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    Building Hope through Programs and Employment

    Stories ON Feb 10, 2011

    Spend five minutes with Mecca Meeks and you will know why ABVI is such a special place.Photo of Mecca Meeks

    At age 24, Mecca was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri, which left him legally blind. He felt there was no hope and was scared to leave his house. He did not know how he was going to function. He had, however, always wanted to work. So at age 29, five years after losing his sight, he came to ABVI. From there everything improved. Mecca says “When I walked through the doors, the part of me I thought was lost awaited me.”

    He wanted to work badly, but first he took full advantage of the many services ABVI offers for people who are blind or visually impaired. Mecca received a low vision evaluation in the Low Vision Center and orientation and mobility training to navigate the community independently. He received vision rehabilitation therapy in his home to maintain his independence, and aids to help him perform everyday tasks more easily. He also took advantage of ABVI’s Career & Training Program to gain computer skills.

    Mecca is now proudly employed as a fulfillment clerk on ABVI’s Environment Protection Agency lead contract, packaging documents to be sent across North America. He loves it-from the job he is performing, to the people he works with. “I couldn’t ask for more than to be among such a strong and encouraging group of individuals.”

    He leads a full life outside of the agency as well, something he is proud of, after once believing he may never leave his home again. He and wife Samantha live in the city of Rochester. They enjoy visiting nearby parks and festivals.

    For others who have lost their vision Mecca has this advice, “ABVI is the place to be.” For proof he offers his story. “Coming to the agency was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he says. “It changed my life.”

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