Blind Rehabilitation Center
The Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) are residential inpatient programs that provide comprehensive adjustment to blindness training and serve as a resource to a geographic area usually comprised of several states. BRCs offer a variety of skill courses designed to help blinded Veterans achieve a realistic level of independence.
These skill areas include:
- Orientation and mobility
- Communication skills
- Activities of daily living
- Manual skills
- Visual skills
- Computer access training
- Social/recreational activities
The training is based on your individual needs, strengths, goals and expectations of the Blind Rehabilitation Program During these unprecedented times, our providers continue to demonstrate a commitment to our Veterans as our mission continues.
When admitted to the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center Blind Rehabilitation Center (BRC), you will receive one-on-one personalized instruction by BRC team members. Each of these highly trained and caring individuals will meet with you to discuss your personal needs. Nursing care is provided on a continuous 24-hour basis. Pharmacy, dietary and audiology services are available to each enrolled participant.
As a student enrolled in the BRC Program, you will be expected to attend and participate in your progress reviews. Your Team will initiate your assessment 24 hours after your admission and assist in developing an individualized training plan.
The following areas will be covered based on your individualized needs:
- Living Skills
- Manual Skills
- Orientation and Mobility
- Visual Skills
- Recreation Therapy
Your personal instructor will work to help you manage varying tasks more efficiently. Each Living Skills instructor is interested in finding out what particular tasks are the most important to you. The living skills instructor will work with you in three areas:
- Personal Management
- Home Management
- Communication Skills
The Manual skills area was designed to work with a variety of activities that promote, refine and increase the Veteran’s skills and independence. The main goals of this area are to:
- Develop ability to work independently
- Develop orderly work habits
- Develop increased finger dexterity.
- Develop bimanual coordination
- Develop increased use of the senses
- Develop a redirection of attention from problems to solutions
- Develop increased self-esteem and confidence
The manual skills area is divided into different phases consisting of:
- Vocational Activities
- Home Maintenance
Orientation and Mobility
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) instruction is a sequential process in which individuals with visual
impairments are taught to utilize their remaining senses to determine their position within their environment and to negotiate safe movement from one place to another. The instructor will teach Global Positioning System(GPS) and Victor Trek (Stand-alone GPS).
The visual skills training will allow participants to take advantage of vision any vision they have left utilizing Near Vision Tasks, Intermediate Distance Tasks, and Far Vision Tasks.
The recreation therapy area is designed to improve mobility, confidence, independence, and social skills of Veterans. Recreation therapy also helps Veterans integrate into the community by helping them use community resources and recreational activities.
The West Palm Beach BRC offers Social Work Service plans, develops and implements social services for patients and their families. These services address the personal and psychosocial implications of blindness and
rehabilitation, as well as the associated or accompanying problems of aging and chronic disability.
Family Program is an activity that takes place towards the end of the Veteran’s stay at the Blind Rehabilitation Center. This is a 1-2 day program set aside for the Veteran’s family and/ or significant others to go through the BRC student’s scheduled classes, meet the instructors, and simulate the training that their loved one has received. Please contact the social worker for Blind Rehabilitation Services at 1-800-972- 8262 ext. 7487 if you have any questions.