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VA NY Harbor Health Care System


Big turnout for event

Fred Spitzer, Rubin Ramirez, Volunteer Lucie McEntee and Joe Marzigliano

Fred Spitzer, Rubin Ramirez, Volunteer Lucie McEntee and Joe Marzigliano

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Experts from The Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center from the VA West Haven joined the VA NY Harbor – Brooklyn Campus to celebrate White Cane Day on Wednesday, October 16th. "White Cane Day is designed to offer support to Veterans with visual impairments to maximize their independence so that they can manage daily chores at home, travel safely around the city, explore hobbies and use the latest in communications technology. Vision impairments should not be considered a barrier to enjoying life fully. We're here to help," said Brooklyn/St. Albans VIST Coordinator John Collins.

"We choose the Brooklyn Campus for West Haven's presentation since many of the Manhattan Veterans with visual impairments got acquainted with Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy. Veterans from the Manhattan Campus were invited to attend and about 40 visually impaired Veterans and many caregivers from both facilities attended," said Natasha Mlotok, VIST Coordinator for the Manhattan Campus. It was a busy day and everyone enjoyed listening to a group of musicians from The Patriot Brass Ensemble who played patriotic music during the event. White Cane Day will be also be celebrated at the Manhattan Campus on October 22nd and was celebrated at the St. Albans Campus on October 15th.

VA Employees had the opportunity to earn 30 TMS educational credits and Veterans, family members and other visitors who attended were encouraged to become familiar with the following offerings:

NY Harbor Eye Care Services

The latest in vision technology, brochures on various eye diseases and conditions that can lead to vision loss, instructions from our Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS) on how to assist individuals with visual impairments, the opportunity to wear low vision simulators, demonstrations of adaptive equipment that assist individuals with vision loss to maintain their independence.

Mobility Skills – Tips on learning how to safely board a city bus, using a coin operated washing machine at a laundromat, learning to safely crossing a busy street.

Life Skills - Learning to enjoy cooking, paying an electric bill or reading a restaurant menu with a vision device, shaving, grooming, and choosing a colorful tie to go with a shirt they just ironed.

Computer Skills - Learning how to pen-pal with their grandchildren, emailing their opinion on an issue in a local newspaper, ordering a holiday present on-line, or writing their own life story with the help of an adaptive device.

Manual Skills Learning or re-learning how to use power tools for home repairs; using a hammer to tack up an award or helping at home by putting up new curtains or holiday decorations; developing a relaxing hobby in art with the help of an adaptive vision devise.

Please stop by and see how we here at the Harbor can support Veterans with visual impairments to remain independent and safe.


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