My Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor called me this afternoon and informed me that my DRO decision was positive and I am to be awarded a computer with all peripherals including Dragonspeak. It will be a dockable model to permit portability when I visit with non-ambulatory patients at the VAMC in American Lake.
I will be meeting with a gentleman who will measure me for the computer and all my needs on software. If there are any of you out there who are knowledgeable on this subject, I welcome your input. Apparently the VA is not bound by cost on this and they want to make sure I have voice-activated protocols in the event my health declines and I am unable to type normally on a keyboard. Gosh, since when did VA become so amenable to disabled Vets? I apologize for being so jaded, but my experiences are such that getting a bandaid out of them was like pulling teeth out of a live alligator.
This has been a long time in the making as some of you may be aware. I was apprised of the existence of this program ( VR&E’s Independent Living Program) by member Joe Vet back in January of 2011. I applied in March and was denied in May. I appealed their decision and was further denied in August. At that time, I decided to do what I do best- fight them with their own regulations. I filed my Notice of Disagreement and quoted every regulation and it’s meaning back to them to support my request. I called up several times just to let them know I wasn’t dead yet, too. When I called in February, Klyde informed me that it was just sitting growing dust on his supervisor’s desk. I suspect they couldn’t find one good reason not to grant it. My guess is they took one look at my 4 volume C-File and threw in the towel. Or… my request was clearly supported by my circumstances.
I will keep you posted on the outcome and what is delivered. Most importantly, this shows you can persevere and come out with more than a cordless phone or ADA approved grab bars for the shower. That’s what I was told last summer. VA has gradually tried to strangle this entitlement and push it out of sight. I hope to resurrect it again and help other Vets obtain as much if not more. This marks a notable turn around in their thinking. That or they hope I’ll just go away. Next? The new greenhouse.
My parting comment to Klyde was “We’re all in this together Klyde. Vets helping vets is what it’s all about. Kinda like pay it forward for the next Vets, huh?” He started to choke on that one, I’m sure.