Hi! Welcome to the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (“VRCBVI”). My name is Melody Roane, and I am the Director of the Rehabilitation Center.
VRCBVI offers training in the skills of blindness to blind and vision-impaired Virginians and encourages people to develop positive attitudes about blindness.
As you enter the front lobby at VRCBVI, there is a quote on the wall that reads, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” From the first contact with VRCBVI, we want students to focus on the possibilities for their lives, rather than the perceived limitations. Our staff do an excellent job of challenging people to gain competency in the skills of blindness. We also work with them on looking at what the misconceptions of blindness are that are held by the general public and by the blind themselves.
Each training program is individualized, but for people who want to gain proficiency in the skills of blindness, we generally recommend a six to nine month training program. We have found that, if people can do the six to nine month program, they are less likely to return for additional training in the future, no matter what happens with their vision or family circumstances.
You’ve heard me talking about the skills of blindness. So what do those skills include? Well, there’s orientation and mobility, which is the ability to travel independently and confidently in familiar and unfamiliar places using the long white cane, Braille, cooking, personal and home management, keyboarding and technology skills, job readiness skills, vocational evaluations for those who would like guidance in exploring and selecting a career, adult basic education for those who want to obtain their GED or for those who just need to brush up on academic skills, health education for individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes who want to learn how to manage those situations independently and safely, issues of blindness discussions, and recreation and leisure activities.
We invite anyone who is interested in seeing what our program is all about to take a tour of VRCBVI. We have a team of dedicated staff and enthusiastic students who would love to show you the numerous possibilities for people who are blind or vision impaired.
It is the goal of the VRCBVI training program to raise expectations, promote independence, and prepare our students to participate actively and successfully in the real world, which most definitely includes going to work! If you decide to participate in the VRCBVI training program, come prepared to have fun, work hard, and use the skills you are learning, both during and outside of class.
Remember, when you leave the Center program, go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined!