(June 2015) Assemblyman Magee (D-Nelson) announced he helped pass the Assembly’s series of measures to help improve the quality of life for New Yorkers with disabilities in honor of this year’s Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day.
“It’s important to continue to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, including those with disabilities, particularly because of the unique challenges they face every day,” said Assemblyman Magee. “This legislation will help to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve a better quality of life.”
Strengthening rights for New Yorkers with disabilities
Some of the key bills from the Assembly’s legislative package include a number of measures to combat discrimination against New Yorkers living with disabilities. These bills would:
- ensure equal protection for all New York State employees 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.5388);
- improve the accessibility of public facilities by making it a discriminatory practice under the state Human Rights Law for a state or local government to refuse to remove barriers in existing structures, vehicles or rail passenger cars unless the removal would constitute an undue burden (A.136-A); and
- ensure consideration of a treating physician’s opinion in determining work limitations due to a disability or health issue that might affect the individual’s compliance with public assistance work requirements (A.3450).
“Individuals who live with a disability are constantly challenged by everyday tasks,” said Assemblyman Magee. “But by improving access to public facilities and services, we can help ease some of their hardships and make sure they are protected.”
Ensuring equal access to voting
The package of legislation also includes a bill that would enable blind and visually impaired voters to request Braille or large-print absentee ballots in elections that are administered under the education and election laws (A.2104-A).
“Voting is a right which should never be restricted due to a visual impairment or any other disability,” said Assemblyman Magee. “By providing Braille and large-print absentee ballots, we can help to ensure that the democratic process is more participatory for all New Yorkers.”