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2018 Candidate Answers


William R. "Bill" Wooton

(D) Raleigh District/Circuit 9


Disability Rights

1. What initiatives would you undertake to ensure the protection of the Civil Rights of West Virginians with disabilities? 
As an attorney in the state of West Virginia, I am very aware of the need and the procedures to protect Civil Rights in West Virginia. I have great confidence in organizations like Legal-Aid, the ACLU and Disability Rights of West Virginia: I am confident these organizations will continue to vigilantly uphold our constitutionally protected Civil Rights.

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? 
State entities and businesses have had almost 30 year to be in compliance with the ADA; any not in compliance should be dealt with forthwith and compelled to become compliant.

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? 
Fully funding Olmstead would be the preferred – and probably the only effective - solution to comply with the most integrated setting provision in Title II of the Act.

Medicaid
4. Do you support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act in West Virginia? Why? 
Yes, the Medicaid Expansion would supply health insurance to our working class people who would otherwise not be able to have health coverage.  

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, sufficient funding of Medicaid Waivers will result in vulnerable members of our population being able to remain in their homes, and in general is a more cost-effective means of providing needed care.

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 understand the need for underserved communities to have a CIL in their area, but more importantly we need to be working directly with each office to find out what their specific needs are. We must first get adequate funding for our existing CILs.

7. How will you maximize West Virginia’s access to federal funding to improve and sustain services and supports for people with disabilities? The best way to gain knowledge is to work with those who are knowledgeable in the field.

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? 
The best way to gain knowledge is to work with those who are knowledgeable in the field. I feel that speaking to CILS in our area would assist in ensuring FEMA funding is being used for the greater good of the survivors and their needs.

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? 
Apply for federal transportation funding to ensure and improve access for those with or without disabilities.

Education
10. A. How will you make sure all schools are aware of and access all transition services available for youth with disabilities? 
Create relationships with the BOE, Division of Rehabilitative services and Centers for Independent Living to make sure they are communicating with one another.
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? 
By working with the Department of Justice, to protect rights to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education to anyone with a disability, due to the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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? 
I feel that those with disabilities have rights to post-secondary education, and are entitled to all supports necessary to further their education and to assist in career decisions.

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? 
I would like to see an Educational task force on student integration and anti- bullying. I would also like to see curriculum designed to assist on how students respond or react to those who are bullying and get families involved.

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? 
With the decline of sheltered workshops, I feel that more employers are paying a fair wage. Liaison between Social Security and those interested in employment to help explain the benefits of joining the workforce.

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