OUR MISSION

The Blinded American Veterans Foundation assists blind and visually-impaired veterans in attaining their full potential through Research, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration.

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ABOUT THE BAVF

The Blinded American Veterans Foundation offers programs for social integration as well as rehabilitation and provides funding for rehabilitation centers. From the beginning it was determined that BAVF would not be a membership organization or a substitute for already existing veteran service organizations. Instead, the Foundation was designed to become a nationwide focal point and clearinghouse for research, information dissemination, and education efforts. As a result, the BAVF concentrates on:

 

  • Supporting medical research on blindness and visual impairment, as well as the development of improved prosthetics to assist blind and visually impaired veterans.
  • Outreach programs to further identify issues of personal importance to blind and visually impaired veterans.
  • Information programs dedicated at state and federal agencies, the Congress and state legislatures, the private business sector, and the general public.
  • The development of a nationwide volunteer corps to assist blind and visually impaired veterans.

OUR AREAS OF FOCUS

We call them the 3 R’s – Research, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration. This is where we believe the BAVF can make its greatest impact. Since our inception in 1985, the BRAF has had great success in these areas, including providing research and development grants for the development of the Americane, a Department of Veteran Affairs certified sensory aid that has provided greater mobility and independence to more than 2,500 blinded veterans. The BAVF also provides direct financial grants to VA Medical Centers as well as Blind Rehabilitation Centers and clinics to help cover budget shortfalls, provide improved and vital computer training capabilities, and assist Visual Impairment Service Team Coordinators.

RESEARCH

The Blinded American Veterans Foundation is proud of our history of conducting research on the latest prosthetic equipment to help empower the veterans we serve by giving them more daily independence.  In addition to testing this equipment in the field to see if its use will empower our veterans the Blinded American Veterans Foundation also works vigorously to see that this equipment is adopted by the Veterans Administration and distributed to the veterans who will benefit the most from its use. 

 Scriptalk, a product developed by EnVision America is just one of the pieces of equipment that the Blinded American Veterans Foundation has worked to have adopted by the Veterans Administration.  Scriptalk is a small device, now available as an app for the use on smartphones that reads a small RFID chip embedded in the label of a prescription bottle.  It reads the information on the label aloud for a veteran to know what medication he or she is taking.  It also provides them with the necessary information to re-order the medication when it runs low. 

The Blinded American Veterans Foundation is also proud of the fact that we have issued research and development grants with the sole purpose of developing prosthetic equipment that will give the veterans we serve a better quality of life.  In the past the Blinded American Veterans Foundation developed the Ameri-Cane.  The Ameri-Cane is the first telescoping white cane that was adopted by the Veterans Administration.  This sturdy telescoping white cane not only aids in the daily mobility of veterans but also collapses on itself to make its storage more efficient.  The Blinded American Veterans Foundation is currently engaged in helping develop an audible aid to help blind and visually impaired veterans experience a better more restful sleep cycle.  Through our work in this field we intend to not only make the daily lives of blind and visually impaired veterans better but to also empower them to more safely venture out into the world and live the best versions of themselves.

REHABILITATION

Our rehabilitation efforts focus on our nutrition program as well as giving grants to VA Medical Centers and VA Blind Rehabilitation Centers to help with budget shortfalls and improved computer training.  In a world where technology is evolving at a rapid pace these efforts are in great demand.  Training provided by the Veterans Administration on the use of computers and smartphones is instrumental in helping the blind and visually impaired veterans we serve stay up to date with this ever-changing space. 

By becoming proficient with these technologies blind and visually impaired veterans are not left behind.  They are better able to keep up with their friends and families as well as receive better access to healthcare in a world where the Veterans Administration is relying more and more on tele-medicine to complete primary care and mental health appointments. 

These grants are also used to assist VA employees in conducting both in-person and virtual support groups for blind and visually impaired veterans. 

Additionally, vision loss diminishes the abilities of the veterans we serve in safely accomplishing daily tasks like meal preparation.  The Blinded American Veterans Foundation’s nutrition program is designed to offer safe and easy to follow recipes to aid in preparing healthy and nutritious meals.  Eating better makes us feel better; the better we feel the more enjoyment we receive out of our lives. 

REINTEGRATION

Since the Blinded American Veterans Foundation has blind and visually impaired veterans serving on our board of directors, we realize that losing your vision, no matter how, is a traumatic event.  This often leads to social isolation as well as difficulty in doing everyday tasks.  As a result the Blinded American Veterans Foundation is dedicated to developing programs, as well as supporting outside programs that help fight this problem of social isolation. 

Our Flag Replacement Program gives blind and visually impaired veterans opportunities to get out of the house and interact with volunteers in replacing tattered and worn-out American flags in the neighborhoods in which they reside.  Our nutrition program is intended to help blind and visually impaired veterans in preparing healthy and nutritious meals in a safe and efficient manner. 

The Blinded American Veterans Foundation also supports programs of other organizations that aid in a similar way.  One of those is the VA/DAV TEE Tournament.  The TEE Tournament is an annual event hosted by the Veterans Administration and the Disabled American Veterans.  At this event blind and visually impaired veterans are given an opportunity to interact with other veterans as well as play golf, go fishing and partake in a myriad number of activities.

"To provide for those who have borne the battle, their widows, and their orphans."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

OUR FINANCIAL IMPACT

The BAVF has provided grants and funding resources to VA organizations in most states and the District of Columbia. To see all of the VA organizations to which the BAVF has provided financial resources to click the button below.

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