BVA Bylaw Amendment Temporarily Reduces Life Membership Dues

posted Sep 7, 2016, 12:22 PM by Ken Perry   [ updated Sep 7, 2016, 12:27 PM ]

For Immediate Release 

September 1, 2016 

Contact:    Stuart Nelson




BVA Bylaw Amendment Temporarily Reduces Life Membership Dues


Delegates appointed by their respective regional groups to the 71st National Convention of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) voted August 26 overwhelmingly in favor of adopting a bylaw amendment offering life membership to all blinded veterans at a discounted rate of $20.

The amendment will be effective from September 1, 2016 through and including August 1, 2017.

First submitted by the Association’s Membership Committee to its Bylaws and Resolutions Committee, which met August 24 at the convention site in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the amendment was recommended for passage and submitted to the full convention delegation for consideration two days later in its Closing Business Session.

Included in the amendment is the temporary suspension of annual membership and annual dues during that same time period. Veterans who are current Paying to Life Members or Paying to Associate Life Members may also participate in the dues initiative with the one-time payment in full of $20.

Bylaws prior to the amendment stipulated that annual dues were $15 per year and Life Membership dues were determined by age categories. Within these categories the youngest age group was paying $100 and the oldest $50 for a life membership.

“Our organization needs to think outside the box and figure out a way to provide an immediate incentive to make it easier to get blind veterans to join as Life or Associate Life Members,” the proposed bylaw change justification stated. “It is evident more now than ever that BVA needs to come up with some real incentives for blind veterans to join BVA.”

Justification for submission of the amendment also included a commitment to disseminate information about the reduced membership dues in regional group newsletters, communications originating with Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinators, the Association’s bimonthly BVA Bulletin, and other relevant media.

“It is our hope that this bylaw amendment will inspire the some 48,000 blind veterans throughout the VA Health Care System to immediately join BVA.”

As part of the application process, the promotional membership application form sent to BVA must be accompanied by the following items on official Department of Veterans Affairs letterhead or through Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST)/Veterans Health Administration examination notes:

·       Branch of Service

·       Beginning and Ending Dates of Services

·       Name of VIST  Coordinator 

·       Confirmation of meeting standards of blindness as follows—

o       ICD-9-CM Diagnosis Code 369.4 legal blindness, or

o       Visual acuity of 20/200 or worse in the better eye with corrective lenses, or

o       Visual field restriction to 20 degrees diameter or less in the better eye.

For more information about the bylaw amendment or BVA membership, please contact Membership Coordinator Cecilia Montenegro at the organization’s National Headquarters, 202-371-8880, Ext. 315, or

For membership applications please click link below


71st National Convention. Notes by Mike Black

posted Aug 28, 2016, 3:29 PM by Ken Perry

71st National Convention Report

August 23rd – 26th

Milwaukee, WI

Viper Ride – On August 21st I participated in the first annual Viper Ride. Viper is an acronym for Visually Impaired Veterans Experiencing the Road. It was the idea of John Carter the President of the Wisconsin BVA. Veterans (tailgunners) were paired up with a sighted driver (pilot) and a motorcycle for an 110-mile ride with a police escort to block every intersection. At the half way point (East Troy, WI) we arrived at a celebratory welcome with 2 ladder firetrucks extended with a huge American flag draped and surrounded by applause. We were served a delicious lunch by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts while being entertained by live country music. At the conclusion of the ride, we returned to the Milwaukee VA grounds and were presented with a gift bag.

I attended educational/presentation sessions covering Windows 10, Medical Marijuana, Eye Research, Dr. David J. Schulkins (Under Secretary for Health for the US Dept. of Veteran Affairs).

During the Opening Session, we heard speeches from several representatives of local, state and federal government, including Robert McDonald the National Director of the VA.

Opening Business Meeting

  • Report from the Rules Committee

  • Report from the Credentials Committee

  • Roll Call

  • Approval of the 70th Annual Convention Minutes

  • CFO Report by Cathy Ruis – Still experiencing a 1.2  million deficit

  • Approval of financial report

  • Necrology report by Stuart Nelson, 156 this year.

  • Bylaws and Resolutions submission

  • Nominations for National Officers

  1. President – Dale Stamper

  2. VP – Joe Parker

  3. Secretary – Paul Mimms

  4. Treasurer – Joe McNeil

  • Close of the opening business meeting.

Bylaws and Resolutions


  1. Balanced budget, failed, received 20.3% in favor of.

  2. Board to select convention locale.  Passed.

  3. Technical correction to amend 2/3 to 2/3 rather than 2/3 vs majority. Passed.

  4. Technical correction requiring “good standing” for directors paying annually. Passed.

  5. Reduction of life membership fees to $20 for one year and automatically expires. Passed.


  1. 16 previously approved resolutions were carried as a block.

  2. A resolution was passed to recommend that TSA address the impediment that exists between the curb and the ticket counter. This is addressed to the airport, not the airlines. Passed.

  3. ROES – remote order entry system. This is software to streamline orders that are generally for items of $3500 or less.  This is for prosthetics orders. Passed.

  4. U.N. Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works to visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities. This allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons. This resolution is to urge the U.S. Senate to adopt. Passed.

