Veterans, Get Your VA Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits!

Reposted from DisabledVeterans.org A book written by a veteran to help navigate the VA vocational rehabilitation programs is available.

Broadened Horizons offers FREE Independent Living Assessments including Returning to Work, Returning to School, & Self Employment /Small Business planning and coaching as a free service to help you and vocational rehabilitation maximize you and results you get from your benefits.  Contact us TODAY to schedule a conference call with you, your vocational rehabilitation counselor, and one of our independent living and small business experts who are themselves disabled, with first-hand experience navigating vocational rehabilitation programs.

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This post helps disabled veterans learn how to get and use their veterans benefits from the Dept of Veterans Affairs Chapter 31Vocational Rehabilitation program. Specifically, we think disabled veterans do not understand Vocational Rehabilitation. They do not understand what Vocational Rehabilitation is truly for. They do not understand what benefits veterans can and should expect to receive from the program.

When it comes to getting help, veterans organizations never bother to tell disabled veterans why they should use these benefits, or how to access them if they are denied.

On this site, I make a point to explain both ends of the veterans benefits agenda – what the benefits are and how to use them.

What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

Vocational Rehabilitation is far more than simple job training – but job training is usually how Vocational Rehabilitation counselors will summarize the program. Find out what Vocational Rehabilitation really is and all that you can do with it. Get the inside scoop on VA Vocational Rehabilitation here.

How to Get Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Here, we help you understand the steps you need to follow to get your Vocational Rehabilitation benefits claim started. Click here if you wish to set up your first Vocational Rehabilitation appointment.

The Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans

For some of us, the VA benefits process is clear and logical, and we get a good Vocational Rehabilitation counselor who helps us get the benefits we earned serving our great country.

Unfortunately, for the majority of disabled veterans, including me, getting our hard earned benefits out of the Dept of Veterans Affairs is a far more complicated process than anything we faced in service. In fact, it is more like pulling teeth out of an angry bull. Better get ready.

The Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans I wrote helps disabled veterans, lawyers, family members and others get armed with the facts. It educates veterans about the Vocational Rehabilitation program and how to maximize their benefits. Disabled veterans concerned about getting their benefits, and wanting to understand how the VA works, should check out our guide.

Top 6 Small Business Development Books +20 more Recommended Reading

I have personally read all of the books in the top 6, and a few from the top 20.  Traction has become a sort of Bible to myself and many other entrepreneurs I know.  Good to Great and Great by Choice are both VERY worthwhile reads. -Mark Felling

Top 6 Recommended Books by EOS – Entrepreneurial Operating System

Great by Choice

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Links to FREE MIT & other famous University courses online

As they say only thing holding you back is yourself.  Well this could never be more true. As an employer, it is more about your knowledge and skills vs. a piece of paper. Now with DouLingo launched you can learn a language for free.  It uses the massive anonymous community sourcing the developers learned when they created CAPTCHA.

I registerud for one of the first University programs completely online in 2000 offered through Space.edu towards a Masters in Space Studies physically located at UND Aerospace in Grand Forks North Dakota.  The program was first created undergrads from NASA but became a model for many other online university programs.  By during 2002 & 2003 I took five courses towards a Masters in Business Administration from Regis University in Denver, Colorado.  It worked out great because when I had my plane crash and broke my neck in 2003 I was able to resume my coursework while I was still in rehab and keep my mind active. I completed my MBA in 2005 at the rest is history.  For years I have considered or lusted over the idea of going back to get my doctorate, listened to free lectures from top professors around the world made available for free from The Learning Company http://www.thegreatcourses.com/.  I especially enjoyed the 30 lecture series on Ancient Rome.

So if you are a Life-long Learner these links should be a valuable resource.  If you found yourself recently disabled, you will hear all kinds of things from many that you brush off as them saying it is easy for them to say if they were only in your shoes.  But now I am telling you, I am in your shoes.  And the only thing holding me back is yourself. No coddling here, only tough love.  Get off your ass and start learning!  You started a new life, your old identity both your self identity – the way you perceive yourself and the way others perceived you, well that “virtual” self has not since passed away.  The grieving process you are going through is no different than if you lost the closest loved one you have ever known. HOWEVER look at this as an opportunity to fashion a new life in a new way with no restrictions.  A big part of that is pursuing your passions, training your mind to do whatever it is you do best and are PASSIONATE about.  In terms of the silly things like communications, computer access, environmental controls, even blowing off some steam through accessible video gaming, or traveling the world… leave those things up to us.  We  at Broadened Horizons @Broadened are passionate about empowering you through independence to create POSSIBILITIES…  For you to do whatever it is you do best, but from there it is up to you!  Tools are just that, tools until you employ them to do something.

