Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33), along with his legislative colleagues Assemblywomen Cleopatra Tucker (D-28) and Gabriela Mosquera, as well as Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35), sponsored a bill – which was signed into law yesterday – to study the impact of disabilities on minorities in underrepresented communities.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The new law requires the commissioner of the Department of Health, in consultation with the commissioner of the Department of Human Services, to conduct a thorough study on the subject.
The two department heads are required to submit a report of their findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature within one year.
“Many members of underrepresented groups who have disabilities face significant barriers to success simply because the programs and services available to other groups often are not available to them,” said Garcia in a statement sent to Hudson County View.
“This law will enable our state to better identify what individuals in these communities need in order to progress and reach their full potential.”
Also in a written statement, Tucker said disabled minorities are already at a marked disadvantage for socio-economic reasons. This often prevents this demographic from having quality insurance and high-quality, accessible transportation, she said.
Mosquera elaborated on that point in a prepared statement, stressing that “members of racial and ethnic minority groups have less access to job opportunities, education, housing, health care and other vital services, and unfortunately, studies show that those with disabilities face even greater challenges in these areas.”
Wimberly echoed that point in a statement, adding that the study is to help give disabled minorities the same opportunities everyone else has.
“This impact study is intended to help eliminate inequality of opportunity and advance the civil rights of people with disabilities,” he said.