WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, Congresswoman Elaine Luria received the George “Buck” Gillispie Congressional Award from the Blinded American Veterans Foundation (BAVF) for her work in passing the Housing Access for Blind Veterans Act.
“When advocates for blinded veterans brought to my attention that they were excluded from VA grants allowing for much-needed housing renovations to safely move about their homes, I went to work to close this loophole and strengthen the program,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Blinded veterans served our country heroically and sacrificed greatly. It is an honor to receive this award, and I will continue to work in Congress to improve the quality of life for our veterans.”
Previously, blinded veterans could not access the VA-administered Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program unless they lost the use of one or both legs. The grant funding is used to equip a home with ramps, handrails, grab bars, and sliding doors. Legislation led by Congresswoman Luria expanding the pool of eligible veterans to receive SAH program grants was signed into law in August 2020.
The BAVF’s Annual Congressional Award for Meritorious Service is presented to Senators and Representatives who have made significant contributions toward furthering the Foundation’s efforts on behalf of blinded and sensory disabled American veterans.