Governor signs disability service philosophy bill into law

In a ceremony in Soldotna, Walker signed the bill with dozens of people from Hope Community Resources, the Independent Living Center, Access Alaska and other advocacy and care organizations in attendance. The bill adds language to the legislative findings related to the state’s disability services program, establishing the intent that disability services be person-directed and flexible to individual needs.

“We call it aspirational language,” he said. “We had one a few years ago called employment-first, when we spend state money with people with disabilities, we should be asking them what they want to do for a living. It’s not an actual policy thing, it is a policy, it’s telling state workers (to ask) what (people with disabilities) want to do for a living. This is kind of similar in that respect in terms of it being aspirational language.”

Walker signed the bill before a room filled with disability service providers, service recipients, advocates and parents at Hope Community Resources’ building on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna on Saturday. Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna), who was the bill’s original sponsor in the Legislature, thanked Walker for the ceremony in Soldotna.

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