Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center
Low Vision Rehab Clinic
The VA has long been recognized as a leader in blind rehabilitation both in the United States and abroad. In 2008, the VA expanded services to visually impaired Veterans. The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center has a Low Vision Rehab Clinic, which has been seeing Veterans, who are not only legally blind, but also those with low vision or functional vision loss. We care for Veterans who have a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with ordinary glasses, contact lenses or surgery. Most often, these people report having a disease process called macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy. Typically, patients come to our clinic reporting that they have difficulty performing a visual task such as reading the newspaper, identifying medications, or viewing television.
What services are provided in the clinic?
• Comprehensive eye examination
• Magnifier or assistive technology prescription and training
• Offering solutions for completing activities of daily living (ADL)
• Support and adjustment counseling
• Education about other VA, state, and local resources
Who do the patients see when they come to the clinic?
Our staff includes a Licensed and specialized Low Vision Optometrist, a Certified Low Vision Therapist, a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist and an Optometry Technician.
What does the service cost?
There is no charge for Low Vision Services for eligible Veterans.
Who can come to the clinic?
Veterans eligible for healthcare through the VA Health Care System.
How do you get an appointment?
If Veterans are already participating in VA care, they can request their primary care provider or their VA eye doctor consult the Dole VA Low Vision Clinic. If they are not receiving VA care, they can contact the VA Eligibility office at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). An Application for Health Care Benefits can also be obtained from the VA Health Care System website eligibility section.
For more information about the VA Low Vision Clinics, please visit the Blind Rehabilitation Services (BRS).
The VIST Coordinator is a case manager who has major responsibility for the coordination of all services for legally blind Veterans and their families. Duties include providing and/or arranging for the provision of appropriate treatment modalities, i.e. referrals to VA Blind Rehabilitation Centers and/or other services in order to enhance a blinded Veteran's functioning level. Other duties include identifying new cases of blindness, providing professional counseling, resolving problems, arranging annual health care reviews and conducting education programs related to blindness. For more information on eligibility and benefits for Blind Veterans, please contact (316) 685-2221.
You may also contact the Dole VA Low Vision Clinic at (316) 685-2221.
Low Vision Support Group
Sharon Laughlin, CLVT, and Judy Epperson, LMSW at the Wichita Advanced Low Vision Clinic started a monthly Low Vision Support Group. The LV Support Group has met three times and has a large active following. They have had speakers from Kansas Talking Books and Wichita Transit Advisory Board.
Sandy Alexander (former VIST Coordinator) is scheduled to present at the next meeting on Friday, April 18.
After April’s meeting, the Low Vision Support Group meeting time will changed to the 4th Tuesday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Future scheduled speakers:
December 9th – Holiday celebration in the auditorium
January 27th – Dr. Bean, Staff Psychologist – Coping with vision loss
February 24th – Stephany Schroeder, SW – Caregiver support
March 24th – Dole VA Dietitian – Discussion about nutrition and the eye
Whether your vision loss occurred slowly over time or quickly, adjusting to vision loss presents many personal challenges for you, your family and friends. Learning to live and function as independently as possible is difficult, takes time, and one method doesn’t work for everyone. Your path to independence may have twists and turns. The Low Vision Support Group will meet monthly to share insight with each other and gain information from speakers the group invites to help members meet their challenge to gain independence.
Please contact Sharon at 316-685-2221 ext. 57131 if you have questions about the group or need help with transportation.
Hours of Operation
- 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.