Today, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) President David Zurfluh issued the following statement on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, and the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma:
“As Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts begin, and Florida, Puerto Rico and the entire U.S. East Coast face the possible ravages of Hurricane Irma, Paralyzed Veterans of America extends its deepest condolences to those experiencing the loss of loved ones, homes, possessions and livelihoods. Our thoughts are with these devastated individuals, families and businesses, as they are faced with the challenging task of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods.
In the coming days, Congress will consider funding requests for recovery and rebuilding in these storm-damaged regions. Paralyzed Veterans calls on Congress to act swiftly on approving these necessary funds, and to do so with emergency funding that is not offset by cuts to other important programs.
These recovery efforts will call upon multiple federal, state and local agencies responding to a wide range of critical needs, including those related to housing, transportation and other infrastructure, the environment, education and small businesses, among others. As these agencies undertake their responsibilities, we urge them to remember their obligations to protect civil rights in our nation, including the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act among others.
Paralyzed Veterans is particularly concerned that the civil rights of people with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities, are enforced. We want to ensure these individuals are given every opportunity to return to their homes and move on with their lives as quickly as possible. This means that meaningful access to emergency and recovery-related services must be provided to all those with disabilities, to avoid the inequities and tragedies that were rampant in other historical storm disasters. It is especially important that temporary housing offered to displaced people with disabilities do not result in their long-term institutionalization. They must be given equal opportunity to rebuild and recover from this devastation. Also, let us not leave them behind in preparedness efforts, as Irma heads toward Florida, where 1,540 Paralyzed Veterans’ members live.
Paralyzed Veterans is committed to supporting public and private efforts designed to assist those adversely affected by natural and man-made disasters. That is why our organization offers a disaster relief fund to Paralyzed Veterans’ members to supplement aid provided by other resources. Information about that program, and other hurricane resources can be found at www.pva.org/about-us/recent-news/disaster-emergency-information.”
About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For more than 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 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit pva.org for more information.
SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America