Operation Peer Support

 

Operation Peer Support (OPS) is a program designed to support the hundreds men and women who are returning to the US blinded or experiencing significant visual impairment in connection with their service fighting the Global War on Terror; Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).


The initiative, which occurs in conjunction with BVA's annual Convention in August, is an opportunity for the blinded service members and their families to meet others who now face the similar challenges in adjusting to life with vision loss.


The presentations, which occur in small group settings, focus on treatment and rehabilitation options, recent medical and rehabilitation research, locating resources, veterans benefits requirements and procedures, education opportunities, employment training, and introductions to newly released adaptive technologies, in addition to other topics of relevance to the veteran and their families. The activities also include recreational challenges that foster recovery and help veterans overcome their perceived limitations.


During the convention, the participants learn from one another and from veterans of past conflicts. They create a unique bond that typically lasts well beyond the conclusion of the convention. They often discover that despite their vision loss and other injuries one can lead a meaningful and productive lives. Operation Peer Support starts during the first few days of the convention but does not end at the conclusion of the week. Participants keep in touch via email and other resources, they and share information with the group as they become aware of such resources.


BVA attempts to raises funds to covers each participants expenses for the week. Each year more and more alumni finance their own trips to the convention to serve as mentors and continue the tradition of imparting knowledge to one another. We would like to sponsor all OIF/OEF veterans. The program has also developed an international component, with veterans from Great Britain and South Africa participating in OPS sessions, and American veterans travelling to the UK to learn about different approaches to blind rehabilitation and vision research as part of the Project Gemini Exchange .

OPS News Articles

Blinded Veterans Revitalize at Georgia Training Camp

Posted on 4/30/2015
Blinded Veterans Revitalize at Georgia Training Camp

Panel of Blinded Veterans to Address TBI and Vision Loss at Denver Conference

Posted on 4/28/2015
Panel of Blinded Veterans to Address TBI and Vision Loss at Denver Conference

British Blinded Veterans to Join U.S. Comrades in Galveston

Posted on 8/17/2012
British Blinded Veterans to Join U.S. Comrades in Galveston