ALBANY, N.Y., June 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The budget proposal released by The White House in late May makes numerous across-the-board cuts to programs and services vital to the independence of people with disabilities. The proposed cuts (to areas such as Medicaid, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, and Section 8 Housing programs) would dramatically impact the ability of disabled Americans to live independently in the community.
Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, bi-partisan leadership has worked with advocates to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in our society," said Brad Williams, Executive Director of NYSILC." The proposed budget dismisses the idea that people with disabilities are valuable community members.
It fails to recognize that investing in people with disabilities also supports the economy. Independent living allows more people to work as tax-paying citizens and become productive members of society. In addition, people with disabilities also add valued jobs to the community. Williams added, "Proposing cuts this far and deep to people with disabilities will force many into institutional settings; costing more and decreases the quality of life."
Another portion of the President's proposed budget seeks to eliminate the Independent Living State Grants program, the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, and the Traumatic Brain Injury State Grants. These programs would be replaced by a new entity with significantly reduced funding. NYSILC does not support this proposal. Each one of these distinct programs addresses different populations and needs, and has effected important change over the years.
The Independent Living State Grants program provides funding for the council to plan priority projects for the statewide network of centers. "This is unique because a majority of council members are required to be people with disabilities. They seek input from other New Yorkers with disabilities on what issues and projects will best address their needs and impact systems change," said Williams.
The unique aspects of Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) have been incorporated into Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1992. The Rehabilitation Act was reauthorized with other Federal disability laws in 2015 under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Independent Living State Grants program does not need to be restructured.
Learn more about the purpose of Title VII, Section 701 by visiting http://www.crinet.org/education/Independent%20Living/rehabilitation_act.htm
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