RESOLUTION 22-05

WHEREAS, it is well documented that aging is the single best predictor of visual impairment and blindness, AND

WHEREAS, the veteran population is aging rapidly and experiencing a dramatic increase in the incidence of severe visual impairment and blindness, AND

WHEREAS, the Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health, recognizing the need for comprehensive policy and programmatic recommendations to address the projected increase in demand for vision rehabilitation services, appointed the Visual Impairment Advisory Board (VIAB), AND

WHEREAS, the VIAB is a field based Board with broad representation from all elements of the Veterans Health Administration, and the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), AND

WHEREAS, the VIAB has prepared a draft comprehensive document proposing VA establish a full continuum of Eye Care (Vision Rehabilitation Services), AND

WHEREAS, the proposed full Continuum of Vision Rehabilitation Care would require VA to dramatically expand its capacity to provide Vision Rehabilitation Services across the spectrum from basic low vision through total blindness, AND

WHEREAS, the proposal would also require inclusion of access and outcomes into Network and Facility managers Performance Measures, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association, in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005, strongly support the adoption and implementation of the policies recommended in the Continuum of Care Document, AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, that the BVA urge the National Leadership Board and USH to embrace this document and requires its recommendations be included in all Veterans Integrated Service Network's Strategic Plans.

RESOLUTION 23-05

PRIVATE Resolution-Training for low vision & Blinded VA Employees "Resolution-Training for low vision & Blinded VA Employees"

WHEREAS, blind and visually impaired VA employees, including blinded veterans, many of whom work directly with blinded veterans, need yearly training in access software such as JAWS in order to be proficient in using access software in their jobs, AND

WHEREAS, such training cannot be effectively provided at local stations, AND

WHEREAS, each year there is an Information Technology Conference (ITC) where such specialized training can be provided, AND

WHEREAS, local facilities often lack funds to send blind and visually impaired employees to the ITC training, AND

WHEREAS, lack of funding is a disincentive for employees to attend needed training, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005 support the funding for annual specialized training at the ITC for blind and visually impaired employees, AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, that the BVA strongly urge and encourage the Department of Veterans Affairs to support the annual ITC training of blind employees by providing centralized funding as a reasonable accommodation. This would relieve local facilities of financial burden and ensure availability of funds for employees to attend training.

RESOLUTION 24-05

Resolution- Clerical support for VIST Programs

WHEREAS, most VIST Coordinators across the country have no clerical support, AND

WHEREAS, this causes these program managers to spend a significant amount of time doing clerical and administrative duties, AND

WHEREAS, the BVA feels this time would be better-spent performing clinical duties and direct patient care, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, the Blinded veterans Association in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005 requests the VA authorize the provision of at least .5 FTEE GS 4/5 clerical support for all full time GS-12 VIST Coordinators with a caseload of 300 or more blinded veterans and 1.0 FTEE for programs having both a full time VIST Coordinator with a minimum of 300 caseload and a GS-12 Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS), AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, that VISN Directors be required to provide funding to local facilities to support these positions, AND FINALLY BE IT

RESOLVED, that the VIST and BROS Handbooks and documents pertaining to VIST and BROS contain language supporting the intent that such support is to be provided.

 

RESOLUTION 25-05

Resolution - BRC funding

WHEREAS, there is currently inadequate funding of residential blind rehabilitation programs to allow adequate procurement and stocking of training materials and supplies, AND

WHEREAS, this affects patient care and interferes with the ability to procure and test new technology, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005 work with the VA to find a solution to this problem, AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, that those BRCs be nationally funded to purchase and maintain adequate equipment and supplies to meet teaching and staff needs.

RESOLUTION 26-05

Resolution - BRC Staffing Levels
WHEREAS, Blind Rehabilitation Centers are staffed with varying levels of instructional and support staff (social worker, recreational therapist research staff, psychologist and so forth), AND
WHEREAS, 
it is felt that veterans cannot receive the same level of services at each residential blind rehabilitation center due to a lack of standardization and adequate staffing, AND

WHEREAS, the BVA desires that veterans receive the same level of treatment at each BRC, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, the Blinded Veterans Association, in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005 at request the Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress to review the staffing at residential blind rehabilitation centers to determine the areas of inconsistency and take corrective action to ensure that there is standardization between programs, AND BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED, that this review of BRC staffing and corrective action by the VA be made a national priority for BVA to ensure that corrective action is taken.

RESOLUTION 27-05

Resolution- BRC Staffing of Nurses

WHEREAS, an increasing number of veterans have complex medical issues, AND

WHEREAS, it is felt that many veterans with special needs cannot participate in residential blind rehabilitation due to lack of adequate staffing in BRCs, particularly nursing staff, THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, the Blinded Veterans Association, in convention assembled in Miami Beach, Florida on this 20th day of August, 2005 partner with BRS to encourage VA to review the staffing levels of nursing at residential blind rehabilitation centers to determine the correct number of nurses needed at each site and to ensure that corrective action is taken at those site found to be lacking adequate staffing levels, AND BE IT FURTHER 

RESOLVED, that this be made a national priority for BVA to ensure that corrective action is taken by the VA if a review reveals inadequate staffing does exist, AND FINALLY BE IT

RESOLVED, that this issue be placed on the agenda of the BVA/BRS Strategic Work Group and presented in the annual testimony to Congress.


RESOLUTIONS 28-32