November 29, 2010


By: Merideth Smith, M.S., Psychology Intern and Laura J. Peters, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist
Photo: Silhouette of a person sitting in a chair with their head in their hands

With vision loss, it is normal to experience periods of sadness, stress, or grief; however, these feelings will often lessen over time. For some individuals, these feelings do not go away, and when this happens it is called depression. Depression is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, fatigue, problems sleeping or oversleeping, isolation, irritability, or restlessness that last for most days for two weeks or longer. Unfortunately, people with vision loss are at higher risk of developing depression. Of the 5.7 million older adults in the United States with vision loss, 57.2% are at increased risk for mild to moderate depressive symptoms and 6.2% are at risk for severe depression. Those with mild to moderate depression are 4 to 6 times more likely to experience worse health as well as problems with functioning (e.g., walking, shopping, and socializing). Those with severe depression are 18 to 23 times more likely to have worse health and problems with functioning. This increased risk for depression and poorer functioning in older adults with vision impairment is a significant public health concern and can have a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life and physical health.

Although adults with vision impairment are at an increased risk for depression, there are steps that can help someone cope with the symptoms of depression. Engaging in vision loss rehabilitation can help individuals feel more capable and in control of their lives. Seeking out social support through family, friends, organizations, or support groups can be very effective in improving quality of life and can help with the adjustment to changes in health. Rehabilitation can also support people's ability to resume pleasurable activities that they have abandoned due to their sight loss. Engaging in pleasurable activities can improve a person’s mood. Exercising on a regular basis can also help with problems with sleeping or feelings of fatigue.

However, sometimes the depression is severe and significantly interferes with a person’s life. People with depression can even have thoughts of hurting or killing themselves. This is referred to as suicidal ideation. In fact, white males over the age of 85 have the highest rates of death by suicide, 45 deaths out of 100,000. Unfortunately, this population is also the least likely to seek help if they experience depression. A national hot line is available for individuals who have suicidal thoughts, or for family and friends who are concerned about a loved one. This hot line can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For additional information please see the website:

When depression becomes this crippling, professional help may be needed. Currently there are effective forms of treatment for individuals who are experiencing depression and these treatments continue to improve with ongoing research. Treatment can take the form of psychotherapy, which can include talking about stressors, learning to use healthy coping strategies, improving relationships, or learning to incorporate pleasurable activities back into everyday life. Antidepressant medications can also be used to effectively treat depression. These medications do take time to work and the first medication you try may not be effective. There are several different types of antidepressant medications, so do not give up if the first medication is ineffective. It is important to communicate with your doctor if you experience side-effects or do not notice a change in mood after 3 to 4 weeks.

Depression can be physically and mentally debilitating and adults with vision impairment are at an increased risk. However, there are effective resources and treatments that can improve mood and give the person the skills necessary to successfully adapt to these significant life changes. If you notice you or someone you love have prolonged periods of sadness, loss of pleasure, or depression, do not hesitate to talk with your doctor.

November 15, 2010


By: Daniel Penrod, WBRC Manual Skills Instructor

A WBRC student gets ready to swing at the beeping
baseball while learning to play the game with the
Stockton Stingray Beep Baseball team

A recent WBRC outing had veterans and staff swinging. They were learning to play the game of Beep Baseball with the Stockton Stingray Beep Baseball team. The team joined the WBRC to demonstrate and teach the game. Beep Baseball uses a standard softball bat, a modified softball with audible signals, and two upright bases with audible signals. All of the players except the pitcher wear blindfolds to occlude their vision and level the playing field. The pitcher announces to the batter when he pitches the ball and also when the ball is passing over the home plate. If the batter makes contact with the ball, one of the 2 audible bases is randomly turned on, and the batter must take off to locate the base. If the batter makes it to the base before the fielders locate the beeping ball they score a point.

After a demonstration game, veterans and staff had an opportunity to put on a blindfold and go up to bat. There were varying levels of success, but everyone was impressed with how far some batters could hit the ball and how quickly the players could field the ball or find the base. As someone who struggled at the plate, I can personally say that it was challenging, exciting, and educational to feel for a brief period what it was like to solely use hearing to locate a pitch, a ball, or a base. I have never felt a thrill from any other sport like that of trying to run without sight towards a base while the opposing team scrambles to find the ball and get you out.

