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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Action: Commitment to supporting progressive legislation to protect rights and improve services for people with disabilities

Submitted by: Representative Joe Farias

House District 118

"Perske Pencil Portraits 1971-1990"

"I am committed to supporting progressive legislation to protect rights and improve services for people with disabilities. Last session, I co-authored such legislation for individuals with disabilities who experience discrimination on the part of a state entity or actor and remain committed to working on these same issues during the 82nd Legislature.  
  • House Bill 849, which I co-authored, but unfortunately was unable to pass last session, offered protection to all Texans from instances of discrimination by waiving Texas' immunity from suit for any ADA violations by a state entity or actor. 
  • I also co-authored House Bill 806, which ensures that prosthetic and orthotic devices are included in health plans for working families who cannot afford to purchase a prosthetic limb. 
  • I also co-authored House Bill 978, which brings the Texas Labor Code into alignment with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 by clarifying the meaning of "disability" and protecting employees from discrimination based on disability."


Sharon said...

As my disabled daughter fastily approaches adulthood and will soon enough leave the supportive environment of her highschool; I wonder what does the work reallly know about such a wonderful person she is and will she be respected an individual with full human rights to work and play and truly be apart of the community in which she lives. to be sure that she is respected and honored for her differences and abilities. I hope our legislators will acknowledge the contributions that disabled adults have to offer and will be given the opportunity to learn and grow as any other human being in these United States of America.

Ann said...

People, like me, with disabilities can and do participate in the workforce every day. The contributions we make far exceed the support and accomodation we might require in the workplace. I encourage you to continue to work to protect the rights of workers with disabilities.

Also, as a person who requires orthotics, I commend you for recognizing the limitations of many health insurance plans in this regard. You might also find that similar legislation is needed to get insurance companies to cover items that are medically necessary (such as catheters) but that are not covered by policy because they are disposable (and therefore not considered to be 'durable medical equipment.') Insurance companies should be required to provide some level of coverage for these items in the same way that diabetic supplies are covered.

cynthia said...

For the benefit of my adult daughter funding from the HCS program enables her to experience life outside of home;interactive community day programs in the company of responsible adult caregivers and socialization with her peers, the means by which to attend overnight camps in the summer,therapeutic recreation in the form of dances and educational opportunities and fun events. Altogether,this lifestyle gives her a sense of belonging and brings balance to her family life and without funding,there would be a real void to her everyday existence.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting and advocating on behalf of all Texans who have a disability. You are respected by all, no matter where they choose to receive services, State Supported Living Centers and community supports.

Martha said...

Everyone can live in the community. My severely disabled son age 37 with autism and multiple issues is now living in his own apartment with section 8 housing and companion care through HCS. I am totally in charge of him. Friends are helping.

Community is possible and don't let anyone say that an individual is too disabled to live in his own place, not necessarily in his parents home.

I am a senior citizen with few relatives. Who will care for my son when I am gone? I am praying that what I have designed will do the trick.

If we go to six bed group homes then what is to stop us from turning them into larger ICFMR institutions and soon we are back to square 1...opening more big institutions.

Nancy said...

I am a service recipient of a state funded program called Client Managed Personal Attendant Services (CMPAS) since 1995. For 33 years I have used the services of an attendant to help me with my basic needs, getting out of bed into my wheelchair , dressing, showering, etc. Because of the freedom of independent living for persons with disabilities and having and attendant be my arms, legs and muscles, I have been able to be employed for 26 years, full-time and giving back to my community by 1) providing an employment opportunity at $7.25 an hour (state wage) for an attendant job--(it is really sad when you have to compete with fast food chain wages for personal care wages) , 2) having an employment opportunity available for people who have the compassion but not necessarily the skills needed or desired to work in the competitive world. 3) Paying a co-pay, investing my hard earned wages back into the very program that support my attendant needs; 4) spending my income in my community, paying sales tax, gas tax, franchise tax, property tax, etc to support the economy and 5) I am able to volunteer hundreds of hours a year to benefit the community and to fill my passion for my community. All this because I have the freedom to live in my own home and have attendants that help me to achieve all this and more.

My program services thru CMPAS are slated to be cut by 50 percent. So the cost impact will be nursing home costs, unemployment of me and my attendant, the loss of my self-directed care, activities, dignity, loss of tax revenues, volunteer hours, and basically a liability for the state. The cuts are not recognized on the surface but go deeper and damage the economy in more ways then one might think. I am but one of hundreds across the state at risk. No cuts means better balance, no cuts mean freedom and revenue generation, and no cuts to hurt the very citizens that work so hard to keep Texas working.

Tamara Ishee said...

Thank you so much for caring about our children. They are all angels from God. My 7 year old daughter with Down sydrome is a blessing to our family. She has taught us how to find the pure joy in life! Please urge your fellow legislators to oppose cuts to critical services for our families.

Anonymous said...

People who are not caregivers for our special children or anyone with disabilites could never know the cost and extreme difficulties that familes endure. I pray that the families will continue to get the support that they truly need