Cincinnati Association for the
Blind & Visually Impaired

Vision Services



Some common situations that people experience include:

+“I’m having trouble adjusting to my recent vision loss and I wish I had someone to provide support.”

CABVI offers individual counseling through our social service and we also provide therapeutic support groups.

+“I can’t seem to find a magnifier that works for me.”

CABVI’s low vision service prescribes a wide range of magnification devices and offers individual instruction in their use.

+“My vision is changing and it is becoming more difficult for me to use my computer to do my professional work.”

Through our access technology service, we offer adaptive technology and instruction to help individuals gain and maintain employment.

+“I’m having trouble setting my oven dial and other household tasks are becoming more challenging with my vision loss.”

Through our Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Service, we teach adaptive cooking techniques as well as adaptive home management skills, communication skills and personal management skills.

+“I can’t read the newspaper anymore and I feel like I am missing out on what’s going on in the world.”

CABVI’s Information Services include radio reading service broadcasts, talking book machines, and a special voicemail information system called personalized talking print.

+“Since I can no longer drive with my vision loss, I need help with grocery shopping and some other small errands.”

Our volunteer services include one-on-one volunteers to help individuals in the community as well as opportunities for volunteer readers and drivers.

+“I just got a new job and I need help learning a new route to and from my new work location.”

CABVI’s Orientation and Mobility Specialists teach safe, confident travel skills and use of public transportation.

+“We’ve just been told that our baby is visually impaired and we have no idea what to do.”

Our Early Childhood and Youth Services provide emotional support as well as home-based services. We help families rebuild their hopes and dreams for their child.


Access Technology Service

CABVI’s Access Technology Service (ATS) provides comprehensive evaluation, instruction, and consultation on state-of-the-art access technology.

What is Access Technology?

Access technology is specialized hardware or software that enables people who are blind or visually impaired to independently use computers and other forms of technology.

Access Technology includes:

  • Large print software and portable electronic magnifiers
  • Text-to-Speech programs that provide non-visual access
  • Braille displays that provide tactile feedback for Braille users
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) products that convert print into accessible formats

About Our Access Technology Service

Established in 1986, the Access Technology Service provides information, evaluation, instruction and consultation to help individuals achieve their vocational, academic or personal goals. This can include:

  • Information, consultation and referral services
  • Evaluation of technology needs, individual abilities and goals
  • Individualized instruction at CABVI, on the job or at home by highly trained, professional staff
  • ATS works with businesses, referral sources, families, schools and other professionals to assist people in reaching their academic, vocational and recreational goals.

This specialized technology provides access to popular applications for internet browsing, email, office productivity, and personal pursuits. Portable technology such as tablets and smartphones can also be used successfully by someone with a visual impairment. Accessibility features and a growing library of apps open new opportunities for inclusion. ATS maintains a state-of-the-art technology lab for evaluation and instruction on both mainstream and adaptive technology.

Access Technology in the Workplace

Many jobs require technology skills. With access technology, people who are blind or visually impaired can pursue their vocational goals. ATS works with businesses wishing to employ or retain staff who are blind or visually impaired. ATS can help match job sites with adaptive technology to add skilled workers to an organization.

Access Technology in Schools

Mastering technology is requisite for success in today’s educational environment. Students who are blind or visually impaired can learn to use adaptive technology to help them become independent and successful in school. ATS partners with students, parents, and teachers to deliver academic achievement.

Access Technology at Home

Using technology for personal goals is vital in today’s home. Whether it is using email for communication with friends and family, reading books on a tablet, or using the smartphone for travel directions, technology can enrich everyone’s life and expand independence. ATS works to ensure vision loss doesn’t prevent you from taking full part in today’s electronic world.


Early Childhood & Youth Services

CABVI provides many services to children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. Services are individualized for each child and family. These services may include:

  • Home based support and intervention with families of young children
  • Functional vision assessments
  • Emotional support to families to rebuild their hopes and dreams
  • Music therapy, intervention and instruction
  • Information, resources and advocacy for school aged children and families
  • Consultation and collaboration with other service providers and teachers
  • Planning for other services, such as low vision service and access technology

Established in 1988, our Early Childhood and Youth Services provide information and support to parents to assist them in shaping their child’s future, self-esteem, acceptance and independence. We believe that families are the first and primary teachers for their children.