To learn more about Beep Baseball CLICK HERE
To read an article or watch a news clip from the Wall Street Journal about Beep Baseball CLICK HERE

November 12, 2010


WBRC Researcher, Dr. Greg Goodrich, pictured in the
WBRC Advanced Wood Shop

Monday November 8th, 2010: Bay Area NPR station KQED aired a radio story regarding the vision research and treatment for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury related vision loss occurring at the Palo Alto VA.

Article Excerpt:

"Often people don't realize they have the problem," says Greg Goodrich, a vision researcher at the VA Medical Center in Palo Alto.

In 2003, Goodrich and another doctor started noticing something surprising in the young vets they were treating. According to their charts, these men and women could see just fine. Goodrich says many of them had full 20/20 vision. And yet, he says, "they had this huge hemianopsia. Half their visual world was gone. And the most common visual tests used didn’t catch it."

Glenn Cockerham, chief of ophthalmology at the VA Palo Alto, says he and others took to calling these "occult" injuries, because of the way they seemed to escape detection.
"If you just ask [these soldiers] how they’re doing," he says, "they’ll say I’m doing fine. But if you ask specific questions, and you compare them to other people, they’re not doing so well.

For example, many of the veterans were having problems concentrating. They bumped into things. Goodrich says another red flag was when a soldier would say he or she had lost interest in reading. If asked whether that had been the case before the war, the vets would often say that it had not.

What's striking, say the doctors, is that these symptoms -- difficulty concentrating, clumsiness, inability to read well -- are precisely the kinds of problems soldiers might attribute to PTSD, or other combat injuries. Many soldiers assume they are just a fact of life after war.

Returning to civilian life, says Goodrich, is "a tremendous psychological readjustment to go through. And sorting out symptoms that can be subtle, or that you don’t recognize, is a real challenge." Cockerham and Goodrich find that hemianopsias and other vision injuries are far more common than anyone had expected. Goodrich estimates that at least six thousand vets have suffered visual damage as a result of brain injury. "Because some of these are very subtle," says Goodrich, "we don’t catch them as often as we would like to."

One reason that so many vision problems go undiagnosed is that soldiers often don't realize they've been injured at all. For example, just being near an IED blast can, in some case, be enough to sustain brain injury, including vision problems.

"Blasts have this huge pressure wave that comes from them," explains Goodrich, "and the pressure wave does some rather unique things."

In a human body, that sudden pressure wave is like a powerful punch to the chest and stomach. The impact moves throughout the body, including to the brain where it can stretch or tear actual brain tissue. Brain cells can start to die off. If this damage takes place in the visual parts of the brain, that can mean vision problems, including hemianopsias.

Nowadays, far more of these problems are being diagnosed. That’s because Goodrich and Cockerham have invented a new, advanced vision test. It’s now part of the routine screening that veterans receive when they come to the hospital with major injuries.

And that means more vets are getting treatment.

On the day I visited the VA in Palo Alto, Iraq vet Chris Rader was being treated for a hemianopsia he sustained in a motorcycle accident, after he returned from the war.
As he walked down a hallway at the VA, Rader methodically turned his head from left to right, as if watching a tennis match. He was looking for pink post-it notes, placed here and there by Rader’s vision therapist, John Kingston.

Learning how to scan a scene is one way that hemianopsia patients, like Rader, can learn to get around better...

Goodrich says that for many vets, what comes before treatment – the simple act of diagnosis -- is just as important. "Part of my motivation is, I’m a Vietnam vet," he says, "and for some of my comrades, diagnosing the problems that happened to them took 15 to 20 years."

Article Excerpt from, 'VA Doctors Solve a Medical Mystery', Written by: Amy Standen

To Read the Full KQED NPR Article CLICK HERE

To listen to the Full KQED NPR Audio Story CLICK HERE

October 28, 2010


By: Summer Beasley-Hoffman, WBRC Mobility Instructor

Summer Beasley-Hoffman and Walter Sullens smile at the camera during the 2010 WBRC White Cane Walk.

A stream of over 70 people wearing white and red shirts flowed through the streets of downtown Palo Alto, CA the morning of October 15th, 2010. They walked using long white or yellow canes, guide dogs, wheelchairs, human guides, and GPS devices. The group of marchers organized by the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center consisted of WBRC veterans and staff as well as representatives from organizations such as the Palo Alto Host Lions Club, Bookshare, and the Sendero Group.

