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CVI's Night Visions 2017 —
Register Now

Night Visions Image
Come one, come all, to Atlanta’s greatest party with a purpose! We invite you to throw your hat into the ring for a carnival adventure where everyone is a winner.
Night Visions: Carnival 2017
Benefiting the Center for the Visually Impaired
Thursday, April 27, 2017
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
The Stave at American Spirit Works
199 Armour Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
Support CVI and enjoy a fun, carnival-themed evening featuring cocktails, great food, silent and live auctions, roving entertainment and carnival games with a mission twist.
Ticket Packages: The more tickets
you buy, the more you save!

All ticket packages include beer and wine, catered cuisine, entertainment and parking. For an additional $25 per person, individuals can attend the VIP, pre-event whiskey tasting and tour at American Spirit Whiskey located next to the Stave.
$450 – Six Pack (Cost per ticket: $75)
6 tickets to the Night Visions event
$325 – Double Date (Cost per ticket: $81.25)
4 tickets to the Night Visions event
$175 – Couple (Cost per ticket: $87.50)
2 tickets to the Night Visions event
$100 – Single (Cost of ticket: $100)
1 ticket to the Night Visions event

For more information regarding the event, visit or contact Deborah Burcham
at 404-602-4279 or

Introducing this year's Night Visions Honorary Event Chairs:
Doug & Esther Garges
Kelly & Kyle Garges

Picture of the Garges
This year’s honorary event chairs represent one family’s enduring dedication and commitment to CVI. Three generations of the Garges family have played vital roles in the Center’s history – from Kelly Garges, Sr., who was instrumental in the founding of the agency that became CVI, to Doug Garges, a longtime CVI and CVI Foundation board member and former chair, to Kelly Garges, a third generation active trustee. Together with their spouses and extended circle, members of the Garges family have been volunteer supporters and partners with CVI for over 45 years.
Please join us in celebrating the Garges Family’s many wonderful years of service to CVI by attending and/or supporting
Night Visions 2017!

Destination Fun on a "Cruise with CVI"

Picture of couple holding sign that says I cruised with CVI
On Sunday, February 26, CVI was bustling with activity as donors, potential clients and other friends took the opportunity to “Cruise with CVI” and experience our client training first-hand.
As attendees traveled to various “ports” throughout the building, they passed through many program areas and met with members of the CVI team. Participants were trained in white cane techniques by our orientation and mobility specialists, introduced to assistive technologies by our resident experts, instructed in various activities of daily living, and given a behind the scenes tour of the Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic. Each completed activity was rewarded with a passport stamp, with three or more stamps qualifying a guest for entry to win a grand prize travel package.
Sighted guests were given the opportunity to make use of visual impairment simulation goggles as they completed various activities, to help them better understand the daily experiences of people living with vision loss. 

Check out the event’s Flickr page for images of this year’s Cruise with CVI!

STARS Paints the Town
Red (and White)

Picture of King and Queen of Red and White Ball
STARS students celebrated together at their annual Red and White Ball, at the All Saints Episcopal Church on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
The Delta Gamma Alumnae of UGA generously hosted the event, providing catering, decorations, the all-important DJ, a fun photo booth and various auction items. Each student was allotted a stack of fake cash to bid with during the auction, which featured a wealth of items ranging from pajamas and stuffed-toys to gift cards and jewelry.
Presiding over the evening’s festivities (and pictured above) were Matthew and Grace, STARS students who were crowned King and Queen of the ball through the nominations of their fellow students (aka loyal subjects).

