Washington — The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and named for former New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason that liberalizes federal funding for speech-generating devices for the disabled.

In January 2011, Gleason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative nerve condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease for the New York Yankees baseball star of the 1930s who contracted it. Confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, Gleason relies for communication on the devices covered by the bill, including eye-tracking technology.

The Vitter bill moves to the House for consideration.