Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) is a private, not-for-profit organization offering comprehensive vision rehabilitation services for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.
CABVI is not a state or federal agency and does not directly receive tax dollars. CABVI continues to be a dynamic organization, growing and changing to meet the needs of an increasing number of people in the Greater Cincinnati area. Among the challenges that the new millennium brings will be meeting the quality service, identifying new sources of revenue to address the issues of overall operating expenses increasing at a rate greater than revenue will be required to provide for long-term sustainability. Developing new markets and new products, as well as improved production efficiency, will be required to maintain the viability of the Industries Program and Base Supply Center, as well as new Social Enterprises that are still being developed.
- In 1911, the Cincinnati Association for the Welfare of the Blind was founded to employ and assist people who were blind. By 1913, sixteen men made brooms and mops.
- In 1946, the agency name was changed to Cincinnati Association for the Blind.
- In the 1960s, Cincinnati Association for the Blind initiated several rehabilitation services. By 1968, the agency had changed locations several times before moving to its current location to accommodate the growing workshop.
- In the 1980s, computer access services and early childhood and youth services were established.
- In January 1998, Radio Reading Services of Greater Cincinnati (RRS) joined Cincinnati Association for the Blind in a combined effort to expand services.
- In 1999, Cincinnati Association for the Blind started and completed a building renovation project that made more efficient use of all six floors and created new, state-of-the-art broadcast studios for Radio Reading Services.
- In 2001, our base supply center, OFFICE RUNWAY, opened for business at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This retail supply center provides new distribution channels for blind-made products as well as jobs for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- In 2004, the Board of Trustees approved a new name for the agency – Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI).
- In 2005, a new logo was designed to complement our new name.
- In December 2006, John H. Mitchell became the agency’s fifth Executive Director after the retirement of Hank Baud.
- In August 2007, the agency established an outreach program with the addition of an outreach social worker, a position funded by a grant through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
- On March 20, 2009, CABVI presented the findings of the Community Needs Assessment that was completed in late 2008 in collaboration with the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and six other community organizations.
- In December 2009, CABVI purchased two new vehicles for the Agency with funding from a foundation grant.
- On October 6-9, 2010, CABVI hosted the Annual Training Conference of the National Industries for the Blind in Cincinnati. The event was also the launch of CABVI’s Centennial year.
- 2011 – YEAR-LONG CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
- On April 26, 2011 CABVI hosted the 100th Annual Meeting of the Association.
- On May 4, 2011, CABVI celebrated its Centennial by hosting a celebration event on Fountain Square to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the agency’s Incorporation in the State of Ohio on May 4, 1911.
- In January 2013, CABVI established a new low vision service in Florence Kentucky. We also launched a new social enterprise, CincySight Office products.
- Between 2012 and 2015, CABVI received the largest ever single planned gift in the form of a bequest from the Estate of Louise Nippert.
- In 2015, the Board of Trustees updated the Mission and Vision Statements.
- In February 2016, CABVI leased 17,000 square feet of production and distribution space to meet agency growth needs until a permanent building was located for 2017.
- In March 2016, CABVI established a new Contract Management Support (CMS) Services operation at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
- In April, 2016, CincySight was rebranded as VIE Ability: Delivering Supplies and Social Impact and a new cargo delivery van was purchased with support from a local foundation.
- CABVI is grateful for a very generous estate gift from Carolyn (Voss) Hornbeck that helped CABVI purchase an additional building, the Hornbeck Social Enterprise Center, in July 2016. With 59,000 square feet of space, this increases CABVI’s operations by more than 75%.
- The agency served a record 5,139 people in 2016.
OUR MISSION, VISION, CORE VALUES
Empowering people who are blind or visually impaired with opportunities to seek independence.
Ensuring full lives and community inclusion.
OUR CORE VALUES:
We value each individual with their unique needs and experiences, serving all with diligence, understanding and respect.
We are optimistic and work to achieve a brighter future for our clients, customers and stakeholders.
We remove barriers to dreams and provide choices for individual growth, future possibilities, and economic independence.
We do what is right and ethical in all our actions and relationships.
We value the talents and expertise of our employees and other members of our community realizing…
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
We empower people with knowledge, tools, and support to achieve their individual goals and create an enhance quality of life.
John Mitchell has been CEO since December 2006. Prior to that, he was CABVI’s Director of Operations from 1999 to 2006. John worked for the Clovernook Center for the Blind from 1985 to 1999 as Multistate Center Director, Director of Manufacturing and Vice President of Industrial Operations. John has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Cincinnati (1983). John is currently on the boards of the National Industries for the Blind and the Vision Serve Alliance, and a past board president of the National Association for the Employment of People Who Are Blind (NAEPB).
Director of Program Services
Ginny Backscheider has worked at CABVI since 1979, and oversees the department that provides CABVI’s community based vision rehabilitation services. Ginny has also worked for United Cerebral Palsy, RHC, and United Way. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati. She has served on the board of the Ohio Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AERO), and has served on the international board of AER International.
Director of Development & Community Relations
Aaron Bley, Director of Development and Community Relations, joined CABVI’s staff in December 2016. Bley was previously the Senior Corporate Relationship Officer at American Red Cross, Cincinnati-Dayton Region. He also served as the Regional Director for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and worked in a variety of community affairs positions with Mercy Health Partners. Bley earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Xavier University and his master’s degree in Communication from the University of Cincinnati.
Director of Finance & Administration
Jennifer DuBois rejoined CABVI in the role of Director of Finance and Administration in May 2010 after completing her Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati. Jen has extensive management experience, specializing in the not-for-profit sector. Jen earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Miami University.
Director of Business Development
Bill Neyer joined CABVI in 2011 as Director of Business Development. He is in charge of launching new business units such as Contract Management Support (CMS) and VIE-Ability.org, an office supply social enterprise. He also oversees the Office Runway Base Supply Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base He received his Bachelor’s degree in Science and Mechanical Engineering from Ohio University and a master’s degree in Theology from Xavier University.
Director of Operations
Terry Skiba, Director of Operations, joined the agency in 2015. He oversees the Industries Program at CABVI. He is a graduate of West Virginia State College, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. Terry brings extensive experience in industry, finance and manufacturing as General Manager with Smurfit-Stone.
Chair– Mary L. Rust
Immediate Past Chair– Michael Lichstein, Ph.D.
Vice Chair/Treasurer– Timothy G. Powell
Vice Chair/Secretary– Brenda D. Gumbs
Vice Chair– Dennis W. Dern
Patti Weller Bresler
John P. Burns
Roger G. Caldwell
Henry L. Daniels
J. Harry Dornheggen
Stephen S. Eberly
Brenda D. Gumbs
Eric H. Kearney
Steven T. Kenat
Jerry E. Klein
Patricia D. Laub
Gail A. Moore
Ronald J. Ott
Michael R. Petersen, M.D.
James G. Powell
Stephanie A. Smith
Hale W. Thurston, Ph.D.
Glen G. Vogel
Rosemary H. Bloom
Susan S. Friedlander
Ralph J. Waldvogel, Jr.
Robert J. Watkins