New Bill Aims to Help Families of Adults With Disabilities Stay Together

A new piece of legislation seeks to allow families of disabled adults to stay together.

Senator Charles Schumer, a democrat from New York,  has authored and sponsored a bill called the Disability Integration Act. If passed, it will help individuals with disabilities live more independently by providing necessary at-home and community-based services and supports, reported. The bill requires any individual who is found eligible for institutional care by a health insurance company to also be given the option to receive the same services and supports in the comfort of their own home, or in a setting of their choosing, rather than in an institutional facility away from their friends and family.

Schumer called it a civil rights issue, saying individuals living with disabilities are frequently denied the freedom to live independent lives in their own communities or homes, according to a press release. The proposed legislation would help provide necessary services and supports without requiring institutional care.

“Why do you want to break up families? Or even break up friendships in communities?” Schumer told SI Live.

Schumer, who was a co-sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), says this new legislation is modeled on the principles of the ADA. The Disability Integration Act strengthens the ADA’s commitment to the integration of people with disabilities into society.

Schumer will introduce the Disability Integration Act this week and call on the senate to pass it, calling the current lack of residential care options a “crisis,” SI Live reported.

“Individuals with disabilities have the right to live independent, fulfilling lives amongst their families and friends – but right now, they are often denied the kind of at-home services and supports that then keep them in institutional settings, far from their loved ones and communities,” Schumer said, reported. “We need to be doing everything in our power to make sure they have the resources needed to live and thrive in the comfort of their own homes.”

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