Client Profile — Meet Charles Thomas

Picture of Charles Thomas
At age 74, Charles Thomas is nearly blind in both eyes, due to glaucoma. His eye doctor introduced him to the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) and recommended CVI’s vision rehabilitation services.
Prior to coming to CVI, Charles increasingly felt like a prisoner in his own home. He had come to rely on his sister for transportation, and if she was unable to provide it, plans would be cancelled. Charles was eager to learn new strategies to enhance his independence.
During his first few one-on-one sessions with Ashleigh (one of CVI’s orientation and mobility specialists), armed with his newly-acquired white cane, Charles learned the skills required to safely cross streets, climb steps and conquer escalators. With ever-growing confidence, Charles now has the means to travel independently, and on his own schedule.
With Ashleigh’s support, Charles also organized his home, labeling appliances and organizing his pantry to make them accessible and functional. At CVI’s “iPhone with Voiceover” classes, he learned to make the most of his smartphone, using voice control to read print materials, access news, identify paper money and complete many other daily living tasks.
Charles has only begun his journey as a CVI client, and already describes what he has learned as “life-changing.” He is excited about what the future has in store. He plans to enroll in additional classes in assistive technology and is eager to participate in other CVI programs and activities. His time at CVI has given him a new lease on life, restoring his faith in himself and his abilities.
Please consider making a gift to help clients like Charles gain the confidence and skills to live independently and with dignity. Your support is needed. Donate online today at

Back in Time: Inside the
CVI Vault — the Optacon

   Picture of an Optacon
Once more, we delve into the vault with Nell Robinson, CVI staff member and Case Manager for Community Based Services, to examine the strange and wonderful artifacts that have played a part in CVI’s history.

This month, we’ve rediscovered the retro-futuristic Optacon! No, it’s not a Transformer, despite the name, which is a snappy abbreviation for “optical to tactile converter.” As you might have already guessed, the Optacon is a device that was designed as a “reading machine,” to enable blind people to read any printed material that had not been transcribed into Braille.
The Optacon consists of a main unit about the size of a portable tape recorder connected by a cable to a camera module about the size of a mini flashlight. The camera is capable of transmitting an image about the size of one letter to the unit, where the dark part of the text is recreated via an array of vibrating pins. The user places their index finger on the pins, and moves the camera module across a line of print, in order to read one letter at a time.
CVI offered training classes to clients on how to use this device back in the 1970s and early 1980s. It wasn’t easy or efficient, but it was an invaluable tool for many users, who were disappointed when it was discontinued in 1996. A number of Optacon users remain, as no other device currently offers the ability to “see” a printed page or computer screen as it truly appears.
The Optacon was designed by John Linvill, an engineering professor at Stanford University, who was motivated by his daughter Candy’s loss of vision at age three. Later, in an inspiring coda to the Optacon story, Candy used her father’s invention at Stanford, where she graduated with her own PhD.

BEGIN's New Two-Year-Old Class

Picture of the BEGIN 2 year old class
BEGIN parents and their two-year-old children are taking part in a new class, held twice a month at CVI. Each class aims to provide parents with skills and strategies for interaction with their child, to help them reach specific developmental goals.
The two-year-old class is modeled on the Oregon Project, a comprehensive assessment and curriculum designed for use with children who are blind or visually impaired. Each class has a different theme, but all have a similar structure. Classes begin with group activity during circle time, in which participants sing a welcome song, greeting all by name, after which parents and children move to separate activity stations to experience activities like tactile games, braille activities, crafts and other sensory activities, including slides and trampolines. These activities are then followed by a session with a music therapist, and a group discussion to close.
The class has been well received, and children and parents alike are reaping the benefits. The class is now contemplating a group field trip in the near future, for a fun adventure that will make use of the many skills they’ve acquired!

Upcoming Events

Friday, 3/10
Learning about your iPhone or iPad Class (Course 2, Session 1)

Friday, 3/10
STARS Casino Night

Monday, 3/13
Tech Tools for Independence 
(Android Devices)

Friday, 3/17
Learning about your iPhone or iPad Class (Course 2, Session 2)

Saturday, 3/18
STARS Saturday Academy

Thursday, 3/23
Open House for Prospective Clients and Their Families

Sunday, 3/26
STARS Georgia Aquarium Trip

Thursday, 4/27
Night Visions

Thursday, 5/11
Planned Giving Event

Sunday, 10/1
Dining in the Dark

Click here for a list of upcoming events!

