisoner reentry services, relapse prevention and sober living housing for adults and youth in need.
  • We address generational issues of poverty, unemployment, addiction, abuse, neglect, criminal thinking and homelessness.
  • We foster behavioral changes that promote personal responsibility, healthy relationships and positive contributions to society.
  • We emphasize personal responsibility, professional discipline and a positive work ethic.

Founded in 1993, Second Chance strives to ensure all members of our community have the means to achieve self-sufficiency, regardless of age, race, or criminal history. In other words, whether one struggles with addiction, incarceration, homelessness, a family history of criminal behavior or gang involvement, or you just took a wrong turn in life, Second Chance can help you find your way to a positive, successful future.

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Student Spotlight: Kudos to Ricardo Rodriguez!

Ricardo Rodriguez, who always had a love for technology, came into our program and despite challenges he faced, along with a visual impairment and a 3-hour bus commute to and from class, breezed through San Diego Future Foundation’s CompTIA A+ Youth IT Program.

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New Technology: Toyota “mobility is a right, not a privilege”

Toyota has rolled out Project Blaid, a revolutionary new device to help visually impaired individuals. Toyota’s new wearable tech will fill in the gaps left by canes, dogs and regular GPS. Project Blaid, built in partnership with members of the visually impaired community, seeks to make the world and mobility more accessible.

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IT Professional Mentor @ Microsoft Store

SDFF would like to give a HUGE shout-out to all of our IT Professional Mentors! Our mentors all work within the Information Technology sector and come from a variety of small businesses, large corporations, and non-profits throughout San Diego County. Though they are busy professionals, they are extremely dedicated to the growth of our students as each of them embarks upon their own professional journeys into the IT world! 

Check out pictures from our latest event at the Microsoft Store.

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