VA Resources for Blinded Veterans

Below you will find an assortment of reference materials and resources specifically for visually impaired and blinded Veterans. These consists of information and resources related to the Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehab Services, VA Blind Rehab Centers, and organizations supporting visually impaired Veterans. Like any resource page, this will continue to grow and expand, so check back.

An objective of Blind Not Alone involves compiling resources and links related to disablement. Below are some of the other pages you might be interested in: specifically to:

Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs and its support entities offers visually impaired Veterans some of the best resources, training programs, and easy access to the tools and technologies enhancing personal independence. In fact, the history related to many of the techniques, like the tap method with the white cane, originated thanks to the dedication and partnerships between the VA, American Foundation for the Blind, and war blinded Veterans from World War II. In recent years, advocacy efforts by the Blinded Veterans Association and the Department of Defense established the Vision Center of Excellence, which enables researchers a mechanism furthering the prevention, treatment, diagnosing, and rehab for trauma induced occular injuries and blindness. The combination of these efforts ensures America’s war blinded, like myself, receive the services and training our sacrifice requires to become independent and contributing members of society.

BA Blind Rehabilitation Services

The heart of the VA’s blind rehab program resides within the VA’s central office’s Blind Rehab Services department. Due to the VA’s decentralized structure that provides the individual VA Medical Centers the ability to develop, execute, administer, and terminate programs, all the elements of Blind Rehab Services still look towards the BRS for guidance, training, and assistance advocating for the importance of blind services.

VA Blind Rehab Centers

A Blind Rehab Center stands as the most effective way for a Veteran to successfully learn the various skills to be blind. This occurs through a combination of one on one instruction, group settings, and the most important peer support. On average, a Veteran undergoes four weeks of training, though this actually ranges between one week to twelve weeks based on the needs and abilities of each Veteran.

Edwards Hines Jr. Blind Rehab Center

The Edward Hines Jr. Blind Rehab Center represents the cornerstone of the VA’s Blind Rehab program. The Hines Blind Rehab Center was the first VA blind rehab center ever developed, opening its doors in 1946. Today, Hines stills captures the attention of visually impaired Veterans and blind rehab specialists thanks to the efficacy of its programs, emphasis on Veterans centered care by the center’s Chief, and its role in educating students pursuing a Masters in Blind Rehab. While it commonly serves Veterans living in the midwest, its not uncommon to encounter Veterans from throughout the United States requesting a referral to attend this program.

  • 5000 South 5th Avenue, Hines, IL 60141
  • Main – (708) 202-2272

Waco Blind Rehab Center

Located within the Waco VA medical center, this quaint program is preferred by many Veterans where traveling to Chicago or other larger cities might be difficult.

  • 4800 Memorial Drive, Waco, TX, 76711

VA Blind Rehab Services in Kansas and Missouri

At most VA medical centers, a Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) coordinator possesses the duties and responsibilities executing case management objectives to all Veterans in the area with a severe visual impairment that limits daily activities. Its through a VIST Veterans request referrals to a Blind Rehab Center, replacement of prosthetic devices, assistance navigating VA benefits and services, and much more. Below are just the points of contact for those VISTs located in Kansas and Missouri.
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Kansas City VA Medical Center

  • 4801 Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO, 64128
  • (Main – 816) 861-4700

Visual Impairment Services Program (VISP) 

Extension – 57591 

Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator (VIST)

Extension – 56294

Leavenworth, Eastern Kansas VAMedical Center

  • 4101 4th Street Trafficway, Leavenworth, KS, 66048
  • Main – (913) 682-2000
  • Toll-free – (800) 952-8387

Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator (VIST)

Extension – 52011 (Wednesdays only)

Topeka, Eastern Kansas VAMedical Center

  • 2200 SW Gage Blvd, Topeka, KS, 66622
  • Main – (785) 350-3111

Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator (VIST)

Extension – 52762 (Tuesdays only)

Robert Dole Wichita VA Medical Center

  • 5500 East Kellogg Ave, Wichita,, KS 67218
  • Main – (316) 685-2221

Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator (VIST)

Main – (316) 651-3682

Low Vision Clinic

Extension – 57131