March 27, 2017

CNVR Program Continues to Grow

The WBRC is known to actively develop and  provide treatment for all areas of vision impairment.   This is especially true for its Comprehensive Neurological Vision Rehabilitation (CNVR) program which was established in 2007.  Going into it’s 10th year of serving Veterans with visual impairments due to brain injury, stroke, motor vehicle accidents, falls, gunshot wounds or any other incident that has affected their vision neurologically, the WBRC has been vigilant to address their treatment needs. The CNVR treatment team provides one-on-one therapy as indicated.  This may include: Optometry evaluation and treatment, Neuropsychological testing and therapy, Speech and Language therapy, neurological vision rehabilitation, Recreation Therapy, treatment in the areas of activities of daily living , Orientation and Mobility, Manual Skills, Technology training as well as a Family Training Program. If interested in the program, please contact the VIST (Vision Impairment Service Team Coordinator) at your local VA for more information or to request a tour of our facility.

For more information, you may also contact Katie Taylor (CNVR coordinator at the WBRC) at 650-493-5000 x 24646


March 22, 2017

Alumnus Poem's

WBRC recently received two poems written by Alumnus Vincent Castro that he read during previous graduation ceremonies at the WBRC. Vince has graciously agreed to share them here on the WBRC Blog. Thanks Vince!

Don’t see me as I am.
But see me for who I am.
You see the world one way and I see it in another.
But yet it’s the same world.
You wake up to the sunrise and see just the light bursting through your window, I wakeup and feel the pouring warmth as it gently covers my soul.
Don’t feel sad for me.  I see more then you think.
When you see a tree in the park you see just a tree,
I see a tree and hear the life that it cradles in its arms and the sweet fragrant as it whispers and gently brushes over me.
So don’t feel sad for me, I see more then you think.
Yes we may not see what you see, we just see it in a another way.   So don’t feel sad for us, we are just Like you.  You see!     

My Second chance  
Is this true? In this world they say that there is no second chance.
Are we alone in this world, or have we been forgotten?
Do we even exist?  Or does anyone care? 
Has the world turned its back on us?
Are we alone and left in the dark?
And some carrying the pain that no one knows,
And how deep it is cutting into their soul.
What have we done to deserve this?
And then she came into are lives.
With her arms open welcoming us into her home.
She starts to heal the pain that we carry.
 As she listens to are needs.  And gives us a second chance.
I myself am so grateful for you giving me back my life again.
Yes, I am talking about all of you at the WBRC.  I thank you from my heart, for my second chance, and for all my brothers and sisters that you have given back their lives.  Thank you.  

March 13, 2017

WBRC 2016 Annual Review Now Available

Image: Cover picture of the WBRC Annual Review 2016
The 2016 WBRC Review has just been published and is available online.  The 'WBRC Review' is a Fiscal Year (FY) review of the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) for stakeholders including former and current students, prospective students, family and caregivers, VA staff and volunteers, and anyone interested in learning about low vision and blind rehabilitation services available to Veterans and Active Duty Service Members through the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  The FY 16 edition includes information about the WBRC including outcome measures and demographics as well as articles about diabetes, technology security and safety, sonar electronic travel aids, Enchanted Hills Camp, Para Cord therapy, the OrCam MyEye, WBRC's new faces, and how to stay up-to-date with WBRC news.  The WBRC Review will also be printed and mailed to WBRC students who attended the program during FY 16 as well as to prospective and scheduled students.  It will also be used for WBRC outreach and is available to all stake holders online on the WBRC Website and WBRC Blog.

If you are an Alumni who did not attend the WBRC from October 1, 2015 to present -OR- another stakeholder and would like a print copy mailed to you, please send an e-mail with your mailing address to

March 7, 2017

How Reachers Can Help With Fall Prevention

Image: Pik Stick Reacher
How many times have you been unable to reach a can, a bottle, or any object because it was too high to reach?  Instead of grabbing a stool or chair to stand on, the Pik Stick can easily assist you on your mission. WBRC Nursing issues and trains on the Pik Stick Reacher to those Veterans that need a Reacher for fall prevention.  The Pik Stick Reacher  is a simple device allowing anyone to reach items on the ground or above height level.  With its ergonomic grip, strong aluminum shaft, and adjustable rotating claw this Reacher’s design is an award winning tool in fall prevention.

Fall prevention topics/devices like the Reacher are discussed in the WBRC’s Matter of Balance Program (MOB) which is currently offered on a quarterly basis. Please contact a VIST coordinator in your area to find out more information about the MOB program.