At a June 13 public meeting called by Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) explained how it would like to see the Veterans Mobility Safety Act implemented.
In its June 15 bulletin to stakeholders, NMEDA said a group of 17 stakeholders representing various segments of the adaptive automotive industry visited VA offices in Washington, D.C. “to make the case before the VA that meaningful standards, accountability and financial responsibility should be at the core of the rule’s implementation.”
NMEDA said its group of speakers included Mike Savicki, who sustained a C6-C7 spinal cord injury at age 22 and went from training to become a Navy fighter pilot to learning to use a wheelchair. A former National Mobility Awareness Month ambassador for NMEDA, Savicki “eloquently drove home the point that all automotive adaptive equipment must be subject to quality standards, regardless of perceived complexity,” NMEDA said in its news announcement. “His unique perspective set the tone for a successful day for NMEDA.”
NMEDA President Chad Blake said of the meeting, “I think this was a really strong showing. The VA heard from a significant cross section of the industry, and the message was clear: Adopt meaningful standards across the board. I was very proud of the way our association staff, volunteer leaders and industry partners got involved, made the trip to D.C., and ultimately made our case.”
Other attendees included Sam Cook (NMEDA past president), Elizabeth Green (executive director of the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists), and Amy Schoppman (NMEDA director of government affairs).
Among the next steps toward implementing the Veterans Mobility Safety Act is publication of a proposed rule, after which the VA will again ask for public comments.
The Veterans Mobility Safety Act was signed into law by President Obama in December.