As the Chairman of the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM), I am excited to present a new Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative.
Last May, the President called on Federal agencies to support veterans and military families through a coordinated network of support systems. The coordination mission of CCAM, which includes the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Labor, and Health and Human Services, creates an ideal foundation for us to meet this call. Additionally, CCAM staff members worked with the Defense Department’s Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy to move this initiative forward.
Access to reliable and affordable transportation is an essential ingredient to empower today's service members, veterans, and their families to participate fully and successfully in their communities and achieve economic stability. Many families are struggling to meet mobility needs with one or more family members deployed overseas. Moreover, our fighting forces returning from overseas face a range of physical, mental health, and economic challenges that directly affect their families as they strive to rejoin their communities.
The Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative addresses these challenges in the following key ways:
Support the creation or expansion of community-based "one-call" transportation centers and mobility management strategies to include veteran and military family-directed resources;
Target outreach efforts to the military and veteran communities through veterans service organizations and military family support organizations; and
Provide technical assistance to selected communities to improve awareness, effectiveness, and coordination of existing transportation resources.
Importantly, the service infrastructure created by this initiative also will improve and increase coordinated transportation resources for other community members, including people at risk of institutionalization who would prefer to live as independently as possible. This is particularly important given the White House's commitment to support the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which includes provisions designed to help Medicaid beneficiaries seeking to move out of institutions and into their own homes or other community settings now and in the near future, as intended by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Pub. L. No. 101–336, and as provided for by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111–148.
I am proud of CCAM’s commitment to improve access to transportation for military families and others, and I am confident this initiative will help improve the quality of life for the men and women who have served our country, and their families.