Get to Know Your Device! CVI is Now Offering iPhone/iPad Classes

Picture of a person holding an iPad
Do you own an Apple device, but only use it to make and receive calls, and perform other simple tasks? Apple iPhones and iPads offer many useful features for people with vision loss. Perhaps you wish you could make use of these features, but don’t know where to start!
By taking part in CVI’s new two-session course designed specifically for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, you’ll learn:

•  Orientation to the iPhone/iPad
•  Introduction to Siri and voice commands
•  Using applications with Siri (email, calendar appointments, texting, and more!)
Classes will take place on Fridays, from 10:15 AM-12:15 PM, with course dates as follows:
•  2nd Two-Session Course Dates: March 10 and March 17
•  Final Two-Session Course Dates: April 14 and April 21
Registration is required. Each two-session course costs $120.00. Students must bring their own iPhone or iPad to class.

For more information or to register for classes, call 404-875-9011 or email

Special Thanks

Thank you to the Delta Gamma Alumnae for hosting the STARS 2017 Red and White Ball in February. The Delta Gammas were involved in every aspect of the event, also providing sighted guide assistance for the STARS students throughout the evening. We are so grateful to this amazing group of volunteers for making the Red and White Ball an event that our students will never forget!

Tech Tools for Independence — Making Technology Work for You!

Picture of an android
CVI is now offering a free, monthly demonstration of accessible technology for users who are blind or visually impaired. These monthly tech demos are open to the public and feature demonstrations of accessible technology geared toward users who are blind or visually impaired, including:
•  New technology

•  Accessible features of smartphones and tablets

•  Helpful apps and devices

•  High and low tech solutions
Demonstrations will focus on a unique topic each month, providing up-to-date information and the latest developments in technology. Upcoming dates and topics are as follows:

•  Monday, March 13, 2017 – Accessibility of Android phones and tablets
Time: 10:15 AM-12:15 PM
RSVPs are recommended but not required. For more information, or to reserve your spot, call 404-875-9011 or email

Make a Gift Today

It is easy and secure to make a gift online on our Donate Now page.
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Let's do Lunch — Annual Hot Dog Fundraiser
Coming Soon!

Picture of a grill
Mark your calendars to attend the 9th Annual Hot Dog Fundraiser and Blind Entrepreneurial Showcase to support CVI’s STARS youth program.
Date:  Wednesday, April 12
(Rain date will be Wednesday, April 19)

Time: 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM

Location:  CVI Parking
Lot - 739 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
The Hot Dog Fundraiser features the best-priced lunch in town, and for a great cause! A $4 combo includes a hot dog, chips and a drink (just $.50 additional for chili). Experience the Blind Entrepreneurial Showcase featuring a host of local vendors, from jewelry designers to massage therapists. And if this weren’t already enough, there’s also a chance to win a $50 door prize. Our thanks to the CVI Alumni Association, Feeding the Homeless Project, Inc., Colliers International and the Coca-Cola Company for sponsoring this fun and ever-popular annual event.

Planned Giving Corner: 4 Easy
Steps Toward Tackling Tax Time

Picture of a 1040 tax form
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For many, tax time is the more intimidating option.
Save yourself the hassle and aggravation of tax season by taking steps to gather what you need before the taxman comes calling. By being better organized, you’ll put yourself in a position to further your support of the Center for the Visually Impaired and other causes close to your heart.
Click here to find out the four steps you can take to prepare for tax season. To confirm your donations to CVI during the 2016 tax year, or to learn how you can extend your impact and support CVI with a gift in your estate, contact Helene Erenberg at 404-602-4275 or
Copyright © 2016 Center for the Visually Impaired, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
739 West Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30308

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