Paralyzed Veterans of America Reaches Out to Hurricane Victims

Organization offers a disaster relief fund to its members, Urges Policymakers to Remember People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC— 9/7/17, 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 http://www.pva.org/about-us/recent-news/disaster-emergency-information.” 

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