New York State Assembly, Albany, New York 12248



from the NYS Assembly
Task Force on People
with Disabilities

Kevin Cahill, Chair  white square  Sheldon Silver, Speaker


Kevin A.


NYS Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities


The New York State Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day will be held in Albany on Wednesday, June 11, 2003. Watch your mail in the upcoming weeks for more details.

Us At:

Agency Bldg. 4
13th Floor
Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-4592
(518) 455-4731

A Message from the Chair...

May 2003

Dear Friend,

So far this year, the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities has been very busy working on several issues critical to New York’s disability community. First and foremost, we have been holding firm against the Governor’s Article VII proposal to restrict our new Olmstead legislation signed into law last year, which created the "Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council." This law was developed as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead vs. L.C. that states that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities is unconstitutional and could be considered a violation of a person’s civil rights.

Among other things, the Governor’s proposal would diminish the authority of the Coordinating Council by eliminating provisions set forth in the new law and would alter the fundamental purpose to accommodate the integration of services for the disabilities community. The Governor seeks to remove any language with respect to the creation of a uniform assessment tool to be used by counties to determine the most appropriate manner of care for persons with disabilities and the aged. The Task Force finds his suggestions absolutely unacceptable. I am confident that we can maintain the integrity of this landmark legislation.

We have also been working closely with advocates and staff to ensure that the requirements of the federal “Help America Vote Act” meet our higher, more reasonable standards. Voting is the cornerstone of government participation, and every person is entitled to participate to the fullest extent. We believe that people with disabilities should have equal access to polling places, and any new voting machines purchased in the future should be suitable to that purpose.

In addition, the Task Force has been fighting the delay of the Medicaid Buy-In start date. We recognize that many people with disabilities are anxious to start working, but cannot for fear of losing their Medicaid benefits. Be assured that we are doing all that we can to ensure that the Buy-In begins promptly.

Finally, the Task Force has been busy with plans for our annual Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day, which is being held this year on Wednesday, June 11th. A comprehensive legislative package aimed at enhancing the lives of people with disabilities will be advanced in the Assembly (see page 2 for our 2003 legislative agenda). We hope to see you there. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Task Force Director Kimberly Hill at 518-455-4592.

Kevin A. Cahill, Chair
New York State Assembly
Task Force on People with Disabilities


2003 Legislative Agenda

Every year, the Task Force develops a legislative agenda with a great deal of input from the disability community. Listed below are several of the bills that the Task Force is supporting this year.

  • A.315 (Cahill) - Provides for the level of medical assistance for certain durable medical equipment for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • A.1479 (Morelle) - Requires all insurance policies to provide a certain amount of coverage for hearing aids.
  • A.1891 (Sanders) - Creates a New York State interagency council for services to persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing.
  • A.3215 (Sanders) - Directs establishment and administration of a statewide program for telephone access for all New Yorkers, including the hearing and visually impaired.
  • A.4227 (Klein) - Provides for donations to a spinal cord injury research trust fund to be made via a personal income tax return form, without reducing the amount of tax due.
  • A.4503 (Stringer) - Requires public officers and bodies to provide interpreters for the hearing impaired at public hearings under certain conditions.
  • A.5468 (Cahill) - Clarifies the scope of protections against discrimination on the basis of disability under the New York State human rights law in the area of government services to be consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the current policies and practices of the division of human rights.
  • A.5469 (Cahill) - Clarifies the scope of protections against discrimination on the basis of disability under the New York State human rights law in the area of public accommodations to be consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the current policies and practices of the division of human rights.
  • A.5470 (Cahill) - Makes the visual observation of a patient by unnecessary personnel without consent an unlawful discriminatory practice.
  • A.5471 (Cahill) - Requires access aisles of handicapped parking spaces to be marked with a sign and diagonal stripes.
  • A.5473 (Cahill) - Requires polling places to be accessible to physically disabled voters.
  • A.5474 (Cahill) - Provides that the lease, lease-purchase or rental and maintenance of a motor vehicle shall be included within vocational rehabilitation services for the disabled.
  • A.5475 (Cahill) - Expands the coverage under the elderly pharmaceutical insurance coverage program to include certain persons with disabilities.
  • A.5476 (Cahill) - Requires access aisles of handicapped accessible parking spaces to be at least eight feet wide.
  • A.5477 (Cahill) - Requires the commissioner to include information regarding wheelchairs in the department of motor vehicles’ annual summary of motor vehicle accidents.
  • A.5479 (Cahill) - Phases in requirement that retail stores having off street parking must provide handicapped parking spaces.
  • A.5481 (Cahill) - Authorizes the office of temporary and disability assistance to establish a mobility reimbursement program for persons with disabilities.
  • A.5482 (Cahill) - Establishes a Medicaid waiver program for people with disabilities.
  • A.5511 (Lifton) - Waives state’s sovereign immunity to liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
  • A.6232 (Sanders) - Extends the wheelchair warranty to all wheelchairs, whether motorized or not.
  • A.6240 (Stringer) - Includes persons with disabilities within the definition of head of household for purposes of the senior citizens’ tax abatement for rent-controlled and regulated property.
  • A.6528 (Kaufman) - Permits award of reasonable necessary transportation, and other costs for consumer to attend presentation by other party at motorized wheelchair alternate arbitration.
  • A.6614 (Sanders) - Requires the department of health to promulgate rules and regulations concerning hard of hearing patients and others.

New York State Assembly
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