San Diego Entrepreneur Helps Fellow Veterans Through New Initiative at The Hadley School for the Blind

Urban Miyares, president of the San Diego-based Disabled Businesspersons Association, has been named outreach specialist for a new Blinded Veterans Initiative at The Hadley School for the Blind. Miyares is a blinded and multi-disabled veteran who brings more than 40 years experience as an entrepreneur to his new role.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are an estimated 158,300 legally blind veterans and 700,000 veterans with low vision. In addition, approximately 7,000 veterans become newly blind or visually impaired each year from non-combat related causes. Compounding the problem is that approximately 70 percent of working age Americans who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed or underemployed.

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Why we sail

“In this picture, Doug just finished rigging the sail boat with a joystick system so that I could steer the boat and trim the sails independently. What a sense of freedom and independence! We are a great team. He calmly gives me instruction and I execute. It’s a great sport for me, since I cannot speak (and it’s not necessary)! The only time I was slightly nervous was when we returned, under full sail, within feet of the famous race boat Stars & Stripes and pulled up to the pier with a perfect “hockey stop!” Good times.”
– Ellen

“It is always a humbling, inspirational and tremendously fun experience to sail with Ellen. Using the Power Assist system that we set up on the Martin 16, she has total control, steering the boat and trimming the sails.”
– Doug

Editor’s Note: Ellen is a veteran who served as a nurse while on active duty, and now has ALS — aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. This was Ellen’s second time at the VA National Summer Sports Clinic for recently injured veterans, and sailing with Challenged America.

Day 2: Challenged America and the 2011 Veterans National Summer Sports Clinic Team Apollo vs Team Olympus

You only have to look at the smiles to understand why we volunteer

Day 1: Challenged America and the 2011 Veterans National Summer Sports Clinic Team Poseidon vs Team Mercury

The NVSSC is back in San Diego for the fourth time.  Today, at the Challenged America sailing venue, Team Poseidon and Team Mercury took to the water sailing on Stars and Stripes USA11 and the Martin 16s of Challenged America