People On the Go Maryland (People On the Go) envisions a future where all people, regardless of level of disability or support, can live, work, love, and play in the communities of their choosing. The following are People On the Go’s legislative priorities for the upcoming session.
People On the Go believes in community inclusion for all to the maximum extent possible and desired. Therefore, we will support any legislation at the federal, state or local level which reduces reliance on settings which deliberately segregate those with disabilities from their peers without disabilities.
Maryland is a geographically diverse state with each county having their own challenges when it comes to providing reliable transportation for any group of people who are not readily able to drive or have access to vehicles. People with disabilities are especially affected by this. Therefore, People On the Go will work with our community partners to promote ideas which increase access to affordable, reliable, and safe transportation which travels in between jurisdictions for all Marylanders. By doing so, we increase access to employment and education, and promote the ideals of inclusion for all.
People On the Go believe that access to education which prepares people for the workforce with an emphasis on integrated educational opportunities in high school and in college is fundamental to a person’s ability to succeed in their life. People On the Go will support any policy that it sees as potentially furthering these goals. People On the Go will also oppose any policy which may deprive any Maryland citizen from pursuing high school or post-secondary education opportunities.
Access to Technology
Given the current global health crisis, access to technology or assistive technology (AT) has become more important than ever. Various forms of technology provide support to individuals and families allowing them to stay socially connected and mentally and physically. People On the Go will promote policies which break down barriers to accessing technology.
Developmental Disabilities Administration
A majority of People On the Go members, along with others with disabilities throughout the state, rely on supports from the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to live their lives in the community. People On the Go will continue to monitor the DDA budget, and will support any efforts to streamline the process for those currently in services, those who are still on the waiting list for services, and those youth transitioning from high school to adulthood. People On the Go will oppose any effort which reduces funding and prevents individuals and families from getting the help they need. Additionally, People On the Go will maintain its support of self-advocacy and self-advocates across the state of Maryland.
Direct Support Professionals
Thanks to the work of direct support professionals (DSPs), many people with disabilities now have the opportunity to live, work, love, and play where they choose. DSPs are the backbone of the human service field. People On the Go, along with its community partners, will work to ensure that policies are established at the state and local levels which promote opportunities for growth for DSPs. People On the Go also recognizes that the issue of adequate wages continues to be a problem for those working as DSPs. People On the Go will work to ensure that DSPs are front and center in any budgetary discussion. People On the Go will oppose any efforts to reduce funding for DSP wages.
Voting is the most fundamental right within our democracy. Through voting, the public determines its representatives who then make policy decisions on behalf of the individuals that they represent. Access to voting continues to be challenging not only for people with disabilities, but for other marginalized groups as well. People On the Go will support any effort which is designed to increase voter participation and to eliminate barriers to voting.
All of the issues outlined in this platform can be seen as civil rights issues. Therefore, People On the Go will continue its efforts to educate the general public about the civil rights of people with disabilities. People On the Go will support any effort designed to uphold civil rights law and expand opportunities for people with disabilities and other marginalized groups of people.
People On the Go will support any legislative efforts that work to ensure affordable, accessible and inclusive housing for people with disabilities.