BVA Staffer Attends VA Council of American Federation of Government Employees


Yesterday BVA Assistant Legislative Director Michael O’Rourke attended a semi-annual meeting and lunch event of the VA Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, which consisted of representatives of various Veterans Service Organizations and two AFGE officials. The latter were: Mike Rosenblatt, Lobbyist/Grassroots Mobilization Coordinator of the National Veterans Affairs Council and Legislative Representative Marilyn Parks. They are pictured with Mike in the attached.



Mike O'Rourke and AFGE Officials
Mike O'Rourke and AFGE Officials


During the meeting Mike asked the two AFGE officials to address BVA concerns about VA staffing issues with the following in mind: As many as 1.5 million Veterans have levels of low vision that impair their ability to perform everyday tasks. In older veterans, major causes of vision loss include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, stroke, and diabetic retinopathy. Some 285,000 have glaucoma. Among veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, blast-related brain injuries can be followed by vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, and difficulty reading. Although there are 13 VA residential Blind Rehabilitation Centers throughout the country, such centers are often not filled to capacity due to staffing deficiencies.