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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 5, 2021 03:46 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Jessica Benham
To: All House members
Subject: Creating the Department of Accessibility & Inclusion
Nearly one in four Pennsylvanians have a disability, and despite the best intentions of many, most have only seen modest improvements in their lives and opportunities. Too many remain underserved, underemployed, on waiting lists, or otherwise struggling to obtain greater independence or to maximize their skills effectively.

The progress of such issues, embedded in the heart of the bipartisan Americans with Disabilities Act, requires a commitment by all of us to reach fruition. And here in Pennsylvania, it requires every level of our government to make sure that progress is made and that every aspect of our government’s services are provided in an accessible manner.

Following in the footsteps of our Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs cabinet expansion, this bill would consolidate several existing programs under a new Department of Accessibility and Inclusion and create a secretary position to serve on the governor’s cabinet. A similar elevation has proven effective in Maryland, where their Secretary of Disabilities has helped the governor craft much-needed policies that consider people with disabilities at every step.

Please join us in supporting this legislation so that we can make a stronger commitment to increasing opportunities for all Pennsylvanians. A draft of our proposal is attached.

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Introduced as HB547