Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act becomes official

Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act becomes official

With President Trump’s signing of a bipartisan budget bill Friday morning, the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act became official.

Gleason reacted to the news on Twitter:

Since being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2011, Gleason, a Spokane native and former Washington State Cougars and New Orleans Saints football star, has been fighting for the voices of people living with degenerative diseases. Gleason and others with ALS rely on eye-tracking and voice generating technology to communicate.

“Most people who have severe disabilities are expected to fade away quietly and die,” Gleason said in a statement. “For me, that was not okay. With the right equipment and the right technology, the same people can live and be productive for decades.”

The bill will provide a Medicare payment for communication devices and for the accessories needed to allow the devices to work effectively.

The current version of the legislation provides a permanent solution for the Steve Gleason Act of 2015, which is set to expire this year.