Since September is Suicide Prevention Month, we wanted to share another great resource – an organization taking the discussion on military and veteran suicides to communities across the country!
Theater of War presents readings of Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes to military and civilian communities across the United States and Europe. These ancient plays timelessly and universally depict the psychological and physical wounds inflicted upon warriors by war.
By presenting these plays to military and civilian audiences, their hope is to de-stigmatize psychological injury, increase awareness of post-deployment psychological health issues, disseminate information regarding available resources, and foster greater family, community, and troop resilience. Using Sophocles’ plays to forge a common vocabulary for openly discussing the impact of war on individuals, families, and communities, these events will be aimed at generating compassion and understanding between diverse audiences.
Each reading has been followed by a town-hall style audience discussion, which has been facilitated with the help of military community members. These have been arresting, emotionally charged events, in which service members have spoken openly about their experiences in combat and at home. To date, over 40,000 service members, veterans, and their families have attended and participated in Theater of War performances and discussions.
Veterans have access to more adaptive technologies than ever before – and we can now add another app to that list!
Gus Communications Devices Inc. has just released two new apps that could change the lives of millions of people (including our veterans and military servicemembers) by helping them to perform tasks and live or work more independently. The new app, ShowMeQR, is compatible with Android and Apple devices, and can help to assist the user with understanding any task or item at home, work, school or in public.
“The concept of ShowMeQR evolved from working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over the past several years,” said Gordon Harris, CEO of Gus Communication Devices Inc. “In 2012 we received a request from the VA to consider developing a ‘task-based app’ to assist veterans suffering from cognitive disorders as a result of injuries from improvised explosive devices. Our goal was to provide these veterans with an app that would aid them in completing all daily tasks and let them live as independently as possible. The result was ShowMeQR – and in addition to veterans – we have found it to be invaluable to parents, teachers, employers, caregivers, government agencies, as well as those in the healthcare fields such as occupational therapists and vocational rehabilitation. This app is like a personal assistant – allowing the user to feel independent, capable and satisfied with the successful completion of any task,” concluded Harris.
ShowMeQR’s Scanner app is $2.99 and the Manager app is $9.99 per year. During the introductory period, the apps are being discounted to $.99 and $2.99, respectively. Visit http://www.ShowMeQR.com for more information.
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is hosting a Women Veterans Lunch and Learn September 24, 2014 in Washington, D.C. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (325) of the Senate Russell Building, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will give the opening remarks at this event, which will include a release of DAV’s special report on women veterans in transition, a 20 minute screening of the documentary film Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home, and a discussion with the film’s director, women veterans featured in the film, and a panel of behavioral health experts.
Returning from the battlefield isn’t always easy – and trying to fill in the holes, referred to as “Swiss cheese” by one veteran, can make the transition even harder.
Now there’s a program at the University of Pittsburgh that gives veteran students living and housing stipends, and enrolls them in a program called ELeVATE (Experiential Learning for Veterans in Assistive Technology and Engineering). Veteran mentors help the students through rehabilitation research in STEM fields for academic credit.
But addressing other problems – such as an inability to relate to non-veteran peers, or cognitive and physical disabilities caused by injury – requires painstaking day-to-day work.
Such work is happening at the University of Pittsburgh, where a college transition program for disabled veterans interested in STEM disciplines has earned the admiration of national student veterans’ groups…
…The lab specializes in assistive technology – devices for people with disabilities — and receives funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Rory Cooper, the lab’s director, is an Army veteran who sustained a spinal cord injury while serving.
All the participants have cognitive or physical impairments – most commonly traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The program, called ELeVATE (Experiential Learning for Veterans in Assistive Technology and Engineering) began in summer 2011, with the help of a $470,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Five or six veterans participate each year. The fourth group of participants finished the program at the end of July…