Developmental disabilities hearing coming to Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A state Assembly task force is planning to host a public forum on Staten Island to focus on services for persons with disabilities.

The task force has been hosting regional forums across the state in an effort to better address various problems, such as shortfalls in community-based care programs, lack of housing, and other important issues facing individuals with disabilities and their families.

The Island forum will take place on Thursday, June 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Barnes Intermediate School (I.S. 24), 225 Cleveland Ave., Great Kills.

"The forum is the first step toward finding unique solutions that will better enable individuals to succeed," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn).

"New York must do a better job of supporting and caring for individuals with developmental disabilities and this forum will help us gather information we can turn into legislative agenda for 2017," she said in a statement.

Assemblyman Ron Castorina Jr. (R-South Shore), said the forum "will give those with disabilities, their caregivers, and their families a place to voice their concerns and give us an idea about what we can do to support and care for their needs."

Representatives from non-profit organizations and facilities, community leaders and mental health experts have been invited to attend and provide testimony.

The task force is also encouraging individuals with disabilities and their families to share their firsthand experiences. For more information on the task force, contact the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs at 518-455-5073.

Advocates for the disabled held a rally in January. They visited the offices of Malliotakis, State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn), Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-North Shore) and Assemblyman Michael Cusick's (D-Mid-Island), as well as the Staten Island Advance, asking all to put pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo for increased funding and services.

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