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2018 Candidate Answers


Bibi Hahan

(D) Morgan, District 58


Disability Rights

1. What initiatives would you undertake to ensure the protection of the Civil Rights of West Virginians with disabilities?

No Answer


2. How will you ensure West Virginia state entities and businesses are in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act to prevent discrimination against West Virginians with disabilities?

I’d try to create a hotline where people can call and report businesses etc that aren’t compliant. I don’t know if building inspectors inspect for compliance when a building is being sold/bought, but they should, as well as when a building is newly constructed.



3. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act covers all activities of State and Local Governments. The Act states that:

  • No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.
  • A public entity shall administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.  (a provision upheld by the Olmstead Decision of the US Supreme Court)
  • A public entity that employs 50 or more persons shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under this part, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to it alleging its noncompliance with this part or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by this part.

How can West Virginia best uphold the Olmstead US Supreme Court decision and comply with the most integrated setting provision in Title II of the Act?

No Answer


Medicaid

4. Do you support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act in West Virginia?  Why?

YES. As a practice manager of a healthcare office, I’ve seen families come in for healthcare that couldn’t afford it before. Some have chronic conditions that would only get worse, costing more money both to the patient as well as society, if left untreated. I think it’s great.



5. Do you support funding the Medicaid Waivers sufficiently to eliminate the waiting lists and make them accessible to those who need them? Why?

Yes I do. I think it would be financially efficient, rather than waiting until a person is sicker.


 Community Services

6. What strategies will you use to ensure every West Virginian with a disability has access to a Center for Independent Living?

I had never heard of these before, and now I know why. We don’t have one within 2 hours of us (Berkeley Springs). It looks like they have wonderful resources available. I think there should be one in every county. Assessments could be done to determine which services are a good fit for each community.



7. How will you maximize West Virginia’s access to federal funding to improve and sustain services and supports for people with disabilities?

No Answer


8. How will you ensure FEMA funding received by West Virginia is used to meet the specific needs of survivors with disabilities following a disaster?

No Answer


Transportation

9. Transportation in West Virginia, especially in rural areas is a problem for anyone who doesn’t own a vehicle.  However, due to the lack of accessible transportation it is an even bigger issue for people with disabilities.  Transportation is critical to the ability of an individual to work, live, and fully participate in his/her community.

What will you do to improve access to transportation statewide for all West Virginians, including people with disabilities?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had train service across the state? I suppose that’s out of reach. Transportation is something people struggle with constantly here, especially with our older citizens.  Maybe we could incentivize people to start small businesses that cater to the transportation needs of those that can’t drive.



Education

10.  A. How will you make sure all schools are aware of and access all transition services available for youth with disabilities?

       B. How will you enforce existing laws ensuring access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education for all youth with disabilities and ensure local school systems understand and comply with their responsibilities?

Unfortunately, these resources are extremely thin. I know several families that have moved so their autistic children could get the help they needed. We must assess and provide appropriate services for each community. Presentations on services could be done at school board meetings, parent teacher meetings, and other events where teachers and administrators meet.



11. How will you ensure the existence of post-secondary education/training, services, and supports that facilitate all youth with disabilities becoming working, productive citizens?

No Answer


12. Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been federal law since 1975, many students with disabilities are still segregated, bused to a single school in the county, or otherwise excluded from the education in the “least restrictive environment” provision of IDEA. The integration of students with disabilities into general education classrooms and activities with typical students has been shown to increase acceptance, expectations, and inclusion and to reduce fear, misunderstanding, and bullying.  What steps will you take to increase integration of all students with disabilities in schools throughout West Virginia?

No Answer

 

Employment

13. 71.3% of working age West Virginians with disabilities are not in the workforce. What steps will you take to change that?  How will you ensure all working West Virginians with disabilities are paid at least minimum wage and eliminate sub-minimum wage?

I’ve seen the miracles that CLSP (Community Living Services Program) provides. For example, I have a friend who, after getting ramps and other devices installed in her studio, is able to continue her work as an artist. She’s mobile thanks to wheelchair and scooter, and a lift for her van. We need to expand this program, and promote it more. I had no idea such a program existed until she told me about it. And then there’s the Division of Rehabilitation Services, a program that provided money for another community member’s surgery so she could continue in her work. I think any person applying for Disability should be informed of these services. Anyone not making at least minimum wage should have somewhere they can report this abuse.


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