With a long tradition of individualized quality services, we realize that every family responds differently to the knowledge that their child has a visual impairment. We have a wealth of expertise to assist families in meeting their unique challenges as they discover the pride and joy of parenting.


Low Vision Service

Since 1964, the Low Vision Service of CABVI has been helping thousands of people in our community use their remaining vision to achieve independence or remain independent. Children, working-age adults and older adults have successfully used Low Vision Services to achieve their goals.

What is Low Vision

Low vision refers to vision loss that cannot be corrected with medical treatment or standard eyeglasses. A person with low vision retains some useful vision but has difficulty performing routine tasks such as reading, writing or watching TV.

Low vision can mean sensitivity to glare, reduced ability to see detail or loss of peripheral “side” vision.

Low vision can result from a variety of eye conditions. Low vision may be present from childhood or it may develop later in life. Leading causes of low vision include: Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma.

What is a Low Vision Evaluation?

The low vision evaluation is an assessment of the visual needs of a person with low vision. An eye doctor, who specializes in low vision, performs a low vision evaluation to prescribe low vision aids; certified low vision therapists at CABVI provide instruction in their use. The individual takes the low vision aids home to use on a trial basis, before making a final selection of which aids work best. We do not perform routine eye examinations, and do not provide diagnostic or medical treatment. We do help people live better with low vision.

In addition to our downtown Cincinnati location, CABVI also offers some low vision evaluations at satellite locations in Butler, Clermont and Warren counties in Ohio and Boone county in Northern Kentucky.

What are Low Vision Aids?

Low vision aids are tools that help people make the most of their remaining vision. Low vision aids cannot restore perfect vision or cure eye disease. But they can help a person accomplish many routine tasks. CABVI has a wide variety of low vision aids, including:

  • Filter lenses that control glare
  • Telescopes for distance vision tasks, such as TV, signs and faces
  • Hand-held magnifiers for reading
  • Adaptive devices – special lamps, reading stands, large print materials
  • Video Magnifiers (CCTVs) for reading and writing


Orientation and Mobilitiy

Certified orientation and mobility specialists provide training on how to travel safely and independently in one’s home, neighborhood or community.

Orientation and mobility instruction is tailored to the individual and may include:

  • Use of remaining senses including vision
  • Sighted guide techniques for traveling with another person
  • Use of a white cane for identification and safety purposes
  • Orientation to home, school, work or outdoor destinations
  • Street crossings and public transportation
  • Use of technology for traveling


Activities of Daily Living/ Vision Rehabilitation Therapy

A vision rehabilitation therapist provides instruction in adaptive techniques for many daily living skills that can be a challenge for those with vision loss.

Vision rehabilitation therapy is tailored to individual needs and may involve instruction in adaptive techniques and specialized equipment for:

  • Cooking and meal preparation
  • Identifying time, money, medications and clothing
  • Organizing and cleaning one’s home
  • Record keeping including large print checks and check registers, writing guides, and braille
  • Adaptive sewing techniques
  • Managing diabetes
  • Cellphone and tablet use for daily living


Social Service

CABVI offers counseling, information, and support groups to help in the emotional adjustment to vision loss. The loss of vision means change for the individual as well as their entire family. Persons who call the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to inquire about services are connected with our Intake Specialist who will share information. If services are needed, a CABVI social worker will set up a meeting to discuss needs and goals and to develop a plan for help.

Social workers provide:

  • Assessment of needs
  • Planning for services provided by the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Individual or family counseling concerning issues of adjustment to vision loss
  • Information and referral to other community resources
  • Therapeutic support groups
  • Consultation to agencies, organizations and other professionals

Counseling can help in adjusting to the loss of vision. People who lose vision can be angry, frustrated, shocked, depressed or feel helpless. These are normal grieving reactions. Through individualized counseling or support groups, people can learn ways to cope with vision loss.

Support groups are often held at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired or in various locations in the community. Facilitated by a social worker, support groups provide a forum for sharing issues, feelings and experiences. The knowledge that one is not alone can be a powerful motivator in learning new ways to adapt to change.

For more information on CABVI’s services, please email us at or call 513-221-8558.