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Protecting People with Disabilities

Thirty years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the responsibility of adapting to a society built for nondisabled people continues to be placed on those living with a disability. The ADA is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation, but it is only just the beginning. Celeste believes in going beyond the minimum legal requirements outlined by the ADA to create a society in which accessibility and inclusion are the standard. 

Celeste supports policies that defend and expand on the four fundamental promises of the ADA: equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. Celeste will champion efforts that: 

  • Fight for workers with disabilities to be paid their full value by abolishing the 14(c) provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act that permits certain employers to pay workers subminimum wage

  • Eliminate asset tests in public assistance programs that relegate people with disabilities to a life of forced poverty 

  • Eradicate the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) marriage penalty that reduces benefits for married couples who receive SSI 

  • Remove the work requirement for Medicaid eligibility as it contradicts the chief objective of Medicaid to “furnish medical assistance on behalf of families with dependent children and of aged, blind, or disabled individuals, whose income and resources are insufficient to meet the costs of necessary medical services” 

  • Restructure public benefits programs to prevent a “benefits cliff” wherein workers with disabilities experience a reduction or loss of benefits with increased earnings but are still unable to reach economic self-sufficiency 

  • Ensure that workers with disabilities and students with disabilities are able to work and learn alongside their nondisabled peers rather than in segregated workplaces and classrooms

  • Support full funding for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that provides students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education

  • Prohibit the creation of mental health registries that attempt to blame gun violence on people with disabilities relating to mental health under the guise of gun violence prevention

  • Strengthen quality, long-term care services to meet the needs of people with disabilities and invest in the home care workforce to provide aides with a living wage and safe working environment

  • Eliminate logistical obstacles to voting by ensuring that voting policies and procedures do not discriminate against people with disabilities

  • Invest in public transportation infrastructure in rural America so that people with disabilities have the opportunity to live independently in the communities they choose

  • Protect the rights of people with disabilities to parent with dignity, free from bias and stigma

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