HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.2 - Furnishing Prosthetic Appliances and ServicesVisual Impairment Services Team (VIST)

2.12. Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST)

a. Scope

(1) This team will serve as the primary source for determining the specialized and/or custom equipment needs of all visually impaired and blind veterans eligible for VA health care, and will make necessary referrals to BRCs.

(2) The team will be comprised of health care and allied health care professionals charged with the responsibility for determining the comprehensive services required by a visually impaired veteran. Representatives may include, but are not limited to, the following Services: Ophthalmology, Optometry, Medicine, Audiology and Speech Pathology, Prosthetics, Social Work, Nursing, Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation, Adjudication and Veterans Benefits Administration. The VIST may also include a representative from the local Blinded Veterans Association as well as a representative from a local agency for the blind.

(3) The VIST chairperson will be elected by the team members and will serve a 1-year term.

(4) Veterans enrolled in the VIST Program will be offered an annual evaluation for continued appropriateness of equipment, medical and social needs.

b. Responsibility

(1) The Prosthetic representative will provide prescribed equipment and repairs for all eligible blind and visually impaired veterans.

(a) The Prosthetic representative at a field facility with a BRC will provide the initial lowvision aid or blind equipment recommended for all veterans who successfully complete training at that facility.

(b) The Prosthetic representative at the facility with PSA responsibility for the veteran will provide replacement and repairs to low vision aids or blind equipment provided by the BRC.

(2) The VIST Coordinator will carry overall responsibility to coordinate, act as consultant and as resource person, blindness services for blinded veterans. NOTE: Recommendations for blind aids from other disciplines, not developed through the VIST, will be referred to the VIST Coordinator. The VIST Coordinator will work with Prosthetics to obtain the appropriate blind aids.

c. Procedure

(1) All team members will determine and ensure that legally blind veterans with whom they have contact are enrolled in the VIST Program.

(2) The treatment records of all VIST enrollees will be reviewed to ensure that they are evaluated at least annually by designated disciplines of the team.

(3) The Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS) is responsible for recommending prosthetic equipment for veterans participating in the BROS Program.

(4) The VIST Coordinator is responsible for assisting eligible veterans in applying for blind rehabilitation training.

(5) Prosthetic requests will be developed by VIST for all items and/or services deemed necessary for any treatment of VIST enrollees. VA Form 10-2641 will be required when requests are for special mechanical or electronic devices, i.e., speech recognition systems, computers, and software.


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