The Waco, Texas Veterans Affairs Medical Center is about to begin renovations to their Blind Rehabilitation Center (BRC). Once construction is complete, the Blind Rehabilitation Center will house 20 beds for blind veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allocated $49 million to the Waco VA campus and this $9.8 million renovation of the BRC is only one improvement planned for the Waco campus.
The BRC program is designed to aid blind veterans in helping themselves so they develop their own independence; it is 1 out of only 10 facilities in the entire United States. The BRC program caters to both blind and visually-impaired veterans. Additionally, the program serves active duty personnel stationed all over the South-Central U.S.
The veterans participating in the BRC program are trained in how to use specific equipment so as to thrive in day-to-day activities. The training can run the gamut from being trained in how to use a long cane to common activities like making their beds.
The renovations to the center are preemptive. Given the amount of injured veterans returning form the two current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of veterans requiring the services of the BRC is going to climb dramatically. The thought process, then, is to be ready for the surge as opposed to having to handle the surge at the same time as attempting to perform renovations.
The completion date for all the renovations has not been set; it is expected to be concluded by 2012. VA clinics that focus on one specific type of injury are able to give much more personalized instruction. For those veterans blinded in defense of our country, the more money given to these centers the better.