The Visual Impairment Service Team (VIST) ensures that blind veterans are identified, evaluated, and provided individualized social, medical, and vocational rehabilitation services to maximize adjustment and management of their vision loss.
The VIST Coordinator serves as the Case Manager to coordinate services for visually impaired veterans and their families, identify new blind veterans, provide professional counseling, and are the first contact for VA’s blind rehabilitation services.
Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota Counties VIST Coordinator
Shawn Britt, LCSW, extension 4516
Charlotte, Lee, Highlands, and Collier Counties VIST Coordinator
Laurie Charles, LCSW, extension 6284
VIST Rehabilitation Training
For the veteran who needs and has the desire to learn blind skills, accommodations may be arranged, through the VIST Coordinator, at West Palm Beach VA or Birmingham Southeast Blind Rehabilitation VA Center. The skills learned at these centers will improve the quality of life and allow blind veterans to travel independently.
Local services and training at Bay Pines are also available through the Blind Rehab Outpatient Specialist (BROS). These specialists are multi-skilled professionals who perform a wide array of blind rehabilitation services including assessments and visual skills, living skills, orientation, and mobility training. Contact the VIST Coordinator for details.
BROS Services Provided at Bay Pines:
- Determination of need for sensory aids and provision of aids if eligible
- Assessment of rehabilitation and training needs
- Benefits Review
- Eye Examination
- Hearing examination
- Low Vision Examination
- Support Groups
- Annual physical exams with additional evaluation and treatment by specialists if required