ERIC Number: EJ781205
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Visual Impairment and Blindness: Addressing One of the Growing Concerns of Today's Veterans
Williams, Michael D.
Exceptional Parent, v37 n10 p78-80 Oct 2007
Visual impairment and blindness are issues facing the veteran and non-veteran populations in a variety of ways. Currently, the number of veterans in the U.S. diagnosed with low vision is estimated to be more than one million. The number of veterans diagnosed with legal blindness is estimated to be more than 160,000. Over 45,000 veterans diagnosed as legally blind have enrolled for care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA has historically provided rehabilitation programs for veterans who are legally blind and is currently in the process of aggressively implementing innovative new service delivery models that focus on the needs of veterans who are struggling with the onset of low vision. The challenge of helping these veterans with low-vision and blindness has greatly increased, in large part due to the increasing numbers of older veterans. The increasing number of younger service members who have sustained vision impairment and blindness as a result of injuries received while serving on active duty in the current Global War on Terror has further increased the demand for vision rehabilitation within the VA. This article describes the Blind Rehabilitation Service established by the VA to help the veteran cope with the multifaceted issues related to vision loss. The service provides a wide variety of rehabilitation programs and services designed to improve quality of life for veterans who are visually impaired or blind through the development and enhancement of skills and capabilities needed for personal independence, adjustment, and successful reintegration into the community and family environment.
Descriptors: Blindness, Rehabilitation Programs, Quality of Life, Veterans, Visual Impairments, Delivery Systems, War, Coping, Skill Development, Adjustment (to Environment), Independent Living, Assistive Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A