Hohenstein to host first Disabilities Summit, Policy hearing on disability rights Thursday in Philadelphia

HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, state Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., announced today he will host a series of events geared toward improving disability rights and services across Pennsylvania.

Hohenstein will host his first Disabilities Summit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Community Behavioral Heath, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Coinciding with the summit, at 3 p.m., the freshman legislator will also host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on disability rights in policy. Members of the public and media are invited to attend. 

Hohenstein requested the hearing to discuss more comprehensive approaches to strengthen the ADA and ensure accessibility to services, equal rights and equal opportunities for all Pennsylvanians living with disabilities. He will be joined by fellow state legislators, including HDPC Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

Testifiers will include:

  • State Senator Christine Tartaglione, D-Phila.
  • Official from Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • Karen Goss, director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
  • Neil McDevitt, executive director, Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre
  • Representative from the Pennsylvania Home Care Association
  • Latoya Maddox, advocate and independent living specialist
  • Liam Dougherty, advocate and member of Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania Inc.
  • Harry Barnum, deaf outreach and education coordinator, Liberty Resources
  • Stash Serafin, motivational speaker and blind ice skater; and
  • Lori McFarland, advocate and actor in A Fierce Kind of Love, which explores the diversity of the disability community.