The Grand Marshall was Mr. Walter Sullens, WBRC Alum and organizer of the Tustin White Cane Society. Mr. Sullens lead the group, chanting marching cadences into a megaphone, and keeping the group in time. Heads of bystanders on the street, in restaurants and stores turned to watch. Traffic stopped as the walkers marched in force across the intersections. Pamphlets outlining the law were presented to pedestrians and stopped drivers as the group marched by. The message was clear; ‘stop for long canes and guide dogs, it’s the law’.

On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the Congress was signed into law authorizing the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day". Within hours of the passage, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson publicly recognized the importance of the white cane as a symbol of independence for individuals who are blind. Today there is a variant of the White Cane Law on the statute books of every state in the nation and White Cane Safety Day is nationally recognized with marches and celebrations.

Once the walk concluded, marchers assembled in front of Palo Altos’ City Hall. The Grand Marshal, Walter Sullens, spoke to the group and encouraged independence, empowerment, and pride. Sid Espinosa, the Vice Mayor of Palo Alto, spoke to the group and expressed support for the cause, accessibility, and community awareness. Smiles abounded and canes were displayed as a group photograph was taken to document the event. The group disbanded, hopeful that the message was received and the community was more aware.

October 12, 2010


Image of Walt Sullens training a Tustin White Cane
Marching Society and Precision Drill Team member.
Photo Courtesy of the Orange County Register Newspaper

The WBRC White Cane March is coming up quickly on Friday October 15th in Palo Alto, CA.

WBRC is honored to have Mr. Walter Sullens, WBRC Alumnus and White Cane Rights Advocate, as the WBRC White Cane March Grand Marshal. Mr. Sullens created the Tustin White Cane Marching Society and Precision Drill Team which marched in the 2010 Rose Parade. He has been a wonderful advocate to educate the public on the significance of the white cane through this group.

All are welcome to participate -- white cane users, sighted guides, scooter users, dog guide users, blindfolded sighted participants (with cane skills or a human guide) -- on a half mile walk around downtown Palo Alto, CA.

Participants will meet in front of Palo Alto's City Hall at 9:30 am and the march will begin at 10 am.

Contact Brian Higgins at 650-906-9412 for more information.

Click HERE to learn more about the WHITE CANE LAW

Click HERE to learn more about the WHITE CANE SOCIETY

October 6, 2010


Photo: Senior Airman Michael Malarsie proposing to girlfriend Jesse Lengstorf
upon his arrival home at the airport after WBRC graduation.
Photo courtesy of the Valencia County News-Bulletin

WBRC alumnus Michael Malarsie was profiled in the Valencia County News-Bulletin in May of 2010. The story profiled his arrival home after rehabilitation at the WBRC.

"At 3 p.m., a plane from Los Angeles touched down, bringing Senior Airman Michael Malarsie home to a heroes welcome after months of rehabilitation in Palo Alto, California...

As Michael Malarsie came through the departure gates, flanked by his parents, applause burst from the two-dozen people forming a flag-lined corridor of welcome. A bagpiper struck up "God Bless America" and the tears flowed.

Malarsie knelt first to embrace his numerous nieces and nephews, who were obviously thrilled to see Uncle Michael.

Then he hugged a new special someone in his life, girlfriend Jesse Lengstorf. Malarsie knelt a second time and reached inside his blue dress jacket, producing a diamond ring. To more cheering and applause, Lengstorf accepted his proposal.
"We had talked about it, but I told him nothing public," Lengstorf laughed, wiping away tears from her smile.

Lengstorf met Malarsie while he was in the rehab center. "I am so glad he's home, but I know that can't compare to what his family has been feeling the past months," she said. "I am so happy. We can move on and start a life. Maybe even go on a real date."...

"This is great," Malarsie said of his homecoming. "I have never been more excited about anything in my life." "

Michael has called to let us know that Jesse and he were married and honeymooned this summer. All the staff of WBRC wish to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Michael and Jesse on their marriage.

For a LINK to the full length News-Bulletin Article CLICK HERE

October 1, 2010


Image of the Trekker Breeze GPS Device Courtesy of Humanware

Humanware has announced free upgraded software available for download to Trekker Breeze users. Veterans that have completed the WBRC GPS Mobility program and have been issued a Trekker Breeze should be aware of the new changes to the software which will expand the functionality of the device and consider using the free upgrade.

