VIST (Visual Impairment Services Team) - John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan
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John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan

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VIST (Visual Impairment Services Team)

Blindness is a severe condition which can permeate every aspect of the involved person's life. In many instances, the newly blinded Veteran and his family are not aware of the availability of health and rehabilitation services. The Visual Impairment Services program at the Detroit VA Medical Center is designed to ensure that Veterans are brought into contact with the restorative services which can help the individual overcome the negative effects of blindness.

A program of comprehensive services is available for eligible, legally blind Veterans which includes:

  • Complete eye examination
  • Physical exam with additional evaluation and/or treatment by specialists as necessary
  • Hearing examination
  • Review of Veteran's benefits
  • Review of individual's need for adaptive equipment
  • Support and adjustment counseling for Veteran and family
  • Assessment of individual's rehabilitation and training needs

Veteran Objectives of VIST program:

  • To inform Veterans and their families about services and benefits available to them through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • To ensure the provision of health care and rehabilitation training to visually impaired Veterans
  • To help the individual in adjustment to and management of sight loss

Veteran Eligibility

  • An honorable or general discharge from the military
  • Legal Blindness defined as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with ordinary corrective lenses or contact lenses; or a visual acuity better than 20/200 in the better eye, and a field defect where the peripheral field as its widest tested diameter is less than 20 degrees.

Rehabilitation Training

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers comprehensive rehabilitation training for severely visually impaired Veterans. The VIST team will evaluate the Veteran's needs and recommend the appropriate program.

Referrals can be arranged for the following services:

  • Regional VA Blind Rehabilitation Center or Clinic
  • Low Vision Services
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Guide Dog Schools
  • State Services


Referrals can be made to the VIST program by any interested individual, family member, eye care specialist or agency representative. The individual who is referred will be evaluated for:

  • Legal blindness
  • Military Service
  • Entitlement to VIST services

Location of Service in Medical Center:

Eye Clinic-B3 South (Red Tower)

Contact information:

Service Chief: Jeanette Carbone Varanelli, OD, FAAO; (313) 576-1000 ext. 65742
VIST Coordinator: Jennifer Troyer, LMSW; (313) 576-1000 ext. 64888

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Contact Info


  • B3 South, Red Tower

Contact Number(s)

  • 313-576-1000 Ext. 64888

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.