Take college and university courses online completely free

October 22, 2013 | by Anonymous

photo credit: School Of Open Workshop WMDE / Elly Köpf / CC BY-SA

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In recent years massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become a trend in online education. The term was coined in 2008 by David Cormier, manager of web communications and innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island. The first MOOC was created the previous year, at Utah State University.

MOOCs are designed like college courses but are available to anyone anywhere in the world, at no cost. You do not receive a college credit, but you will receive a certificate of completion when you complete all coursework. The courses span dozens of subjects and are taught by some of the leaders in those fields. The courses are designed to be interesting, fun and rigorous; the courses are not just in science, and not just in English.

Coursera is perhaps the most well-known of the online education facilitators. Their latest numbers indicate that they have 17,000,000 enrollments from students representing 190 countries. There are 240,000
students in their most popular class. Coursera has over 400 courses in more than 20 categories, created by 85 Universities from 16 countries. Their courses are available in 12 different languages.

EdX is another non-profit course site created by founding partners Harvard and MIT and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EdX offers MOOCs and interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI). It has partnerships with tertiary institutions in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, China and Korea.

MIT has their own open courseware, where most of the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT’s subjects are available on the Web, free of charge. They have more than 2,000 courses available. Stanford also has their own online and open courses. These are great options if you prefer to work at your own pace, as compared to structured classes like those offered at Coursera and EdX.

European institutions are also getting in on the act. Germany-based Iversity offers courses in both English and German and the first courses went online in October this year. Future Learn is a subsidiary of the British Open University and is currently in its beta stage. It already has partnerships with universities across Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The courses will begin this coming November.

For those looking to learn a language Duolingo offers completely free language education. If you’re interested in learning a valuable skill CodeAcademy teaches programming and coding in online, free and interactive lessons.

Other sites, like Open Culture, are not affiliated with tertiary institutions. On Open Culture, the editor finds the free courses and audio books on the web and hosts them on the site. The courses are audio & video and can be downloaded straight to a computer or mp3 player.

This is by no means a complete list of all site and institutions that offer free online courses. http://www.mooc-list.com/ has many more listed.

– See more at: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/take-college-and-university-courses-online-completely-free#sthash.lSxUmZfr.dpuf

Video Games being used as Intergenerational Tool

Here at Broadened Horizons we were initially surprised 4 years ago that the far majority of our adaptive game controllers are sold to adults, and not only 20-year-olds but many in their 40s, 50s, and 60s!  But it makes sense, when your body physically limits you from going out and playing baseball or football with your children or grandchildren, video games are the equalizing factor that open up a detailed discussion on football strategy between father and son or for a friendly game of baseball.  Amongst disabled children, Broadened Horizons adaptive game controllers “equalize playing field” quite literally amongst siblings, friends, and classmates.  It is great to see others “getting it”!

 

(Child playing with grandparent.)

Video games have had a bad reputtion with the mainstream media as something of a waste of time or something that does not provide anything positive for the player. This description of video games is almost the same thing people were saying about television when it was first introduced to the world. No one really knew what to make of the television because it was so new and no one would even think about the potential it could have. Parents were especially weary of the effects television would have on their children, they believed it was extremely harmful for their children to be watching television. That is, until “Sesame Street” was introduced to the world.

Sesame Street showed the potential of television as a teaching medium for children and adults alike. They knew the interactive element of television would be beneficial for children to learn in a new and exciting way. That is what video games are doing right now. With parents worrying about the effects of video games on their children, researchers are testing the effects of intergenerational gameplay, which is when adults play video games with children. In 2009, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the University of Southern California found that kids were more engaged in learning more about technology as they played along. This shows active engagement for both the adult and the child showing that interactive media is benefical for both generations.

In order for intergenrationalgameplay to be effective, the games need to be designed for learning purposes, like Sesame Street was designed for learning purposes. It is not only effective for children to play with adults, when children were playing games with their grandparents, there was more engagement for both generations as well.

(Original Article: Slate.Com and Games4Rehab)

Disability themed Greeting Cards from Fishbowl Cards

Check out Fishbowl Cards for unique, inspirational, disability-themed greeting cards.  Special cards for families of veterans are also available.

Fishbowl Cards

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