VA Portland Health Care System
Low Vision Clinic at Portland VA Medical Center
Welcome to the Low Vision Clinic (LVC).
The Portland VA Medical Center is the home of the Advanced Low Vision Clinic. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of Veterans and Active Duty military personnel who have experienced functional vision loss. The LVC has two locations: the main Portland campus and the Vancouver campus. Our clinic is one of 23 Advanced Ambulatory Low Vision Clinics in the VA system.
Although services for legally blind Veterans have been well established for many years, the Advanced Ambulatory Clinic was formally established in 2008. Through this clinic we are now able to provide services for those with significant vision loss which is not correctable with glasses alone. Those with functional vision loss as a result of traumatic brain injury and stroke are also eligible. There are no charges for our services or any of the devices we prescribe. If your needs change, you may return to our clinic at any time. Blind Rehabilitation Continuum of Care The Portland LVC is part of an extended team that provides rehabilitation services to visually impaired Veterans and Active Duty Service Members in the Pacific Northwest. The Veterans Administration provides a continuum of care to provide services close to home and in a timely manner. Learn more about the Blind Rehabilitation Continuum of Care.
You may have been referred to us by your primary care provider, an eye care professional, or by a Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator.
The LVC provides clinical examinations, a full spectrum of adaptive devices, and specialized training in low vision. The rehabilitation process before your LVC appointment you will be asked to develop vision related goals which are important to you. Your treatment program is then developed as a joint effort between you and the professional staff. We view treatment as a partnership and encourage questions and additional goals as part of the treatment process.
Length of Training
There is no set time limit of training; each program is based upon your individual goals and needs. After completing your training sessions you may return to the LVC at anytime if your goals and needs have changed.
Low Vision Optometry and Low Vision Therapy
The Low Vision program has been developed as a resource for you, as a Veteran with Low Vision. It is important for you to obtain information about your eye conditions, as well as techniques and devices to facilitate everyday functioning.
The Low Vision Optometrist will evaluate your vision, and in some instances may prescribe corrective lenses to improve your vision as much as possible. Other factors such as glare, contrast, lighting, eye movements, visual field cuts, and so on will also be evaluated. The team will then address the goals you have stated and determine if additional training or devices will assist you in achieving your goals.
Additional sessions may be recommended, for further evaluation and training, after your low vision optometry visit. Such areas of instruction include, but are not limited to:
- Daily living skills (eating, meal preparation, medication management, clothing care, dressing and telling time)
- Money management (reading bills and financial statements, maintaining financial records, writing and managing a checkbook, identifying money and making change)
- Functional communication (Dialing a phone, locating and reading a telephone number, signing your name, writing letters and notes)
- Hobbies (Reading, watching television, doing puzzles, playing cards, doing needlework and other crafts, woodworking, sewing, and fishing)
- Orientation and Mobility Orientation and Mobility (O&M) instruction teaches principles of safe, independent travel. Training programs are designed around your individual needs and potential for independent travel. Lessons may focus on everything from traveling safely in one's home to taking a variety of different transportation modes for independent travel in the community. Lessons may also include sighted guide techniques, self-protective indoor techniques, and long cane travel in various environments including residential, business and downtown areas. Accessing public transportation in your area may also be included in your training program. Depending on your specific needs, instruction with a variety of devices (i.e. Monocular telescopes) as well as techniques to use your vision may be presented.
For further information, please contact the Advanced Low Vision Clinic:
-Elena Thomas, Program Support Assistant (360) 905-1751 (If you need to schedule a general eye care appointment, not related to low vision/blindness, please call (503) 721-7890).
Anyone interested in the services offered by the Advanced Low Vision Clinic and other Blind Rehabilitation Services can get further information by calling the clinic directly or by contacting the Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Coordinator assigned to their facility. VIST in Portland: Jodi Roth (503) 402-2986
Hours of Operation
- Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm