Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) joined his Assembly Minority colleagues today in support of the Conference’s C.A.R.E.S. Plan initiative. This plan is the product of a year-long effort led by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua) and Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge), chairman of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Protecting the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities, to understand and address the issues related to New York State’s interpretation of the 1999 Olmstead Decision.
Under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C., the court held that public entities must place those with developmental disabilities in community settings rather than in institutions when three conditions are met:
- The state’s treatment professionals have determined that community placement is appropriate;
- The affected persons do not oppose the transfer to the less restrictive setting; and
- The placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of others with developmental disabilities.
The task force listened to the concerns of families, caregivers, non-profits, community organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities at forums across an 11 region tour. The motivation behind the task force was to obtain a more complete understanding of the effectiveness of transition plans for those in sheltered workshops and developmental centers.
“In order to create effective and truly impactful legislation, one must have a deep and meaningful understandings of exactly what issues are present and what the ideal solutions to those problems are,” said Morinello. “I commend my colleagues and the participants of these forums for coming together and creating a dialogue, which will result in the proposal of positive solutions. One of the best ways to grasp the concept of a problem is to speak directly with individuals who face that specific issue daily. I’m glad my colleagues had the ability to do that with these forums.”
Some of the goals of this task force included identifying better ways to support the rights of people with developmental disabilities and expand community-based care programs. The intimacy of these forums also allowed for a more in-depth look at the effectiveness of current transition plans for individuals in sheltered workshops; allowed Assembly Minority members to identify whether the input and desires of people with disabilities and their families are being considered; and find solutions to help fully fund the increase in minimum wage for direct care workers employed by non-profit service providers.
“Our mission is to take what we have learned from the individuals who came to our workshops and introduce legislation that reflects their concerns,” said Morinello. “It is vital we provide the people within the developmental disability community every tool possible to achieve success. To offer anything short of that would be a massive disservice to them.”
You will find a copy of the Assembly Minority Conference’s C.A.R.E.S. Plan here.