Parker Passes Bill for Blind and Disabled New Yorkers
For Immediate Release: June 22, 2011
(Albany, NY) Today marks the passage of a historical piece of legislation for New York’s blind and disabled population. Senator Parker (D-21) passed the Accessible Electronic Information Act for blind and disabled persons (Senate Bill 1053). The Act, if signed by the Governor, will ensure that blind and disabled New Yorkers will have equal access to printed information.
“Lack of direct and prompt access to information included in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, schedules, announcements, and other time-sensitive materials, limits educational opportunities, and full participation in society by blind and disabled persons,” said Parker “I am so proud to be the sponsor, along with Assemblyman Pretlow of this very important legislation which bridges the gap in access to information,” continued Parker.
Similar legislation has already been implemented in ten different states, including Pennsylvania, Texas and Georgia. This legislation creates a fund under the Comptroller’s control that would receive some funding from the Targeted Accessibility Fund and other funding from potential private and public grant monies.
Use of this accessible electronic information service will improve the State's current efforts to meet the needs of blind and disabled citizens for access to information which is otherwise available in print, thereby reducing isolation and supporting full integration and equal access for such individuals.
“This legislation will ensure that over 6,000 print-disabled New Yorkers will have access to newspapers, magazines, job listings, television guides, and many other sources of information that can benefit their lives and enhance their participation in society,” stated Carl Jacobsen, President National Federation of the Blind of New York State. “We thank Senator Parker and Assemblyman Pretlow and ask Governor Cuomo to sign this important legislation into law,” continued Carl Jacobsen.
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse community that consists of 311,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park. Over 3,000 constituents in Senator Parker’s district live with some type of disability. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, former Majority Whip and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.