Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some of the ways people lose their vision?
Some of the most common ways are macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts; but the number one cause of vision loss in the country among working-age adults is diabetes. Other causes include accidents, strokes, high blood pressure, violence, HIV/AIDS and other autoimmune deficiencies. In addition, there are also other causes of vision loss specific to newborns and young children.

I don't live in the Atlanta area. Can I still receive services?
Our primary service area is in the Atlanta metro area, but we also provide a once a month low vision clinic service in Macon, Cumberland, Fayeteville, and Suwannee, Georgia. Some of our clients travel to CVI from other areas of Georgia due to services not being available in their area.

Why did my optometrist/ophthalmologist refer me to your agency?
We get many referrals from local eye doctors whose patients have lost a significant amount of vision. Doctors submit these referrals with hopes that CVI can assist their patient by providing low vision aids or by teaching them independent living skills. While optometrists and ophthalmologists determine eye health from a medical perspective, CVI’s programs help with education, training and learning how to use remaining vision.

I am not totally blind, can you still help me?
Yes, we assist with a variety of levels of vision loss. Our clients range from low vision to total blindness.

I don’t have much income, but I still need your services. Can you still help me?
We do not turn people away due to their inability to pay. For more information, contact CVI at 404-875-9011.

What is a low vision evaluation and how do I make an appointment?
A low vision evaluation includes meeting with a specialist who will assess your needs for low vision aids and devices. It is not a traditional exam so your eyes will be not be dilated and medication will not be prescribed. During your appointment you will be introduced to various devices such as high powered magnifiers, talking products and writing and large print aids.

In order to make an appointment, you must submit the results of your most recent eye exam (within the last 12 months) and an application to the CVI. Once that paperwork has been received, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.

Young children up to the age of five may also receive a functional vision assessment through CVI’s BEGIN early intervention program.

Do you perform eye exams?
No, we do not perform eye exams. You can call CVI for more information at 404-875-9011. They will give you resources to assist.

What type of classes/training will you provide to help me be more independent?
CVI provides a variety of training classes such as braille, white cane travel, diabetes education, job readiness, computer assistive technology, cooking and meal preparation, completing household chores, health and fitness, financial management, self-defense, and emergency preparedness.

Do you provide services for children?
Yes, we provide services for infants, toddlers and school-age children through our BEGIN and STARS programs. Both programs provide information, education resources, guidance, parental support, summer camps and social outings.

I just lost my vision and need someone to talk to about it, do you provide counseling or a support group?
Yes, we provide support groups and counseling resources. You can visit our support group page for more details on the various groups, meeting dates and times. For counseling resources, contact the CVI. Parents of children who are blind or visually impaired can contact either the BEGIN program family counselor or STARS counselor.

How do I manage my diabetes now that I am blind?
There are a variety of techniques and strategies on managing diabetes. CVI provides education, assessments; and one-on-one consultation with our diabetes resource coordinator. We also provide a weekly support group that meets every Monday and we sell accessible diabetes supplies in the VisAbility store located on the first floor at CVI.

Where can I purchase magnifiers and other devices to help me see better?
Low vision aids and devices can be purchased at our VisAbility Store located on the first floor of CVI at 739 W. Peachtree St. NW. You can visit the store in person or shop online at www.visabilitystore.org. The VisAbility store is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit retail store in which purchases benefit the CVI Solution Fund which provides low vision aids and devices to clients who may not afford them.

My relative needs help at home. Can you come out and assist?
Yes, we have a community based program that provides some rehabilitation training directly in the home. Depending on the need and location of the individual, we can assist with in-home mobility skills (traveling safely at home, at work, or in the community); safety techniques for cooking and cleaning and performing other household chores; communications skills for keeping track of finances, paying bills, and other paperwork and more. To apply for this service, contact CVI for an application.

Do you help people who are blind or visually impaired find employment?
Yes, as part of our rehabilitation training program we provide job readiness programs where client’s will get assistance with writing resumes, improving interview skills, disclosure of their disability and workplace accommodations.

When are you open?
We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Our VisAbility Store is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Occasionally, the VisAbility Store is also open on Saturdays. Check the website for specific dates.

Do you provide transportation to your center?
No, unfortunately we do not provide transportation. However, our location is on the MARTA bus line and we are within one block walking distance from the North Avenue MARTA station.