Madison County, NY, Improves Policies for People with Disabilities

The Madison County Department of Social Services has issued an Americans with Disabilities Act policy which is a significant improvement over the ADA materials that Madison DSS had previously, and is similar to the Onondaga County DSS ADA policy.  It makes clear that the ADA protects people with a broad range of conditions; requires staff to provide a broad range of reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities and record disability-related information in the client’s case record; provides an easy-to-read notice of rights to all applicants and individuals recertifying benefits; requires staff training on the ADA; contains an ADA grievance procedure for prompt resolution of disputes; and requires staff to do a number of other things to meet ADA obligations.

We are continuing to work with the County to address shortcomings in the policy.  For example, it does not adequately address the obligation to screen cash assistance clients for disabilities, and it does not reflect some of the requirements of the revised Department of Justice ADA regulations that went into effect in March 2011.

Madison County DSS developed the policy as a result of advocacy by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice and Legal Services of Central New York.

NCLEJ continues to be available to work with advocates across the state on DSS ADA issues.

You can see the Madison and Onondaga County policies here: