Topic

Disability Rights

224 petitions

Update posted 2 hours ago

Petition to Andrew Cuomo, New York State House, New York State Senate, Sue Serino, Didi Barrett, Carl Heastie, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Aileen Gunther, Angelo Santabarbara, Latoya Joyner, James Skoufis

Bailey’s Law now! Hold criminals accountable for victimizing the developmentally disabled!

 Please Support the Passage of #BaileysLaw We cannot allow criminals to get away with the death of their victims. My 19 year old autistic son, Bailey, committed suicide on 7-31-17, my birthday of all days. After nearly 20 years of complete family devotion and cultivating our lives in support, contemplation and preparation of his each new life phase, new stage, new challenge, and new triumph our lives were completely and irrevocably upended in the span of 8 minutes. Bailey had many friends. He was kind, funny, caring, generous, gentle, down to earth, and creative. He was an artist, a lover of history, and had compassion for all living things. He was a teacher his whole life as much as he was a student of it. Bailey made me stronger, made me determined, made me timely, made me adjustable, made me more understanding...and it was Bailey that made me an advocate for kids with special needs for all these years. Of course, his 3 siblings also helped make me, and him, over the years...we all made each other. Our family has always been very tight. Being a single mom the last 16 years enabled me to make my children my world, and show them we are a team. I’ve tried to give them everything I am and everything I have within me, with intention. But despite everything I’d, we’d, put in over the years my son, their brother, is gone...less then 8 minutes after leaving my side. Bailey resorted to suicide 7 days after being a victim of a financial crime, 4 days after I realized he was victimized, and less than 5 hours of being asked to ID one of the perpetrators. He was preyed upon, betrayed, and taken advantage of by a girl he knew for years and had recently befriended him. This girl connected her male friend to my son under the guise of helping them cash a check. From what I’ve been told by State Police, Bailey was hesitant to help them, unsure of whether or not the request was legitimate, and she assured my son that the request was fine and then promised him, I believe, $200 from the proceeds for his assistance. I suspect Bailey provided them with his bank card and his PIN number. On 7-24-17 the male deposited a $1675.00 fraudulent check at an atm in Highland, NY and then immediately withdrew $200 (the amount fronted with a check hold); this was caught on atm bank video. I realized there was a problem on Thursday the 27th when I noted on our joint account both the deposit and withdrawal as well as the $200 withdrawal ultimately being pulled from my separate account. Bailey was learning banking and I would transfer his disability money to the joint account so he would learn about money management, budgeting, grocery shopping, etc. Bailey was devastated over the loss. We connected with local police on the 27th, who then directed us to the nearest state troopers on the 28th, who in turn directed us to State Troopers in Highland on 7-29-17 where we filed a complaint. Later on that Saturday, my youngest son told me he overheard his brother Bailey on the phone after hearing of the banking problem on Thursday, extremely upset over the financial loss and insisting on the return of funds. On Monday, 7-31-17 the investigator came to our house at 12:30 to see if Bailey could ID the male in the bank video. Bailey claimed he did not know the person and by his reaction I believe he didn’t. At 5:16pm he left our home stating he was going for a walk to draw; this was not unlike him as his executive processing speed is slower than many and he’d use walks or drawing to manage stresses. By 5:30 I heard the emergency response sirens and ran down our street, because I never wanted my kids around the chaos when EMS was in the area, and of course I wanted to count the safety of my chicks. The area they were responding to is a nuisance area that has had more than it’s fair share of fires....but there was no fire truck, only medical response. My son had hung himself in the woods less than a block from our home. The next day I was presented with a note he’d written; he clearly believed he’d done something very wrong in trusting the wrong person. No law enforcement involved in this case believes that Bailey had the faculty to understand what was happening, or the complexities that he was a victim, and neither does any of his family nor his longstanding therapist. There is no doubt in my mind that he merely thought he was helping someone. Both accused, at this point, will only be charged minimally; one with grand larceny 4th and the other with Endangering a disabled person 1st, both class E non violent felonies. Theoretically they could each get probation. They have each since been arrested for other crimes; her on drug charges in