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2014 Consensus Agenda On Disability Policy

Developed by Participants in the 2014 Disability Policy Summit

Oct. 23-24, 2013

Ratifying Organizations Listed Below


Introduction

The Disability Consensus Agenda reflects the agreement of multiple organizations on key public policy goals that affect West Virginians with disabilities. The development of the Agenda began with the Disability Policy Summit hosted by the Statewide Independent Living Council and State Rehabilitation Council in October 2013 and was ratified by participating organizations in December 2013 (see list on last page).

The Agenda features:

  • Five interrelated priority areas: Home & Community-Based Services & Supports; Community Infrastructure, Education, Employment, and Human & Civil Rights;
  • A guiding statement for each priority area that reflects the shared values and principles of the supporting organizations;
  • A strategic focus on policy goals that multiple organizations are actively pursuing;
  • Identification of policy goals in each priority area that have statewide impact (such as state legislation and appropriations, policy-making by state agencies and boards, and local policies that have the potential of becoming statewide); and
  • A list of organizations that have ratified the Agenda.

It is important to note that the Disability Consensus Agenda is not a comprehensive listing of policy goals and that individual organizations are working on many additional issues. Also, the Agenda is continually evolving and responsive to changing circumstances and opportunities as they arise.

Although not specifically addressed in this document, it is equally important that our state maximize the policies and funding that we already have. We encourage state leaders to assure that laws and policies are consistently applied and enforced. We urge state agencies to tap all federal resources available to our state for programs that support citizens with disabilities having meaningful participation in their communities.

Home and Community-Based Services and Supports

People with disabilities have the right to live healthy lives and be productive citizens in their communities with access to the community-based services and supports needed to do so.

  • Maintain and increase funding for Medicaid Waivers, Independent Living Services, RYPAS, and other integrated community-based services
  • Expand Medicaid coverage of services to include adult dental services, hearing aids, assistive technology and ventilator services and provide adequate coverage for tube feeding, formulas and supplies, while exercising fiscal responsibility to ensure that Medicaid funding is used appropriately
  • Expand Ken Ervin Community Living Services Act (AMAP) to include delegation of ventilator care and other respiratory care services
  • Expand community-based services for people with mental illness, addictions, ID/DD and other disabilities to prevent institutionalization and imprisonment
  • Increase Medicaid enrollment for eligible individuals through the Affordable Care Act

Community Infrastructure

People with disabilities have the right to participate fully in their communities therefore, community infrastructure and capacity must be expanded to ensure the availability of integrated, accessible and affordable housing, transportation and other resources.

  • Expand availability and accessibility of transportation statewide including accessible buses and taxis
  • Study methods to maximize existing transportation
  • Provide state designation of federal HOME funds for tenant-based rental assistance
  • Enforce standards and provisions of the Fair Housing Act, the ADA, and the State Building Code
  • Ensure disability issues are addressed in emergency preparedness planning
  • Expand community-based treatment for people with mental illness, addictions, intellectual disabilities and other behavioral health conditions to prevent institutionalization and imprisonment

Education

Children and young people with disabilities must have access to quality education that includes services and programs which allow full participation in an integrated and inclusive educational system that best meets the needs of the child.

  • Increase the level of classroom positive behavior supports and interventions while expanding and increasing the quality of school level preventative measures. 
  • Improve school safety through training, policies, programs, and plans, e.g. prohibiting restraints, enforcing bullying policies, and emergency planning
  • Fully implement of all state and federal Special Education laws and policies to increase and improve outcomes for students with disabilities including Policy 2419 and 4373
  • Eliminate criminalization of “behaviors” in the public school system when the behaviors are a manifestation of a student’s disability
  • Eliminate the regular use of restraint and seclusion as part of the IEP for students with disabilities
  • Include Human Growth and Development instruction, including healthy sexuality, in Special Education

Employment

People with disabilities have the right and the responsibility to be productive citizens engaged in competitive, integrated employment with the services and supports needed to do so.

  • Increase funding for Supported Employment Services
  • Increase funding for Extended Supported Employment Services
  • Implement the “Employment First” initiative, emphasizing integrated, community-based employment as the desired outcome for individuals with disabilities – expecting, encouraging, providing, creating, and rewarding integrated employment in the workforce as the first and preferred option of youth and adults with disabilities
  • Increase focus on competitive, community-based employment by creating a continuing line item appropriation to fund services for this purpose, and by identifying specific funding for job readiness skills training
  • Increase awareness of benefits planning and benefits advocacy for Social Security beneficiaries seeking employment

Human and Civil Rights

People with disabilities have the right to determine and control their own destiny with protection from discrimination and segregation; all laws to protect their rights and freedoms should be implemented and enforced in a timely and effective manner.

  • Eliminate the Institutional Bias in the long term care system to reduce our reliance on costly institutional settings and increase our compliance with the “most integrated setting” mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Eliminate Judge’s discretion to involuntarily commit people found Not Competent To Stand Trial and Not Substantially Likely to Attain Competency for what would be the maximum sentence he or she could have received
  • Fully implement the WV Olmstead Plan and rebalancing strategies to ensure compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Pursue and increase awareness of alternatives to guardianship and clarify guardianship laws to permit limited guardianship
  • Improve protections and response for people with disabilities against bullying, abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and financial exploitation
  • Fully implement of federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations requiring  equal access to programs, services, and buildings, including public places such as court houses and polling places, for people with disabilities
  • Fully implement West Virginia state code §5A-1-11, to ensure state support for and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Protect existing legal rights of individuals with disabilities, assure all due process rules are enforced, and assure effective and timely representation is available for due process proceedings and for any and all appeals

The 2014 Consensus Agenda has been endorsed By:

  • WV Statewide Independent Living Council
  • WV Olmstead Council
  • WV State Rehabilitation Council
  • Appalachian Center for Independent Living
  • WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities
  • Job Squad, Inc.
  • Mountain Line Transit Authority
  • Northern WV Center for Independent Living
  • The Arc of West Virginia
  • The Arc of the Mid Ohio Valley
  • People First of West Virginia
  • National Association of Social Workers, WV Chapter
  • Fair Shake Network
  • WV Developmental Disabilities Council
  • ACLU-WV
  • West Virginians for Affordable Health Care
  • WV Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • West Virginia Nurses Association
  • Mountain State Centers for Independent Living
  • WV Parent Training & Information
  • WV Autism Training Center at Marshall University
  • WV Association of the Deaf

For more information on the Agenda, please contact:
Ann McDaniel, Executive Director
West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council
PO Box 625, Institute, WV 25112-0625
304-766-4624 (Office) * 304-543-9331 (Cell)
ann.meadows@wvsilc.org