Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Blind Rehabilitation Center Welcome
The Central Blind Rehabilitation Center (CBRC) is a 34-bed residential facility at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. We receive applicants from over 50 VA hospitals in 14 Midwest states. The CBRC is one of thirteen VA Blind Centers located across the US and in Puerto Rico.
Hines VA Hospital is located just west of Chicago. Our 147-acre campus provides a safe, supportive environment. Here Veterans can develop the skills and attitudes needed for dealing with vision loss. Staff include medical staff, teachers (blind rehabilitation specialists), support staff and management.
The goal of the CBRC is to help each veteran become as independent as possible in all aspects of daily life, and to assist them in their adjustment to blindness.
Who We Serve
Any eligible veteran or active duty service member who is legally blind or has a severe functional vision loss may receive training at the CBRC.
The typical day at the CBRC starts with breakfast in the dining room at 7:00AM followed by a 7 class hour day that runs from 7:45AM to 3:45PM Monday through Friday. Classes can include training instruction in any or all of the following areas:
• Orientation & Mobility; teaches safe travel skills with a long cane, or utilizing the latest technology with GPS or other similar assistive devices.
• Living Skills/Communications; develops skills in activities of daily living, including meal prep, shopping, reading and record keeping for day to day operations.
• Visual Skills; depending on your vision condition, Visual Skills teaches you how to best use the vision you have with tips and devices that can be very useful.
• Manual Skills; develops non-visual organizational skills through adaptive arts activities including leather work, wood-working, or home mechanics.
• Access Technology; introduces you to the latest technology which may be computer software with speech output or magnification. This may assist you in a variety of ways including word processing functions, communicating with friends and family through e-mail or social media, or returning to school. iOS devices are also introduced.
A typical day may also include sessions with Psychology or Social Work, which may take the form of a group class with other Veterans experiencing similar issues, or may consist of a one on one meeting. During evening and on weekends, a number of recreational activities are offered which can include golf outings, baseball games, bowling, movie night in the dining room, or horse-back riding, to name a few. Finally, shopping trips are scheduled for every Saturday to venture into the community to pick up personal needs or wants. Nursing is always available to help with health-care management or medications.
The length of stay at the Center is determined by individual goals, needs, and progress. Each veteran is assigned a Team Coordinator who acts as the primary ‘go to’ person for the length of their program to ensure your goals and needs are being met.
Cualquier veterano elegible o miembro del servicio militar quien es legalmente ciego o tiene una pérdida grave de visión funcional puede recibir entrenamiento en El Centro de Rehabilitación de Invidentes Central (CBRC). El objetivo de la CBRC es ayudar a cada veterano a ser lo más independiente como sea posible en todos los aspectos de la vida diaria y para asistirlos en su adaptación a la ceguera. Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con Ernest Staines: (708) 202-2273, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Can a Veteran with Poor Vision Find Help?
The best way for a veteran who is visually impaired to get help is to contact a VIST coordinator. VIST stands for "Visual Impairment Services Team." A VIST coordinator will help a visually impaired veteran obtain all of the services he or she may need. They will help educate the veteran and provide any needed applications for services. Contact us at (708) 202-2272 to find out where the closest VIST coordinator is in your area.
For a list of VIST coordinators by state, as well as information about other programs for veterans with impaired vision, visit the VA Blind Rehabilitation National Website. The Blinded Veterans' Association (BVA)* is another excellent source of information and assistance. They can also direct you to a VIST coordinator. The BVA's phone number is (800) 669-7079.
Hines VA Blind Rehab Center Brochures
- Central Blind Center 2018 Annual Report
- Central Blind Center Brochure
- Family Training Brochure
- Central Blind Center Winter Issue, Torch Newsletter
Hours of Operation
- Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm