Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get into VRCBVI?

Typically, once we receive a complete application from the rehab teacher/VR counselor (the application must include current eye and medical reports (dated within a year of the application date), as well as any other pertinent information), prospective students will be notified as to whether they have been accepted within one month (counting from the complete application date). The exception would be if extenuating medical circumstances exist which require clarification to assist us in best meeting the needs of the student. Once the application has been received and the student has been accepted, the VRCBVI Director works directly with the student to schedule an entry date. The entry date depends on the student’s availability to commence training.

What classes will I take when I come to training at VRCBVI?

We offer Cane Travel (Orientation and Mobility), Braille, Keyboarding, Computers and Access Technology, Personal Home Management/ Cooking, Adult Basic Education, Wellness Instruction and Recreation, Vocational Services, and Health Education. Your training schedule will be individualized to best meet your training needs.

Where will I live while I am in training at VRCBVI?

We have a dormitory with 28 private dorm rooms and six independent living apartments. Dorm supervisors are on duty at night and on weekends to assist residents and encourage use of skills being learned in training classes. We have laundry facilities available for students to do their own laundry free of charge (although students must supply their own laundry detergent and dryer sheets). We also have a cafeteria where residential students are served three meals per day, seven days a week. Students residing in our Independent Living apartments prepare their own meals in their own apartment kitchens.

What should I bring with me to training?

If you are living in the dorm, you should bring items you would typically need to be away from home comfortably for weeks at a time. You will receive a detailed list of things to bring when you receive your acceptance packet by email or U. S. mail. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, state issued ID card, medical insurance card, any prescription and over the counter medications you need, copies of your prescriptions, any needed medical supplies such as diabetes testing supplies, clothing, all weather apparel (such as raincoat, boots, hat, and gloves), spending money, toiletries and personal items, bed sheets, towels, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, alarm clock, low vision aids, cell phone with extra batteries and charger, and materials for independent note taking (e.g., slate and stylus, digital recorder). Our case manager will talk to you in more detail about what you should bring during your pre-entrance conference call.

How long does training last?

It varies by the individual case, but somewhere between six and nine months is a good guideline.

Do you have medical staff at VRCBVI?

We do not have clinical staff and do not provide medical care to students. Students who become ill while at training are expected to seek medical care independently off campus at Richmond area hospitals, clinics, or doctors’ offices. In case of a medical emergency, VRCBVI staff will call an ambulance to transport an urgently ill student to the emergency room for treatment. We do have health educators on staff who provide education and training to students to help them manage their own medical conditions and medications independently.

How can I take a tour of VRCBVI’s campus?

Please call our Director, Melody Roane, at (804) 371-3151. We welcome visitors and encourage you to come visit our training center! Come see how we are changing what it means to be blind or vision impaired!

What will I do in my spare time while I am at training?

We have recreational activities scheduled during the week in the evenings and on some weekends. Additionally, there are plenty of things to do in and around Richmond! We encourage students to plan independent outings in the community, either on their own, or with other students.

Do I need to bring money?

While there is no cost to you for training and meals are provided free of charge, you may want to bring money. We operate a snack bar affectionately referred to as the "cafe” where a variety of snack items and beverages are available for purchase. In addition, we have vending machines in the dorm which take $1 dollar bills or change. Some recreational activities are off campus. While these activities are optional, they are at the student's own expense. During off campus cane travel lessons, students may go to businesses at which they want to make purchases. This is permitted, but is also at the student's own expense.

What if I need to run errands or go off campus?

Students are permitted to leave campus at their own discretion whenever classes are not in session, but are solely responsible for arranging their own transportation. Transportation in the area includes cabs, para-transit (known as the “CARE van”), and the Azalea Connector, which runs during morning and afternoon rush hours. The nearest bus stop for non-rush hour service is one mile away.

What if I need to get money?

Students are responsible for all aspects of their own money handling. The closest ATM machines are approximately a mile off campus at Sun Trust Bank and at the Wawa gas station/convenience store.

What if I need prescriptions?

Students are responsible for maintaining their own prescriptions. The nearest pharmacies are Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid.

If I need to get a package sent to me, what address should I use?

ATTN: Student’s Name
401 Azalea Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227
If packages need to be delivered, staff is available to sign for packages between 8:15 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Mail and packages are delivered to the Activities and Administration building, not to the dorm.