The upgrade includes a "What's Around" extended search feature which will allow users to select one of the ten following category groups. The search will announce the 50 closest POIs/landmarks within a distance of 5 miles:
- Landmarks (Personal)
- Transportation
- Food
- Banking
- Health
- Shopping
- Lodging
- Education
- Automotive
- All categories

Users will then be able to select a Point of Interest or landmark from the list presented in the “What’s around” search and the Breeze will provide turn instructions to that destination once users press the “Confirm” key. Other upgrades include enhanced voice, advanced street position accuracy, and more information provided when traveling in a vehicle.

Veterans interested in learning more about the WBRC GPS Mobility program should contact their VIST Coordinator for more information.

PRESS HERE to learn more about the BREEZE upgrades

September 24, 2010


The WBRC White Cane Awareness Walk will be Friday October 15, 2010, in Downtown Palo Alto at City Hall

(Icon of a traveler using a long white cane)

All are welcome -- white cane users, sighted guides, V-1 scooter users, dog guide users, blindfolded sighted folks (with cane skills or a human guide) -- on a half mile walk around downtown Palo Alto.
9:30 am Assemble at Pal Alto City Hall 250 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA.
10:00 am White Cane Awareness Walk starts from City Hall and parades around town.
11:00 am Proclamation Reading at City Hall, Palo Alto.
11:30 Return Home Safely.
Contact Brian Higgins at 650-906-9412 for more information.

June 9, 2010


Image: A veteran participating in the WBRC power mobility program works
with his orientation and mobility instructor to practice
boarding the bus with his power mobility device.

Image: A veteran participating in the WBRC basic program works
with his orientation and mobility instructor on a VTA community
shuttle to increase his public transportation system knowledge.

Veterans who participated in the session worked one-on-one with their WBRC orientation and mobility instructors with drivers available to operate the doors, kneeling features, lifts, and ramps of the stationary vehicles. Veterans were able to become oriented to the vehicle layout while it was ‘out of service’, practice boarding and navigating inside the vehicles, talk to VTA drivers and staff, and learn more about public transportation. One veteran who participated in the session reported that he felt more at ease learning about the public transportation because he had plenty of time to learn the layout of the bus without feeling the pressure of working on a bus which was operating on a route.
WBRC is hoping to continue partnering with the VTA to arrange similar opportunities for veterans in the future. Celeste Oda, a VTA Accessible Services Representative, reported that VTA has free programs and training available to persons with disabilities who would like to learn how to access public transportation. She reported that many transit authorities have similar programs and that interested persons should contact their local transit authority for information about such training opportunities. More information about VTA programs can be found at the link below.

Click HERE for a link to the VTA Travel Training Web Page

Veterans participating in the WBRC orientation and mobility program had an opportunity to participate in a public transportation in-service through the Santa Clara Public Transit Authority (VTA). VTA dedicated one community shuttle and one city bus along with VTA drivers and VTA representatives to be present at the VA Palo Alto Veteran’s Hospital Campus for an afternoon in early June.

May 20, 2010


Image of the 'Flight to Freedom' bronze sculpture that has become a symbol for the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center. The sculpture was created by WBRC alumni Michale Naranjo who created the statue and presented it to the WBRC after he completed his program.

WBRC has published the Spring 2010 Newsletter. Contents include a letter from our new director, alumni and staff news, 2009 WBRC statistics, VIST information, and save the date information for the 2010 white cane walk. WBRC mailed out nearly 400 copies of the newsletter to WBRC alumni from January 2008 to present. A PDF version of the newsletter is available by clicking HERE or on the link below.

If you are a WBRC alumni and would like news to be posted in future WBRC newsletters please send an e-mail to:

If you would like to be sent a copy of future WBRC newsletters please send an e-mail to:

Newsletters will also be archived on this site and will be available for viewing via links listed under the "WBRC NEWSLETTERS" list at the bottom of this page.


May 11, 2010


We are pleased to announce the appointment, effective April 11, 2010, of Ms. Niki Sandlan to the position of Chief, Blind Rehabilitation Service, at VAPAHCS. Ms. Sandlan served as Acting Chief, Blind Rehabilitation Service, from November 2009. Ms. Sandlan is a 2009 Leadership Development Institute graduate and a VAPAHCS mentor. She is a University of Cincinnati alumnus and has provided blind rehabilitation since 1998. She is the former supervisor of the WBRC Visual Skills Department. Congratulations to Ms. Sandlan for her new role as Chief, Blind Rehabilitation Service.

