Visually Impaired Veterans How To Help Them Cope

If you're one of the  visually impaired veterans, you have rehabilitation and financial help available to you. It doesn’t matter if you have partial vision or you’re suffering from low vision, the Veterans Health Administration, via the Veterans Optometry Service, offers numerous services to low vision vets.

Low Vision Affects Veterans Too

Low vision has a big impact on anyone and it can affect your ability to do those normal everyday tasks that you were once used to completing by yourself. For some veterans, the following can be next to impossible to complete with low vision:

  • Recognizing faces — including loved ones
  • Cooking
  • Paying bills and managing finances
  • Watching TV or live shows
  • Staying active due to the inability to see
  • Reading
  • Driving
  • Staying social

Low Vision Technology Available to Vets

The VA understands the needs of the visually impaired veterans. That is why they give access to assistive technology that helps veterans function easier with their low vision. These assistive technologies and devices include:

  • Illuminated Reading Stands
  • Telescopic Devices
  • Video Magnifiers or CCTVs
  • Specialized Lenses
  • Prescriptions
  • Screen Reading Software for Computers
  • Special Lighting Devices
  • Hand-Held or Stand Magnifiers
  • Specialty Apps

Care Services for Veterans with Low Vision

There are low vision care services available for veterans as well. Through the VHA you can receive:

  • Comprehensive Low Vision Eye Examinations – A low vision examination is more in-depth than a traditional eye exam, which means it will cost more money too. Through the VHA, you can get financial assistance for your comprehensive low vision exams.
  • Assistive Technology Education – Learn about the latest software and assistive technology – and most importantly, how to use it effectively. 
  • Manual Skill Training and Occupational Therapy – You can learn how to work safely, organize, and remain efficient regardless of your low vision. You can even learn manual skills including leatherworking, woodworking, etc.
  • Computer Training – Computer skills for those with low vision vary from people with full vision. You can get customized computer training based on your vision.
  • Living Skills – From learning how to cook again to functioning at home independently, these services help you remain efficient regardless of low vision.
  • Coping Services – It is not easy coping with low vision. These services focus on living with low vision through support groups, one-on-one therapy, etc.

There is financial assistance for veterans with low vision. From assistive technology grants to other private sources of funding, you do not have to worry about a financial burden just because of your low vision diagnosis. 

Low Vision Technologies recommends the ZoomReader app for all veterans with low vision. This app uses your smartphone’s built-in camera and acts like a magnifier to help you read print or even look at the computer screen. You can find this app through Low Vision Technologies today here.

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Financial Assistance for Visually Impaired Veterans

Once all needs are assessed and it’s determined what type of low vision devices a veteran needs, then financial assistance is available.

A specific set of criteria must be met before a veteran is provided the device(s) needed:

  • Determined to be legally blind or have low vision by an eye care professional
  • Veteran states a specific interest in a low vision device
  • Veteran demonstrates the ability to use the device

Each device is prescribed through an inpatient or outpatient program and training is provided to the veteran.

As a person who has lived with low vision for over 25 years, I’m passionate about helping others like us learn about and gain access to high tech low vision devices.

Today, through the use of top-notch computer talking software, magnification programs and Apple applications, we all have the ability to improve our day-to-day lives as we learn to become more independent than ever before.

If you’d like to learn more about low vision technology, I encourage you to fill out the form below for more information.

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