October 2017 and him for killing a 16 year old with his car after an argument in Yonkers in December 2017. The male is being held without bail in Westchester and has yet to be charged for our case. The female was arrested and arraigned for this case but was granted release on $2000 cash/$4000 bond. I am sickened over what may be obvious to you at this point, that the charges do not reflect their role in the death of my son. People with disabilities, including autism, are among our most vulnerable community members. It seems so unjust that a charge of endangering specifically relates to affecting the mental well-being of a vulnerable person yet they are not charged with the actual consequences of this criminal action. I’m currently working with our local representatives to start the process of pushing for new legislation in the state to hold perpetrators fully accountable for the consequences of their actions. The law for Endangering in NY currently states: “Under our law, a person is guilty of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree when he or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect. The term "knowingly” has its own special meaning in our law. I will now give you the meaning of that term. A person KNOWINGLY acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect when that person is aware that he or she is acting in such manner. Actual harm to the incompetent or physically disabled person need not result.” Currently under our criminal laws culpability for a persons suicide rests on the aspect of “aiding and abetting”, or, in practical terms, specifically aiding, directing or encouraging the suicide. This MUST change. Those that would intentionally cultivate an environment and/or circumstances specifically to use people with disabilities to commit a crime, need to be held accountable for the full range of actual damages they cause, including the death of their victim. We need #BaileysLaw to firmly establish... If a defendant is charged with endangering in the first degree, or another crime related and/or connected to a charge of endangering in the first degree (as in coconspirators/codefendant), whereby the events result in the victim’s suicide within reasonable proximity of the crime, defendants should be criminally charged for the victim’s death. This area of law, as it specifically relates to endangering, also needs to be updated to incorporate the disability standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security Administration in trials. As it stands, the question of a successful trial seems tied to whether or not the victim has an IQ over 40, and can dress and feed oneself. This is an extremely low threshold for a successful trial against a perpetrator charged with endangering and is not in line with current state and federal laws to protect the disabled. There are an enormous number of people with autism, and other disabilities, who have a high IQ and can feed and clothe themselves but cannot fully meet their own needs in a manner that could be characterized as independent living. Bailey’s Law should protect anyone that can be considered a vulnerable person by including the state and federal standards of disability.   I urge you to support Bailey’s Law. It will not help my family but it will help many others. PLEASE, sign this petition to help me get it passed!  To view or VOTE YES on the #BaileysLaw bill (NY S.8541) you can visit https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s8541  - there is a link at this location for the identical Assembly version as well. To learn more about my beloved Bailey you can visit the guestbook at https://m.legacy.com/obituaries/poughkeepsiejournal/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=186269333&referrer=0&preview=True To follow our journey, visit https://m.facebook.com/DearBaileyLoveMom/ & http://BaileysBridges.org/baileyslaw/ Sincerely, Gae Marie Cannon, Poughkeepsie, NY *6-17-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law passed in the NY Senate on 6-11-18 with a vote of 44/17. The bill is now in the NY Assembly (A.10874) and I’m pushing to have it passed before the end of the legislative session on 6-20-18.  The Ulster County Court has declined to take on the female’s case (the facilitator of this crime), and referred it back to the Town Court. This means that HER CHARGES WILL BE REDUCED from felony to misdemeanor or less- because Town Courts CANNOT process felonies. It is looking more and more like she will get 3 years of probation... To put this into context- a DWI, WITHOUT LOSS OF LIFE, can result in 3 years probation, over $1000 fine and revocation of drivers license...  I am disgusted.... these people KNEW they were committing a crime. KNEW they were targeting someone with a disability, and their actions resulted in the DEATH of their victim......  Please, please share our petition... This is just not right..  Targeting our vulnerable loved ones breaks a sacred social contract in our society and we must prevent this from happening to someone else... 