April 7, 2010


Image of a person wearing the Mobile Eye device, which are a pair of glasses with a camera above the eye, and clear angled lens with reflective coating placed over the right eye. Image care of the Mobile Eye Website.

New research methods at the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center using special glasses called The Mobile Eye™ will improve visual function, not only in injured combat troops, but also in Veterans with age-related eye disease or vision loss associated with strokes and other causes of vision loss following brain injury. Additionally, the knowledge gained should readily transfer to the benefit of both Veterans and civilians with age-related vision loss or vision loss due to stroke, falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other events causing brain injury and vision loss.
The Mobile Eye™ (Applied Sciences Laboratories, Bedford, MA) tracks and records the person’s eye movement and superimposes it on a videotaped view of the environment recording both for review and analysis. This al­lows researchers and clinicians to “see what the person is looking at” and to do sophisticated analysis about the amount of time any object was fixated on, directions of scan, and to identify how the individual manages areas of field loss.
Understanding how well the individual manages their areas of vision loss is critical to understanding how they inter­act with the world around them. This is important because it leads to a better understanding of the person’s visual functioning and the effectiveness of rehabilitation. It should also lead to more effective rehabilitation therapies.

For the Full Article Please CLICK HERE and Scroll to Page 18
To be directed to the Mobile Eye Website CLICK HERE
For a link to a video demonstrating the Mobile Eye CLICK HERE

March 22, 2010


Photo provided by Recreation Therapy of two WBRC students approaching the top of a rock climbing wall with a rock climbing instructor nearby

How far would you be willing to push yourself to succeed? How far would go to see if you still had it in you? Well, for a group of veterans at the Western Blind Rehab Center, they were willing to do whatever it took to get to the top of the mountain, literally. A small group of veterans joined Recreation Therapy for a trip to an indoor rock climbing facility in Santa Clara. Some guys hadn’t climbed a wall since basic training 30-40 years ago, and others had recently given up on the idea being able to climb again as a hobby. Of the 8 veterans that attended, more than half were between 60 and 70 years old. The most amazing part was that every single veteran made it to the top of the wall, at least once! For some the bragging rights were enough, for others the knowledge that they could still climb brought back the fiery drive of, “What else can I still do?”. So I ask you… far would you go?

Nicole Marquez RTC, CTRS
Recreation Therapy Assistant
Western Blind Rehab Center

February 8, 2010


Director Lisa Freeman and Drs. Cockerham and Goodrich,
middle, right, and far right,
receive the Olin Teague Award from
VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich, far left,
and Olin Teague's daugther Mrs. Jill Cochran
at the Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON – Two researchers for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Palo Alto, Calif., were recognized with the Olin Teague Award for their research in vision issues that led to improved eye and vision injury examination techniques for Veterans.
"VA has identified these techniques as 'best practices' and now requires eye exams for all patients with traumatic brain injury at VA poly trauma centers," said VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich at the awards ceremony on Capitol Hill.
Gingrich presented Dr. Gregory Goodrich, research psychologist, and Dr. Glenn Cockerham, chief of ophthalmology, with the 2009 Olin Teague Award, a national award that recognizes contributions in an area critical to the rehabilitation and improvement in the quality of life of war-injured Veterans.

Click HERE for a link to the VA PRESS RELEASE

February 1, 2010


Photo of the White Cane Marching Society and Precision Drill
Team participating in the 2010 Rose Parade
Courtesy of The Orange County Register
(Double Click on the Photo to Enlarge)
December 30th, 2009 - The Orange County Register ran a story featuring The Tunstin White Cane Marching Society and Precision Drill Team preparing to march in the 2010 Rose Parade. 'The eight blind and sight-impaired team members from Orange County will march side by side, canes out, ahead of the Lions Club International float during the Rose Parade in Pasadena.'

Click HERE for a link to the ARTICLE and PHOTOS

Click HERE for a link to the YouTube VIDEO CLIP

January 29, 2010


Map of Parking Lots and Closures at VA Palo Alto Occurring Soon
(Double Click on Image to Enlarge)

Visitors to the WBRC, please note, some of the VA Palo Alto Hospital Parking areas will be closing shortly for construction needs.
VETERAN ONLY parking will remain available in Parking lots 100 North and 100 South. Lots 48 and 48A near the WBRC will also still be available to visitors, although they are also open for staff parking.
Parking lots scheduled for closure in the near future include lot 4, 4a, 49, and part of lot 101.


