With the goal to help people with disabilities find new ways to ease certain burdens brought on by everyday tasks, legislation to create a Task Force on Supportive Technologies for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities was approved Monday by the full Assembly, 79-0.
The charge of the task force would be to study opportunities to expand the use of supportive technologies through policy initiatives, shared services and other best practices.
Bill sponsors, Assembly Democrats Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson), Robert Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) and Angela McKnight (D-Hudson), released the following statements:
Assemblyman Chiaravalloti: “Buttoning a shirt, twisting a doorknob or writing with a pencil may seem like simple tasks to some, but they can be extremely challenging for people with arthritis or other disabilities. Supportive technologies – from glasses and hearing aids to buttonhook devices and door levers – help disabled individuals conquer obstacles they may face every day and improve their quality of life. We must do more to raise awareness for these life-changing technologies and make them readily available to those in need.”
Assemblyman Karabinchak: “Supportive devices are about so much more than convenience. It’s about giving people with disabilities greater independence, confidence and freedom. Any opportunity we have to promote supportive devices is one we should take.”
Assemblywoman McKnight: “As a caregiver for seniors, I’ve seen firsthand how a disability can impact a person’s day-to-day life. A wide variety of technology exists to help people with disabilities, but they may not be aware of them. The mission of this task force will be to find ways to connect more people with supportive devices, and discuss how we as a State can take further initiative to expand their use.”
The measure now goes to the Senate for further consideration.