Disabled American Veterans

Blind Veterans National Chapter #1

WEB SITE: http://www.davbvnc1.com/contents.htm

November/December 2013 Newsletter

Editor: Dennis O’Connell







Commander Carroll Prosser (SC)

Phone (843) 997-1981

Email: heypops43@gmail.com

Senior Vice Commander James Hogan (CA)

1st Junior Vice Commander (deceased 12/09/13) Stephen Moffitt (RI)

 2nd Junior Vice Commander William Burgess (FL)

3rd Vice Commander Rick Calissi (FL)

4th Junior Vice Commander Charles Brooks (FL)

Judge Advocate Dennis O’Connell (NY)
Chaplain Rev. Tony Martino (WI)
Phone 847 736 2111

 Adjutant/Treasurer Paul Kaminsky (FL) (also webmaster)

Phone 904 291-0576

Immediate Past Commander Richard Bugbee (AZ)



PLEASE, If you know of any member who is sick or deceased inform one of the officers whose contact information is listed above ASAPP.





Johnnie Hines, Savannah GA

Jose Rodriguez, Rio Piedras PR




Floyd Britting, ElDorado KS

Stephen Moffitt Wyoming RI



To my fellow blind veteran members and families.

I hope that each of you had a good Thanksgiving. I am most humbled to serve as your Blind Chapter commander and appreciate the opportunity to help each of you in any way possible.

I would like to take this time to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and hope each of you have a healthy and happy New Year.

We are looking forward to the Mid-Winter conference and hoping that some positive action will be forthcoming from our visits and seminars.  Please continue to contact your representatives and ask them to support veterans benefits, especially health care.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our national convention in August in Las Vegas.

If I can assist any of you in any way please don't hesitate to get in touch.




…and a former BVA employee, Tom Zampieri

Hi Dennis, When I lived in Houston from 1993-2001 time period I was Army Flight Surgeon in apache helicopter unit near NASA and knew six astronauts and actually went flying in Blackhawks with them several times. Amazing group each one had average of three graduate Master's degrees all in varied degrees.

I knew two astronauts who died in the Columbia shuttle mission.

Anyway all of them are retired now and space program only mission is the international space station and we can't get to it without Russians.



A Message from the VA on Healthcare Law Changes

    A message from the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding the upcoming implementation of the new healthcare law:

"The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is requesting your support to help VA fulfill its mission to care for Veterans and their family members. Ensuring Veterans receive quality health care is a fundamental obligation for VA, and VA intends to help Veterans understand their options as the new health care law is implemented in the coming months.


    Veterans have put their lives on the line for this country, and deserve to know and understand what this law means and what choices they have in deciding their health care options. VA has launched an awareness campaign and a new website, www.va.gov/aca , to let Veterans and other beneficiaries know what the health care law means for them and their families.


    Veterans and beneficiaries receiving health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see no change in their benefits or out-of-pocket costs when the requirement to have health care coverage takes effect next year. VA needs your assistance asking individuals if they served in the military or are a Veteran and if they and their family members have health care coverage."



Video Description Goes Mainstream

by Larry Goldberg

Bloggers and blog readers appreciate good writing - pithy, to-the-point,
timely. You'll discover some of the best writing anywhere when listening to the work of a good describer - those masters of language who find just the right words to fit into the spaces between dialog, describing key visual elements, and perfectly matching the tone of a movie or TV show. Sometimes only a few dozen words are used to bring you right into the scene. Here's a sample by one of WGBH's describers, written for Downton Abbey.
"On a hill blanketed with heather, Nield, Shrimpy and Robert make their way toward a crest overlooking a few deer grazing. Mountains loom in the distance and heavy clouds darken the sky. Each stag has tall, branching antlers. The men duck down and crawl on their bellies while Nield sets a rifle in place. He motions for Robert to crawl forward and take up the weapon. Robert does so. The three men huddle together, keeping their heads down, watching and waiting."

The feel of the setting and tension are captured just so, enhancing the
program for all viewers who choose to select this extra audio channel.
Video description has been available since 1990, when WGBH launched
"Descriptive Video Service" on PBS. For analog TV, the service was available on the secondary audio program of stereo broadcasts of many PBS programs, then spread to a few hours on CBS, Turner Classic Movies and other networks.

Description next became available in movie theaters, on DVDs and then
digital TV. But the big breakthrough came with the passage of the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" in 2010, which mandated 50 hours per quarter of described programming on the top four commercial broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) and the top five cable networks (Disney, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT, and USA). Now shows like The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Glee, NCIS, Law & Order, Nashville and many others are available with descriptions, along with hundreds of movies on DVD
and in theaters.

The  American Foundation for the Blind  and the  American Council of the Blind both provide described TV listings and more information. There are also several sites that offer DVD and in-theater movie listings like WGHB's Media Access Group  and  Captionfish.

Even with this abundance of accessible entertainment now available, video description remains relatively unknown to general audiences and even to many people who are blind or who have low vision.

That's why the recent announcement by Verizon that their  FiOS-TV
video-on-demand  service will now make available described movies for rent or purchase is such a great leap forward. If you have FiOS-TV, right there on your VOD menu you will find a collection of major motion pictures – with description - to choose from. The collection will be growing rapidly and you can access their latest offerings by pressing the VOD button on your FiOS-TV remote control, then selecting "Descriptive Video" from the movie option menu; you may have to scroll down.

With this tremendous new offering to ALL of its customers,

Verizon is helping bring video description to a much wider world,



"BARD Mobile" App Available For Apple Devices.

The BARD Mobile app provides access to Braille and talking books directly from the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). BARD contains nearly 50,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and Braille formats, with new selections added daily.

With BARD Mobile, you can play the audio materials on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. If your device is connected to a refreshable Braille display through Bluetooth, you can also read the Braille materials available on BARD.

Before you can use this BARD Mobile app, you must be registered with a Braille and talking-book library in the NLS network of cooperating libraries. If you aren't registered but think you qualify for this service because you cannot read regular print as a result of a visual or physical disability, locate your local library for the blind and physically handicapped at http:/Jwww.loc.gov/nls/find.htrnl or call 1-800-NLS-READ to apply for service.

Once you have an account, you are ready to begin using BARD Mobile.

Download the free app and sign in with your BARD user name and password. You'll only need to do this the first time you use the app. The app contains a user manual that you may access through the Help feature.


1.       The BARD Mobile user guide is available from the bookshelf in the app, under Help. It is also available in an HTML version online at:


2.      BARD Mobile App for Android is in development and is expected to be out in about 6 months.

If you have any questions about this new App email Paul Kaminsky: pkjax@kaminsky.com