North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
Ocala West Intermediate Low Vision Clinic
The Department of Veterans Affairs 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 Ocala VA West Specialty Clinic has an Intermediate Low Vision 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 Licensed Social Worker and a Program Support Assistant.
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 health care 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 Ocala West 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 Bruce Davis, LMSW, VIST Coordinator (352) 376-1611 ext 105560.
You may also contact the Ocala West Intermediate Low Vision Clinic at (352) 861-3940.