The state Assembly on Wednesday approved a package of bills meant to help people with disabilities.
The measures came with a bipartisan flourish, with both Speaker Carl Heastie and Minority Leader Will Barclay supporting the legislation.
The bills, which include creating a state advocate for people with disabilities, were approved as part of Legislative Disabilites Awareness Day.
“The Assembly remains committed to promoting access and inclusion for all New Yorkers so that they can thrive in their communities,” Heastie said. “On Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day we highlight the accomplishments of New Yorkers with disabilities and advocates to better understand the challenges they face, search for meaningful ways to support them, and recognize those that fight so hard for change.”
Additional bills approved include a measure that would waive the state's immunity application of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 as they apply to protecting state employees.
At the same time, another bill would require the use of interpreters and assistive learning devices for hearing impaired people at public meetings.
“It is an honor to join my colleagues at this annual event to raise awareness about the critical issues facing the disability community. The dedication and passion from the many advocates, families and individuals with disabilities present here today is inspirational,” Barclay said. “Our Conference will continue to be a strong voice in Albany, partnering with the disability community to address concerns and fight for critical funding of important services and care. We are committed to supporting a better quality of life for those with disabilities and their providers.”