Fair Shake Network
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Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." 

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2018 Candidate Answers


Renate Pore

(D) Kanawha District 35


Disability Rights

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

When bills are introduced that may impact people with disabilities, I would consult the Fair Shake Network about the impact of the legislation on civil rights of people with disabilities.


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 would support the work of the state ADA Coordinator whose job it is to make sure that state entities and businesses are in compliance.

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?

I would support full implementation of the Olmstead Plan.  I would ask for a report from the Olmstead Counsel and ask them to recommend what things should be implemented in the immediate future to move to full implementation.


Medicaid

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

Yes. I led the effort to expand Medicaid in WV. I believe every person is entitled to good health insurance coverage and health care.


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 believe that people should be able to live in the community in the least restrictive environment. And it saves money in the long run. Institutionalization is more expensive than community living. I worked on the Hartley Plan and de-institutionalization in the 1980s


 Community Services

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

I would look at current locations and make every effort to fund additional centers so that state is fully covered.


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

I would make sure that state matching dollars are included in the state budget and that requirements are met so that the state is eligible for funding.


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?

Insure that all groups working on FEMA funding have representatives from the disabilities community.


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?

This is hard in a rural state like WV. We need greater effort to develop a statewide transportation system that will help the elderly and people with disabilities.


Education

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

I would support initiatives implemented by Rehabilitation Services and the work they are currently doing with the school system to make sure services are available statewide.

       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?

I would support appropriate training in school systems and advocates are aware of current laws and requirements.


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 would support the transition program being available to all students so that they can begin the process in secondary education to live and work independently upon graduation from a post-secondary program.


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?

Ensure that people with disabilities are fully integrated into classrooms.  I know that an integrated classroom makes the regular students better people.  My grandson is a better person because of being part of an integrated classroom where he became friends with a girl with disabilities and made efforts to help her get around.   

 

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?

It is my understanding that WV has one of the lowest work participation rates in the nation. People should be paid a minimum wage. We should look at what other states are doing who have been able to eliminate workshops and integrate people with disabilities into the regular work environment.



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