Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Any veteran who is legally blind owes it to himself to take advantage of the opportunity to come to Hines. Benefits from attending include that they will teach you many, many ways to live more productively and independently with your vision situation.
I have learned a great many things here. When you finish your training you will feel a lot more confident in coming back home and attacking your daily living situation. For example, how to move about more safely. I will be able to deal with my time in public situations, where I am unsure of the environment, much more easily. I have also learned techniques that will allow me to use my woodworking equipment more safely, a hobby that was greatly impacted by my sight loss.
I will also be more willing to accept household assignments that I haven't be able to do, or haven't been willing to do. I will probably be appointed as laundry person in my house. I will also be appointed to some cleaning and I already do a fair amount of cooking.
I look forward to my wife coming for the family education program. She will have a much better understanding of my capabilities and my limitations. My family has always been supportive and understanding. I just think this will help them to better understand my situation though. I only have the greatest praise for the entire program at Hines. I have found every one of the instructors to be very well qualified and skillful, understanding and very professional in the way they carry out their job. I felt the overall curriculum was very well thought out. It's not just the big things, but the hundreds of little things too.
I changed my viewpoint about dealing with impaired vision as a result of this place. I think that will help me a lot.
I am writing this message to inform every one of all the good things that the Hines Blind Rehabilitation Center has to offer. I am convinced that word is not out to all that may be in need of this type of help. My thoughts before coming here were that I might receive some optics that will help my vision so that I may still be able to read with the little vision that I have left.
Not only are optical aids provided, but also it has opened up a whole new life for me. From the director down to the interns, your needs and care are first. In a sentence, they teach you how to live independently, on your own. Over all it brings out skills that you were unaware that you had. But most of all the courtesy and care of the staff is beyond reproach.
My words to any veteran that is visually impaired or blind is give it a try. It will enhance your life.
Melvin S. Epps
My husband attended the Central Blind Center April/May of 2009. I had the privilege to accompany him for his last few days for the “Family Program” sponsored by the Center. It is my wish to extend my deepest gratitude to you and your staff for making this time of transition a much easier one for both of us. My husband had great trepidation about attending the center, in part because in someway he had to face the reality of his blindness and the other being away from his family and facing the unknown. Members of your administration, the clinical nurses, and the very skilled training staff made all of these apprehensions fade away.
My visit for the “Family Program” proved to be invaluable. When my husband and I were told about his degrading eyesight, I began researching for ways to help him and make the transition as easy as possible. I found very little applicable information. During my stay, I was given a much better understanding of what my husband was experiencing both physically and mentally. I was given tools and suggestions on how to address many of my concerns. I was so impressed by how the staff not only cared about my husband’s well being, but they were also concerned with how I was doing. For the last few years, not on person has asked me how I was doing. Your staff made it a point to care for me as well as empower me with skills and knowledge.
My husband came home from the Center encouraged and excited about his new skills and most of all with a vision for a productive future helping other blind veterans. My husband is now pursuing his educational requirements’ to work in the rehabilitation of the blind. He is now volunteering at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Hospital in Jackson, MS. It is very exciting to see his wonderful spirit of encouragement touch others.
Again, thanks again to you and your staff for the investment of time and resources expended on this worthy program.