Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

Client Spotlight - Tamiah Warren

A photograph of CVI client Tamiah Warren sitting at a computer desk, using the computer

“CVI was definitely life-changing for me. I feel like I’m in a new era of my life,” said Tamiah Warren, a client at the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) who has big plans for the future despite her vision loss. Tamiah was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary eye disorder, at the age of 16. For a lot of people, this would be devastating news, but for Tamiah, it was a relief. For years, people didn’t believe that her sight was limited, so the diagnosis was a much needed validation. Now the 24 year old is learning the skills she needs to become a successful entrepreneur through a program specifically designed for individuals with vision loss, but in the meantime, she has accepted a position with JCPenney for the next several months.

Tamiah began working with CVI in April of 2018, and she’s learned many valuable skills during her training. “The main purpose of me coming here, the skill that I wanted the most, was how to use a computer,” said Tamiah. “I struggled with that all throughout my school years. The typing class that CVI provides is excellent. Now, I can use a keyboard without having to look at it and type with one finger at a time, looking up and down to make sure what’s on the screen is matching what I typed.”

In addition to learning computer skills, Tamiah has also spent a lot of time working on her mobility. In her new position with JCPenney, Tamiah will be working in recovery operations, which includes recovering and returning articles of clothing from the fitting rooms, so being adept at using a white cane to move around the store and as a way alert customers to her visual impairment will be vital to her success on the job.

According to Tamiah, she barely used a cane before coming to CVI. “I’ve learned to utilize my cane, which I will be using at JCPenney,” said Tamiah. “There are a lot of people like me with low vision who don’t like the cane. But the thing that comes with being low vision, especially with retinitis pigmentosa, is that it’s a very invisible disease. So if I don’t have my cane, people don’t know that I’m blind. People will signal you a lot in customer service, especially retail, if they need your help. I’m not going to see their hand, which can cause an issue. So the cane is a mobility tool, but it’s also a symbol. It makes things much easier to have one.”

At the Center for the Visually Impaired, we are committed to equipping people with the tools they need to succeed. Our classes help adult clients achieve greater independence at home and work, just like Tamiah. If you know someone who could benefit from these services, call us at 404.875.9011 to learn more or visit the Services section of our website.