Disability Rights

The Green party supports the civil rights of the Disabled. Social Justice and equal opportunity, respect for diversity, and personal and global responsibility are the involved 10 Key Values of the Green Party.

The disabled community, consisting of both physically and mentally challenged due to mental illness, cognitive and/or neurological impairment, comprises people who are differently-abled from the majority of the population. They have the right to live their life in a manner that allows them to integrate into the mainstream life of the community. However, people who live with a disability frequently encounter barriers to meeting their day-to-day needs and to their full participation in society thereby placing them at risk of discrimination, neglect, and poverty. The disabled are often denied access to basic services such as housing, education, health care, caregiver assistance, and transportation. Employment opportunities are extremely limited, and supplemental income for the disabled is difficult to access as well as insufficient to meet day-to-day needs.
The Lanterman Act under the California Welfare and Institutions Code provides that the State of California accepts responsibility for persons with "developmental disabilities". The Lanterman Act establishes the rights of the developmentally disabled, and their families, to a whole array of services, as well as support and case management programs, that would enable the developmentally disabled to meet basic needs, and to become integrated into the mainstream life of the community so that they may develop, to their fullest potential, an independent and productive life. "Developmental Disability" is defined as "a disability that originates before an individual attains 18 years of age", and is applied to individuals that have disabilities that are closely related to retardation, or which require treatment similar to that required for individuals with mental retardation. The definition specifically excludes disabilities that are solely physical in nature, and disabilities that are incurred after age 18.
It is the position of the Green Party of California that the State of California should not discriminate between members of the disabled community. All people with disabling conditions that create special needs, have the right to receive services and support that are needed in order for them to live independently and to achieve their fullest potential. The Green Party thus demands that the State of California, as well as the United States, accept responsibility for the entire disabled community and their families, regardless of the nature of the disability and regardless of the age of onset of the disability.
As members of California's disabled community have the same legal rights guaranteed all other individuals by the Constitution and laws of both the United States and of the State of California, the Green Party supports expanding the responsibility of the United States and the State of California to include all disabled people and their families based on need, regardless of their disability and regardless of the age of onset of the disability. All members of the disabled community have the right to receive disability benefits, medical/psychiatric care (including safe access to medical marijuana, not to be overridden by Federal law) without cost caps, competent legal representation, housing, education, employment and vocational services, transportation services, adaptive, equipment and support services that they need in order to mainstream into the community and to achieve their fullest potential.
The Green Party advocates to:
Guarantee members of the disabled community their basic civil rights, including, but not limited to: the right to marry; the right to parenthood; the right to education; the right to vote; the right to access the court system; the right to competent legal representation; the right to appropriate accommodation in private and government owned prisons and jails; and the right to institutional care if so desired.
Provide members of the disabled community with funding for legal representation and court costs related to obtaining past, present and future costs related to their disability from those entities (private, corporate or governmental) whose actions caused the disabling condition.
Increase the training of teachers, medical staff, attorneys, police officers, and service providers in regards to the needs of the differently-abled.
Increase State Rehabilitation Department funding so that disabled people can pursue education, vocational training, and reach their highest potential. The differently-abled should participate fully in the decisions of the State Rehabilitation Department.
Implement and enforce the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) which requires specialized accommodations for members of the disabled community with regards to accessing public buildings, offices, and places of public access such as commercial facilities, restaurants, and retail stores.
Create a disability benefit and service outreach and case management program designed to assist the disabled with accessing needed medical and psychiatric care, benefits, and services.
Increase In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) funding so the differently-abled can hire personal care attendants to provide sufficient personal care, household services, and supervision to allow them to remain safely in their home.
Provide affordable residential living settings within the community for those who don't need institutional care, but who are unable to live independently.
Support the development, funding, and implementation of programs designed increase public sensitivity to the needs of the physically and/or mentally challenged members of the community.
Support the development of policies designed to discourage stereotyping of the mentally and physically challenged by the entertainment industry and the media.
Note that this platform plank uses the terms "Disabled", "Challenged" and "Differently-abled" interchangeably.

(Approved by the GPCA Berkeley General Assembly on May 1, 2011)