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Tom for NY-52

Disability Policy

ACCESSIBILITY TRANSITIONS FOR BUSINESSES

New York State should void and remove all local and county codes that are unfriendly to people with disabilities. For example, building codes that prohibits accessibility features should be voided and struck from the code. Any changes in businesses or nonprofits that make their facilities and services more accessible and inclusive should be allowed. It shouldn’t be all or nothing. Currently, firms will avoid making changes because the changes must be fully compliant with current accessibility code. Instead, we should encourage firms to make positive changes by allowing gradual improvements.

INCENTIVIZE EMPLOYMENT OF THE DISABLED

We must rework New York’s disability income benefits to taper gradually as people earn more income so that increasing employment income doesn’t result in a net decrease in overall income. This would incentivize those receiving financial assistance and that can work to find employment and, eventually, a way out of poverty. We should allow businesses easy tax incentives to employ people who are on disability. This would save money while helping people with disabilities find work when they need it.

SELF-DIRECTED CARE

The way things are now, most people have very limited choice in the provider and nature of assistance at home. Often, the qualifications defer to certain providers and leave out certain services, leaving consumers unable to utilize better options that are available. By checking boxes and providing services that are useless to many, under our current system not only are people often not getting what they need, but significant amounts of money are wasted.

To fix this, NHTD (Nursing Home Transition and Diversion) should be the norm instead of an optional waiver. Those currently on the system should have the option to remain on it as is. This will not only greatly benefit people with disabilities by allowing them to have care tailored more to their needs, but it will save taxpayer dollars.