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Advocacy / Legislation

PVA WASHINGTON UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2017 EDITION

Recent news regarding legislation and regulatory actions affecting veterans and people with disabilities.

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Washington State Legislative Update

Reported by Michael Partridge, NWPVA Legislative Director at the January Meeting of the NWPVA Board of Directors. Received from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA):
2017 WDVA Legislative Listserv.

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PVA MEMBER ALERT!

Paralyzed Veterans of America Applauds Congressional Action that Enables VA to Provide Procreative Services

Federal Registry publishes rule that approves funding through September 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC- On January 19, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued an interim final rule amending its regulation regarding fertility counseling and treatment available to qualifying veterans and their spouses. Today, services finally became available to veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) National President Al Kovach, Jr. issued the following statement:

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VETERAN EMPLOYMENT

The results of a recent study conducted by the Center for a New American Society were published in a report titled, Onward and Upward – Understanding Veteran Retention and Performance in the Workforce – https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/onward-and-upward. It revealed a number of indicators of veteran-specific obstacles, resulting in the proposal of various recommendations.

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Passage of Veterans Mobility Safety Act a Big Win for Paralyzed Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC—Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) applauds the passage of H.R. 3471, the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, which has been a top legislative priority for the organization. The bill will direct 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 Program.

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Paralyzed Veterans of America Applauds Rule Requiring U.S. Airlines to Report Wheelchair and Scooter Transport and Damage

Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) applauds the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) final rule requiring large domestic airlines to track and report information about wheelchairs and scooters that will allow passengers with disabilities to make informed decisions about air travel.

Beginning with flights taking place on or after January 1, 2018, these airlines will be required to provide to DOT on a monthly basis, the total number of wheelchairs and scooters that are placed in aircrafts’ cargo compartments. Airlines will also need to report how many of those wheelchairs and scooters were “mishandled.” DOT considers a wheelchair or scooter to have been mishandled if lost, delayed, damaged, or pilfered.

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2017 SSA COLAs Announced

Greetings from VCU’s NTDC!

We wanted to let all of you know that Social Security has announced the 2017 COLAs. Social Security and SSI benefits for over 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017.

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Community

Latest News from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA)

News from WDVA: HAVE YOU RSVP’D FOR THE WALLA WALLA VETERANS HOME GRAND OPENING? CHECK OUT THE WDVA CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY EVENTS! FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO READ THE LATEST AGENCY INFORMATION. WALLA WALLA VETERANS HOME LOGO IS UNVEILED! GET YOUR COPY OF THE JANUARY 2017 VOICES! 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGAN JANUARY 9, 2017. ALLIANCE NW REGISTRATION IS NOW LIVE!

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FREE ACCESS TO OUR BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL PARKS

If you’re reading this article, you or someone you know likely has a permanent physical disability. If this is the case, there’s a little known pass that can provide you with free access to national parks. The Access Pass is available to anyone with a permanent physical disability (does not need to be 100% disability). In addition to free entry, the Access Pass also grants reduced fees for add-on items that are not included with the standard fees, such as camping fees, use of boat launches, cabin rentals, or guided tours.

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WWAHEC Steering Committee Helped Veterans Find Work in the Healthcare Field

From 2012 to 2015, Western Washington Area Health Education Centers (WWAHEC), facilitated The Veteran’s Grant Steering Committee (VGSC), which served to help military-trained, enlisted health professions across multiple entry-level occupational specialties, transition into civilian-equivalent positions, by attaining credentials issued by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). The committee worked with numerous stakeholders across the state to also help develop and implement “gap” programs to supplement shortfalls in education, training, and experience to becoming credentialed.

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PVA Education Foundation Opens 2017 Grant Cycle

The PVA Education Foundation, helps develop tools that share knowledge about and improve the lives of people living with SCI/D. Foundation funding of grant projects, conferences and symposia has exceeded two million dollars over the past decade.
The PVA Education Foundation provides funding in five project categories:

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WASHINGTON ACCESS FUND FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Did you know that the majority of assistive technology is paid for out of pocket by the assistive technology user? One would expect it to be covered by insurance or some other benefit, but more likely than not it is paid for out of pocket. Many people do not have a spare $5,000 lying around for a pair of hearing aids or $2,000 for a medicare co-pay on a wheelchair or $25,000 for a modified van. That is where the Washington Access Fund comes in to break these large expenses into affordable monthly payments.

