VA Accessibility in the Spotlight on Capitol Hill

Ensuring equal access to VA facilities and services for disabled veterans was the focus of a recent House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC) hearing. While Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) did not testify, the organization submitted a letter backing the proposed Veterans Accessibility Advisory Committee Act (H.R. 7342).

This bipartisan legislation would require the VA to establish an advisory committee dedicated to identifying and resolving accessibility barriers that impact veterans and VA employees with mobility, vision, hearing, cognitive, and other disabilities.

Despite existing legal requirements, PVA members consistently encounter accessibility issues when trying to access VA health care and other benefits. During the hearing, the VA opposed the bill, claiming current advisory committees are sufficient for addressing access concerns.

However, PVA believes the persistent nature of these obstacles underscores the need for a dedicated collaborative effort with direct input from disabled veterans, subject matter experts, VA employees and veteran service organizations. An advisory committee focused solely on accessibility would help ensure the VA meets its obligations.

While the VA has made efforts to improve access, there is still more work to be done. This committee would provide a formal channel for stakeholders to identify problems and propose solutions whenever the VA falls short in serving disabled veterans.

PVA maintains that elevating accessibility as a core focus through the proposed committee will strengthen oversight and accountability, ultimately improving the VA health care experience for veterans with disabilities. The organization will continue advocating for the Veterans Accessibility Advisory Committee Act as it moves through Congress.

To send a letter to your members of Congress in support of this legislation, please visit PVAction Force.

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