U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Western Blind Rehabilitation Center

General Information

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Western Blind Rehabilitation Center
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
795 Willow Road
Building T-365
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 614 9952

Brief Description

The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) is a 27-bed residential facility located at the Menlo Park Division of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Approximately two hundred men and women of all ages participate in the program each year. More than three quarters have usable vision for which specialized treatment is provided. Adjusting to and managing visual impairment is the major objective of the program.


Niki Sandlan, Director, Niki.Sandlan@va.gov, 650 614 9952

Services Offered

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides blind rehabilitation tailored to individual physical and mental capabilities and needs.

  • Assessment
    • Each person receives an individualized treatment plan and instruction is provided on a one-on-one basis.

  • Counseling
    • Offers counseling by clinical psychologist and social worker.

  • Low Vision Services
    • Provides low vision evaluation and follow-up. Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.

  • Recreation Services
    • Evening and weekend community explorations with recreation therapists provide an opportunity for the Veterans to practice newly learned skills, gain confidence, reclaim old interests, and explore and develop new interests.

  • Health
    • Offers health education and training in self-medication.

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • The Computer Access Training Program (CATS) assists participants in using large print, speech, and voice access devices for computers. Those who successfully complete the program will be issued a computer, printer, scanner, and software needed to use their computer. The iProgram is an advanced technology program which is designed to further enhance the independence of individuals with vision impairment or blindness by addressing their basic mobile computing needs. The patients are provided with two weeks of extensive training using a smartphone or tablet computer.