2020 Public Policy Platform

Goal 1: Stop abuse, no matter where and when it occurs. Improve Quality of Care.

  1. Develop legislative strategy clarifying the causation standard in nursing home death case citations and implementing recommendations from the May 2018 California State Auditor’s report Skilled Nursing Facilities: Absent Effective State Oversight, Substandard Quality of Care Has Continued (#2017-109).
    • Continue sponsoring AB 506 or a successor bill if it is not passed or signed; or if signed, monitor its implementation.
  2. Engage in systemic advocacy to limit the use of restraint and seclusion in public and private schools, including public policy strategies if necessary. 
    • Continue sponsoring AB 216 (Weber) introduced in 2019 to implement recommendations included in the 2019 DRC report:  Protect Children’s Safety and Dignity: Recommendations on Restrain and Seclusion in Schools.
    • Monitor the implementation of the data reporting requirements in AB 2657 (Weber).
    •  Explore improvements in the processes for regional center vendor mandatory reporting to DRC of restraint and seclusion incidents.
  3. Develop a public policy strategy to address conditions and prevent abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in detention facilities and/or reduce rates of incarceration of people with mental health disabilities and facilitate successful diversion and re-entry programs. 
    • In order to facilitate successful diversion and re-entry of individuals with disabilities into the community, advocate for greater county participation in diversion programs and increasing supportive housing for individuals with mental health disabilities and prioritizing the use of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and state housing bond money funding for that purpose, and advocate for increased access to high quality, voluntary physical and mental health services in community locations that are accessible to individuals who are homeless and provide transportation to services as needed.
  4. Develop a public policy strategy to address disability discrimination against homeless people. 
    • Monitor legislative policy and budget proposals to ensure that physical and mental health care and addiction treatment are integral components of addressing homelessness.
  5. End abuse, neglect and victimization of people with disabilities and improve system responses.
    • Develop a public policy strategy to reduce barriers for persons with disabilities in seeking domestic violence services.

Goal 2: Stop discrimination, eliminate stigma, and protect civil rights.

  1. Oppose federal and state legislation which limits access rights and explore strategies to improve access such as alternative dispute resolution, small business loans, certification of building inspectors, and focus group suggestions.
    • Monitor legislative proposals that may limit access rights.
  2. Engage in advocacy to place a memorial at a burial site associated with a state developmental center or state hospital remembering those who lived and died in state institutions.
    • Advocate for funding in the 2020-21 budget to support one or more memorials.
  3. Engage in systemic advocacy and represent individuals in mental health facilities whose civil rights have been violated, such as denial of assistive technology or dental care and failure to pay fair wages to state hospital residents. 
    • Advocate for trailer bill language in the 2020-21 budget to eliminate cost of care recovery.
  4. Protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities living in facilities. 
    • Monitor state and federal legislation that impact conditions and placements within the ICE and ORR immigration detention systems.

Goal 3: End segregation. Increase community living options so people can live and fully participate in barrier-free communities of their choice with the services and supports they need to thrive.

  1. Engage in individual and systemic advocacy to protect consumers’ rights in the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, including in the following areas: Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), implementation of workweek limitation exemptions, sick leave, and inappropriate fraud investigations. 
    • Advocate for an EVV system that gives consumers the greatest amount of personal privacy possible with the fewest burdens or restrictions and is consistent with the principles specified in the 2018-19 Budget Act
  2. Advocate for programs and program changes that help people transition out of institutional living and prevent the loss of homes for people who receive care in a hospital or nursing facility, such as funding for California Community Transitions and a Home Upkeep Allowance and addressing Home and Community Based Alternatives (HCBA) waiver waitlists.
    • Continue sponsoring AB 1042 (Wood) which establishes eligibility and other requirements for providing the home upkeep allowance or a transitional needs fund to Medi-Cal patients residing in long-term care facilities. 
    • Continue sponsoring SB 214 (Dodd) to implement and administer the California Community Transitions program to help an eligible Medi-Cal beneficiary move to a qualified residence after residing in an institutional health facility and monitor federal legislation to fund the program through the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration.
    • Establish legislative and budget strategies for addressing the Home and Community Based Alternatives (HCBA) waiver waitlists and monitor the governor’s CalAIM waiver renewal process.
    • Participate in the California Aging and Disability Alliance and continue co-sponsoring SB 512 (Pan) to establish California Long-Term Services and Support Benefits Trust Fund with a funding source.
    • Participate on the Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee and the Workgroup for Aging.
  3. Develop public policy strategies to ensure that suspended services for regional center consumers are restored such as social recreation and camping and/or loosen restrictions regarding the use of generic resources when those restrictions impose access barriers.
    • Advocate to ensure that consumers have access to suspended services and that the requirement that generic resources be used are not an impediment to accessing regional center services.
  4. Advocate to protect regional center consumer rights. 
    • Continue sponsoring AB 1643 (E. Garcia) to improve the regional center’s notice of action process. 
    • Continue sponsoring AB 823 (Arambula) to require each regional center to contract for mobile crisis services to ensure that consumers are able to remain in the least restrictive environment.
    • Advocate to update statutes for Adult Residential Facilities for Persons with Special Health Care Needs homes following the closure of developmental centers to provide for their establishment through a community resource development plan and implementing a state licensing program.

