NMEDA plays waiting game for standards

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Friday, August 23, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. – The Veterans Mobility Safety Act, a law requiring Veterans Affairs to establish quality and safety standards for adaptive equipment and vehicles, is still “tied up” at the agency, says Danny Langfield, CEO of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.

Per the act, signed into law in 2016, the VA had one year to establish the standards.

“They’re past due, which is discouraging, because the law has no effect until it’s implemented,” said Langfield. “But we’ve been assured that (the standards) have been drafted.”

The act also calls on the VA to develop a provider certification process using manufacturers or third-party, nonprofit organizations; train the personnel administering its Automobile Adaptive Equipment program; and allow veterans to receive modifications in their homes.

NMEDA’s roughly 600 members will be well positioned when the law is implemented, as they all participate in the association’s Quality Assurance Program. The program requires, among other things, that technicians are certified for the equipment they sell, install and service.

“Every one of our dealers is audited to make sure they’re living up to the program,” Langfield said. “We’ve tried to create an industry where there are safe outcomes.”

NMEDA, a recent recipient of a RESNA Leadership Award, has a “substantial government relations presence in Washington, D.C.,” and considers helping to get the law passed “its single biggest achievement,” Langfield says.

“We were intent on getting it through Congress,” he said. “We scratch our heads and say, ‘Why are there no standards for this?’”