Rehabilitation Training for Blind and Visually Impaired Wounded Warriors

The color guard at the NFB National ConventionDo you know a blind or visually impaired wounded warrior or veteran?  Do you agree that after defending freedom around the world our wounded warriors are entitled to the best blindness rehabilitation training? Do you believe that our wounded warriors and veterans are entitled to hope and a bright future?   The Department of Defense is now offering another choice for blindness rehabilitation.

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is our nation's oldest and largest organization of blind people.  The NFB has many years of experience training and rehabilitating blind and visually impaired adults. 

Operation Freedom Bell
Changing what it means to be blind

Operation Freedom Bell provides rehabilitation services in an NFB training center. The rehabilitation training is a 6-9 month residential program.  Blind or  visually impaired wounded warriors participate in intensive one-on-one and group training to learn blindness skills needed for independence.

Wounded warriors and blinded veterans will participate in core curriculum and confidence-building events. The core curriculum includes participating in:

  • Cane Travel'Learning to use a long white cane to travel indoors, outdoors, in familiar as well as unfamiliar areas, without inconvenience to oneself or others.
  • Braille'Learning to read and write using a system developed for blind and visually impaired people.
  • Home management'Learning to cook, clean, manage money, and other skills for dealing effectively with activities of daily living.
  • Computer Skills'Learning to regain independence with mainstream computer technology and software.
  • Industrial Arts'Learning independence and confidence using power tools, doing home maintenance, and learning skills for the workforce.
  • Seminar'Participating with blind mentors who share strategies and inspiration for adapting to life successfully; and
  • Confidence Builders'Achieving high expectations by excelling in activities previously thought to be impossible such as rock climbing, rafting, skiing, and horseback riding, and attending sporting events.

In addition to the comprehensive 6-9 month training, the program provides a variety of support services, including:

  • In-home evaluations to determine services that are needed
  • Support services for family members
  • Home teaching services (independent travel with a long white cane, Braille, food preparation and organizational skills)
  • Information and referral services
  • Veteran-specific support groups

Operation Freedom Bell
Each time the bell sounds, one of us has gained new ground

Activities of daily living and recreation are important, but some wounded warriors and veterans also need to return to work in order to provide an income for their families. Operation Freedom Bell provides work-readiness training to get wounded warriors ready for re-entry into the workforce. Examples of jobs currently held by program graduates include:

  • Computer Forensic Specialist
  • Machine Operator
  • School teacher
  • Mechanic
  • Cafeteria Manager
  • University Professor
  • Exercise Room Manager
  • Small Business Owner
  • Dispatcher
  • Gun Safety Instructor
  • Cabinet Builder
  • Lawyer

Wherever your interests and talents lie, there is a job for you.

Operation Freedom Bell
A Nationwide Program for Blindness Rehabilitation

For more information, contact:

Blind Leaders Today
Bountiful, UT
Ron Gardner
E-mail: [email protected]

Colorado Center for the Blind
Littleton, CO  
303-778-1130, toll-free: 800-401-4632
Julie Deden
E-mail: [email protected]

Louisiana Center for the Blind
Ruston, LA
318-251-2891, toll-free: 800-234-4166
Pam Allen
E-mail: [email protected]

Blindness: Learning in New Dimensions, Inc. (BLIND, Inc.)
Minneapolis, MN
612-872-0100, toll-free: 800-597-9558
Dan Wenzel
E-mail: [email protected]

National Association of Blind Veterans
Dwight D. Sayer, President
Winter Garden, FL
E-mail: [email protected]

Operation Freedom Bell
The Choice is Yours

The United States of America has the bravest and best trained fighting force in the world. It is only appropriate that these brave men and women who need blindness rehabilitation have the choice to receive the best blindness training.

The Department of Defense is researching how best to make new blindness rehabilitation training available to our blind wounded warriors.

Operation Freedom Bell Rehabilitation Training is provided at NFB rehabilitation centers and is based on the collective skills, knowledge and attitudes of successful blind men and women.  Established and facilitated by blind people, NFB rehabilitation training results in increased independence, employment and satisfaction with life for thousands of Americans who have lost vision.

Wounded warriors and veterans learn to renew their belief in their abilities to pursue the American dream.  Operation Freedom Bell Rehabilitation Training helps blind and visually impaired wounded warriors and veterans create a future bright with hope and opportunity.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Army RDECOM Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, MA under Contract No. W911QY-09-C0116