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During an emergency such as a hurricane or a public health crisis, there is not only a need to focus planning and response efforts on disability-specific aspects of the emergency, but also to seek the input and expertise of people with disabilities in the process. If elected, how would your office work to ensure that state emergency planning (i.e., health testing, sheltering and safety of congregate living populations, et cetera) is inclusive of Florida’s disability communities? How will you work to ensure that communications and other information from the state is accessible to people with disabilities?

During an emergency situation, I would work with the emergency management team to ensure all people were cared for equally. I am not sure I understand your second question about ensuring all communications from the state are accessible to people with disabilities as that should already be happening to comply with existing ADA requirements.

In the event that the global pandemic lasts through the current school year or possibly beyond, how would you work with state educational officials to ensure that relevant state and federal educational guarantees for students with disabilities are adhered to, and do you believe that it is possible to appropriately educate students with disabilities remotely or through virtual education?

Our Governor, by insisting on following Trump's lead on sending kids back into the classroom or be denied funding, is appalling. Our state government is denying science and putting tens of thousands of people's lives at risk of death. Overcoming the pandemic is not a mystery; all we need do is look to other countries who have successfully overcome this challenge. More specifically, follow the science. I do not believe any child can 'appropriately' be educated from a virtual environment. Children need social interactions, and students with disabilities will need a person who can assist throughout the day.

In recent years, the state legislature has devoted much attention to the issue of mental health service delivery and crisis response systems in state public schools. In your opinion, how should the state work to ensure that the mental health needs of its students are met, and what reforms are needed to provide adequate mental health and crisis response services in our schools? When, if ever, is it appropriate for schools to initiate involuntary examinations for its students under the Florida Mental Health Act (“the Baker Act”)?

Our government needs to provide better and more expansive mental health evaluations in general, for all ages. Our system is structured today that those individuals are not engaged by the state until they commit a crime. Yes, our schools must provide counseling for all children, and if a child is identified as a potential threat to themselves or others, they should be referred to a professional who could recommend the application of the Baker Act. It would be negligent for a school to ignore such warning signs.

It has become apparent that COVID-19 spreads most easily in institutional and congregate living arrangements. If elected, how would you work to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities and reduce other forms of congregate living in favor of serving persons with disabilities in their own homes or the community both during and after the current pandemic? What will you do to ensure that people with psychiatric disabilities are afforded the services they need to succeed in their own homes and communities and avoid psychiatric hospitalization?

I believe in science, unlike our Republican leadership. This applies to climate change and sea-level rise as well. We know how COVID-19 is spread and I would not put people's lives in harm's way for political gains. Yes, providing care for those at home is less expensive than psychiatric hospitalization. However, if hospitalization was the recommendation from the doctors, we would need to make such accommodations.

Even before the pandemic began and massive job losses ensued, 2.7 million Floridians were uninsured. Research shows that under normal circumstances the uninsured have much greater challenges accessing health care, and these disparities are exacerbated during a health crisis. Do you support expanding the state’s Medicaid program to cover adults (19-64) with income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level to provide more than 800,000 Floridians with coverage? Why or why not? Do you support proposals to utilize a “block grant” or “per capita cap” approach to contain Medicaid spending? Why or why not?

Yes, expanding Florida's Medicaid program is part of my campaign. Since 2012, our government refuses billions of dollars of federal aid to expand our Medicaid program. This is inexcusable. Florida's share of the five-year expense is just 3.6% or less than $100,000,000 per year. Accepting these federal dollars would enable another 837,000 Floridians to be covered with healthcare. Keep in mind that at the end of the last two legislative sessions, our Republican-controlled government gave over a $543,000,000 tax REFUND to Florida's largest corporations, weeks later, our Governor line-item vetoed over $1 billion from our budget and some of those monies went to food pantries and other social programs that our working families need, especially during a pandemic.

Despite the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) and related state and federal laws, the unemployment rate of people with disabilities continues to be much higher than that of people without disabilities. If elected, how would you work to promote meaningful opportunities for supported employment and competitive, integrated employment of people with disabilities in the state? What policies do you advocate to support the academic and career success of students with disabilities, especially for students from historically marginalized communities and backgrounds?

Our state must not discriminate against any class of person. Furthermore, we should ensure that students are given all the opportunities they need to be successful and fully integrated into our society and economy.

Nationwide it is believed that there are more than 750,000 people with disabilities who are incarcerated, and many of these individuals face substantial barriers to reentry when they complete their sentences and return home. What reforms do you support to ensure that returning citizens with disabilities have the resources, skills and mental health supports to succeed when they complete their sentences?

Our state should provide the necessary supports needed for those coming from incarceration as well as to those in general society. Waiting until something bad happens is too late.

What is your experience working with people with disabilities or alongside disability-led organizations? Please provide examples of your experience addressing and responding to disability issues or describing disability advocacy efforts you have participated in either personally, professionally, or while in elected office if applicable. If elected, how would you integrate the input and perspectives of people with disabilities in your office’s planning and legislative efforts?

I run a digital marketing agency and our agency has been recognized for our work in making websites digitally accessible. I believe people with disabilities should be afforded all the same opportunities and information as those without disabilities.