Assemblyman Santabarbara Helps Pass Legislation to Improve the Quality Of Life for People with Disabilities

In honor of Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) announced the Assembly’s passage of legislation to help ensure New Yorkers with disabilities are treated fairly.

“The injustice that New Yorkers with disabilities face every day is unacceptable,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “We need to be doing everything we can to ensure those with disabilities have the support and protection they need to lead normal lives.”

The Assembly passed legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone with a service dog – whether they are training the dog or using it to aid with their disability. The bill would also make refusing occupancy or attempting to evict someone with a hearing impairment based on their use of a dog a discriminatory housing policy (A.5788).

Legislation was also passed that would ensure sign language interpreters are available at public hearings and meetings upon the request of someone who is hearing impaired, and it would ensure assistive listening devices are available in rooms used for public hearings that accommodate over 100 people (A.2826).

“If they wish, those with disabilities should be able to participate in public meetings and hearings, just like everyone else,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “This legislation would help to make such occasions truly public by extending accessibility to those with hearing impairments.”

Additionally, a bill was passed to ensure that all state employees have equal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (A.828).

The Assembly also passed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Santabarbara – a steadfast advocate for veterans and their families – that would establish the New York State Interagency Coordinating Council for Service-Disabled Veterans (A.6213-B). The council would be tasked with identifying the needs of our service-disabled veterans and efficiently matching these needs with appropriate services and state resources. The council would help better provide for our brave servicemen and servicewomen when they return home, added Santabarbara.

“It can be easy to take our most basic rights for granted, but so many of our loved ones are regularly denied these rights because of a disability,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “All New Yorkers deserve fair and equal rights. This legislative package takes important steps toward improving access for and protecting the rights of those with disabilities.”