- Executive Director
A native Californian, Margaret
was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated
with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from the University
of California, Riverside. Margaret attained her Teaching
credential at San José State University. She attained
her Master’s Degree in Teacher Education as a Fellow
at Sacramento State University. She later attained her Administrative
Credential at Fresno-Pacific University.
In 1999, an unknown disease
caused Margaret to loose most of her eyesight. She then
became involved with the local blindness community. In 2007,
Margaret was a founding Member of Center of Vision Enhancement
(COVE) and later became the Executive Director. Prior to
becoming involved with COVE, Margaret was and educator,
teacher trainer, and administrator in Merced County Schools.
Her prior experience as a Project Director has served her
well in her current position at COVE where those with vision
loss can learn to maintain a fulfilling and independent
– Assistive Technology Trainer
Growing up in the Bay Area,
Dana was exposed to cutting edge technology from an early
age. With the aid of high-tech computer software and magnification
and talking devices, she had little trouble keeping up with
academics, hobbies, and work.
Dana became a client of COVE
when she moved to the central valley and discovered that
the economics were rather different from the Bay Area. She
had a difficult time finding work in her field of expertise,
but with the assistance of COVE and DOR, she was able to
attend college and discover another career path. Dana began
working at COVE in 2018. She enjoys teaching clients to
use assistive technology to improve and enrich their lives.
– Assistive Technology Trainer
I am an assistive technology
specialist amongst other things with in COVE. I was introduced
to COVE in 2009 by a strong supporter of COVE and their
beliefs. One of my favourite things to experience is a happy
client who returns with a smile on their face because my
classes made a positive impact in that person’s life.
Some of the technology that
I train includes, Jaws For Windows, Microsoft office products,
typing, iPhone training with Voice Over, orientation of
the Victor Reader, along with other useful devices, programs,
and apps that help the visually impaired to accomplish daily
I am originally from South
Carolina. One of the reasons I moved to this community was
due to the more abundant opportunities for a fuller independent
life. My wife and I enjoy the accessibility to transportation
so we can take our three children to family gatherings,
as well as community events. Some of my hobbies include,
being a ham radio operator, listening to music, and learning
and testing new technology, also Reading books. My eye condition
is unknown. I have ben blind sense birth.
– Orientation and Mobility Trainer
I have credential for visually
Impaired and also Orientation and Mobility Specialist. I
have completed my Masters in visual Impairment from San
Francisco State University, I have 14 years’ experience
in special Education field. I have done my student teaching
in Orientation Center for the Blind and this has really
helped me to work with blind and visually impaired adults.
– Independent Living Skills Trainer
I was born In Portugal, Azores
on the island of Terceira. I came to America when I was
3 years old with my parents. I was wearing glasses by the
age of 6 months and my parents came to America to see what
can be done for my eyesight. I have struggled through school
knowing my eyesight was bad enough that I would never be
able to drive. Despite this I learned to adapt with what
vision I did have and reached out for resources. The Department
of Rehabilitation connected me to C.O.V.E. in which I was
a client and took classes as well as continuing my education
at Merced college where I obtained my Associates degree
in Psychology and Behavioral Science. Throughout the training
I received I was diagnosed with Ocular Albinism. The retina
in the back of my eye lacks pigmentation which makes my
eyes sensitive to sunlight. I also have Nystagmus and Astigmatism
meaning it takes my eyes a while to adjust to things and
I am not able to see fine detail due to my extreme nearsightedness.
I see 20/80 as of now with the best corrected vision. I
am now pursuing my Bachelors in Psychology at Stanislaus
State University. Despite my visual challenges I do not
let that get me down. I use public transportation and love
to travel when I get the chance. I am now an employee at
C.O.V.E. and look forward to helping individuals gain independent
living skills so they can feel more confident and know that
they are not alone as well as have the skills necessary
to live a more independent life despite their vision loss.
– Office Assistant
I moved to Merced in 2019,
with my retired husband Bill, and our son Gavin. Our older
son, Lucas, lives in Brooklyn NY. He's a cartoonist and
works at publishing comics with NYRC. We have a Russian
land tortoise, Gilbert. She loves roaming the yard in warm
weather. Monterey was too cold for her, and me!
I'm a retired RN, I've worked
in Oncology, Hospice, Labor & Delivery, NICU, PAR, Outpatient
I was a foster parent for nine
medically fragile infants, ending up adopting one of them
(Gavin is 22 now).
I am a two-time breast cancer
survivor, 2005 & 2017, two different cancers. I crochet
two hours a day to keep the lymphedema in my right arm and
hand under control. (Think of me for all your crochet needs)!
I had three corneal transplants
done at UCSF this year, for Fuchs Dystrophy. I was losing
sight rapidly, and was about to lose my driver's license.
I am profoundly grateful that both eyes are now doing very
I was born and raised in Massachusetts.
I came to California after graduating High School.
I am retired after working
20 years for Merced County Office of Education. My Skills
range from maintaining Benefits packages, Payroll, PERS
(Public Employees Retirement System) and knowledge of many
different computer programs.
I have a passion for people
with Special Needs, I love to cook, I love to travel, and
I love being out in Nature.
– Independent Living Skills Trainer
I have attended Merced Junior
College and Fresno State University majoring in Early Childhood
Education and Animal Science. I was a teacher for about
twelve years as swell as holding other positions in the
education field. I am also a Certified Yoga Instructor receiving
my 200 hours training through YogaFit.
My visual impairment was diagnosed
at an early age and progressively brought me to the point
of a visual acuity of 20/400. Through my training at COVE
I have been introduced to new skills and technology that
enable me to meet the challenges of vision loss.
I have worked for COVE for
approximately 8 years. I provide Independent Living Skills
training through the Department of Rehabilitation program
and the Older Individuals Who Are Blind program. Through
COVE I also provide a yoga class for blind and visually
- PVSA Trainer COVE
Sonja helps guide clients to
see their own potential by teaching them how to help themselves.
She holds an Associate of Science in Computers and Networking
from Merced Community College, a Bachelor of Science in
Management from Grand Canyon University, and she is working
on her Master's Degree in Education.
Sonja teaches at both Merced
College in the Business division in the administrative office
management and virtual office courses, and she also teaches
at MCOE as a special education teacher. She is contracted
through UC Merced’s Small Business Development Centers
(SBDC) as a social media marketing consultant for local
small businesses. Finally, Sonja is the Personal, Vocational,
and Social Adjustment (PVSA) trainer here at COVE!