TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) announced the passage of federal legislation to improve the administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) Program for disabled veterans. Under the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, vendors participating in the AAE Program will be required to demonstrate compliance with quality and safety standards.
The VA is responsible for administering a program that provides eligible disabled veterans with vehicle modifications to complement prescribed AAE (e.g., driving controls, wheelchair and scooter lifts, reduced-effort steering and braking systems, and other medically necessary adaptive equipment). Current federal law does not require a demonstration of competency from vendors providing AAE services, meaning any individual or business - regardless of education, training, expertise, or ability - is legally permitted to provide, install, or repair a disabled veteran's AAE.In recent years NMEDA has received an increasing number of reports regarding quality and safety concerns from veterans receiving services through the AAE Program. In response, NMEDA began working with Congress on a legislative solution: The Veterans Mobility Safety Act. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) shepherded the policy proposal through multiple House and Senate hearings, culminating in final passage on November 29, 2016. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law this month.