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40 Reviews
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January 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I have had extensive experience with the BVA not only in projects but observing first hand their work to support Veterans. I believe your rating is completely inaccurate and does not address the fine work the BVA is doing. This is a small organization of dedicated professionals who works hard for veterans. I have seen first hand how they were able to get funding for veteran's research and other benefits as well as raise awareness of the vision problems encountered by active duty and veterans that was being neglected. They are the driving force for DoD establishing a Vision Center of Excellence at Water Reed. I suggest before you do such severe damage to the reputation of fine organizations such as this by looking at statistics you compile that are not connected to actual performance you exercise due diligence.

I have no direct connection with this organization and have never worked for them, but I do know first hand the fine work they do.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

December 14, 2012

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December 14, 2012

I am a longtime donor to veteran's charities for many years and am a Vietnam Vet. I am deeply troubled by the Charity Navigator's profile on BVA. I will not be donating any longer to BVA unless and until this charity conducts it's business in a more positive manner than is laid out in it's scores. BVA's comparisons to 5-10 of the leading charities in this consumer watch organization, are dismal to say the least.

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Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

October 13, 2012

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October 13, 2012

I believe the comments about the Executive Directors position given in a previous review were right on. I am listing here a copy of the application, please read the bylaws as listed by the BVA in the first paragraph! The applicant had to be a member at the time he/she submitted an application, the application submitted by the current holder of this position was not a member at the time of the closing date, 2/29/2012. His application should not have been considered at that time as there were several other applications that did meet the qualifications . Applications/resumes directed to the attention of the Executive Director are due at BVA National Headquarters no later than February 29, 2012. The successful applicant must be based in Washington, DC. BVA will assist with relocation expenses. The position also requires travel as a BVA representative to other conventions, meetings of other Veterans Service Organizations, and to events of other organizations of and for the blind. Upon receipt of the resume at BVA, an employment application, a request for DD214, and other information will be mailed to the applicant.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

October 10, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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October 10, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

After reading comments posted, I feel compelled to comment that the individual posting the negative comment about the Executive Director position knows little or nothing about the BVA HR procedures and or policies. It is important to know that the BVA National Board of Directors made a genuine effort to attract as many qualified applicants for the position of Executive Director as possible. Contrary to the posted negative comments BVA announced the position in a vast array of methods and mediums to insure reading the greatest number of potential applicants; the position was announced; mailed to all members, posted on the BVA website, email to all members (for whom we have valid email addresses), distributed via list serves ( BVA and both VA Visual Impairment Services Team and Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Services list serves) and in the BVA News Letter a.k.a. the “BVA Bulletin.” Over Ten applicants submitted requested applications and were carefully reviewed by a Search Committee and three individuals were determined to meet basic qualification and scheduled for interviews. The notion that an applicant needed to be a "Member" is incorrect. The Executive Director does need to be a blinded veteran and Member but there is no requirement in the By-laws he/she is required to be a Member at the time of submitting the application. The individual who ultimately was selected had been an Annual Member in the past but let the membership lapse. Subsequent to submitting the Application and prior to his interview, he did indeed join a as a Life Members. BVA has functioned for nearly sixty-eight (68) years adhering to the highest integrity pertaining to hiring practices. The organization has earned respect and credibility with the Congress of the United States and the Executive Branch of Government. The National Board of Directors and Staff would never do anything to jeopardize that reputation. Clearly, the individual who posted the negative comments did not have all the facts and lacked a true understanding of the organization and the integrity of its National Board of Directors and Headquarters staff.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 6, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 6, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

BVA has had, and continues to make a major impact on my life. As millions of blinded Americans stay at home and out of the way of the sighted community, the BVA encourages and promotes independence and awareness of those blinded in military service. The organization has deep roots to the post-WWII renaissance and the GI Bill to send returning veterans to college. The national advocacy is amazing and can be felt at the lowest levels in my own community out west in Tucson. A good example: flip a $20 bill over and look at the large, high contrast "20" there. BVA is the only organization I know of who was smart enough to understand that the current leadership running it will have a difficult time handing it over the the youngest generation when they can no longer get out of their houses, due to age and poor health. In that same breath, the current generation doesn't want to merely evolve. So, the BVA created a separate track for the young blinded veterans to assimilate and associate, learn the traditions of the organization, and do things that are relevant to this generation's needs, while respecting the older generation's work. BVA is definitely an extended family that has been there whenever I've needed them, and I've been able to contribute to those who are very new to their injuries.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 6, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 6, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I am a gulf war and OIF/OEF vet. The Blinded Veterans Associations, BVA . as done more for me that all the others combined.. WWP, VA ect.. I cant say enough about them GREAT. they have been a main source of info , support , training, ect. the OPS group the BVA set up is a huge help, interaction with fellow blind vets is best. what can i say... Thank you BVA. your the best.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 5, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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June 5, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

Losing ones' vision ranks as one of the hardest disabilities to overcome. Reasons for this includes isolation due to ones ability to independently travel, difficulties finding peers coping with similar issues, and a multitude of other issues.

