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Anti-discrimination bill makes it to the house

WTAP News @ 10- disability bill
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 8:25 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and one bill you should be aware of is West Virginia’s Senate Bill 647.

The bill passed through the senate and was sent to the house this week.

It’s an anti-discrimination bill meant to protect people with mental or physical disabilities from being denied access to organ transplants solely due to their disability. While this is already banned at a federal level due to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it still happens.

Jessica Wooten, the board president of Wood County Society, a local organization that supports disabled people, says the goal is for state-specific legislation to prevent this kind of discrimination.

She says people have argued before that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can’t keep up with organ transplant after-care or have other medical conditions that would limit transplant success - something that’s been disproved by research.

Wooten said, “Individuals with disabilities face discrimination in all aspects of life. They really have a lot of challenges in everything - education, transportation, and the job market, and that’s also true for medical care.”

Wooten says this bill isn’t the first of its kind. Around 30 other states have passed similar legislation and, according to Wood County Society’s executive director, 13 of these bills passed just last year.

To look at the full bill for more details, click here.

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