Assemblymember Paulin's Able Column
NYS Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day
to be Held May 18, 2005

I would like to thank Able News for inviting me to continue this column in the same vein as my predecessor, Assemblymember Kevin Cahill. I am using my first column as an opportunity to invite all Able News readers to attend the Assembly's annual Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day (LDAD) in Albany. The event is being held this year on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 and is cosponsored by the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities, which I now chair, and the Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, chaired by Assemblymember Peter Rivera.

Disabilities Awareness Day is held every year to provide an opportunity for legislators, their staffs and the general public to be educated on the issues that our community faces, and at the same time, to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of advocates and people with disabilities.

As always, LDAD consists of many exciting events to which we will welcome New York's disabilities community and its advocates, members of the Assembly and honored guests. The proceedings of the day will be kicked off with the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Well of the Legislative Office Building (LOB). In addition, organizations from all over the state that provide the latest services, programs and technology for people with disabilities will be on hand with exhibits in the Well of the LOB and on the Third Floor Terrace to answer questions and demonstrate their offerings. We are also sponsoring four seminars on issues of interest to people with disabilities throughout the day. The seminars that we are hosting this year include:

  • Infusing the Principles of Recovery into the Mental Health System
  • An Update on Election Reform in New York State
  • Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
  • The Status of Olmstead in New York State

We are also sponsoring an exhibit of artwork done by individuals with disabilities and a poster contest where sixth grade students will display their creativity through drawings that depict their perception of the issues that people with disabilities face. Each piece of artwork that we receive will be prominently displayed.

Finally, a package of legislation crafted with significant input from disabilities advocates will be on the floor of the Assembly. The Task Force is currently working on several legislative measures regarding such issues as ADA protections, election reform and housing - many of which we hope to address on LDAD.

I encourage all Able readers to save the date on your calendars to visit us in Albany. I truly hope that you will consider joining us on May 18th. Please contact Kimberly Hill, Director of the Task Force on People with Disabilities, for additional information about Disabilities Awareness Day, or if you would like to be added to our list to receive future mailings about this informative event. I hope to see you there.

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