A Mourning Mom *
10,846 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Beth Kidder, Governor Rick Scott, President Trump, Senator Wilton Simpson

Florida Medicaid Coverage Stalled for ABA Services for our Most Vulnerable People

Dear Governor Scott & Beth Kidder: Please intervene and allow Behavior Analysis Services authorizations to be released to ABA providers with no further delay. Services cannot effectively be maintained without a continuity of care. The inability to obtain authorizations creates harm for our most vulnerable population - our children with special needs, developmental disabilities, ASD, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, and others.  We work with children with significant behavior issues ... which in lite of the recent incident in South Florida is a top priority for our State, at this time, as this population possibly ends up endangering themselves or others... If they do not receive intensive behavior analysis services. On 3/1/18 Florida Medicaid stopped authorizing behavior analysis services stating: “technical difficulties”. We waited patiently.  On 3/15/18 We received a statewide notice indicating Medicaid is changing how ABA services are authorized. For the last year we have been working with Beacon and now it has been indicated we are to work with eQHealth to obtain ABA authorizations. Although there is literally no information on what this means. eQHealth here: http://fl.eqhs.org/ Note: on May 1, 2018 eQHealth did provide additional information and documentation on their website. The message we received from Medicaid, EQHealth, Beacon, and ACHA was to simply wait until 3/21/18 for a webinar and 3/26/18 processing authorizations. We have authorizations in limbo, clients’ services on-hold, staff on hold. And no clear understanding about services that were already reviewed by Beacon and whether eQHealth / Medicaid will honor approvals already received. We implore you, ACHA’s Beth Kidder and Governor Scott, to facilitate a cohesive transition for behavior services and to assure your constituents that you will not leave them without the care they need. Shelly Lynn Henry, MS, BCBA Trinity ABA, LLC | trinityaba@trinity-aba.com | www.trinity-ABA.com | 727-809-1328 STATEWIDE ALERT SYSTEM MESSAGE: RICK SCOTT, GOVERNOR JUSTIN M. SENIOR, SECRETARY Home | About Us | Medicaid | Licensure & Regulation | Report Fraud | Report Medicaid Issue/Complaint   FLORIDA MEDICAID A Division of the Agency for Health Care Administration Florida Medicaid Health Care Alert March 16, 2018 Provider Type(s): 39 This Replaces Alert Titled: Immediate Changes to Prior Authorization of Behavior Analysis Services (3/15/2018) The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) will contract with eQHealth Solutions to administer an authorization review program for Behavior Analysis (BA) services and anticipates that this will be implemented by March 26, 2018.  Effective immediately, providers should no longer submit prior authorization requests to Beacon Health Solutions. Providers can continue to provide medically necessary BA services under authorizations approved by Beacon. For questions, contact eQHealth at 1-855-444-3747 and via the web at http://fl.eqhs.org/ During this transition period, the Agency will continue to update providers on impending changes through mailed letters and Provider Alerts. QUESTIONS? FLMedicaidManagedCare@ahca.myflorida.com COMPLAINTS OR ISSUES? ON LINE https://apps.ahca myflorida.com/smmc_cirts/  |  CALL 1-877-254-1055

Trinity ABA, LLC | Behavior Analysis Services for Challenging Behaviors
12,837 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Christina Abernethy

Time For Change-Not On The Floor! Disability Friendly Restrooms

  Please help me spread the word and create much needed change! When your child or another loved one has a disability, families often feel isolated. Due to a lack of resources and proper supports, there are many times when they just can’t do certain things or go certain places like everybody else. What happens when families do make the choice to venture out for the day and then realize there are no accommodations for your loved one who faces unique and difficult challenges? One of those challenges on my mind and heart that I know tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people can relate to being able to utilize public restrooms. Where do I change my son who is 7 years old and 70 pounds? He’s too large for the baby changing station, of course. If I try to change him standing up, it creates a mess and he gets even more upset. We are left with no choice but to change him on the FLOOR. That's right ... a cold, dirty, germ-laden floor. No parent or caregiver should have to lay their child (or adult loved one) on a public restroom floor and change them while everyone is staring and pointing fingers. And how absolutely degrading is that to the individual being changed? It is mortifying for them and it is unacceptable. Every time I change my son in public, my heart breaks a little more. Quite frankly, it brings me to tears. My sweet boy has autism and sensory processing disorder. Public restrooms are already difficult for him because of the loud sounds (automatic flushing toilets, blaring hand dryers, rapid flowing sinks, music playing as if you were in a concert hall) Typically he has to wear his noise cancelling head phones just to go into a public restroom or he cannot tolerate them at all. It is very stressful for him. When he has a toileting accident while we are in public, we are forced to change our son ... on the floor. I’ve created a video for you to watch and share to further spread this critical message. We need to get the word out and talk about the difficulties that families like ours face every day! We are grateful that our son is able to stand and able to walk, but what are families doing with their loved ones that are in wheelchairs? I can tell you from previous conversations with other parents ... they leave. Their loved ones sit in soiled underwear or pull-ups for an entire car ride home and they get changed in the privacy of their home. Not only are they punished by sitting in their own urine or bowel movements, but often lose out on a family outing or social opportunity because public places have no reasonable, sanitary, or humane accomodations. This NEEDS to change! We CAN and MUST do BETTER. We should not be forced to leave or change our loved ones on dirty floors of public restrooms. There needs to be an area that is safe, private and accommodating for families with disabilities. Adult changing tables need to be added so that our families and their loved ones can be an ACTIVE, INCLUSIVE part of the community. I am at the begininning stages of trying to implement changes. I am asking you to please watch my video, sign my petition, and help me get the word out about just how very important this issue is to families with loved ones who have special needs. I will continue to reach out to state legislators, contact more business owners, and have dialogue with organizations to assist. I will continue to post updates as they become available. Thank you in advance for your support! https://www.facebook.com/LoveHopeandAutism/videos/1961784077230402/      

Christina Abernethy
6,138 supporters