Now imagine your are a twenty something year
old Soldier with a wife and family back at home. Your day to day activities while deployed involves conducting patrols and other combat operations in Iraq. Additionally, you possess a general idea and some personal and professional goals for you and your family for when you return. Now imagine that you just sustained an injury that renders you visually impaired. Who can you turn to for peer support... Where can you turn to for help...

Well This is a story that I and others in the Blinded Veterans Association were ffaced with and lived through. In my particular story, I continued to serve in the Army for seven years following my injury. While this alone may be an awesome accomplishment, those seven years were very difficult, as I would not be introduced to the Blinded Veterans Association until my final year in. For those six other years, my wife and I felt very isolated, as we did not have anyone to turn to that would understand many of the issues visual impairments present. I struggled with depression and anger, as I tried my hardest to live life as I intended to prior to my injury. Many kind hearted people expressed their sympathies, but what we really needed was a peer support group living with similar issues.

My adventures with the Blinded Veterans Association started in 2011, when my wife and I attended their national convention. For the first time, my wife and I were surrounded by other visually impaired Service Members, Veterans, and their families. We learned for the first time that we were not alone in our daily struggles, and even how to overcome many of them.

Since attending the convention, I participate with a faction of the BVA known as Operation Peer Support. This group comprises of Service Members and Veterans who sustained a visual impairment as the result of actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. I also assist other visually impaired Veterans in my community through the local regional group. Additionally, I recently received the opportunity to travel with the BVA to meet with visually impaired Veterans from the UK, through Project Gemini.

My family and I cannot express our gratitude towards the BVA enough for showing us that hope is out there. The BVA made my transition process from the Army to the civilian world very easy, along with assisting with creating my new set of personal and professional goals.For the first time in a long time, my family and I are comfortable with who we are and what we desire to become.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 2, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 2, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

The Blinded Veterans Administration have done so much for so many and I'm so thankful and honored to be part of this great organized family and support group.I have been places and done things with the BVA / Operation Peer Support group that has diffidently changed my life.This great Organization and family has helped me and so many other blinded vets to see there are no limits in the things I can do.So I give my up most love and support to my fellow blind veterans and the support team, of the US and the UK (Project Gemini).

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 1, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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June 1, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

The Blinded Veterans Association has been my "go-to" organization for education, resources, and opportunities. They have helped me with both my military and VA claims. The BVA has provided me several opportunities to be an advocate for veterans' issues and a mentor for other veterans. Before I joined the BVA I was unsure about how my vision loss would impact the rest of my life. I was depressed about the loss of my job. BVA has shown me a multitude of opportunities and has restored my faith in myself. I am proud to be associated with the BVA and recommend it to other veterans I meet who have vision loss.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had the opportunity to testify before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs regarding the seamless transition from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. On several occasions I have been able to sit down with Senators and Representatives to promote veterans' issues. The BVA has helped with my case with the Army and the VA and has helped me get my rightful benefits.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to meet as an organization more often, but that is difficult to do on a national level.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

I was introduced to the BVA while I was a patient at the Hines Blind Rehab Center.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I have found new confidence, interests, and activities that I can pursue to keep my life full and meaningful. I have found a purpose by acting as a mentor to new members. I have had the opportunity to be an advocate for other blinded veterans.

April 8, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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April 8, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I am a female veteran who served honorably from 1974-77. In 1990 I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. Over the years, my vision has worsened and I have been declared legally blind. Even though we have a wonderful VA Hospital where I live, I didn’t understand that I could utilize their services. I didn’t know that I could submit claim(s) for service connection. Through a friend who works there, I found out that I could use the VA’s low vision clinic. I called and met with the staff. While talking to their social worker, I found out about the BVA. Since then, I have contacted the BVA office a number of times and have come away Very pleased. My calls & emails have always been returned promptly and respectfully. It is obvious that the staff cares and is willing to help in any way. I have no doubt that I will stay in touch with this organization who do so much for those of us who didn’t know we had a voice.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

With advice from the BVA, I feel more confident that I will win my claim for service connection to my vision loss.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The hours of operation perhaps. I have a day job and sometimes the 2 hr difference is hard to fit in. In defense of the office though, my calls have always been returned promptly the following day.

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