Cincinnati Association for the
Blind & Visually Impaired

Ervin Meadows

Encephalitis is a serious condition that causes inflammation of the brain. Due to encephalitis, Ervin Meadows lost vision in his left eye in 2004 and several years later in his right eye. His successful employment in plastics manufacturing and later, in printing, was no longer possible as Ervin fought to survive, and also worked hard to regain his basic health. In 2015, he moved from Texas to Cincinnati in order to be closer to an old friend. Ervin contacted CABVI for services after his friend noticed that he was becoming isolated and depressed due to his vision loss.

Initially, Ervin was very reluctant to use a white cane because he felt like it was “giving up.” However, after getting lost in his own neighborhood, he realized that he needed help. CABVI’s orientation and mobility specialist taught Ervin how to travel safely using a white cane. He soon could walk around his neighborhood, go to the store, attend concerts at the nearby park, and become independent again.


One of CABVI’s access technology specialists helped Ervin learn to use a smart phone with an application that reads street signs. He is also learning to use the internet, read documents, and eventually wants to learn to use a computer with access technology and speech software. A CABVI vision rehabilitation therapist helped Ervin place tactile markers around his apartment for tasks like setting the thermostat. Using a Penfriend audio labeler, he organized his CD collection to easily find the music he wants to hear. Ervin uses a voice recorder to store phone numbers, write grocery lists, and keep track of his appointments. He also learned adaptive methods for cooking and cleaning.