Today, Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) saw his bill, A.163, pass as part of a package of legislation aimed at helping improve the lives of New Yorkers with disabilities. The assemblymans bill would increase accessibility to voting by requiring information containing contest information on each ballot to be posted online ahead of elections. Other legislation touched on housing accessibility, an incentive to hire individuals with a disability and the establishment of an Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities.
Improving the opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities to be fully engaged in our communities is a priority for me, said Ashby, who is an occupational therapist. Those with disabilities deserve to have agency over their lives, and the support and services to help them achieve this. I am grateful for all those who came to Albany today and throughout the year to advocate for their needs.
Ashby, who also sits on the Assembly Committee on health, supported the following measures in addition to his legislation:
- A.7251 Extends the requirement that all college textbooks and other materials be made available electronically for those who have visual disabilities into 2022;
- A.1092 Waives New Yorks sovereign immunity so that it is able to be held accountable should it violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal acts;
- A.2493 Assists those with mobility limitations and the aging with a pilot tax credit program to help them retrofit and modify their homes for accessibility;
- A.7475 Creates a tax credit for employers who hire individuals with disabilities;
- A.3385-A Requires public officers and bodies to provide interpreters and assistive listening devices for those with hearing impairments at public hearings;
- A.4737 Establishes the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities; and
- A.7492 Ensures Medicaid access for those in need of complex rehabilitation technology for their complex medical needs.