SOURCE: Paralyzed Veterans of America

April 07, 2016 18:24 ET

Paralyzed Veterans of America Supports Amendment That Will Provide Increased Enforcement of Air Carrier Access Act

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - April 07, 2016) - Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) today issued the following statement from National President Al Kovach, Jr., announcing its strong support of an amendment to the Senate's version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization (H.R. 636) that will provide increased enforcement of the protections available to travelers with disabilities under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

"Improving access to air travel for veterans and all people with disabilities is one of Paralyzed Veterans' highest priorities. This year is the 30th anniversary of the ACAA. The ACAA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in air travel. Although there have been many improvements in air travel for people with disabilities, we continue to face numerous barriers including broken wheelchairs, delayed assistance, and difficulty obtaining the seating accommodations we need when flying. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson's amendment to the FAA reauthorization, which would improve the protections provided through the ACAA for passengers with disabilities by providing U.S. Attorney General enforcement, is a critical step forward. We urge the Senate to adopt this amendment as part of its consideration of H.R. 636."

Amendment 3498 will require the Secretary of Transportation to refer ACAA complaints to the U.S. Attorney General if the Secretary believes that "any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination under [the ACAA]" or "any person or group of persons has been discriminated against under [the ACAA] and such discrimination raises an issue of general public importance." The Attorney General may subsequently pursue a civil action in federal court. The court may provide any equitable relief it chooses; other relief, including monetary damages to a harmed individual; or civil penalties.

In January, Paralyzed Veterans launched a website in honor of the 30th anniversary of the ACAA, where individuals with disabilities can share their air travel experiences, both positive and negative. These stories will help Paralyzed Veterans continue to advocate for improved access in air travel. The website can found at www.airaccess30.org.

About Paralyzed Veterans of America:

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.

As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (www.pva.org)

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Lani Poblete
    202-416-7667