ECVI Connect

Let's take this journey together.

Personalized Skill Development and​ Social Connections ​for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Central Illinois

What's today's ECVI Connection?


I met Ken in February of 2019 through the Illinois Bureau of Blind Services. He came to the Educational Center to learn how to use the NVDA Screen Reader on his computer. He was surprised to learn that Dan Thompson would be his ECVI instructor.

Ken has had glaucoma all of his life. At the age of 11, he began living at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI) in Jacksonville. At age 16 or 17, he met Dan Thompson at ISVI and mentions that he has known Dan for about 30 years.

He was married at age 22 and later had two children. He worked in the food service industry and did general maintenance jobs to support his family. Most recently, Ken attended the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education (ICRE- Wood) in Chicago. ICRE-Wood offers a concentrated, short-term residential program for adults who are newly blind or visually impaired. During this 14-week course, participants receive intensive training in mobility, orientation, and activities of daily living.

Unfortunately, with the COVID 19 pandemic, programs were suspended and Ken could not attend classes. Ken reached out to ECVI to reconnect, because he is on a mission to gain employment and contribute his talents and abilities to his community. He is presently gaining computer knowledge at ECVI using Dan’s book, “Making Computers Fun”, in order to manage his own business someday.

While at ECVI, Ken also enrolled in our Career Development program and learned more about the types of jobs he wanted to pursue. He completed the DISC Behavioral Profile that helps him with communication skills when relating to others. His long term goal is to help veterans who have lost their eyesight. Ken states, “it was a darn thing not to be able to see”. However, he offers this advice to others who experience visual impairment. “You have got to trust your natural abilities and your cane. My other senses are so much more heightened - it is almost scary”. He adds, “I had to become blind to actually see the beauty of me. To be stripped away and be forced to accept the unacceptable. The tools that ECVI put in my toolbox have been invaluable.”

Holiday Shopping for a Good Cause

Friendship Fridays

Come on in or join us virtually on the 2nd Friday of each month for fellowship, laughter, and sharing! Email or call us for more information or to RSVP.

Book Club Fridays

Next Book

December 11: Redbird Christmas

Participants read the book in advance of the meeting, so RSVP below or call Peggy at 217-303-9062 and we'll give you the details. Students suggest and agree on which books to read, so join us and add your voice to the mix. Books are provided by Talking Books and sent directly to your home.

Here are the Book Club titles for 2021. We hope you find at least one that sounds interesting and join us!

2021 Book Titles

January - Driving Miss Norma

February - President's Ladies

March - A Man Called Oveda

April - Things They Carried

May - Texas Rising

June - Lost Girls of Paris

July - The Art of Racing in the Rain

August - Sins of the Father (J.P. Beauman)

September - Where the Crawdads Sing

October - Wright Brothers

November - Boys in the Boat

December - Macinaw Island Inside Upclose and Personal

Covid-19 Information: Visiting us at the center is by appointment only at the moment, but we're still providing personalized individual programs! Call us at 217-303-9062 to connect, check us out on Facebook or drop us an email.

Educational Center for the Visually Impaired

Personalized Skill Development and​ Social Connections
for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Central Illinois
Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to ECVI Connect

Delivered right to your inbox!