The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 3471, otherwise known as the Veterans Mobility Safety Act. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.

The bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop a comprehensive policy regarding quality standards for providers who dispense modification services to veterans under the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) Program. It also authorizes VA to hire and prescribe qualifications for hiring hearing aid specialists, according to a media release from Paralyzed Veterans of America, which applauds the bill’s passage.

“Paralyzed Veterans of America is very pleased that quality standards for adaptive automobile equipment providers will finally be set, helping to ensure the safety of veterans who use these services provided through the VA,” says Sherman Gillums, Jr, executive director of Paralyzed Veterans, in the release.

In a separate release, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) also applauds the passage of the bill, which would require vendors participating in the AAE Program to demonstrate compliance with quality and safety standards.

“Requiring that vendors offering AAE services be certified in accordance with minimum quality and safety standards is simply a matter of common-sense. The VA’s longtime lack of AAE Program standards only served to diminish the quality of VA healthcare, compromise the safety of veterans and the driving public, and waste taxpayer dollars fixing avoidable mistakes,” states Dave Hubbard, CEO of NMEDA, in the release.

Gillums adds in the NMEDA release that, “Paralyzed veterans who enjoy the independence and opportunity that driving an adaptive vehicle offers will intimately understand the importance of this legislation. These vehicles need to be as safe as possible and function properly, and this bill takes us in the right direction to achieve just that.”

[Source(s): Paralyzed Veterans of America, National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association, PR Newswire]