U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says he's leading the way in supporting a bill that would allow members of the disability community who are eligible for institutional care, to receive services at home or in a setting of their choosing.
That's the idea behind the Disability Integration Act.
He spoke at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, which helped craft the legislation, introduced last year.
Stephanie Woodward, director of advocacy for CDR, says the bill would allow people with disabilities the absolute right to live in a community.
"Right now, some insurance companies force people to live in nursing facilities, and won't cover that same kind of assistance in the community, and we believe everyone has the right to live in freedom, and so this is exactly what the Disability Integration Act would do," she said.
Schumer says the bill would promote independence, relieve the financial burden for individuals, the community and even the government, and help ease the emotional strain facing people with disabilities and their families.
"Each person needs to make his or her own decision, as to the best place to live, when you have disabilities, but we know how good it is to live at home, you have your family there," Schumer said.
Schumer spoke in Rochester on the same day hundreds of disability rights activists were protesting in Washington, D.C., calling for passage of the bill.