Come Join Blinded Veterans of the Heartland at our 2018 Annual Convention in Branson in April

Come meet and join your fellow Blinded Veterans of the Heartland in Branson from April 19th to the 22nd. We cordially invite any Veterans with visual impairments; your family and friends; and any VA staff to our annual convention. The Heartland Regional Group is the BVA’s only affiliate serving our fellow Veterans throughout Kansas, Missouri, and southern Illinois.

Your participation allows you to engage with other Veterans, caregivers and family members, supporting organizations, and VA service providers and staff. The wide range of conversations and programs will increase your knowledge about the BVA and VA services, upcoming events for blinded Veterans in the region, assistive and accessible technologies, and so much more. All we do ask attendees to our annual convention to being willing to share their thoughts and ideas to continue our efforts to build a stronger community supporting all blinded Veterans,

Here are the details for the 2018 annual convention of the Heartland Regional group of the Blinded Veterans Association:


  • Westgate Branson Woods Resort
  • 2201 Roark Valley Road
  • Branson MO 65616


  • Arrival on April 19th
    • Arrive into Branson and check in on Thursday, April 19

    • Depart Branson on Sunday, April 22
    • Tentative schedule may be located below

    If you are interested in attending, below you will find how to secure your lodging today. For those requiring transportation assistance, please contact Paul Mimms at (816) 266-1773. We are currently trying to establish transportation assistance for individuals interested in linking up in Topeka, Leavenworth, Kansas City, and St. Louis.

    The Westgate is pleased to host the Heartland Regional Group, Blinded Veterans Association, at the Westgate Branson Woods Resort. We have used this location for the last two years with positive feedback from all participants. We do request you check in by April 19th and depart on April 22, but understand if you need to leave on Saturday the 21st. Additionally, the room reservation block price of $69 per night is extended for three days before and/or after the recommended check in and out dates.

    Reservations booked under the room block for the Heartland Regional Group of the Blinded Veterans Association requires a minimum deposit equal to one (1) night’s room & tax to be charged on a major credit card. Reservations must be received by
    the Resort no later than March 19, 2018. Our group code is:

    • 14-576

    A refundable security deposit equal to a fifty dollar ($50) credit card hold or two-hundred dollars ($200) cash deposit
    is required at check-in for each Reservation to cover any incidentals. This amount is fully refundable upon
    check-out if no incidentals are charged and there is no room damage.

    Below is the tentative schedule for our 2018 annual convention:

    • Arrival on Thursday, April 19th
    • Evening social and ice breaker
  • Meetings on Friday, April 20
    • Morning features our welcome address and opening ceremonies
    • Remainder of the day consists of educational sessions, presentations by regional group members and supporting organizations, and business meetings establishing goals for the regional group
  • Meetings for Saturday, April 21
  • Morning consists of business meetings and election of officers for 2018 to 2020
  • Afternoon consists of our closing banquet
  • Evening will be open for individual to depart early or enjoy a night of activities and attractions being planned for the group
  • Departure on Sunday, April 22
  • wondering how to remain up to date on the actions of all Blinded Veterans across the Heartland? Follow us through the below methods:

    How to acquire the VA’s new ID card is simple through

    In 2015, President Obama signed, Public Law No: 114-31,, the Veterans Identification Card Act, into law. After two years of development, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced on November 29 eligibility requirements and methods to obtain the printed Veterans ID card.

    The Veterans ID card replaces the DD-214 when requested to show proof of service. “The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” Dr. Shulkin remarked when describing the ID card. This is true for the majority of Veterans who honorably served but who do not possess the Department of Defense military retiree card. An alternative to the Veterans ID card is to check whether your state’s driver’s license or state ID identifies one’s Veterans status.

    If you wish to apply for the Veterans ID card, head to Once there, locate the link, “apply for the printed Veterans ID card.”

    From here you will be redirected to the sign in page for The next page provides additional information about the Veterans ID card, like alternative ID cards to show proof of service. These alternative cards include the Veterans Health ID card, any ID card from the Department of Defense, and Veteran status indicators on state-based ID cards. Below this is the option to proceed with applying for the Veterans ID card. Before proceeding, make sure you have another ID card available with a picture of your head from the shoulders up.

    The next several pages will gather basic information about you, like your name, address, military service, and similar demographical information. After inputing your information, you will then scan and upload a photo ID of yourself. Upon submission, VA indicates a 60 day turn around. TO check on your status, return to and click on the same link to apply for the Veterans ID card.

    As a screen reader user, the overall process is fairly easy and straight forward. provides an easier way to access VA services and benefits and the website. The main issues encountered stems from the password requirements for DS Logon and the Next button in the application required a mouse click. Otherwise, the application process is fully accessible if you know how to use your screen reader and internet browser.