Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) announced the appointment of Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge) as chairman of the newly-formed Assembly Minority Task Force on Protecting the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities. The task force was created to address the concerns of families, caregivers, non-profits, community organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities regarding the effectiveness of transition plans for those in sheltered workshops and developmental centers.
“This task force reaffirms our conference’s dedication to protecting New York’s most vulnerable community,” Leader Kolb said. “The task force will travel the state seeking input from stakeholders to ensure that the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities are considered and protected. I applaud Assemblyman Crouch and the members of the Minority Conference for their commitment to addressing this critical issue.”
Under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. L.C. the court held that public entities must place persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than in institutions when three conditions are met:
· The state’s treatment professionals have determined that community placement is appropriate;
· The affected persons do not oppose the transfer to the less restrictive setting; and
· The placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of others with mental disabilities.
In an effort to better support the rights of the developmentally disabled community, the task force will address:
· The impact of the Olmstead decision on individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
· The effectiveness of current transition plans for those in sheltered workshops;
· Identifying opportunities to effectively aid integration in our communities;
· Identifying whether input and desires of people with disabilities are being considered; and
· Evaluating how we can better support the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities.
“This task force is an opportunity to travel the state and better understand the unintended consequences of the Olmstead decision on our developmentally disabled community. We encourage families, individuals with developmental disabilities and community organizations to share their experiences and expertise on the effectiveness of transition plans and their resulting impact,” said Assemblyman Crouch. “Ultimately, the task force hopes to find solutions to provide the best quality of life and opportunities for those with developmental disabilities.”
Representatives from non-profit organizations and facilities, community leaders and mental health experts are invited to attend and provide feedback. The task force is also encouraging individuals with disabilities and their families to participate and share their experiences as a result of the Olmstead decision.
The task force will host a series of regional forums across the state beginning on Thursday, April 7 in Plattsburgh. For more information on the task force, please contact the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs at 518-455-5073.