Resolutions

This page contains resolutions this website’s author or the TAVVI have drafted and submitted. If you wish to understand what interest us, this is one method to do so.

Resolutions Submitted to Blinded Veterans Association

Resolution for Policies and Procedures for Assistive Technology

Training, and Issuance of Assistive Technology
Whereas, VHA BRS developed and executed blind rehabilitation programs focusing on core competencies of daily living skills, manual skills, computing skills, and orientation and mobility, and

Whereas the BVA provides input in the annual Veterans Service Organizations Independent Budget (VSOIB) related to BRS which funds assistive technology related programs, and

Whereas the BVA serves on the BRS Oversight Committee providing input on quality of services Veterans express,and

Whereas, VHA Prosthetics operates closely with BRS entities to issue requested equipment, software, devices, and services for blind and visually impaired Veterans who successfully demonstrated competencies with said items, and

Whereas the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) or other Allied Health licensure or credentialing boards omit assistive technology training from initial and renewal training requirements, and

Whereas staff and supervisors within Blind Rehabilitation Services admit to being unprepared and unable to remain abreast of evolutionary advances within technology, and

Whereas no entity within BRS possesses a primary duty or responsibility to research information and strategies to integrate new technologies within traditional blind rehabilitation protocols, and

Whereas blind and visually impaired Veterans often lack the right of self-determination when requesting assistive technology training, violating Prosthetics Clinical Management Program (PCMP) guidelines which safeguards against the inappropriate standardization or limitation of potential types of prosthetics devices, and

Whereas many VAMC Prosthetics established local policies that create barriers for the issuance of off-contract devices and services like smart phones or third-party assistive technology training programs, and

Whereas the BRC’s, Vision Impairment Center To Optimize Remaining Sight (VICTORS), Vision Impairment Services Outpatient Rehabilitation (VISOR), and Vision Impairment Services Programs (VISP) has failed to adopt a uniform set of rehabilitation protocols for the training of blind and visually impaired Veterans, and

Whereas Vision Impairment Services Team (VIST) coordinators and Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialists (BROS) lack assessment tools and technical expertise to adequately inform and refer blind and visually impaired Veterans for training or replacement of assistive technologies, and

Whereas, the plethora of electronic devices and mediums continuously receive updates or new products are introduced, and 

Whereas blind and visually impaired Veterans need to seamlessly utilize technology to accomplish tasks that dramatically enhance quality of life,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

, that the Blinded Veterans Association, in convention assembled in Reno, NV on this 21st day of August 2014, request the VA Blind Rehabilitation Services establish baseline professional training requirements on assistive technologies for blindness within BRS roles like Blind Rehabilitation Specialists, BROS, and VIST coordinators,

therefore be it that, BRS develops an Uniform series of blind rehabilitation protocols and policies for BRC, VICTORS, VISOR, and VISP programs to utilize as a template that integrates assistive technology within all blind rehabilitation training protocols, and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED, BRS establish assessment tools related to assistive technology referrals to BRC’s for training for VIST coordinators and BROS, and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Director of BRS urge ACVREP to update educational goals and credentialing standards to include efficacious assistive technology practices throughout all blind rehabilitation core competencies., and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED, VHA modifies the Prosthetics Clinical Management Program (PCMP to ensure that clinicians, like Blind Rehabilitation Specialists or Low Vision Therapists, are allowed to prescribe prosthetic devices and sensory aids on the basis of patient needs and medical condition, including emerging technologies, and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED,VHA modifies the PCMP to permit clinicians, like Blind Rehabilitation Specialists or Low Vision Therapists, to prescribe devices, third party training services, and software that are “off-contract” without arduous waiver procedures that serve as barriers, or because of fear of repercussion.

Resolution for VIS Eligibility under ICD-9 and ICD-10

WHEREAS, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) currently employs diagnostic codes outlined in the International Classification of Diseases 9 Clinical Modifications )ICD9 CM) as its primary method of determining Veterans’ eligibility for many programs, healthcare services, benefits, and statistical research purposes, and  

WHEREAS, the Protecting Access to MEDICARE Act of 2014 postponed the adoption of the International Classification of Diseases 10 )ICD-10) until at least October 1, 2015, and

WHEREAS, many community medical providers have already started training and implementing ICD-10 within their practices and electronic medical records (EMR), and

WHEREAS, many Visual Impairment Services Team coordinators (VIST) are either or supervised by Social Workers and other nom-blind Rehabilitation Specialists Allied Health Professions who rely on ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes to determine VIST eligibility, and

WHEREAS, a VIST supervisor stated that she only acknowledges those Veterans with an ICD-9 codes of 369.4 as those Veterans who comprises of the VIST life long case management protocols, and

WHEREAS, the VIST handbook dated 2009 to 2014 does not explicitly identify a baseline series of ICD-9 and ICD-10 VIST eligibility codes or descriptions of functional sight impairments not covered by diagnostic codes, and

WHEREAS, Blind Rehabilitation Services has not drafted and published a formal policy memorandum that identifies a baseline set of ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes and functional sight impairments not described within diagnostic codes to be considered for BRS programs.,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Sparks, Nevada on this 21 day of August, 201, direct BRS establish a policy memorandum and update the VIST handbook to include a baseline set ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes as well as verbiage for functional sight loss not outlined in any ICD code for BRS services eligibility, and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, BRS offers training to VIST coordinators, VIST supervisors, other employees of BRS programs, other Allied Health professions, and individuals interested in BRS programs on ICD-9 CM and ICD-10 codes related to visual impairments.

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