Gov. Hochul signs bill to strengthen Americans with Disabilities Act in NY
It has been 32 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, and today Gov. Kathy Hochul signed more legislation to strengthen it in New York.
The governor said today she wants to continue to build on the progress of the Americans with Disabilities Act and did so by signing five new bills into law.
Hochul says the new legislation will give decision-making autonomy to New Yorkers with disabilities while educating the public and reducing stigma around people with disabilities.
The new law will also allow for less restrictive alternatives to guardianship for people with disabilities.
"It creates a formal and legal process for those living with these challenges to make their own decisions about their lives,” said Hochul. “There should not be an automatic presumption, that someone else has to make the decisions for them… other than just saying it, let’s make it the law of the state of New York.”
Two bills will replace references to the outdated terms of “mentally retarded” and “mentally ill” and change them to “developmentally disabled” or “individuals with a developmental disability” within state law.
Another bill will establish a public awareness campaign to erase the stigma and stereotypes around developmental disabilities.
The governor has also eliminated the state residency requirement in the New York Able program, which helps pay for disability expenses.