BVA Current Achievement
The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) on September 29, 2016 praised the bi-partisan effort in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to avoid a government shutdown that has also resulted in the passage of key legislation for veterans with vision loss. The legislation, a Continuing Resolution that extends current government funding levels until December 9, ends seven years of BVA advocacy during three sessions of Congress to give the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the statutory authority to provide travel benefits to catastrophically disabled, nonservice- connected blind and visually impaired veterans seeking rehabilitation services at VA facilities. The legislation applies similarly to amputees and individuals with spinal cord injuries. Click here to read a full account of the legislation.
BVA Historical Achievements
Since 1945, BVA has advocated for the needs of blinded veterans, and we have a long legacy of services and benefits as a result of decades of work. Click here to read a full account of how BVA's work shaped services offered by the VA for blinded and visually impaired veterans.
Over the course of our history, BVA has worked with many leading voices in the field of blind rehabilitation and advocacy for the needs of the blind, such as Father Carrol and Kathern Gruber. To honor these leaders, BVA has created several awards to honor those BVA members and officers who have served the association and their fellow veterans with their time and energy. For a complete list of those who have received each award, click on the links below.
- The Irving Diener Award, which is presented to the veteran who contributes in an outstanding way to the BVA as an organization rather than for personal achievement in rehabilitation and in the field of employment.
- The Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award, awarded annually to the veteran with service-connected blindness who has proven himself/herself outstanding in his/her field of employment and in his/her adjustment to daily living.
- The David L. Schnair Award, honoring and recognizing outstanding contributions of volunteers. The award may be given to a BVA volunteer office, a member, or an Auxiliary member, working in a BVA Volunteer Office who has provided at least one year of consistent and outstanding service as a BVA volunteer.