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Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center

We offer advanced vision care and blind rehabilitation services to help you live independently. These may include vision-enhancing devices and technology as well as visual skills and related training.

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital's Blind Rehabilitation Center is VA's oldest treatment facility for visually impaired Veterans.

Care we provide at Hines VA Hospital

Our low vision outpatient clinic can assess your needs and provide a rehab plan tailored to your personal goals. Our team of specialists and social workers will work with you to find the right aids and services. Our clinic services include:

  • Comprehensive eye exams
  • Visual skills assessments
  • Guidance on how to develop visual motor and perceptual skills
  • Training to help you manage daily activities with your vision loss

Our Mission

To provide high quality blind rehabilitation through the provision of a broad range of rehabilitation, education, and research/technology.

The goal of the Center is to help visually impaired and legally blind veterans to become as independent as possible in all aspects of daily life, and to assist them in their adjustment to blindness.

Our History 

Established in 1948, the VA’s first Blind Rehabilitation Center, under the direction of a WWII blinded Veteran, Russell C. Williams. The charter staff of this new Center for the Blind included a mere eight rehabilitation instructors and nine beds. Through this initiative, the ‘Long Cane’ was born, which is now a universal identifier for the blind and visually impaired, and aids in safe independent travel.  

Today, VA blind rehabilitation services includes 13 blind rehabilitation centers, approximately 165 VIST Coordinators, 93 BROS, 53 Intermediate, Advanced, and VISOR clinics/programs, and approximately 575 staff across the U.S.  All of which started here at Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center.


The Central Blind Rehabilitation Center (CBRC) is a 34-bed residential facility at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, one of 13 VA Blind Rehabilitation Centers located across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We accept applications from 14 Midwest states in the Central Area Region, as well as across the United States. Our central region field personnel, Visual Impairment Team Coordinators (VIST) are 41 strong and work within the communities of those 14 states to locate Veterans in need of blind rehabilitation services.  

We provide blind rehabilitation services including five distinct skill areas, supplemented by Recreation Therapy, Social Work, and Psychology disciplines that all work together with clinical staff, including a physical medicine doctor, nurse practitioner, and nursing, to support a successful blind rehabilitation experience.  


All honorably discharged veterans with a significant or severe vision loss are eligible for Blind Rehabilitation Services.

For more information about the Hines Blind Rehab Center, contact the Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Coordinator at your local VA Hospital, or contact us at .