April 25, 2016

WBRC Announces CNVR Program Coordinator

Photo: Katherine Taylor, WBRC CNVR Coordinator
WBRC is proud to announce that Katherine Taylor has accepted the position of Comprehensive Neurological Vision Rehabilitation (CNVR) Program Coordinator.  Ms. Taylor has been a Visual Skills Blind Rehabilitation Specialist at the WBRC since November of 2012, and she is also a certified Brian Injury Specialist and Licensed Speech Pathologist.  Ms. Taylor has a Master’s Degree from California State University Hayward (East Bay) in Speech Pathology and Audiology, and she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at University California, Berkeley.  She is accredited by ACVREP as Certified Low Vision Therapist.  Congratulations Katie!

April 13, 2016

WBRC Outreach: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Photo: Craig Echhardt, Palo Alto VIST Coordinator,
mans the WBRC outreach booth at the JCCSF

By Charity Son, WBRC Blind Rehabilitation Specialist

On April 7th, two WBRC staff members participated in the Art of Aging Gracefully event at the Jewish Community Center - San Francisco (JCCSF). Visual Skills instructor Charity Son, CVRT, and VIST Coordinator Craig Eckhardt, CVRT, COMS, manned a booth with low vision devices and information, all geared towards giving the senior population independent access to healthy options. These ranged from kitchen safety items to enable healthy meal preparation to computer access technology devices for accessing health information and fitness trackers.

The booth had a steady stream of visitors all day. Patrons were particularly interested information on the Matter of Balance program. The Matter of Balance program was adopted by the WBRC and adapted for instruction to our Veterans with low vision. Three Veterans were served and took information on the WBRC Matter of Balance program, while civilian patrons were motivated to take literature on the Matter of Balance program in order to participate through their local agencies [fitness centers, senior/community centers, hospitals]. The WBRC was proud to participate in the event and to help patrons age gracefully.

If you are aware of an event which would be a good opportunity for WBRC Outreach or would like WBRC to come speak to your group, please contact Lindsay Hass, WBRC Blind Rehabilitation Specialist and WBRC Communications Committee Co-Chair, at Lindsay.hass@va.gov or call the main WBRC line at (650) 614-9952 to make a request.

April 6, 2016

PAD Farmer's Market Open for Season

Image: VA Palo Alto Farmers Market Poster
Spring is upon us and the Farmer's Markets are in full swing throughout the area.  The VA Palo Alto Health Care System is continuing their annual Farmer's Market for the 8th year at the Palo Alto campus.  The Farmer's Market resumes for 2016 today at the campus located at 3801 Miranda Ave in Palo Alto, CA and is located near the front entrance of the main hospital building.  The market will occur every Wednesday through November 9th, 2016.
Photo: A VA Staff Member makes a purchase at a market stand
You can enjoy the fruits and vegetables of the season locally grown by visiting a Farmer's Market near you.

How do I find a Farmer's Market near me?
Farmer's Markets are listed in the newspaper.  You can also look them up online by typing your city and 'Farmer's Market' in the search bar.

Tips once you get to the Farmer's Market:
  • Budget by using cash: Food can be expensive.  Bring only cash, this will keep you on budget and lets you see how far you can stretch your dollar.  Be sure to bring small bills.
  • Walk the Market before you buy: Walk all the way around the Market first, get in your extra steps and check all the prices so you get the best deal.
  • Know your food: Farmer's Markets allow you to know your food grower.  You can ask questions and learn how they would eat the food they grow.  If you are unfamiliar with a type of fruit or vegetable, your can as how to tell if they are ripe, or for a recommendation of how to prepare it.
  • Seasonal buying: Farmer's Markets grow your food locally, so you know you are eating what is in season when you shop.
  • Use your devices: If you have a long cane, support cane, 4 wheeled walker, power mobility device, sunglasses, hat,  money reader, and/or visual aide such as a magnifier - bring them and use them properly!
  • Ask for assistance: If you have a hard time seeing produce or reaching items, ask for help!  The growers at each stand will likely be more than happy to help you read prices and assist with selecting produce.  If you let them know you have vision loss, you may be surprised at how helpful they could be.