A word to our friends and fellow visually impaired
would like to take this opportunity to introduce our newly formed
organization to you. We are the South Carolina Low Country Chapter of the
Visually Impaired Veterans of America. Our group was formed in July 2000. We
are from every area of the community and are as varied in age and vocation as
you might gather from the word in our name, "Veterans". The idea of
a group came from thoughts of how we could serve the veterans population and
to establish activities to keep away the desolation and isolation that vision
loss can bring.
The South Carolina Low Country Chapter is the first state chapter in this
national veterans group. There will be "a lot of first" for us! We
already have begun to think ahead and plan for long-term goals.
Our long-range plans include those without a home or much hope as well. Plans
are being established to distribute some basic needs for the homeless
veterans during the year. Approximately thirty per cent of the homeless men
are veterans. Those who fought beside us during some of the worst campaigns
of war, conflict or world strife cannot be forgotten. Our Low Country Chapter
will make sure of that!
Our organization continues efforts to set up a volunteer office in the Ralph
H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Assistance and advice will be offered to anyone
that may need it and especially to those dealing with vision loss. Also the
Visual Impairment Specialist will receive any help that may be needed. Visits
are planned for the inpatients of the medical center as well.
Education is a big deal in today's hope for the future. There are some in our
group who feel that blind and visually impaired students do not get what they
need to be competitive in today's workplace. One of our long-range goals is
to do what we can to ensure that accessable technology is available for those
students and veterans with vision loss. Further, if training is needed, then
our assistance may be to help either the student/veteran or the teacher.
Short-term accomplishments are very important also and bear much thought and
planning. We always have an end-of-year celebration in the form of a
Christmas party. The "Toys-for-Tots" and the United States Marines
are a big part of it. A blind child will be selected this year and we will do
our part to make sure that this child has a good Christmas.
Our group is affiliated with the American Council of the Blind (ACB), both
nationally and on a state level. This means that not only are we working with
the veterans in our area, but also are involved in the many good works of our
neighbors and friends that do not share our military experiences.
Summer fun and fellowship have included a tour of Charleston Air Force Base
and a picnic. Also, a trip to JosephP.RileyStadium
and the experience of a "Riverdogs" baseball game! At the baseball
game, the blind and visually impaired participated by putting on a two-inning
"beeper-ball" demonstration. All experienced great fun. We have
also toured the H.L. Hunley Conservation Facility and a tour of the USS
Issues that affect us are also considered for support and action. For
instance, the lack of public transportation in areas other than Charleston
is a tremendous drawback to the person with vision loss. There are committees
who work to involve the counties and the current transportation systems in
dialogues to remedy this issue. Some of us support this and some are directly
involved in it.
There is a place for you standing shoulder- to- shoulder in work or play and
fun in fellowship. I guess what I am trying to say is simply,"Won't you
come and be a part of a new group of veterans with vision loss who enjoy life
and get out and do things?" Be a part of trying to give back to those
Our meetings are held at C & W Cafeteria, 6159
Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, SC
(next to Sam's Wholesale Club). Meetings start
at on the second Saturday
of each month. Come and see what it's all about.
Contact Us: Phone: (843) 821 - 0251
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org S.C. Low Country Chapter 125 Honeysuckle Lane Summerville, South