Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Ronald Rice, which would establish the Disparity in Treatment of Persons with Disabilities in Underrepresented Communities Commission in the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), advanced from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
“Minorities have less access to health care, educational opportunities and treatment for disabling conditions, which may serve to exacerbate the impact of the disability,” said Senator Rice (D-Essex). “New Jersey has a huge minority population, and it is vital that the state provide all assistance possible to these individuals so that they may achieve the same quality of life enjoyed by so many 0ther New Jersey residents.”
The bill, S-3698, would establish the Disparity in Treatment of Persons with Disabilities in Underrepresented Communities Commission in the DCA to study and report on the disparate treatment received by minorities with disabilities. It would be required to conduct wide studies, inclusive of all persons classified as disabled by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The commission would study the unique concerns of racial or ethnic minorities with disabilities and the effect their status as a racial or ethnic minority has on exacerbating the impact of the disability.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health describes a person from a racial or ethnic minority group who also has a disability as facing a “double burden” from the additional health and social challenges caused by the arrangement. Intersectionality, with the inclusion of disability, is key to reducing inequities and improving the lives of this community. Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 22.2% of African Americans, 14.5% of Asians, 17.8% of Hispanics, and 17.6% of non-Hispanic whites had a disability.
The bill was released from by a vote of 10-0.