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What policies will you propose to address the opioid crisis without eliminating pain management options for those who live with chronic pain?

I would propose policies aimed at increasing accessibility to programs that assist in prevention, treatment, recovery and pain management.

Would your proposed policies account for the needs of some individuals to utilize both medical marijuana and pain medication in different facets of their treatment? If so, how?

Yes. I would need more information on research based best practices to explain further.

What changes will you make to ensure that people who require pain management services can access and receive services that center their individualized needs?

I would support measures that lowered barriers for people who require access to pain management services that are needed for prevention, treatment and recovery.

Do you plan to address the disparity in equitable pain management treatment experienced by those in the Black, Indigenous and People of Color or multiply marginalized communities? If so, how?

Yes. I would work with the public health community to improve access including adequate funding to address the disparities among Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

What policies would you implement to ensure people with disabilities receive comprehensive, high quality, and equitable mental health services and insurance coverage?

I would work with bipartisan leaders to create behavioral health parity policies that enforced network adequacy and parity provisions, lowers and protects costs to mental health patients and makes networking with insurers more attractive for providers.

Share your thoughts on co-responder programs (mental health & law enforcement joint response to mental health crises).

I believe co-responder programs are important because a person who needs a crisis intervention with a mental health professional is connected to the appropriate mental health service rather than the local emergency department or jail. This results in significant cost savings to the community and the person receives immediate and appropriate treatment.

How would you work to eliminate the disproportionate connection between being disabled and becoming entangled in the criminal justice system as opposed to being given necessary and equitable mental health treatment?

I would work to pass legislation that ensures adequate resources for mental health to address the needs of people with disabilities. Additionally, policies that incentivize and funds pilot diversion programs that place treatment decisions within public health systems instead of the criminal justice system process would also be a high priority.

In your opinion, what can be done to identify and mitigate disability bias in the treatment of mental health? How would you work to address this?

As a diversity, equity and inclusion practioner, I believe it's integral to every institution's success and impact to intentionally and actively engage in efforts to create culturally competent environments for every stakeholder to feel a sense of connectedness and belonging. Funding public health programs focused on training and raising awareness of disability bias and providing counter stereotypical interactions would be part of my work.

What policies would you propose to encourage public investment in improving accessibility and implementing universal design?

I would support policies that increased HUD-funded housing that are accessible, including community-based accessible housing and connecting housing to the services and resources differently abled people need most. Additionally, I would support legislation that incentivizes the construction of universally designed housing.

What policies or incentives will you promote to encourage private business owners to make their buildings accessible?

Creating policies that enhanced minimum federal requirements that included affordable single-family housing would be my focus. Providing density bonuses, for example, would be one way to incentivize building more accessible homes.

How can housing data be utilized to better account for the needs of people with disabilities and to promote increasingly accessible living spaces?

Housing data may be used by city planners, leaders and stakeholders to intentionally design transportation systems, pedestrian paths, housing, schools and information systems that are inclusive and equitable for everyone.

What policies would you implement to provide people with disabilities with equitable access to upward economic opportunity?

Legislation that supports businesses of all sizes in the recruitment of people with disabilities would be a focus.

What changes to the current social safety net would you propose to implement a more all-encompassing framework that allows people with disabilities to receive needed services that are not currently covered by private or employer-based insurance, such as personal care and other uncovered assistance they may require, while not limiting the ability to pursue economic opportunity? If so, how?

I need more information to better understand what changes should be proposed.

How would you work to promote and incentivize equal opportunity for those with disabilities in employment?

By fostering partnerships with and funding for advocacy groups and workforce development organizations that provide services to train people with disabilities and connect employers with these networks to find qualified job applicants with disabilities.

How would you propose to address the barriers that unequitable access to transportation create to economic opportunity for those with disabilities?

I would propose expanding and increasing funding with clearly defined measures of equity to help improve access to high-quality, reliable and accessible transportation services to connect people with resources, jobs and services.

What policies will you propose to better protect the rights of parents with disabilities and to ensure they have needed supports?

I would propose enhanced funding for early intervention and prevention programs that have the potential to fully accommodate and service parents with disabilities.

Research shows that removing a child from their parents should only be used as a last resort. How might you work to ensure this standard is adhered to equally when parents with disabilities are involved and adaptation isn’t conflated with neglect or abuse?

An important step would be requiring fully accessible parenting assessments, as well as training custody evaluators to properly conduct these assessments.

What policies would you propose to further address bias against parents with disabilities among child protection workers?

Enhance training for custody evaluators to properly conduct parenting assessments would be a focus.

When support is needed to guarantee that individuals with disabilities can exercise their parental rights, how will your policies ensure such supports are easily accessible to the family?

By working to create and enhance a parenting success ecosystem with schools, child welfare organizations and agencies, courts and auxiliary services and aids, individuals with disabilities can exercise their parental rights and have easier access.

What policies do you propose to protect the reproductive rights of people with disabilities?

Provide increased funding for existing reproductive health care professionals for people with disabilities, as well as for sexual and reproductive health educational programs for people with disabilities. Additionally, I would propose funding educational and training programs to recruit and train people with disabilities for the healthcare workforce.