2018 Platform: Disabilities

People with disabilities have an inalienable right to participate as equals in all aspects of civic and political life through employment and equal opportunity for political expression.  California Democrats support and uphold the enforcement and funding of all federal, state, and local civil rights legislation and regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and the Lanterman Act, and will actively oppose any effort to undermine their strength or impact.  All Democrats must reject cuts to and promote increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), state supplementary programs, and federal Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).  California Democrats believe in the equality of people with disabilities and oppose ableism – discrimination in favor of people without disabilities – in all forms.   

                                   

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

  • Register people with disabilities to vote and encourage all people with disabilities to exercise their right to independently cast a private ballot and work to abolish any physical, regulatory, or legislative barriers that inhibit the ability to exercise this right;
  • Expect elected officials to have one staff person well-versed in disability civil rights issues;
  • Encourage Party-endorsed candidates to access a person or organizations well-versed in disability civil rights issues;
  • Actively support participation and employment of people with disabilities at all levels of the Party and ensure that all Party functions are fully accessible to all who wish to participate;
  • Ensure that all Democratic Central Committees and affiliated organizations have the training and tools necessary to reach out to voters with disabilities and strongly support the formation and strengthening of Democratic organizations dedicated to advocating for the full inclusion of people with disabilities;
  • Ensure that all Democratic Party and endorsed campaign headquarters are fully accessible;
  • Encourage balanced participation of people with disabilities on state and local commissions as well as within Party leadership and standing committee positions;
  • Encourage municipalities and local governments to establish disability advisory bodies;
  • Support the development of strategies to achieve parity for people with disabilities in the workforce, promote the training of people with disabilities as entrepreneurs, and work with unions to promote and develop alternative forms of employment for people with disabilities;
  • Work to eliminate marriage penalties imposed on SSI recipients, including income parameters;
  • Work for guaranteed palliative care; support improvements to the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan by amending prohibitive costs; oppose detrimental budget cuts in Medicare/ Medi-Cal; and support the principle of informed choice;
  • Encourage legislation to improve respite care and in-home support services and support higher pay and better training programs for home care workers;
  • Work to 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;
  • Fight to 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 and medical and dental health for people with developmental and other disabilities under all public and private health care delivery plans, with the inclusion of long-term care as basic coverage in all private plans; and,
  • Actively design and implement support services programs targeted toward isolated and rural communities.
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