ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Today marks 32 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, providing equality for people with disabilities. Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige has the latest on a package of bills signed on Tuesday that strengthen rights for the disabled community.
“And I remember what it was like pre-ADA, when ya know there were no accessible entrances and bathrooms were not accessible it was an entirely different world to live with as a person with a disability back then,” said Doug Hovey, President and CEO of Independent Living Inc.
One of the bills signed into law will create a public awareness campaign to combat stereotypes for people with developmental disabilities. Senator John Mannion is the sponsor of this bill. He says the campaign will work through media and social media, “And individuals with disabilities and their family members, there are certainly moments when, almost every day, they realize that that stigma certainly still exists and barriers still exist.”
Senator Mannion says in some cases, a person deemed disabled, must give up their rights to make decisions, and the responsibility is on the guardianship. Another bill he sponsored will give more flexibility to those with disabilities when it comes to decision making “And allows for genuine input by the individual that has a disability without physically passing over all of their rights so this is certainly an improvement; it’s more inclusive and its least restrictive” said Mannion.
This situation may sound familiar for some “Oops I Did It Again” fans, “Britney Spears situation. People were surprised that she actually did not have control over many of the things that were happening in her life when it came to a variety of different things,” said Mannion. The Senator says Britney’s fan club is a big supporter of this bill.