SACRAMENTO – A bill by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) to expand employment opportunities and improve the quality of life for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities has advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AB 1607 seeks to remove bureaucratic barriers contained in previous legislation so that the Department of Developmental Services can authorize expansion of employment services to people with autism and other developmental disabilities and access federal funding to help pay for it.
“Creating more employment opportunities is one area where current services provided to people with autism and other developmental disabilities is lacking,” Frazier said. “People with disabilities who work in paid, community-integrated settings have a higher quality of life, better health outcomes, more access to social relationships and greater community participation. AB 1607 would better prepare these individuals to increase their earning capacity by giving them access to better job preparedness training. Increased earning capacity doesn’t just improve the quality of life for these individuals, it lessens dependence on government services.”
“Community employment as a realistic goal for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities will become more of a reality when AB 1607 authored by Assemblymember Frazier becomes law,” added Will Sanford, executive director of Futures Explored, a program that provides life skills and work training to adults with developmental disabilities.
AB 1607 has won approval from the Assembly Human Services and Appropriations committees, the full Assembly, and the Senate Human Services Committee with substantial bipartisan support. After it clears the Senate Appropriations Committee, it will be voted on by the full Senate. If it wins Senate approval, AB 1607 will go to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.
Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.