Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02)
April 30, 2020
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – This week, Congresswoman Elaine Luria sent a letter to House leadership to urge them to bring the Department of Veterans Affairs Website Accessibility Act (S. 746) to the floor for a vote in order to ensure disabled veterans have access to the benefits they have earned. The Department of Veterans Affairs Website Accessibility Act is the Senate companion bill to Congresswoman’s Luria’s VA Website Accessibility Act of 2019 (H.R. 1199), which passed the House in October 2019. This bipartisan and bicameral effort is critical to eliminating barriers faced by disabled veterans seeking quality medical care as well as disability, vocational, and educational benefits.
“Over nine million veterans receive services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and during this pandemic it is unacceptable that some are unable to access critical information due to accessibility issues,” said Congresswoman Luria. “Oftentimes, blind veterans are unable to have the same quality of care because the VA heavily relies on websites and kiosks to disseminate information. If passed, this bill will pave the path to expanding access to benefits to more than 211,000 veterans.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs Website Accessibility Act would require the VA to study whether its websites comply with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794d). Upon completion of the study, the VA will submit a report to Congress identifying barriers to accessing each website, file, or web-based application and determine a plan to make each of them more accessible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this legislation has become more urgent than ever to disabled veterans seeking care and resources from the VA.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.