Paralyzed Veterans of America releases statement on the passing of disability rights advocate Engracia Figueroa following carelessness and mistreatment by airline

Post Date: November 9, 2021
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Oname Thompson
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WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2021) — Paralyzed Veterans of America National President Charles Brown today released the following statement on the passing of Engracia Figueroa, a disability activist who passed after an airline damaged her custom wheelchair:

“Our heart goes out to Engracia Figueroa’s family and friends as her premature death is tragic. Too often, our members face these same challenges and have suffered great harm as a result of the systemic inequity of air travel for people with disabilities. We are saddened by her death and applaud her life’s work. While this tragedy further strengthens our resolve to make air travel safe and accessible for all wheelchair users, we wonder what else it will take before airlines do the same.”


About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For almost 75 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.

As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Learn more at