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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
507 Kent Street
Utica, NY 13501
(315) 797-2233 (Local)
(315) 797-2244 (Fax)
(877) 719-9996 (Toll-Free)

Brief Description

The mission of CABVI is to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired achieve their highest levels of independence. CABVI provides all vision services free of charge.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-4:30 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 980
Number of staff: 154
Geographic area served: 7 counties in central New York: Oneida, Madison, Herkimer, Lewis, Montgomery, Fulton, and Otsego.
Publications: Newsletter, annual report.


Kathy Beaver, Vice President, Rehabilitation,
Rudy D'Amico, President/CEO, (315) 797-2233,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Intake worker and rehabilitation specialist determines present needs and skills level of clients.
  • Assistive Products
    • Distributes aids and appliances for independent living, home management and recreation. Products for sale on site.
  • Braille/Electronic/Audio/Large Print Production
    • Textbooks and other reading material transcribed into braille.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Provides extensive outreach services to entire upstate New York region, ensuring that information about available vision services reaches those in need of agency service.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Offers computer training.
  • Counseling
    • Offers individual, group, family, crisis intervention counseling and referral to community services. Provides consultation to other agencies on counseling/social work services; adult support group meetings; children's services; resource advocacy and training activities for visually impaired children.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Rehabilitation offers a full range of visual rehabilitation services including independent living skills, orientation and mobility, activities of daily living, vocational rehabilitation, and occupational therapy.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Offers job evaluation, training, community placement and facility based employment at Central Industries that manufactures and sells products to state and federal government. Also has Work Activity Center for individuals who are blind and developmentally disabled. Offers telecommunication employment at VA Center.
  • Information and Referral
    • Provides general information about blindness and visually impairment. When appropriate, refers to other community, state, and national organizations. Provides public education and in-service training programs upon request. Offers prevention, vocational, and other educational materials and information.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Certified low vision specialists provide evaluation and prescribe low vision optical aids and devices to maximize remaining vision.
  • Recreation Services
    • Refers and provides consultation to other agencies for some recreational services.
  • Services for Seniors
    • All services provided are offered to seniors.
  • Support Groups
    • Has a support group for seniors.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Professionals teach consumers how to determine their location and travel safely in the home, school, workplace, or community.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Functional vision, orientation and mobility, occupational therapy, rehabilitation and pre-vocational skills evaluations are available for all age groups.
  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Pre-braille and braille instruction is available for children ages 3 to 21. Braille, large print and recorded media transcription is provided by the Mohawk Valley Volunteer Braille Transcribers, an auxiliary of CABVI.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • CABVI is committed to educating the public about caring for their sight, and the capabilities of people with visual impairments through informational talks and public presentations.
  • Counseling
    • Offers individual, group, family and crisis intervention counseling through a Licensed Social Worker, along with referral to community services.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides instruction in personal care, cooking, communication and financial management skills.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Provides comprehensive early intervention/preschool educational services including evaluation, concept development, vision training and communication skills.
  • Education Services
    • Provides a full array of vision-related contract services to preschool and school-age children including Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Rehabilitation Teaching, Orientation and Mobility, Occupational Therapy, Technology Training and Career Counseling.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • A pre-vocational program provides pre-vocational skills assessments, academic, prevocational skills and work experience training, summer job placement services, and pre-college/career preparation assistance.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Certified low vision specialists provide evaluation of eyesight, prescribe low vision optical aids and devices,and give instruction in the use of adaptive devices and techniques to maximize remaining usable vision. Specialized products and equipment are available for purchase through the on-site "Sight Shoppe".
  • Preschool Programs
    • Along with a number of community resources, CABVI offers a free Preschool Vision Screening Program to children from 36 to 59 months. CABVI trains volunteers to do a four-step vision screening to evaluate children for possible vision problems including colorblindness, amblyopia, strabismus, and visual acuity.
  • Recreation Services
    • CABVI sponsors a program called "Seasonings" with up to eight seasonal recreational events for visually impaired and legally blind children and their families. Events are scheduled around holidays and school vacation times throughout the year.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • Camp Abilities-CABVI is a youth development program for children and teens who are blind or visually impaired. We empowers kids with visual loss to remain physically active, participate in leisure activities, engage in physical education classes, use technology and develop independent living skills that will last a lifetime. Children and teens discover what they can do.

      Multiple times during the year Camp Abilities-CABVI offers overnight programs, a summer camp and a winter camp. Activities at camp include: tandem biking, beep baseball or kickball, snowshoeing, cooking skills or technology instruction. New experiences are added each year. We also help prepare campers for the future with vocational experiences and informational seminars.

      Staff meet with students at home or, in their school and their communities to ensure newly acquired skills are retained and expanded.

  • Support for Parents
    • CABVI works closely with NAPVI (National Association for Parents of Children with Vision Impairments) to provide networking and support for our children and their families.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides training in spatial awareness, basic concepts, and in techniques for safe travel in homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

Services for Professionals

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Consultation provided to school districts, social services agencies, health care organizations and the business community.
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