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Events

Latest News from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA)

News from WDVA: HAVE YOU RSVP’D FOR THE WALLA WALLA VETERANS HOME GRAND OPENING? CHECK OUT THE WDVA CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY EVENTS! FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO READ THE LATEST AGENCY INFORMATION. WALLA WALLA VETERANS HOME LOGO IS UNVEILED! GET YOUR COPY OF THE JANUARY 2017 VOICES! 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGAN JANUARY 9, 2017. ALLIANCE NW REGISTRATION IS NOW LIVE!

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SCI JOB FAIR – MARCH 23, 2017 – Multiple Nursing Positions!

On March 23, 2017, the Department of Veteran Affairs will be hosting a Spinal Cord Injury Job Fair at the Seattle VA Hospital, SCI Unit.
Current vacancies include 10 RN and 4 Nursing positions, plus the Nurse Manager position.

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NWPVA Christmas Party a Great Hit

The NWPVA Christmas Party was held at the Seattle Veterans Hospital in the SCI/D Unit on December 21, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. There was a good turnout that included Santa Claus and even an appearance by the future National Paralyzed Veterans of America incoming President!

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An Evening with Michael G. Reagan of the Fallen Heroes Project – Veterans Day, November 11, 2016

NWPVA was honored by a presentation from an amazing man at a recent Board of Directors meeting. Michael G. Reagan is a wonderful portrait artist who has been donating his work, completely free of charge, to the families of American soldiers killed in action. He presents them with a beautiful, heartfelt, framed portrait of their lost son or daughter. He has donated more than 4,700 portraits during the last 13 years for his Fallen Heroes Project foundation.

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NO BARRIERS SUMMIT – Registration Now Open

No barriers Summit registration is now open. Purchase your pass and get ready for 4 days that will change your life!

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The 37th National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The 37th National Wheelchair Games – LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS – July 17 – 20, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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PVA National Sports Schedule – 2016-2017

The 2016-17 PVA National Sports Schedule for Shooting, Boccia, Air Rifole and Pistol, Handcycling, Bass Fishing, Billiards and Bowling events around the country.

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Health

Important Message from PVA Medical Services

I am writing to you today on behalf of Paralyzed Veterans of America about the executive order signed by President Donald Trump that imposed a hiring freeze across the federal government. Given preexisting under-staffing across the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Spinal Cord Injury & Disorder (SCI/D) system of care, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) was initially concerned that a hiring freeze would further exacerbate issues with access to care and staff turnover. We are relieved to tell you that senior VA officials have stated the hiring freeze, as it turns out, will not affect clinical staff hiring.

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PVA MEMBER ALERT!

Paralyzed Veterans of America Applauds Congressional Action that Enables VA to Provide Procreative Services

Federal Registry publishes rule that approves funding through September 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC- On January 19, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued an interim final rule amending its regulation regarding fertility counseling and treatment available to qualifying veterans and their spouses. Today, services finally became available to veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) National President Al Kovach, Jr. issued the following statement:

Read More

Additional Disability Benefits for Marines Affected by Camp Lejeune Contaminated Drinking Water

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has agreed to provide disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion to veterans who had been exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

The decision was quietly made public Thursday with a notice in the Federal Register, the government’s official journal.

Beginning in March, the cash payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs may supplement VA health care already being provided to eligible veterans stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 days cumulative between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. Veterans will have to submit evidence of their diagnosis and service information.

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A Beautiful Story in Pictures of Undying Love and Strength

The President of NWPVA, Tom Bungert came across a series of images that he emailed to all of our members. He wrote, “This email is going out to all of my friends, for it is so true that behind every good man is a great woman.”
This is a story about the willingness of a catastrophically disabled American Veteran to overcome diversity at all costs, and a testament of what true love can actually do. Thank God he had someone who loved him unconditionally!

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WWAHEC Steering Committee Helped Veterans Find Work in the Healthcare Field

From 2012 to 2015, Western Washington Area Health Education Centers (WWAHEC), facilitated The Veteran’s Grant Steering Committee (VGSC), which served to help military-trained, enlisted health professions across multiple entry-level occupational specialties, transition into civilian-equivalent positions, by attaining credentials issued by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). The committee worked with numerous stakeholders across the state to also help develop and implement “gap” programs to supplement shortfalls in education, training, and experience to becoming credentialed.

