Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) hosted a forum in Batavia focused on supporting the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. Invitees included people with developmental disabilities and their families, nonprofit organizations, mental health experts and community leaders.
Last Thursday's forum, held at Genesee Community College, was the ninth in a series of forums being conducted around the state in response to concerns from families, non-profits, community organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities about the impact of the Olmstead Decision.
Discussions focused on identifying better ways to support the rights of people with developmental disabilities; expansion of community-based care programs; the effectiveness of current transition plans for individuals in sheltered workshops; and identifying whether the input and desires of people with disabilities are being considered.
“Information gathered at the forum will help us to better serve the needs and choices of people with developmental disabilities,” Hawley said. “For many, the transition process to a more integrated work setting has resulted in frustration and disappointing changes in services and care programs. New York must do a better job of assessing and meeting the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities."
Participants included representatives from Genesee ARC, ARC of Orleans, ARC of Monroe, New York State School for the Blind, Western New York Independent Living and local families.
“As legislators and residents of this state, it is our obligation and goal to provide services and address the needs of every New Yorker, regardless of age, religion, creed or disability,” said Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge), task force chairman. “These forums provide us with the opportunity to hear from families, caregivers and individuals with developmental disabilities to offer another layer of support when it comes to aiding those with disabilities in communities across our state.”
The next Assembly Minority Task Force on Protecting the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities forum will be held on Thursday, May 26, in Buffalo. For more information on the task force, please contact the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs at 518-455-5073.