Chad Norton New York 0

Reinstate vehicle leasing program for disabled

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My name is Chad Norton, and I am a very involved member of the Syracuse, NY community and have been for many years. I have been disabled and wheel chair bound diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy since birth, but still found ways of participating with community events such as challenger baseball and disabled skiing. At my young age I saw and experienced all the disabled hurdles people have to deal with in everyday life. That is why I am such a strong advocate. As I grew older I became involved in many more events, particularly keeping Webster pond, a local bird sanctuary, open and becoming a successful place for the community to interact with nature. In addition to volunteering my time at Webster pond, I am also a board member of several organizations, such as; Anglers Association of Onondaga, Friends Of Wild Life, Resource Center for Independent Living, and ARISE. All these organizations seek to improve their involvement in the surrounding community for both able and disabled bodies.

I am writing to you with a concern that will impact the entire disabled community. Throughout all of my years of volunteering in the community, I have relied heavily on means of transportation, my handicap accessible van; And will continue to have a need for it in the years to come. The vehicle is leased and paid for through my independent living budget, paying the majority of the monthly payment. I recently was informed that the vehicle leasing program through the state has been discontinued. This program has enabled me to become an active member of my community, and allowed me to get to medical appointments, regardless of the fact that I am disabled. Without this program I will not have the freedom of the independent philosophy, and feel as though that would be a huge detriment to both me and the community I live in.

I would appreciate any help you could offer in reversing the ending of this program, and hope you see how much a vehicle means to someone who is disabled and already has something taken away from them. Being able to participate in the community is a huge help in not forcing me to focus on my disability, but directs my focus for all the positive things I could do for the community instead.

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