Democrat: WV Senate 11th District
1. What initiatives would you undertake to ensure the protection of the Civil Rights of West Virginians with disabilities?
A. Hold people and businesses accountable for their actions
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?
A. By monitoring all businesses.
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.
3. 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?
A. The state needs to increase funding for the Employment Attendant Care Program and the Community Living Services Program to better allow persons with disabilities to pursue employment and to live in their own communities.
4. Covid 19 hospital restrictions completely denied parents or guardians access to hospitalized individuals who have intellectual developmental disabilities. Taking into consideration their significant vulnerabilities and communication challenges this policy could impact the chance of recovery of the individual. How would you address this?
A. We need to have continuous monitoring as well as ongoing education to all groups and individuals that may potentially be involved at one time or another. We need to enhance reporting of potential concerns. We need immediate action when provisions are not followed.
5. Would you support a study on the accessibility of the State Capitol Building and grounds, to assure that it is clear of any barriers and accessible to all citizens especially in an emergency?
6. Do you support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act in West Virginia? Why?
A. Yes, It makes Health Care available and affordable.
7. Do you support keeping the Medicaid Waivers completely funded to eliminating any wait lists and make them accessible to those who need them? Why?
A. Yes. We cannot have individuals in need on a waiting list. They need services.
Community based programs help to enable people with disabilities live in the community.
8. What strategies will you use to ensure every West Virginian with a disability has access to a Center for Independent Living? (Centers for Ind. Living provides skills training and supports to help people with disabilities to live independently in their community.)
A. Ensure each County has the funds to ensure programs are available and utilized. Provide transportations options.
9. How will you maximize West Virginia’s access to federal funding to improve and sustain services and supports for people with disabilities?
A. a. Work with federal representatives and advocate for WV.
10. How will you ensure FEMA funding received by West Virginia is used to meet the specific needs of survivors with disabilities following a disaster including a pandemic?
A. Advocate and monitor funds. Ensure disability community is included
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.
11. What will you do to improve access to transportation statewide for all West Virginians, including people with disabilities?
A. Work with DMV, transit provider and senior centers to work together to solve the problem.
12. How will you make sure all schools are aware of and access all services available for youth with disabilities to transition from school to work?
A. By education and monitoring the IEP and the plans for transition
13. 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?
A. Monitor, inspect and train.
14. How will you ensure the existence of post-secondary education/training, services, and supports that facilitate all youth with disabilities becoming working, productive citizens?
A. Work close with post-secondary education programs and the Division of Rehabilitation. Mandate proof of Provider Info and student choice.
15. 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?
A. Educate communities, families and ongoing reminder to each county and school.
71.3% of working age West Virginians with disabilities are not in the workforce. WV is last in the country when it comes to employing people with disabilities.
16. What steps will you take to change that?
A. I will work to create and establish opportunities for individuals to have available options to work in their area of interest to use the skills they have to be a productive citizen.
17. How will you ensure all working West Virginians with disabilities are paid at least minimum wage and eliminate sub-minimum wage?
A. I will introduce a Bill to stop the sub-min wage. I will educate other legislators of the need for law to change. I will advocate for all people with disabilities. We all have purpose and value!