LEARNING TO COPE WITH SIGHT LOSS
Six Weeks at a VA Blind Rehabilitation Center
William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee
BMC Publications, 2010
Softcover Edition with Companion Audio CD: 36 pp, 35 color photographs, 8.5” x 11”, with a companion 75-minute Audio CD recording of the booklet (2010)
Kindle Edition: New Introduction and updated/revised with 15 color photographs (2014)
Audio CD: A complete 75-minute text recording packaged in a jewel case (2010)
Also available as an audio book from the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in Washington, D.C. for those who are eligible.
From the Author: “On the morning of August 13, 2003, my wife Sandra arrived home to find me sitting at my desk, staring off into space. ‘Sandra,’ I said. ‘I have bad news. I can’t see.’ That morning I had suffered a hemorrhage in my left eye that would render me legally blind from macular degeneration.”
—William L. McGee
Sight loss can be a stressful event in anyone’s life. Author and former broadcaster William L. McGee tells how he got back to writing in this inspiring booklet.
In 2009, Bill McGee was admitted as a “student” to the VA Blind Rehabilitation Treatment Program in Palo Alto, California. For six weeks, he resided with thirty other veterans and together they learned new ways to cope with their sight loss. The author attended classes in Visual Skills, Orientation & Mobility, Living Skills, Manual Skills, Computer Training, Recreation Therapy, and Family Training. He was so impressed with the VA Treatment Program, he dictated this booklet about his experience there to inspire and inform anyone living with sight loss or low vision to seek the help that is out there from one of the many VA or non-VA blind resources.
McGee gives the official VA description of each component of the Treatment Program followed by his own experience and firsthand account, as well as comments from fellow veterans.
The Audio CD is a complete text recording from the 2010 booklet edition read by four San Francisco Bay Area Broadcast Legends: Don Mozley (CBS Radio and KCBS/74); director/writer/producer Ed Dudkowski (KPIX-TV, KRON-TV); Emmy award-winning news anchor Cheryl Jennings (ABC 7/KGO TV); and Warren Weagant (ABC 7/KGO Radio and TV, and Command Productions, Sausalito, California).
PRAISE FROM READERS
“Learning to Cope with Sight Loss is the best-written description of the VA Blind Rehabilitation Program that I’ve seen and an invaluable tool for those veterans considering participation in one of the Regional Centers.”
–Patrick J. Caskey, M.D., North Bay Vitreoretinal Consultants, Santa Rosa, CA
“Despite recent medical advances, patients, far too often, still suffer significant vision loss and require low vision rehabilitation. William McGee’s booklet is an easy-to-read and informative personal journey through the VA Blind Rehabilitation Center.”
—Dante J. Pieramici, MD, Director, California Retina Research Foundation, Santa Barbara, CA
“Bill McGee’s ‘Learning To Cope With Sight Loss’ is filled with insightful observations and a complete analysis of all that the world-class VA facilities can offer to our Association members.”
—Tom Miller, Executive Director, Blinded Veterans Association, Washington, D.C.
“The most reliable help in sight loss is to profit from others who have learned to cope with it. It’s never going to be easy, but with guidance from others who have been there, things will be less frustrating. Bill shows what a wonderful job the VA is doing to help sight loss sufferers deal effectively with their new condition.”
—Charles Champlin, former film critic and arts editor, Los Angeles Times; author of My Friend, You Are Legally Blind
“Bill McGee’s account has made it possible for me to provide answers to questions asked by family and friends.”
—Joseph LoBue, former student, VA Western Blind Rehabilitation Center, Palo Alto, CA
—Anne Yeadon, M.A., VRT, Executive Director, Vision Aware AWARE (Associates for World Action in Rehabilitation and Education). AWARE is deeply commited to promoting rehabilitation-related services to all eye-wounded military personnel and veterans.
“I’ve had the pleasure of being a student at the Western Blind Rehab Center on four occasions…all of it a great experience. Bill’s booklet tells it as it really is and I will share with my fellow classmates at Braille here in the Desert.”
—Pete Schabarum, former San Francisco 49er
“Bill McGee has one special quality as an author. He has lived everything he writes about, to the fullest, and he conveys his experiences with clarity and human interest, whether he’s delving into his war experiences or his life as a cowboy or his coping with life’s normal, and abnormal, tribulations.”
—Murray Olderman, Hall of Fame sports writer, Award-winning cartoonist and author