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Vista Center will be closed Monday, February 18, 2019

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Youth Services

Vista Voyagers Youth Program

Teens Together Program

School Programs

Vista Voyagers  logo, "Embrace, Embark, Explore"

Vista Center Youth Group and Family Activities programs are getting a makeover as the Vista Voyagers Program! 

Experience Your World - Embrace Who You Are 
Embark on Life with Confidence

Join Vista Voyagers on these FREE 2018 youth events:

Pajama Holiday Party 2018

Saturday, December 8th
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Vista Center - San Jose *
101 N Bascom Ave
San Jose, CA 95128

Come help the Vista Voyagers ring in
the holiday season with a pajama
holiday party! Pajama Holiday Party 2018 Flyer

Contact Bethany Small at or (650) 858-0202 x 183 for info & to RSVP.

Youth Program Permission form

Adult Permission form

Listen to Vista Center Director of Youth Services Bethany Small talk about the Vista Voyagers program here:

Vista Voyagers supports developmental growth for youth through the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), nine areas where children with visual impairments require specialized opportunities in order to compensate for the lack of learning by observing others.

The ECC encompasses:

Children who are visually impaired require direct hands-on experience to fully grasp concepts not integrated in their daily lives such as feeling snow and sand, cooking, exploring how animals come in different shapes, sizes and textures, or participating in a sport that requires teamwork. Students are encouraged to develop independence by utilizing their orientation and mobility skills to navigate routes, learning and mastering assistive technology skills to read instructions, and practicing functional academics embedded into the lessons such as measurements or reading braille.

The goal of Vista Voyagers is for each child to develop into independent, well-rounded, and successful adults who contribute to society. These events also enable families to network with each other. The opportunities that Vista Voyagers offer will empower our visually impaired youths to strive for independence and look towards their future with motivation and excitement!
For more information, please contact Bethany Small at 650-858-0202 ext 183

Previous Youth Program Events

Amusement Park TripVista Voyagers Group Photo at Great America
Vista Voyagers had an outstanding day at Great America’s Great Pumpkin Patch!
Expanded Core Curriculum skills Developed:
Safe travel techniques: Our students safely navigate the crowded walkways and lines of Great America. A fitness trackers logged we walked nearly 3 miles! Students practiced using their canes, guide dogs, and human guides.
Social interactions: The students interacted with new and old friends and adults. They happily chatted with each other while waiting in line, at lunch, and on the rides.
Independent living techniques: Students used the maps to navigate the park, learned how to buckle and unbuckle themselves in rides, and pay for their meals.
Recreation and leisure skills: Students experienced the wonders of an amusement park.
Career education exposure: Students were exposed to line attendants, food cashiers, and costume actors.
Sensory efficiency skills: All senses were put on supercharge as the kids felt the dips, flips, and drops of speeding rides!
Self-determination development: Many students challenged themselves putting aside their fears and rode roller coasters which were new to them. Other students stepped up to the plate and joined groups with peers they had never met before.
Assistive Technology: Student’s used adapted phone settings to remain in contact with their parents.

Check out this link to see the smiles on our students’ faces as they explored the wonders of the park. 

Vista Voyagers Kayaking Trip Video
Expanded Core Curriculum Development Skills in Action

Self Defense

Our students received instruction in community safety, being aware of their environment, knowing how to get help, and strategies for avoiding trouble and fending off attacks.


Always popular, Ride-A-Wave, a non-profit organization composed largely of volunteer firefighters and police officers who enjoy surfing, spent a day with our students, teaching them to surf.


Youth Group Kayak trip to Angel Island

With some help from Environmental Traveling Companions youth group members have received instruction in kayaking and paddled around Tomales Bay, hiked, socialized, spent the night in tents they erected, cooked dinner, told campfire stories and challenged themselves.



Holiday Ice Skating PartyFive skaters in a row at the ice skating party

Following two hours of ice-skating, our youth group and their families enjoyed food, music, games, contests, crafts, karaoke, and Santa.



A Night at the Museum  

Our students spent the afternoon at a local museum and, once the museum closed, brought in their sleeping bags and spent a fun night camping out among the exhibits. 

Described Play

Wearing headsets, our students attended a major theatrical production while listening to a narrated description of the action on the stage.

Winter Holiday Party

Our youth group members and their families enjoyedDancing at the Holiday Party music, entertainment, dancing, karaoke, games, arts and crafts, good company, and truly good food.  This annual event provides an excellent opportunity for Youth Group members, families and friends, grandparents, teachers, prospective Youth Group members, volunteers, and anyone interested in Vista Center to meet and have fun.


Overnight events are an especially fun way for our students to spend time together.  We have kayaked to Angel Island and then set up camp, and we have also slept in a zoo, in a decommissioned submarine, and near the beach in Santa Cruz.

Braille Challenge

Vista Center is pleased to be a host of the Northern California Regional Braille Challenge.  The Braille Challenge is a celebration of braille literacy in the form of a contest among blind school children.  The contestants are public and private school students in grades one through twelve.  


Divided into five groups based on reading level, the students engage in a fun day of braille challenges that include writing, reading comprehension, chart and graph reading, spelling, proofreading, and word search.  Each participant in the Braille Challenge is a winner and receives an award of achievement.  The students who achieve the highest scores in each reading level receive prizes and an invitation to participate in the national championship.

This short video clip is of seniors during a timed event where participants are scored on speed and accuracy.

Please note this video is not sped up. They are really that fast!

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First Saturday of each month, 1 to 3pm

"Teens Together" is an informal group for teens that are blind or visually impaired between the ages of 12 and 20 years. Together, we will talk about challenges, explore problem-solving techniques, find solutions, and use these strategies to be successful!
Together, we will:

For more info contact Lynda Johnson at:

Visit our Photo Album on Flickr