July 31, 2015

WBRC Alumnus Preps for 2015 Golden Aged Games


WBRC is excited to cheer on several of our alumni as they prepare to go to the 2015 Golden Aged Games starting August 7th! 
 
The National Veterans Golden Age Games is the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. The VA Challenges and encourages senior Veterans to be proactive in embracing a healthier lifestyle.  The games are open to Veterans, ages 55 or older, who receive health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Click on the image above to view a YouTube video featuring one of the participants.  Go Bears!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Golden Aged Games

CLICK HERE to read a WBRC Alumnus Interview from the 2014 Golden Aged Games

July 22, 2015

WBRC Welcomes New CATs Instructor

Photo: Alison Schoenrock, new CATs Instructor

WBRC is proud to announce that Alison Schoenrock accepted the position of WBRC Computer Access Training (CATS) Instructor.  Ms. Schoenrock started on July 13, 2015.  Alison received her Masters of Education in Special Education, Visual Disabilities from Northern Illinois University with a dual focus in Orientation and Mobility (O&M) and Rehabilitation Teaching in May, 2015.  She also received a BA in Psychology from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 2012, including three semesters of “studying abroad” at Columbia College Chicago as she cultivated her interest in Fine Arts.  Alison is accredited by ACVREP as a Certified O&M Specialist and has recently passed the exam to receive her Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Certification.  She completed two sixteen-week internships in O&M and Living Skills at Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital near Chicago, IL.  Welcome to the WBRC Team Alison!

July 15, 2015

WBRC Welcomes New Manual Skills Instructor

Photo: Gary Gintzler, WBRC Manual Skills Instructor
WBRC is proud to announce that Gary Gintzler has accepted the position of WBRC Manual Skills Instructor.  Gary started on June 29, 2015.  He received his Masters of Special Education for Orientation and Mobility (O&M) from San Francisco State University in May 2014.  Gary also earned a BA in English and an MFA in Writing.  He is accredited by ACVREP as a Certified O&M Specialist, and he is licensed by the state of California as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor.  Gary completed an 11 week internship in O&M at the WBRC.  He worked for a year as an O&M Specialist for the Earle Baum Center in Santa Rosa, CA prior to joining the WBRC.   Gary also served 8 years in the United States Army Reserve.  Welcome to the WBRC Team Gary!

July 10, 2015

WBRC Welcomes New Administrative Officer

Photo: Jessica Vilay, WBRC Administrative Officer
WBRC is proud to announce that Jessica Vilay has accepted the position of WBRC Administrative Officer (AO).  Jessica started on June 29, 2015.  She completed her Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration at Cal State East Bay and her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at UC Berkeley.  Jessica was previously the AO for Dental Service and interned in the Chief of Staff Office at VAPAHCS.  Welcome to the WBRC Team, Jessica!

July 7, 2015

Alumni Update: Project Gemini

WBRC recently received an update from one of our Alumni, Chris Rader, on his recent experience participating in Project Gemini through the BVA.  He was happy to have us share it on the WBRC blog, find his update following below:

Photo: Chris Rader at Buckingham Palace June 4, 2015
    
Through The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) Operation Peer Support, I Chris Rader a lifetime member, was given the opportunity to go on Project Gemini.  Project Gemini happens once a year and unites the Blinded Veterans of the United States with the Blinded Veterans of the U.K. (BVA U.K.) for a week of experiencing what kind of training they receive at their blind center in Brighton where their headquarters is located. 

Photo: Mr. Rader's invitation to Buckingham Palace

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity this year as we celebrated their 100-year anniversary at a Garden Party in the Buckingham Palace.  I stayed at an overflow house that they have converted into a multiple bedroom facility for Veterans to stay at just next to their headquarters/ blind center.  During the stay they provided us the opportunity to add to their wall of plaques, which my plaque was made through a lifetime member of the BVA who does laser engravings, which stated Task Force Tarawa, Alpha 1/10 1st Battalion 2nd Marine Division the mission which I was in for the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The BVA U.K. also made me a lifetime member of their association to where I can go visit their blind center and stay in the house for a week at a good price, which I plan on doing one of these years to complete a 100k 24 hour walk for charity. 

The experience I had there was amazing and have decided that during the BVA conferences we will have to provide them with more to do and see instead of just classes on how to work with the Veterans Affairs and coping with blindness, as they gave us tours of palaces, museums, and historical sites.  We also went to a lagoon to where we were taught how to wake and paddle board.  I would have to say it all together a wonderful experience.