Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

RFB&D Supports Servicemembers and Their Families: RFB&D Signs Agreement with Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Provide Audiobooks and Services

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

RFB&D Supports Servicemembers and Their Families: RFB&D Signs Agreement with Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Provide Audiobooks and Services

Article excerpt

Through its Metropolitan Washington, DC unit, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic[R] (RFB&D[R]) has signed an agreement to provide military servicemembers and their families stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) access to its audio library of more than 46,000 educational titles, playback devices or software, and training. Through this agreement, WRAMC now has an all-inclusive program to aid all members of the military family who have learning disabilities, visual impairment, or other physical disabilities that prevent them from reading standard print effectively. RFB&D's program serves families' needs related to reading and education as well as job skill development to enhance employment opportunities.

"This is a momentous and exciting step for RFB&D," said president and CEO of RFB&D, John Kelly. "Sixty years ago, our organization was founded to help veterans who were blinded during World War II pursue their education via the GI Bill of Rights. We continue to serve veterans today and look at this initiative as a clear step toward serving our active-duty servicemembers who need us. We hope to replicate this type of arrangement at other sites, allowing us to expand our service to military members and their families throughout the United States."

RFB&D Member Jason Murray's Story

One veteran who is finding the resources beneficial is Cpl. Jason Murray, a Marine who lost his vision while serving in Iraq. "My friends say I got the sense blown into me in Iraq," jokes Murray, describing the March 2004 explosion in Iraq that led to the loss of his right eye and a shattered left eye. Not only was he blinded, but doctors doubted Murray would ever again be a "normal walking, talking person."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"That, my friend, is what I call a bad day at the office," chuckles Murray, ever determined to keep his sense of humor. That same determination helped to lift the now 25-year-old Murray from the severe depression he experienced after the explosion. It was "like a bad dream that wouldn't go away," he recalls.

Murray's perspective changed when he met another veteran who had lost his vision in Vietnam at age 19 but who had built a successful career traveling the country and helping other soldiers during their rehabilitation process. …

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