Photo of architect Christopher Downey's hands as he uses his fingers to examine a tactile architectural plan for the new Poly trauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center
at his San Francisco office.
Photo by Robert Durrell courtesy of the LA Times
(Double click on the photograph to enlarge)
Blind Architects Have A Real Feel For The Site Lines. In a front page story, the Los Angeles Times (1/12, LaGanga, 776K) profiled 47-year-old Northern California architect Christopher Downey, who "lost his vision" 22 months ago. According to the Times, Downey has been working as a consultant to the architectural team designing a Poly trauma & Blind Rehabilitation Center for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto, California.

Click HERE for a Link to the LA Times Article


Talking GPS Helps Blind Travel Freely
December 20th, 2010

By: Carolyn Johnson

PALO ALTO, CA (KGO) -- Walt Sullens recently took an almost perfect stroll through downtown Palo Alto. If only the view had been better. "Right now, every day's a foggy day, even a bright sunny day," he told ABC 7.
That fog is the result of a condition called macular degeneration. "Macular degeneration blocks out your central vision. It's like trying to look through your fist," he described. "It makes it a little difficult to read street signs."
But, on this walk, Sullens got some help to find the street signs and his destination from a device more commonly found in cars. He is being trained to use a specialized GPS by an Orientation and Mobility Specialist at the WBRC Blind Center at the VA hospital in Palo Alto. The device, known as a Trekker, is adapted for use by the blind.
"What's different about it, is it's about the same size as a regular handheld device, but it's got a tactile keyboard overlay to allow them to access the information," explained Laura Koehler with the VA hospital in Palo Alto.
Using his sense of touch Sullens can cycle through a list of options. The GPS figures out where he is and he tells it where he wants to go. He demonstrated how he could get to Borders book store.
"I'm pushing enter to choose Borders bookstore," he said.
"Please head toward Waverly Street crossing Hamilton Avenue," the machine responded.
"And, off I go," said Sullens.
The device gave Sullens the street names and the layout of the intersections he was approaching, but he still had to navigate the traffic and red lights using his own hearing and white cane. As he walked further along, the GPS began describing the neighborhood, giving him a chance to learn it the way a seeing person would.
"Union Bank of California, nearby. Palo Alto Sports shop and Toy World, on your left. Michael's Gelato and Cafe, on your right," the GPS stated, indicating various details about the trip.
"It's very freeing to be able to walk down the street and just explore the environment, something we take so for granted," Koehler explained.
The software is geared toward walking, and steers away from freeways and busy expressways that a normal GPS might favor. In about half an hour, Sullens was closing in on his mark.
"You have reached your destination. Borders, on your right," said the GPS.
"It's right here," said Sullens. "And, it's a nice open place to be. Voila!"
Once he masters the technology he will take the device and a new found sense of freedom back to his home in southern California.
"This is letting me out of the bottle, to give me the freedom to walk around my town," he said.

Click HERE for a Link to the ABC News Clip

CLICK HERE for a Link to the TREKKER Website


Contact: Christine Tinberg
U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection

U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection’s Website is Live

Woodland Hills, CA January 27, 2010 - The website for the U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection is live, providing an online resource for blind and sighted cyclists to team up for a bike ride. By creating a profile, riders can search for either a sighted pilot or a blind/visually impaired stoker in their local area. Profile questions help riders match up based on riding experience and cycling goals. Tandem experience is not necessary. The website provides a tutorial to teach the basics to new pilots and stokers.

The U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection endeavors to increase the participation of individuals who are blind/visually impaired in the exhilarating sport of tandem cycling. Their vision is that everyone with a visual impairment has the opportunity to experience tandem cycling, with its’ feeling of freedom and sensation of speed.
“Riding a tandem has given me the opportunity to achieve physical, spiritual, social, and emotional wellness. Cycling makes me feel alive. I am so grateful to any pilot who shares the ride with me.” Ron Burzese, blind stoker, Austin, Texas

The U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. To create a profile and share the ride, visit

U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection
P.O. Box 944
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Click HERE for a link to the WEBSITE