Public Awareness Provides Outreach to Blinded Veterans

I’m Ruth Wedergren, the Public Awareness Coordinator for the Talking Book Program. My job is to travel around the state and inform people about the Talking Book Program, and to use media to promote our services. My goal is to increase the number of patrons we serve, especially veterans. I’ll be making periodic posts about TBP’s outreach events.

Speaking of veterans…during the third week of August, I’ll be assisting the National Library Service (NLS) with their booth at the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) National Convention in Galveston. With the convention being in Texas, this is a great opportunity for me to bring more qualified Texas veterans into the program. NLS will distribute general information to veterans from other states, so they can contact their state’s own talking book program. TBP has worked with the Greater Austin Chapter of the Blinded Veterans Association for several years. Many of its members are TBP patrons.

The BVA’s motto is “Blinded Veterans Helping Blinded Veterans.” The organization was formed in 1945 by a group of young men who lost their sight during World War II. In 1958, BVA was chartered by Congress to be the voice of blinded veterans in legislative affairs. Membership in BVA is open to all legally blind veterans of U.S. military service. Blindness does not have to be combat-related, nor must members have lost their vision while on active duty.

Did you know that one in six wounded U.S. soldiers evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan suffered eye injuries? The Texas Talking Book Program wants to make sure that service members who have sacrificed so much for their country know they can still enjoy the pleasures of reading.