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Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)

 

Blinded Veterans Association logoThe Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is an organization of blinded veterans helping blinded veterans. It was founded in 1945, and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1958. A 501C3 organization, BVA is the only veterans service organization exclusively dedicated to helping blind and visually impaired veterans rebuild their lives.

Mission

The mission of the Blinded Veterans Association, as expressed in its Congressional Charter is:

               To promote the welfare of blinded veterans so that, notwithstanding their disabilities, they may take their rightful place in the community and work with their fellow citizens toward the creation of a peaceful world.

               To preserve and strengthen a spirit of fellowship among blinded veterans so that they may give mutual aid and assistance to one another.

               To maintain and extend the institution of American freedom and encourage loyalty to the constitution and laws of the United States and of the states in which they reside.

Services

The Blinded Veteran's Association (BVA) is an organization specifically established to promote the welfare of blinded veterans. Through its service programs, groups and benefits, it hopes to make life easier for blinded veterans and help by being there with encouragement and support. The BVA helps veterans and their families meet the challenges of blindness. There is no charge for any BVA service. Membership is not a prerequisite. All legally blind veterans are eligible for BVA's help whether they became blind during or after active duty.

Field Service Program

All BVA Field Representatives are blinded veterans. They travel throughout the United States finding and counseling blinded veterans and their families. BVA Field Reps act as role models. They encourage fellow veterans to take charge of their lives. They link veterans with services, rehabilitation training and other benefits. When blinded veterans are ready to go back into the work force, BVA Field Reps can help them find jobs.

Volunteer Service Program

Blinded veteran volunteers work out of offices located in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and outpatient clinics. They help fellow blinded veterans and family members get the assistance they need to cope with blindness.

Volunteers talk one on one with individual blinded veterans, or they listen and share ideas in groups. They provide information on programs and services, encouraging blinded veterans to enter blind rehabilitation programs. They demonstrate equipment and aids used by the blind. Volunteers are active in their communities and are good sources of information about local programs and services.

Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program

Since the early '80s, BVA has offered spouses and dependent children of blinded veterans a chance to continue their education through the Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program.

BVA Bulletin

Through this bimonthly publication, blinded veterans, their families and other interested parties keep in touch with each other as well as services, benefits and legislation. The Bulletin is offered free of charge to all blinded veterans on BVA's mailing list.

Additionally, the current version and archival editions of the BVA Bulletin are available online at:
http://www.bva.org/bulletin.html

Regional Groups

In addition to BVA's work on the national-level, the Association also supports 50 separate regional groups (chapters) throughout the United States. Members enrolled in the National Association automatically become members of their local Regional Group.

Regional groups offer blinded veterans and their families opportunities for recreation, social activities and support groups. Regional groups also set up and staff volunteer service offices in VA medical centers and clinics. Often blinded veterans have their first contact with BVA and learn about available services, benefits and information through a regional group or volunteer service activity.

You can learn more about local Regional Group activities by calling BVA toll-free at 800-669-7079. Leave a message requesting information about a particular Regional Group on the BVA automated voice mail system.

Contact Information

Blinded Veterans Association
477 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-2694

Toll-free: 1-800-669-7079 (automated voice mail system)

Phone: 202-371-8880
Fax: 202-371-8258

Internet: http://www.bva.org/

See also:

Veterans Service Organizations - Overview

Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits - Overview

Source

Information for this topic was drawn from the BVA website at:
http://www.bva.org/


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