  5. Automobile grant increase should recur every ten years rather than one time because items wear out over time. Passed

  6. Increase convention registration fees from $100 to $120 due to increased cost of putting on the convention. Passed.

No unfinished business.

New business – A motion was made to name Lindsey Ruis as the convention sweetheart for her assistance at the convention.  Passed.

Convention Report – Christina Hitchcock

  • 123 members registered

  • 59 + 2 guests

  • 10 BVA personnel

  • 58 companies

  • 14 new exhibitors

  • 3 bids have been received so far for next year’s convention: Denver, Phoenix, and Albuquerque. There are more possibilities to come through negotiations.

Election of Officers


  • President: Dale Stamper

  • VP: Joe Parker

  • Secretary: Paul Mimms

  • Treasurer: Joe McNeil

All offices uncontested and re-elected.

Discharge of committees

Awards banquet held on Friday evening.

I would like to thank our membership for allowing me this opportunity to represent the Kentuckiana Regional Group of Blinded Veterans. It was an honor that I don’t take lightly.

Don't forget to sign up for our email list

posted Jul 11, 2016, 8:44 PM by Kathy Perry

Contact with your email and we will get you added to our email list. No more paper 
newsletters to toss out.

Final report of the "Commission on Care'

posted Jul 11, 2016, 8:25 PM by Kathy Perry

The pdf version  of this can be found on the following website

The accessible version has been uploaded  with this post.

July Monthly Newsletter Kentuckiana Regional Group of the BVA

posted Jul 11, 2016, 8:21 PM by Kathy Perry


It is that time again. Our July meeting is coming up and we have some new executive members. Come on out and meet them and help us plan the rest of the year. We will be discussing how our chapter plans to vote in the upcoming convention. If you want your voice heard there we need to hear it here. Be there on July 15th and let us know what is important to you. After the meeting, we will be having a friendly meet and greet as well as a demonstration of the new Prototype tactile display. You will be able to see this before anyone else does.

We have had some exciting changes going on over the last little bit. We now have an active Facebook page. Take a moment and sign up there. You can find us in a number of ways. You can search the name 'Kentuckiana BVA' in the Facebook search bar. You can type out the address in your web browser . And finally, if you are getting this in your email you may be able to just click the link and it will take you to the correct page. Remember if you are having problems finding us you can always contact one of the officers and ask for help.

We are still getting our email list up and running. If you know any other members of the KRBVA that have email, encourage them to let us know so we can get them on the list.

How to get to the meeting:

This Month’s meeting is on July 15th at the American Printing House for the Blind from 11:00 AM to 1PM, at 1839 Frankfurt Ave. If you wish to brown bag a lunch or bring goodies for others feel free food will not be provided.

Parking is a snap at this month's location. As you pull into American Printing House for the Blind there are some parking spots along the left side of the driveway, if they are taken just keep driving there is a full parking lot further along.

Are you taking the bus? That is simple too. There are 2 bus's that go to the American Printing House for the Blind. Number 15 and Number 31. Both of them stop just in front. Tarc3 will take you right to the walkway to the door.

Don't forget you can get a low-cost rider from Uber or Lyft and the more expensive taxi cab.

Agenda for July 2016

1) Welcome
2) Invocation
3) Pledge of Allegiance
4) Roll call
5) Call to order
6) Approval of agenda
7) Approval of the last meeting's minutes
8) Treasurer report
9) Convention Vote Planning
10) Future meetings planning
11) Good of the order
12) Benediction
13) Business close
14) Demonstration of a new Prototype Tactile display
15) Meet and greet

There will be no August meeting as that is the month of the National Convention. We will resume with our September meeting. The following dates are valid for the rest of the year.

September 23
October 21
November 18
December 16

Meeting Dates for 2016 Are As Follows

posted Jun 30, 2016, 4:06 PM by Ken Perry   [ updated Jun 30, 2016, 4:09 PM ]

Please note the following dates and times for the KRBVA Louisville Chapter Monthly meetings. All are 
welcome. Please invite any and all blinded veterans to attend. Spouses/Drivers are welcome to attend, 
they may sit in the meeting or have a coffee and a snack at the cafeteria across the hall.

Location:  1839 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
Public Parking as you enter the lot, there are disability spots there.
City Bus #15 and #31  Ask for the State st. and Frankfort st. stop.
Enter build at the front door.

July 15, 2016
September 23, 2016
October 21, 2016
November 18, 2016
December 16, 2016

2016 Annual Meeting Minutes

posted Jun 21, 2016, 12:17 PM by Mike Black

Click on the link below to view the minutes.

June 13th, 2015 Annual Meeting Minutes

posted Jun 17, 2015, 6:30 PM by Mike Black

Includes comments by Peter Davis, Director, District 3 of the BVA.
Also includes officer election results.

Click the file below to view the minutes.

May Newsletter

posted Jun 12, 2015, 3:13 PM by Mike Black

Click the file name below to view the newsletter.

March Executive Board Member Meeting

posted Mar 22, 2015, 9:24 AM by Mike Black

Please see attachment below for the March Meeting of the Executive Boardl.

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