NYAIL

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NYAIL developed a brief questionnaire for the NYS gubernatorial candidates which touches on issues of critical importance to the disability community. Disability touches many aspects of life, and as such, NYAIL’s concerns are wide ranging, including health, community integration, transportation, housing, voting rights and employment. We will post the responses as we receive them. It is our hope that responses to these questions will help voters with disabilities and their families make an informed choice on Election Day.

Questionnaire Responses:

Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins [Click Here]
Serve America Movement Candidate Stephanie Miner [Click Here] 

NYAIL has just released its 2018 ILC Informational Flier. 

ILCs are community-based nonprofits run by, and for, people with disabilities. We provide vital advocacy, services and supports to individuals so that they can live fully independent, integrated lives in their community.

NYAIL's 2018 Informational Flyer features statistics and relevant information about the importance of ILCs [view/print here].

10/25/2017 06:38 PM EDT

By Dan Goldberg/ Politico, LLC

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) said Wednesday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was being "absurd" after the governor, for the third consecutive year, vetoed a bill that would have provided tax credits to seniors who want to purchase, construct or retrofit a principal residence so that it is more accessible.

The bill is designed to help keep seniors in their homes.

Cuomo, in his veto message, said it's a laudable goal but he thinks the creation of a new tax credit should be handled during budget negotiations, a common refrain from the governor, who prefers spending bills to be part of the budget as opposed to independent legislation.

DeFrancisco rejected that argument.

"It is absurd that the governor needs it to be part of the budget negotiations when he is repeatedly handing out millions of dollars on almost a daily basis for various failed projects across the state," the senator said in a press release. "The governor also had no problem launching his free college tuition program when no specific regulations were in place at the time of his signing, and regulations for this complex initiative were created in days."

The bill, NY A5950 (17R), would have provided a one-time credit, limited to $2,750, for retrofitting, such as adding a wheelchair ramp. The total credit amount provided by the state would be capped at $1 million per year for five years.

"The lack of accessible housing is the biggest barrier for many people seeking to leave nursing homes," Lindsay Miller, executive director of the New York Association on Independent Living, said in a press release. "Very often, a ramp to the front door is the difference between a person being able to live safely in their homes or needing to go into a nursing facility."

Cuomo, in his veto message, pointed to the state's Access to Home Program, which provides financial assistance to property owners who make units available to low- and moderate-income tenants with disabilities. Advocates complain that the program does not receive the support it needs.

"It is ironic that Governor Cuomo points to Access to Home as proof of his support of accessible housing since it is currently severely underfunded," Meghan Parker, director of advocacy for NYAIL, said in the press release.

October 24, 2017

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bill that Would Help Seniors and People with Disabilities Live In the Community for the Third Year in a Row

Contact: Lindsay Miller (518) 465-4650, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meghan Parker (518) 465-4650, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(Albany, NY) - Governor Cuomo vetoed the Visitability Tax Credit bill (A.5950/S.2411) for the third year in a row, which would have helped seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their homes and out of nursing homes. The bill would have provided for a modest tax credit of up to $2,750 for seniors and people with disabilities to modify their homes to make them more accessible. In addition, it would have allowed people to access this credit when including accessible features at the time of construction.

“The lack of accessible housing is the biggest barrier for many people seeking to leave nursing homes. Very often, a ramp to the front door is the difference between a person being able to live safely in their homes or needing to go into a nursing facility” stated Lindsay Miller, Executive Director for the New York Association on Independent Living. “Advocates and sponsors worked in earnest to address concerns raised by the Administration previously, including scaling back the program significantly by capping it at $1 million per year. We are deeply disappointed the Administration decided to veto the bill yet again, rather than work with us to make whatever additional fixes were needed to implement the program and help people to stay in their own homes and maintain their independence,” added Miller.

The disability community has been advocating for this bill because home modifications can be prohibitively expensive, particularly for seniors and people with disabilities who have to rely on a fixed income. This tax credit would allow many New Yorkers to age in place and at the same time, help increase the stock of accessible housing by incentivizing the inclusion of accessible features at the time of construction.

In his veto memo, Cuomo asserts his support for accessible housing by pointing to the Access to Home program, a successful program which provides low income individuals and families home modifications to prevent unwanted institutionalization.

“It is ironic that Governor Cuomo points to Access to Home as proof of his support of accessible housing since it is currently severely underfunded” stated Meghan Parker, Director of Advocacy for the New York Association on Independent Living. “Funding for Access to Home was cut by 75% under this administration and they have failed to restore its funding despite vigorous advocacy from the disability community” added Parker.

“We are urging Governor Cuomo to include funding in the 2018 budget to address the dire need for funding for home modifications” stated Miller. “Governor Cuomo needs to include funding for programs like the Visitability Tax Credit and Access to Home so that people aren’t forced into nursing homes against their will.” added Miller.

The New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) is a statewide membership organization of Independent Living Centers (ILCs), community-based not-for-profit providers of advocacy, services and supports for New Yorkers with disabilities of all ages. ILCs are controlled by, and largely staffed by, people with disabilities. NYAIL strengthens local Independent Living Centers and is a leader in the civil rights movement for all people with disabilities.

 

 June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017 was the 18th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Olmstead decision, which asserted the rights of people with disabilities to live and receive services in the most integrated setting. It was also the day the Senate unveiled their health care plan, which would make devastating cuts to Medicaid - the program that enables millions of people with disabilities to live and receive services in the community.

ADAPT, a national grassroots organization which engages in direct action to fight for the rights of people with disabilities, received national attention yesterday when they held a die in in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office. Congratulations to ADAPT advocates for an impeccably well timed action! Coverage of their protest was all over both social media and made national news. Thanks to ADAPT for bringing national attention to the devastating impact the AHCA’s cuts to Medicaid will have on people with disabilities.

Capitol Police took 50 protesters into custody after some of them removed themselves from their wheelchairs as part of the "die-in" demonstration. See photos at http://www.businessinsider.com/disabled-people-die-in-protest-mitch-mcconnell-senate-republican-gop-health-care-bill-2017-6

and video at http://time.com/4829103/mitch-mcconnell-protest-senate-health-care-bill/.

MSNBC covered the story, running footage throughout the afternoon and into the prime time news shows. Rachael Maddow covered the protest in detail, including the history of ADAPT and the disability rights movement, watch the video here: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/gop-threat-to-medicaid-threatens-liberty-of-millions-of-americans-974159427845

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mitch-mcconnell-health-care-protest_us_594be412e4b0a3a837bdf1b7?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/police-remove-disabled-protesters-outside-mitch-mcconnells-office/

There is much, much more coverage. Search for the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST on twitter for more coverage.

ADAPTers are expecting to face significant legal costs as a result of yesterday’s action. They are seeking donations to help cover their costs, as well as future legal fees associated with their incredibly important work. Please consider donating and share this with your networks!

https://www.gofundme.com/u2jc4-adapt