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

(8:30M EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

The beginning of this is an attempt to bring you up to speed on what has been going on this past year leading up to the purpose of this post, a New Investigation on Veterans Care, and the request for those listed in the subject title to get involved with, especially the Veterans having their troubles with the VA and their Care.

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!!  

12 comments

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  1. The news media actually promotes the idea as do the war mongering congress, that some vets from Iraq …or maybe all veterans who complain of PSD are saying they are having problems simply to get benefits.

    What is PSD?

    Well, I haven’t looked it up. But I know what it is.

    It simply means you experienced a traumatic event. When a person experiences a traumatic event, the event is  traumatic because the memory of the event is ever present. The memory (which includes most importantly the feelings experienced) is easily brought back to present time conciousness by any similiarity in a present situation to the past situation where the event took place. If the event took place on a basketball court, seeing a basketball could trigger that memory and the strength of the emotions experienced during the  traumatic event. The re-experience of the memory  reoccurs in a modified form. Usually the reexperience will be less intense because the person or entity (happens to almost all life forms) is aware on some level the situation is not exactly the same. But the memory, the re-experience is still so strong that it completely captures the persons awareness and they are immobolized or at least distracted from the present reality to such an extent that it becomes disturbing and difficult for them to attend to the present.

    You don’t have to be in a war to have PSD. A car crash, a beating, a rape, a threat, even witnessing parents fighting as a child can certainly leave a person traumatized.

    Most people experience trauma in their lives. It never leaves you. That’s what makes trauma. Many Children expreience it all the time. Think about your childhood memories…there is probably a trauma somewhere in there.

    Any soldier who is experiencing an actual combat situation on a repeated basis,  especially when it is random and not anticipated is going to be traumatized. The Congress, the VA will want to suggest to some of these people they are cowardly. Some of these people will wonder if they are cowardly. Some people who feel they might be cowardly will withdraw their request for benefits. That’s the game.

    We hear a lot about 5,000 dead soldiers and almost nothing about all the physically injured….what is it…..35,000 or more….and even less of the people who have been traumatized without physical injury.

    Its not so hard for a human being to be traumatized. It’s again, an event that never leaves your memory. That is never far from your memory. All life forms are pretty delicate. They are very responsive. But the MSM and movies present a very different picture of the soldier, or even the  polar bear and tiger for that matter. Do we really understand that Tigers and Polar bears like humans are really very delicate? They are not strong, brave, courageous and practically invulnerable. They are sensitive. And that sensitivity is a survival mechanism. And trauma is a survival mechanism. It’s meant to keep you alive.

    But it doesn’t apply or work well when you have artificial situations like this meaningless war in Iraq and then bringing the soldiers home. That’s a completely perverse, out of whack reality in itself.

    We see the media showing the soldiers high fiving each other, talking about the thrill of battle. “There’s nothing like the high you get in a battle zone”…I’ve heard that statement on the MSM alot. And that ought to be analyzed… that statement. It does occur. Especially when the battle is planned and the soldiers in it know they are going into battle and they are in control, especially as the aggressor. That’s a whole other story though.

    The crime of the Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and so many other places present and planned does not end with the soldiers coming home. It continues.

    Once again, I’ll say it.

    Soldiers are people who get used.

  2. Sorry PTSD.

    • asqv on June 29, 2008 at 4:34 am

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

    I have stories about accessibility in VA facilities that would curl your hair.

    This is my first comment here and I’m going to try to keep it brief but all of you should be aware of how the VA treats vets with mobility issues….

    My husband is 100% service connected disabled. (he’s an AK amputee among other numerous disabilities) When he had his heart and kidney transplant, he couldn’t access the bath in his room because he couldn’t get a wheelchair through the door. If he had been able to get a wheelchair into the bath, he couldn’t get into the shower because of the 4 inch lip.

     After being provisionally discharged after his surgeries, he was assigned to special housing on the hospital campus so he would be in close proximity for the frequent biopsies that are required post transplant. This is housing that has been designed and equipped to specifically accommodate pre and post transplant patients. They assigned him to the second floor unit. There wasn’t a lift or elevator…but there were two stair wells to navigate. He was prohibited from using crutches because of the stress put on the sternum for the first six months after surgery.

     Think about that for a minute…..

     A one legged guy that’s had a double transplant and if for whatever reason he can’t use his artificial leg…they put him on the second floor.

     Hey, this was a few years ago so the dippy housing coordinator that was working at the time no doubt has moved on.

     This is just the first thing that came to mind in response to your call. I’ll be sure to follow through on Monday.

     Keep up the good work, Jim.

    • jimstaro on June 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm
      Author

    Are We Letting Down our Nation’s Veterans? Again

    Hopefully, this ruling will impel our nation’s leaders to work to ensure veterans receive mental health care services they need and deserve.

    Ahhhhh folks, You Hire Those Leaders?!!!!!!!

    Big Brother or good security at VA?

    “A veteran just back from Iraq and Afghanistan with a DUI should be encouraged to get mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment,” said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense. “Is the VA going to hire more doctors? Or are they going to be playing Big Brother?”

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