2016 Platform: Disabilities

People with disabilities have an inalienable right to participate as self-sufficiently as possible through employment and equal opportunity for political expression.  California democrats support and uphold the enforcement and funding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the Lanterman Act, and all federal and state disability and access laws and regulations.  All Democrats must fight cuts to, and promote increases in, Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Efforts and Federal Social Security Disability Income.  Democrats desire that all people with disabilities have a sustainable quality of life in the least restrictive environment.

To ensure equality for people with disabilities, California Democrats will:

  • Expect elected officials to have one staff person well-versed in disability civil rights issues;
  • Actively support participation and employment of people with disabilities in all levels of the Party;
  • Ensure that all Democratic organizations have the training necessary to reach out to voters with disabilities; Strongly support the formation and strengthening of Democratic organizations dedicated to advocating for and the inclusion of people with disabilities in civic and political life;
  • Ensure that all Democratic political headquarters are fully accessible;
  • Encourage more balanced participation of people with disabilities on state and local commissions;
  • Work with unions to promote and develop alternative forms of employment for people with disabilities, including those unable to work standard 8-hour work days;
  • Eliminate marriage penalties imposed on SSI recipients, including income parameters;
  • Guarantee palliative care; support improvements to the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan by amending prohibitive costs; oppose detrimental budget cuts in Medicare / Medi-Cal; support the principle of informed choice;
  • Improve respite care and in-home support services and support higher pay and better training programs for home care workers;
  • Broaden financial assistance for accessible housing, vehicles and durable medical equipment to give much-needed monetary assistance for individuals to pay for improvements to their equipment beyond the Medicare / Medi-Cal rate;
  • Eliminate housing discrimination that penalizes or denies people with disabilities the right to interdependence through shared housing with a spouse or significant other;
  • Promote parity of services for mental health and substance-related disorder benefits, medical and dental health for people with developmental and other disabilities under all public and private health care and delivery plans.
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