My name is Shyla Patera. I am an Independent Living Specialist with North Central Independent Living Services, Inc.in Black Eagle ,Montana. I also am in Montanan with a disability. I urge DOL to assist states and local communities in
adoptsing ADA transition plans not only during the COVID-19 time but beyond as well. This may not seem like an employment related issue ,but for many of us with disabilities , accessibility in our community is paramount . I also urge DOL to work with HHS and state and local governments to protect and outline remote working strategies for those of us who utilize Medicaid for workers with disabilities or Medicaid buy ins our states. Many workers with disabilities need strong Home and Community Based systems in our states to live and work in our communities. Many optional Medicaid services must become mandatory services.
Please work with SSA to highlight employment strategies as well as Impairment related work expenses and accommodated work strategies for both beneficiaries and employers to continue to hire people with disabilities in current job markets.
Please also encourage states to make and enact competitive integrated employment strategies for those workers with disabilities who would like to work in competitive integrated employment settings and earn competitive wages in our communities. Please also fund accessible assistive technology during this Covid 19 time and make sure that states have access to fund opportunities to expand bandwidth