WXXI AM News

Disability rights advocates arrested at state Capitol

Mar 7, 2017

Disability rights advocates say they’re fed up with what they say is a lack of response from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on funding for services that help them stay in their communities, including a lack of funds to pay home health care workers adequate wages.

At a protest outside the governor’s offices Tuesday, Bruce Darling with the Center for Disability Rights displayed an award that the group fashioned for Cuomo that features a 5-inch gold screw on a trophy pedestal.

“We’ve had enough, so we are issuing the ‘Screw the Disabled Award’ for Governor Cuomo,” Darling said. “His office would not even meet with us.”

Several were arrested for blocking the hallway.

A spokesman for the governor, Rich Azzopardi, said in a statement that Cuomo officials “have met with many of the groups represented here, both in the past and today, to discuss these issues and are committed to working with them in the future to find solutions.”

Azzopardi says Cuomo also signed an executive order, known as Employment First, that supports jobs for disabled people and already has committed $6 billion to the home care workforce, including funds to boost wages.