Booklet Details McGee Blind Rehab Experience


Blinded veteran William “Bill” McGee, Northern California Regional Group, has recently published “Learning to Cope with Sight Loss: Six Weeks at a VA Blind Rehabilitation Center” through BMC Publications of San Francisco, California.

The easy-to-read, 36-page booklet recounts Bill’s loss of sight and his subsequent day-to-day experience at the VA Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) in Palo Alto, California. It outlines the basic facts of the Center and the program components and skills taught, including accommodations, food service, nursing staff, Visual Skills, Orientation and Mobility, Living Skills, Manual Skills, Computer Access Program, Recreation Therapy, and Family Training.

The publication, also available online and on audio CD, explains how this instruction and training improved Bill’s sight loss coping skills. Bill further reveals in the booklet why he believes it was especially important that he was at the WBRC when he was.

“This is the best-written description of VA’s blind rehabilitation program that I’ve seen and an invaluable tool for veterans considering participation in one of the regional centers,” said Patrick J. Caskey, M.D, North Bay Vitreoretinal Consultants.

In an agreement reached October 1 with Tom Miller and announced in a November 8 press release, BVA will be the exclusive representative to the blinded veterans market for the BMC publication.

“In order to reach the blinded veterans market, BVA is the perfect arm to reach out and inform the many thousands of military veterans living with sight loss or low vision,” said Bill. “If my booklet or audio CD inspires a fellow veteran to ‘get up off the couch’ and seek help, then my objective will have been accomplished.”

Bill McGee was raised on a Montana ranch. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1946. After the war, he returned to cowboy life, working as a dude wrangler on a Nevada ranch south of Reno, Nevada. In 1950, he made a successful transition into the radio and TV field, where he enjoyed a 32-year career.

In addition to the booklet, Bill is the author of many additional titles, including the acclaimed Pacific war trilogy Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in World War II and Bluejacket Odyssey, 1942-1946: Guadalcanal to Bikini: Naval Armed Guard in the Pacific.

Bill is also member of Broadcast Legends and Western Writers of America.

For more information or to obtain a copy of “Learning to Cope with Sight Loss: Six Weeks at a VA Blind Rehabilitation Center, visit www.bmcpublications.com/sightloss.html or contact Christina Hitchcock at BVA National Headquarters, 202-371-8880, Ext. 303, or at chitchcock@bva.org.