Assemblymember Bronson: Assembly Passes Legislation to Protect New Yorkers with Disabilities

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced that the Assembly passed a series of bills to help protect and strengthen the rights of New Yorkers living with disabilities.

“Every New Yorker deserves to live a fulfilling life and have the opportunity to get ahead,” Bronson said. “This legislation helps ensure that people with disabilities have the quality of life and rights they’re entitled to.”

The Assembly’s legislative package includes a measure Bronson sponsored to ensure equal protection for all state workers (A.5388). Another measure requires that sign-language interpreters be available upon request at public hearings and meetings and that assistive listening systems be installed in rooms used for public hearings that accommodate more than 100 people (A.1669-A).

In addition, the Assembly passed a bill that removes barriers for blind and visually impaired voters, ensuring that they can easily cast their votes by allowing them to request Braille or large-print absentee ballots for all elections administered under election and education laws (A.2104-A).

“By making the process easier for voters who are blind or visually impaired, we can help protect the rights of all New Yorkers,” Bronson said.

Also included in the Assembly’s legislative package are measures to ensure proper care and transport of New Yorkers with disabilities during emergencies. One bill requires owners of high-rise buildings to implement emergency evacuation plans for residents and visitors with disabilities (A.2200). The other requires counties with local emergency management plans to maintain a confidential, voluntary registry of residents with disabilities who may need assistance or shelter in the event of a natural disaster (A.2658-A).

“By keeping a list on file of residents with disabilities who may need assistance during an emergency, we can help ensure that everyone is safe and that no one is ever left behind,” Bronson said.

The Assembly also passed a bill that establishes the New York State Interagency Coordinating Council for Service-Disabled Veterans to help properly assess the needs of service-disabled veterans and help them gain access to the appropriate state resources (A.4789-A).

In an effort to make homes more comfortable and accessible to New Yorkers with disabilities, the Assembly also passed a bill to provide a tax credit to homeowners who retrofit their homes with qualified improvements, such as no-step entrances and grab bars in bathrooms (A.6243-B).

Another measure allows advanced home health aides to perform advanced tasks, including administering medicine when supervised by a registered professional nurse (A.7188-A). The bill makes an exemption to the Nurse Practice Act to increase comfort levels for New Yorkers with disabilities when necessary for the best quality of care possible, Bronson noted.

“The Assembly’s package takes into consideration the unique challenges New Yorkers living with disabilities face and ensures that their rights are protected, so that everyone has the chance to succeed,” Bronson said.