ATTN: Veterans, Families of, Friends of, Caring Others

Back in July of 2007 the Law Firm of Morrison & Foerster, with help from the legal staff at Disability Rights Advocates, filed a Class Action Lawsuit on behalf of Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth against the Veterans Administration of these United States. A lawsuit, I might add, that shouldn't have found a need for!

You can find out more, for those who haven't followed this, at the DRA website here: Nationwide Class Action Against the VA or at the Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth sites.

Back in January, of this year, Melissa, a lawyer with DRA Legal posted a Real Good News diary on the progress of the lawsuit to that point.

Very recently what some may see as a setback, this Vet. thought this was coming, the Judge in the case made a ruling. I posted a ShoutOut for Action to the citizens of this Country, who the Military Serve, on this setback, but not Defeat! The Soldiers and Veterans Need the Total Involvement of the Citizens of this Country they Serve, They Always Have, but there also is Always Not Enough Sacrifice from same and definantly not the numbers needed to give back what should Not Needed To Be Fought For, the Support and Gratitude of this Nation for those who Sacrifice, up to their Lives, to Serve and Protect!

Here is a News Report on the recent ruling by the Judge:

And here's a Press Conference shortly after that ruling by the Lawyers Involved:

I would hope you visit my link just above, on the Call For Action, as well as the other links, and Get Involved, this Country Owes it's Soldiers and their Families, Especially when they return from it's Excepted Wars of Choice!

Now to get to the reason for this post, the New Investigation on Veterans Care.

A few weeks back Melissa sent me a file and asked that I quietly pass it on to Veterans, and parties who could help out, in the start of this New Investigation asking Veterans to contact DRA Legal to answer some important questions seeking answers that could be used to help All Veterans and the Returning Soldiers.

Well it need not be Quiet anymore. Melissa contacted me yesterday, really sorry I missed your call and have a Well Deserved Vacation next week, and sent me another file requesting that I pass it on Publicly and request others do same. To make it easier for others to download the files, save them, post them up, and pass them out, I have uploaded them to Box.net, a file sharing site I occasionally use. I will just link to the initial first file but will paste the file from yesterday below.

The first file, in PDF, from May 29th can be Downloaded and Viewed Here, this one you may not find the need to save, as the most recent is the important one to pass to those who may want to participate, but I include it as some may find it's need as well.

The most recent, in RTF, from yesterday can be Downloaded and Viewed Here, this is the one you can post up, save and print out to pass around, send the link to others, how ever you find it can help to aid in this investigation working towards Much Needed Change.

Here is the second file contents:

ATTENTION VETERANS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES

Disability Rights Advocates is conducting an investigation of the accessibility of VA hospitals and clinics. We would like to hear from you about your experiences at these facilities. If you have a mobility disability, a vision disability, a hearing disability, and/or Traumatic Brain Injury, you are entitled to full access and reasonable accommodations, whether or not your disability is service connected. We want to know if these accommodations are being provided. Please contact us at VA Access and we can set up a time to talk with you about your experiences.

If you have a mobility disability:

Whether you use a wheelchair or another form of assistive device, or whether your mobility is impaired in any way due to disability, we want to know about your experience with access at VA hospitals or clinics:

1 Is there adequate accessible parking?
2 Are there access barriers as you travel through the hospital or clinic? For example, are there adequate ramps and accessible pathways? Are doors, counters, elevators and restrooms accessible?
3 Is there enough room for you and your mobility device in patient check-in or waiting areas?
4 Can you get to exam rooms, hospital rooms and laboratories and have your medical care provided with adequate comfort and privacy?
5 Can you access medical equipment such as exam tables, scales and diagnostic equipment safely, independently and with dignity?
6 Can you access other public areas at the hospital or clinic, such as the pharmacy, cafeteria/canteen, or gift shop?
7 Does the staff seem to be knowledgeable and trained to address your needs arising out of your mobility disability?

If you have a vision disability:

Whether you are blind, legally blind, or have low vision, we want to know about your experiences with access at VA hospitals and/or clinics:

8 Are there access barriers such as protruding objects and lack of detectible warnings as you travel through the hospital or clinic?
9 Is there accessible signage so you can navigate through the hospital or clinic?
10 Are you able to obtain information such as forms, notices and prescription information in accessible formats?
11 Can you access your hospital or clinic’s information technology, such as websites or registration kiosks?
12 Does the staff seem to be knowledgeable and trained to address your needs arising out of your visual impairment (including allowing you to be accompanied by your service animal)?
13 Have you experienced other barriers due to your vision disability?

If you have a hearing disability:

Whether you are deaf or hearing impaired, we want to know about your experiences with access at VA hospitals and/or clinics:

14 Can you communicate effectively with VA personnel to make appointments and understand your medical needs and treatment?
15 Do you receive interpreters or assistive listening services when necessary?
16 Does the staff seem to be knowledgeable and trained to address your needs arising out of your hearing impairment?
17 Have you experienced other barriers due to your hearing disability?

If you have Traumatic Brain Injury:

18 Can you communicate effectively with VA personnel to make appointments and understand your medical needs and treatment?
19 Do you receive adequate guidance from VA personnel to make decisions regarding medical care and treatment based on informed consent?
20 Does the staff seem to be knowledgeable and trained to address your needs arising out of your brain injury?
21 Have you experienced other barriers due to your disability?

Disability Rights Advocates is a non-profit organization based in California that is dedicated to protecting the rights of people with all types of disabilities, including disabled veterans. DRA is one of the two law firms that is challenging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) practices in failing to adequately treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and we also have a longstanding interest in ensuring disabled individuals’ equal access to prompt medical care. For more information about DRA, please visit DRA Legal.

To set up at time to talk about your experiences at VA hospitals and/or clinics, email VA Access, or call toll-free at 800/332-6177 (or TTY at 510/665-8716).

Once again, you can download and view the initial file, in PDF, HERE.

And you can download the above full text file, in RTF, HERE to do whatever you feel might be the best way to make the contacts needed to help DRA Legal in their Investigation.

Get Involved!!!

You want Change, well that 'Change' can only come from You!!

On this 4th of July Show What Patriotism Is, Really Support The Troops and The Veterans, Sacrifice for once!!