Letters to the Editor
Scholarships Pay Dividends
My wonderful experience and personal growth thus far at Florida Southern College would not have been possible without the support, generosity, and financial assistance through the Blinded Veterans Association’s scholarship fund.
Your organization enabled my grandfather to live a more productive and independent lifestyle because of the extensive rehabilitation and blind training he received at the VA Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. This training enhanced his quality of life, enabling him to engage in family outings and independently use a computer. He was also able to engage in leisure pursuits such as fishing, playing cards, and cooking.
Because of his training, my grandfather acquired a new outlook on life. BVA and its efforts not only provided a quality of life for him but, in essence, benefitted our entire family. Although he passed away in March of 2013, my grandfather’s independence, dignity, and zest for life lives on in our hearts.
When I received notification in the mail that I was a 2013-14 recipient of the Blinded Veterans Association scholarship, I was overwhelmed with tears of happiness as well as a feeling of comfort, knowing that my grandfather provided again for my family. He was my guardian angel in this sense. The scholarship is very significant to me because of my grandfather's legacy.
Not only does BVA provide for veterans afflicted with visual impairment, its efforts extend even beyond. The organization benefits families through support and financial assistance such as the scholarship fund. I have been truly blessed and I appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that go toward helping blinded veterans and their families.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Blinded Veterans Association scholarship.
Vet’s Daughter Offers Thanks
I wish to thank Service Officer Daniel Johnson and the Blinded Veterans Association for their assistance in guiding my father through the VA claims process. Trying to understand the paperwork is a bit overwhelming and I cannot begin to tell you how much it has meant to have your support.
BVA, along with VA, have been instrumental in helping my father remain in his own apartment. The small pension he has been awarded has gone a long way toward his monthly expenses. Our ultimate goal is to keep him in his home surrounded by the things he enjoys for as long as possible. I thank you for your contribution in helping us to achieve that goal.
Blind Center Expands Outreach Efforts
The VA Connecticut Healthcare System, in conjunction with the Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center (EBRC), sponsored a White Cane Day event last October 30. We conducted the event in the rotunda of the West Haven campus. Its purpose was to increase awareness of the use of the white cane and the laws that govern its use. White Cane Safety Day reminds the general public that motor vehicles and pedestrians should yield the right of way to blind or visually impaired people using canes. In addition, information on the BRC skill areas and assistive devices from the Living Skills, Low Vision, Mobility, Manual Skills, and Computer Access Training programs were displayed and explained.
The EBRC Outreach Committee, which directed the White Cane Day efforts, provides positive information and news about the EBRC. The committee had a busy 2013. More than 240 persons attended a committee-sponsored EBRC open house at the West Haven VA Medical Center in May 2013.
Similar events occurred at the facilities in Boston and Brooklyn, New York. On March 12 of this year, the Outreach Committee staffed a table at the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership Conference at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. We also did a presentation about the blind center in February 2014 at Ashlar Village, an assisted living community in Connecticut.
Blind Rehabilitation Specialist and Chair, Blind Center
Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center
West Haven, Connecticut