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Combat Heart Rx

I was the Veterans Representative on an Institutional Review Board for veteran medical research. I served on committees to promote research into finding answers to hypotheses. One of the reasons I served on the committees was that I wished we could take the mystery out of why so many veterans for so long have suffered from the aftermath of their combat trauma through studies. Wouldn’t it be nice if medical research discovered a simple test to diagnose, and a tool kit to help the patient try to repair their new neuropsychiatric condition and adapt to life when home from the battlefield? Would it help de-stigmatize the trauma and promote more warriors to seek help?

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Memorial Tribute

PEARL AT 75

The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu led to the United States’ direct involvement in World War II.

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Opportunities

Latest News from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA)

News from WDVA: HAVE YOU RSVP’D FOR THE WALLA WALLA VETERANS HOME GRAND OPENING? CHECK OUT THE WDVA CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY EVENTS! FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO READ THE LATEST AGENCY INFORMATION. WALLA WALLA VETERANS HOME LOGO IS UNVEILED! GET YOUR COPY OF THE JANUARY 2017 VOICES! 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGAN JANUARY 9, 2017. ALLIANCE NW REGISTRATION IS NOW LIVE!

Read More

SCI JOB FAIR – MARCH 23, 2017 – Multiple Nursing Positions!

On March 23, 2017, the Department of Veteran Affairs will be hosting a Spinal Cord Injury Job Fair at the Seattle VA Hospital, SCI Unit.
Current vacancies include 10 RN and 4 Nursing positions, plus the Nurse Manager position.

Read More

PVA Education Foundation Seeks Board Nominations

Do you have expertise or a special interest in education and training for individuals with spinal cord injury/disease and the health-care professionals who provide care to them?

The PVA Education Foundation has three openings on its Board of Directors. We are currently seeking nominations to fill these positions.

According to the Foundation’s bylaws, a majority of the Board must be Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) members in good standing. PVA members must fill two of the current openings and a non-member may fill one opening.

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Military Caregivers Sought for 2 Year Dole Foundation Fellowship

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is looking for Military Caregivers from the following states to serve a two-year fellowship with the Foundation: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington,

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Outreach

An Evening with Michael G. Reagan of the Fallen Heroes Project – Veterans Day, November 11, 2016

NWPVA was honored by a presentation from an amazing man at a recent Board of Directors meeting. Michael G. Reagan is a wonderful portrait artist who has been donating his work, completely free of charge, to the families of American soldiers killed in action. He presents them with a beautiful, heartfelt, framed portrait of their lost son or daughter. He has donated more than 4,700 portraits during the last 13 years for his Fallen Heroes Project foundation.

Read More

PVA Washington Update

PVA WASHINGTON UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2017 EDITION

Recent news regarding legislation and regulatory actions affecting veterans and people with disabilities.

Read More

Sports

NO BARRIERS SUMMIT – Registration Now Open

No barriers Summit registration is now open. Purchase your pass and get ready for 4 days that will change your life!

Read More

The 37th National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The 37th National Wheelchair Games – LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS – July 17 – 20, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Read More

PVA National Sports Schedule – 2016-2017

The 2016-17 PVA National Sports Schedule for Shooting, Boccia, Air Rifole and Pistol, Handcycling, Bass Fishing, Billiards and Bowling events around the country.

Read More

Veterans Benefits

Washington State Legislative Update

Reported by Michael Partridge, NWPVA Legislative Director at the January Meeting of the NWPVA Board of Directors. Received from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA):
2017 WDVA Legislative Listserv.

Read More

NO BARRIERS SUMMIT – Registration Now Open

No barriers Summit registration is now open. Purchase your pass and get ready for 4 days that will change your life!

Read More

VETERAN EMPLOYMENT

The results of a recent study conducted by the Center for a New American Society were published in a report titled, Onward and Upward – Understanding Veteran Retention and Performance in the Workforce – https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/onward-and-upward. It revealed a number of indicators of veteran-specific obstacles, resulting in the proposal of various recommendations.

Read More

PVA Education Foundation Opens 2017 Grant Cycle

The PVA Education Foundation, helps develop tools that share knowledge about and improve the lives of people living with SCI/D. Foundation funding of grant projects, conferences and symposia has exceeded two million dollars over the past decade.
The PVA Education Foundation provides funding in five project categories:

Read More

The 37th National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The 37th National Wheelchair Games – LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS – July 17 – 20, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Read More

PVA National Sports Schedule – 2016-2017

The 2016-17 PVA National Sports Schedule for Shooting, Boccia, Air Rifole and Pistol, Handcycling, Bass Fishing, Billiards and Bowling events around the country.

Read More