April 28, 2017

WBRC Participates in TBI Forum

The WBRC recently participated in the 7th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research Forum: Detection and Treatment of Sensory Deficits.  The forum was held on March 31, 2017 at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System (VAPAHCS) main campus.  The event was sponsored by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), VAPAHCS Polytrauma System of Care and the WBRC. 

Katie Taylor, WBRC CNVR Coordinator, is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and presented on “Dual Sensory Loss: A Case Study.”  It focused on deaf-blindness, its challenges and options available to Veteran patients that fall into this category. 

Thanks to the support and collaborative partnership between the WBRC and its colleagues who made the TBI Research Forum possible, the blind/visually impaired Veterans we serve will have access to the best resources and ground breaking information to enhance their quality of treatment.

April 19, 2017

WBRC Participates in Art of Aging Gracefully Outreach Event

On Thursday April 6, 2017 the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center staff supported the tenth annual The Art of Aging Gracefully Resource Fair at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. This was the second year in a row that the WBRC participated in this event on California St in the Laurel Heights area of SF.  The day was packed with speakers, presentations and activities open to the public. Over thirty organizations participated as well as twenty-four businesses.  Included in this event was insights and opportunities to support active, creative aging. 

The WBRC staff met with many residents from the bay area and provided resources and information about Blind Rehabilitation Services within the VA Healthcare System. There were great opportunities to network with the organizations and businesses at the event.  These organizations and businesses were provided with brochures about the WBRC programs as well as information around how to approach those with a visual impairment.

If you are interested in listening to some of the key note speakers at this event please check out the link below https://www.jccsf.org/adult/adult-prog-con/the-art-of-aging-gracefully/additional-resources

April 10, 2017

BVA Initiative Seeks Increased Veteran Communication, Public Awareness

The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) has launched blog.bvamedia.net as part of a national initiative to increase awareness among veterans and the general public about the organization itself and to empower and instill hope in blinded veterans during their personal quests to meet the challenges of vision loss.

The content of the blog emphasizes the services and benefits available to veterans through federal and local entities, communicated through personal success stories about BVA members and their families, information about current and pending legislation, and calendar items of upcoming BVA events.

A highlight of the new site is a previously untapped opportunity to produce podcasts, share BVA’s existing public relations efforts more effectively with its members, and utilize other digital communication methods in disseminating such news.  

Throughout BVA’s 72-year-history, the ability to communicate with the blinded veteran community was at first limited to written communication and limited audio through phonographic records and audiocassettes sometime later. 

The Internet has dramatically increased the number of accessible and inexpensive methods for individuals to interact and share information. Having already embraced social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, BVA formed an internal public relations committee in August 2016 in an effort to expand communication efforts through Podcasts and streaming Internet radio channels. 

The launch of blog.bvamedia.net is among the first in a series of actions that have become part of the initiative. To reach the new site, go directly to blog.bvamedia.net or link to it via bva.org.

April 3, 2017

WBRC Introduces Moving Forward Class

Moving Forward Class: Problem Solving Skills

As part of the WBRC Matter of Balance Program, a fall prevention program,  Psychologist, Dr. Laura Peters, facilitates a class called “Moving Forward.”  The Moving Forward Class was developed nationally by VA to increase Veterans’ abilities to cope with stressful life problems, such as vision loss.  This is done by teaching better ways of dealing with harmful emotions, supporting a sense of hope that problems can be solved, and teaching ways of dealing with stressful problems in a more organized way.  WBRC Veterans have enjoyed the class and have found it worthwhile.  Not only have they learned practical skills, but also developed increased confidence when addressing problems.

Dr. Peters is a now a National Consultant for the Moving Forward Program.  She will mentor six other VA Mental Health Providers, helping them to implement the Moving Forward Program with a variety of Veterans across the country.