Of Note


Paralympic Team Selects Blinded Vet as Flag Bearer


Paralympic swimmer and blinded veteran Brad Snyder of St. Petersburg, Florida, was chosen September 9 to serve as the American flag bearer for the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games that same evening.

Paralympic three-time medal winner Brad Snyder and Tom Zampieri.
Paralympic three-time medal winner Brad Snyder and Tom Zampieri.

Snyder, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was chosen by a vote of fellow members of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team.

Snyder was a three-time medalist at the Games and, for his inspirational spirit, a crowd favorite both in London and throughout the world.

Serving in Afghanistan, Snyder stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device on September 7, 2011, blinding him totally. He returned to the pool following his injury and celebrated the one-year anniversary of the blast by winning the gold medal in the 400-meter Freestyle, his second gold of the Games. Brad also took a gold medal for his first-place finish in the 100-meter Freestyle and a silver medal for his second-place finish in the 50-meter Freestyle.

A month after he competed at the 2012 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, a competition for wounded, ill, and injured service members held in Colorado Springs in May, he made his first U.S. Paralympic Team in June. He was one of 20 veterans and service members on the 2012 roster.

On November 13, Tom Zampieri and Christina Hitchcock visited personally with Brad at a U.S. Olympic Committee reception. Five Paralympic medal winners were recognized at the event.

NLS Conducting Critical Survey


The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is conducting a survey to understand how to better serve the needs of readers of Talking Books and Braille. Blinded veterans have been among the most important NLS constituencies over the years.

The ultimate purpose of the survey is to help NLS better serve the blind and visually impaired. It seeks to discover the experiences readers have had with Talking Books and Braille, the types of materials and services readers are looking for, and what NLS can do to get its constituent base interested in the free Talking Book and Braille program.

To take the 25-minute survey online or to learn more about it, visit www.LibraryOfCongressSurvey.com, or call 866-545-1618 to schedule a time to do so by telephone. The respondent is not required to be a current NLS reader to participate. 

Answers to all survey questions will be kept confidential.

New Heights for Audio Description


A new premium audio description mp3 file that blind and visually impaired individuals can play along with their favorite movie at home is now available.

Having launched in October by Hollywood Access Services, LLC, Solo-Dx provides audio tracks of various movies that synchronize, almost to the second, the descriptions of events with what is happening on the screen.

"Each Solo-Dx track is written and produced by experienced entertainment industry professionals," said Elizabeth Rosenberg, Marketing Representative for Hollywood Access Services. "The tracks bring movies to life for individuals with visual or cognitive impairments."

Solo-Dx works with any standard media player—personal computer, Smartphone, iPad, or laptop. The only other thing required is the movie itself on DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, or Video-on-Demand.

The user need only to follow the directions narrated at the start of the Solo-Dx file, sit back, and enjoy! For more information, visit http://www.solo.dx.com.

"In Remembrance" Autumn Issue Corrected


The Autumn 2012 Bulletin erroneously listed four deceased BVA members under the Wisconsin Regional Group subheading when they should have been listed under the Washington Regional Group.

The veterans were Jim Kaemingk, William G. Koutrouba, Henry Mathis, and Mary Jane Vote. Their names have been appropriately listed again in this issue under the appropriate regional group.

We thank VIST Coordinator Walt Werkhoven of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System for bringing the error to our attention.