Resource Center for Blindness & Low Vision
“We may lack sight, but we have vision.”

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Groups & Services

COVE has many services and groups to meet the needs of individuals dealing with vision loss. COVE also has a monthly mailing list that contains updated meeting information for each group. To sign up, please call the office and ask to be added to the mailing or email list.


Assistive Technology
During AT training, clients learn to use devices to assist them with everything from household management to fulfilling their duties at work. These include magnification devices that help a client see objects in greater detail, scanning units that read printed text out loud, advanced computer software that magnifies the screen and/or reads what’s on the screen, apps that can be used on a smart phone or tablet, and so much more. With assistive technology skills under their belt, clients are more confident as they enter the competitive workforce or attend college.

Independent Living Skills
Independent Living Skills Training consists of developing skills, strategies, and techniques to aid those dealing with vision loss to function independently. These skills include tasks for daily living such as meal preparation, household management, handling print material, shopping, travel utilizing various modes of transportation, advocacy, and many other skills to aid in remaining independent.

Additional skills also include dealing with the emotional aspects of vision loss, connecting with others living with visual impairment, and developing confidence to be a productive and active member of their community.

Independent Living Skills training offers something for anyone who is low vision, has severe vision loss, or is blind. Training can consist of one session or multiple sessions depending on the expressed needs of the client.

Vocational Assessment
A vocational assessment helps the client identify their current disability and related limitations. This data helps the client make vocational preparation and employment decisions. The client’s skills, talents, interests, and potential characteristics are explored in these areas: personality, medical and psychosocial information, education and experience, transferable skills, interest and aptitude, work preference, job search skills, and labor market review.

Personal Vocational Social Adjustment
Personal, Vocational, Social Adjustment (PVSA) is a specialized service provided to persons referred by Department of Rehabilitation. PVSA is a structured class designed to meet the unique needs of each individual and address a variety of vocational impediments. This service is specifically designed to address work-related behaviors that inhibit clients’ abilities to successfully search for a job and achieve and maintain employment. PVSA focuses on building the “soft” or applied skills – such as teamwork, decision-making, and communication – that will help the client become effective employees.

The service is generally provided on a 1:1 basis and is focused on the needs of the individual. Training may be provided in the following areas:

• Appropriate interaction in the workplace
• Grooming and hygiene as related to work
• Mobility training in use of public transportation
• Work habits and attitudes such as attendance, punctuality, phoning in if ill, returning promptly from breaks and lunch
• Personal budgeting, banking, and bill payment

Orientation and Mobility
Orientation and Mobility is a set of concepts and techniques for safe, efficient travel by individuals with visual impairments in all environments and under all conditions (Jacobson, 2013).

Having great O&M skills allows the client to feel confident when traveling around their neighborhoods, school, and even train stations and airports. O&M training involves not just the use of a white cane, but also understanding traffic patterns, estimating distance travelled on foot, directional orientation, problem solving, and using GPS and AI devices for directions and reading signage. Having the knowledge to safely and efficiently get from one place to another is important for a client to gain independence.


Adjusting to Sight Loss
These meetings allow anyone dealing with sight loss to share questions, challenges, and triumphs with others also dealing with sight loss.. Family and friends are also welcome. Informational presentations are also given from service organizations and local community groups. Demonstrations and information is also shared to aid individuals in daily living skills and to stay up to date with aids and technology available to visually impaired persons.

Book Club
Once a month, COVE holds a remote discussion group for book lovers. Here, we talk about new titles and old favorites. These books are all available on NLS. Join us to discover good reads each month!

Men’s Group
Are you a male? Are you having trouble dealing with vision loss at home being the head of your household? COVE has a men’s group for that. The COVE men’s group is a place to come and talk to all ages of males who deal with their vision loss in their everyday life. It’s for men only. We discuss all range of topics that men deal with in providing for their family and taking care of themselves.

Creativity is unique to human kind, and just because a client has low vision or is blind doesn’t mean that the urge to be creative is dampened. Just like everything else, crafting with low vision/blindness can be challenging, but there are different methods and tricks one can apply. Knitting and crochet, mosaics and macrame, decorative wreath weaving and terrarium building, our creativity is boundless!



Center of Vision Enhancement
1901 G Street
Merced, CA 95340








Mon - Fri
9am - 3pm

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