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VA Connecticut Healthcare System

 

Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center

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Blind Rehabilitation students use adaptive equipment to make the most of their existing vision.

Blind Rehabilitation students use adaptive equipment to make the most of their existing vision.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Loss of sight, whether through illness or injury, creates a host of uncertainties. In addition to the vision loss, people facing blindness also can feel they are losing their sense of independence. Employment, hobbies, and personal relationships can all be impacted.

Veterans do not have to face vision loss alone. The Department of Veterans Affairs is a leader in Blind Rehabilitation, and offers both residential and outpatient services to help veterans develop personal independence along with reintegration into their families and communities.

VA Connecticut Healthcare System is home to the Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Service. This program provides comprehensive Blind Rehabilitation services in a 32-bed inpatient facility located at the West Haven Campus.

Services include:

  • Comprehensive Blind Rehabilitation Services provided through a residential training program of approximately 4-8 weeks. An additional Computer Access Training Program is also offered with a residential stay of approximately 2-6 weeks.
  • The core structure is a schedule of six daily classes in four basic skill areas: Orientation and Mobility; Low Vision Skills; Daily Living Skills; and Manual Skills.
  • Each patient has an individualized treatment plan based on the student's goals and living situation, including counseling and family training needs.
  • Each student receives a comprehensive Low Vision examination in Optometry that is part of the rehabilitation plan.
  • Ancillary services for each student that are part of the inpatient program include: Recreation Therapy; Health Education; Psychology; and family training programs.
  • Discharge planning and follow-up services are coordinated with the Veteran's local Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) to maintain the continuum of individualized service delivery.

More than 200 veterans off all ages and eras of service participate annually in this program. All are legally blind, with more than three-quarters having useable vision. The program offers personalized adjustment programs in a therapeutic atmosphere where privacy, dignity, personal values and emotional needs are recognized and respected.

For more information, please contact the Visual Impairment Service Team Coordinator at 203.932.5711 Extension 3407 or the Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center at Extension 2175.