Local disability advocate joins call for increased state funding

Chad Underwood (photo provided)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — On Monday, Chad W. Underwood, CEO of Access to Independence of Cortland County, will join a group of statewide disability advocates to make a final push on budget needs for the disabled.

Underwood will speak at a press conference Monday, March 26, alongside New York State Assemblyman James Skoufis, chair of the Assembly Task Force for People with Disabilities, in Albany.

While the Senate budget included a $5 million increase for independent living centers, the Assembly only included $1 million. Advocates will aim to persuade leadership to fully fund the $5 million request.

Underwood will also address the need for an increase in "Access to Home" funding, while he and other advocates will make a final push to ensure new funding remains to support staffing of the Office for the Advocate for People with Disabilities.

The press conference is set for 12 p.m., Monday, March 26, outside of the State Assembly Chamber.