Lud Junior Augustin, Recreation Therapist; John F. Collins, VIST Coordinator; Ronald White, past president BVA NY Regional Group.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
John F. Collins, Visual Impairment Service Team Coordinator for VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (Brooklyn and St. Albans Campuses) was chosen to receive the 2012 National Blinded Veterans Association Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding service to blinded Veterans, their families, and caregivers.
The Certificate was announced at the National Convention in Galveston, Texas in August. Collins, who was not able to attend the Conference, was presented with the Certificate by Ronald White, a blinded Vietnam Veteran and past president of the NY Blinded Veterans Association at the White Cane Day event held at the St. Albans Campus on October 16.
“Mr. Collins is a highly remarkably caring individual who exemplifies the word 'professional' in all aspects; he is a highly deserving of, and is therefore enthusiastically presented this Certificate with the deepest appreciation from the Blinded Veterans Association,” White told the audience of blinded Veterans, caregivers, widowed wives of blinded Veterans, and VA employees.
Honored to accept the certificate, Collins said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help you with your vision loss. You are all a remarkable group of people and it is a privilege to work with you all.”
It was a busy day for Collins, Lud Augustine of Recreation Therapy, 10 blinded Veterans and their caregivers, and widows of blinded Veterans who belong to the St. Albans Blind Support Group and organized this year's annual White Cane Day. The nationally designated day provides an opportunity to promote low vision awareness.
The participants at White Cane Day had a chance to test out new vision aids available through blind rehabilitation service, learn about the latest medical advances in VA eye care, along with new computer classes for the vision impaired available at Baruch College.
In addition, the audience had a special opportunity to listen/view a new award winning documentary named “Going Blind,” that highlights six personal stories of individuals living in New York City adjusting to vision loss. In closing, this year’s White Cane Day event, Group member Harry Zielinski, a widowed 84-year-old blinded World War II Veteran who traveled in on Access-A-Ride from Long Island said, “We are all in this together, we continue learn from one another, and we do our best we can every day.”
White Cane Safety Day events will be held at the Brooklyn Campus on Wednesday October 24, 9AM-1PM, First Floor Atrium and at VA’s Manhattan Campus on Tuesday, October 30, 9AM-1PM, Atrium A.