Goal 4: Respect the autonomy, preferences, and choices of people with disabilities so they can be equal, passionate, and full participants in society.

  1. Monitor implementation of and develop a public policy strategy for informed consent and end of life decision making for people with disabilities in nursing and other long-term care facilities.
    • Monitor outcome in CANHR v. Smith litigation and develop responsive policy approach to ensuring informed consent to medical treatment in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
  2. Develop public policy strategies to address proposed revisions to LPS processes, and monitor implementation of LPS changes. 
    • Monitor and advocate on legislation that proposes changes to LPS and AOT, including clarifying the substantive and procedural rights of individuals who are on 5150s who are not yet at designated facilities, and when the 72-hour clock triggering treatment and evaluation starts.
    • Monitor the audit being conducted by the California State Auditor related to the implementation of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act) by Los Angeles County and two other counties selected by the California State Auditor and legislation introduced in response.
    • Monitor the implementation of SB 1045 and SB 40 in San Francisco and any potential interest in Los Angeles and San Diego.
  3. Develop public policy strategies to protect rights of individuals with I/DD in conservatorship processes such as requiring counsel, or prohibiting use of Probate conservatorships or supported decision making.
    • Develop and sponsor legislation to authorize the use of supported decision making for adults to make and communicate life decisions in proceedings to establish limited conservatorships.

Goal 5: Protect and advance basic human rights to health care, housing, and education.

  1. Ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to affordable health care and other benefits. 
    • Monitor federal initiatives that may decrease access to Medicaid or the ACA and if that happens develop strategies to maintain access in California.
  2. Develop state and local public policy strategies and communication strategies to increase affordable and accessible housing and to address housing discrimination and restrictions, including land use and zoning restrictions, and Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY).
    • Monitor and oppose legislation that restricts sober living residences in communities.
  3. Protect the fundamental right to education in the least restrictive environment and access to higher education.
    • Develop public policy strategies to ensure that Department of Social Services licensing requirements require unaccompanied migrant children in Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody receive special education and related services.
    • Develop a strategy ensure that decisions regarding when, whether, and how a student with a disability graduates from high school are made by the student’s IEP team.
    • Monitor the impact on students with disabilities the practice of sharing information about their involvement in the juvenile justice system with schools.

Goal 6: Ensure access to government benefits, transportation, and employment opportunities with competitive wages.

  1. Develop a public policy strategy to address policies that negatively impact persons with disabilities’ knowledge of and access to public benefit programs. 
    • Advocate for an increase in the SSI/SSP grants.
  2. Advocate for public policies that promote accessible transportation and pedestrian safety. 
    • Advocate at the Public Utilities Commission in proceedings on the implementation of SB 1376, the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Access for All Act.
    • Advocate on policies for the development and regulation on the use of autonomous vehicles. 
  3. Increase employment for individuals with disabilities and access to employment services and supports.
    • Continue sponsoring AB 365 (C. Garcia) to improve the LEAP within the state civil service system to improve the employment of persons with disabilities in state service.
    • Develop a strategy to phase out the discriminatory practice of paying people with disabilities less than the minimum wage currently allowed under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and establish supports for employers that move toward a business model that encourages competitive employment for people with disabilities in California.
    • Assist NDRN and national organizations advocating for the passage of the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (S. 260 and HR 873).

Goal 7: Increase access to culturally and language competent services that value disability, diversity, culture, and ethnicity of each individual. Ensure that all services are accessible to people with disabilities.

  1. Ensure people with disabilities have access to information and services that are culturally and disability competent and in their native language, including American Sign Language.
    • Monitor the implementation of SB 695 (Portantino) if signed, or sponsor a successor bill if it is not passed or signed.

Goal 8: Ensure access to up-to-date knowledge and tools and advocate so individuals with disabilities can be effective self-advocates and access courts, administrative agencies, and legal services to defend and enforce their rights.

  1. Develop a public policy strategy to maintain and increase DRC core funding including Equal Access Funds.
    • Advocate for increasing the Equal Access Fund to meet the national average of state legal services funding.
    • Advocate on the methodology for the distribution of the funds held in the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund for housing assistance to ensure a portion of the funds will be available to assist persons with disabilities.
  2. Educate people about their rights and teach them how to be effective self-advocates for what they need and ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to the legal system.
    • Monitor California Community College e-campus implementation of AB 1809 with state and federal accessibility law and ensure adequate funding for the new campus Disabled Student Services program. 
    • Advocate in the state budget for additional positions for the Office of Patients’ Rights.