Today, Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I,Ref-Ballston) took part in the rollout of the Assembly Minority Conference’s C.A.R.E.S. Plan. She was joined by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua), Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge), chairman of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Protecting the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities, and other Assembly Minority members.
The plan was developed from a 12-month tour, which included 11 regional forums held across the state. The forums were a way to better understand and address New York State’s interpretation of the 1999 Olmstead Decision. The task force met with several members of the state’s developmental disability community, including caregivers, non-profits, community organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities themselves. Legislators were able to speak with and listen to feedback regarding the effectiveness of transition plans for those in sheltered workshops and developmental centers.
“I applaud my colleagues for taking on this initiative and gaining a better understanding of the challenges families and caregivers deal with on a daily basis,” said Walsh. “As the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, I feel it is vital we provide individuals with developmental disabilities and those who support them with all the tools necessary to succeed and have become a co or multi-sponsor on each bill in this package. The goal is to take what the task force has learned and use it to develop meaningful and impactful legislation.”
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 goal of this task force was to familiarize legislators with specific areas of concern, enabling them to create legislation and provide solutions to these issues. Some of the areas of concentration were identifying better ways to support the rights of people with developmental disabilities; expanding community-based care programs; assessing the effectiveness of current transition plans for individuals in sheltered workshops; helping to fully fund the increase in minimum wage for direct care workers employed by non-profit service providers; and identifying whether the input and desires of people with disabilities and their families are being considered.
You will find a copy of the Assembly Minority Conference’s C.A.R.E.S. Plan here.