Posts tagged ‘restroom access act’
I’ve written before about the Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law) and how important it is to get it passed in states across the country in order to ensure that patients with inflammatory bowel disease and other illnesses are able to access employee only restrooms in stores when a public one is not available.
Well New York, it’s your turn to act!
In 2013, the New York State legislature attempted to pass the Restroom Access Act but it was never brought up for a vote. Earlier this year, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) and Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau) introduced the bipartisan Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act in the New York State Assembly and Senate. If passed, this bill would amend New York State public health law to provide individuals with “Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or any other medical condition that requires immediate access to a toilet facility” access to employee-only bathrooms when a public one is not available.
Sounds great, right? It would be, but it won’t pass without your help.
On June 17, 2015, the New York State Senate will vote on the Crohn’s & Colitis Fairness Act. In order to gain support and ensure that we get as many votes as possible, we need to join forces with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America to lobby our legislators to support this bill. So if you live anywhere in New York, here’s what you need to do between now and June 17:
- Identify who your New York State Senator is here (if your Senator is Senator Hannon or bill cosponsor Senator Simcha Felder, email them and thank them for their support!)
- Either email them, call their office or visit and ask for their support of S4918, the Crohn’s and Colitis Fairness Act
- Ask your friends and family to do the same
- Don’t live in New York? You can still help by reaching out to New York State Senate Leadership and urging them to support the bill
Taking action takes less than five minutes. To make it even easier, here are two draft emails that you can use to send to your legislator:
It’s up to you, New York, to make this bill become a law.
This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post; however the stories included below are the full versions and not the ones that appear externally.
December 1 marks the start of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, an important week within the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community to bring attention to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), two debilitating digestive diseases that cause crippling abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.
More than 1.4 million Americans live with these diseases, yet most people are unfamiliar with them, thinking that IBD and irritable bowel syndrome are synonymous, or downplaying the symptoms.
“One of the most challenging things is that every patient’s disease is different,” says Rick Geswell, president and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “We know that what works for one patient, may not work for another. And it’s so unpredictable. Some patients are so sick that they can’t even leave their homes. Others may have mild disease for most of their life and then all of sudden they flare and land in the hospital. That’s why it’s so important for all patients to rally together — especially during awareness week.”
As Geswell says, it’s hard to grasp the reality of living with these diseases. So in order to explain what it’s like have an inflammatory bowel disease, I asked several patients to share their experiences.
Last year, Massachusetts became the 13th state to enact the Restroom Access Act, joining the ranks of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington. As I wrote previously, the Restroom Access Act requires retail establishments to allow people with certain medical conditions (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) access to their employee only restrooms if a public one isn’t available.
Several other states are starting to look at enacting the Restroom Access Act, including New York. It’s about time!
The New York bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and referred to the Assembly Health Committee. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made any movement in that committee since it was referred there in February.
This has been a great year for Caring for Crohn’s, both on the blog and personally.
After toying with the idea for several months, I finally launched the blog in June. After a few months on Tumblr, the blog was merged onto WordPress and now here we are!
In just six months, I wrote 73 posts and the blog received over 3,600 views, and gained 19 WordPress followers, 50 Tumblr followers, 124 Facebook fans, and 175 Twitter followers. Thank you all SO much for your readership and support– this blog branched out beyond my wildest dreams and I am so appreciative of all of you who made that happen.
Without further ado, here are some of the 2012 highlights for Caring for Crohn’s!
Today, Massachusetts became the 13th state to sign the Restroom Access Act into law. Big victory for IBD-ers.
“This bill will provide peace of mind to people suffering from IBD, who will be able to shop without fear of a publicly embarrassing situation,” said Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton).Kafka sponsored the bill in the House and led an eight-year effort to get it enacted. He introduced the legislation at the request of a constituent, Canton attorney Jonathan Rutley, who drafted the measure for his 17-year-old daughter and ulcerative colitis patient, Catherine (Catie).
For those who are not familiar with it, the Restroom Access Act (also known as Ally’s Law) requires retail establishments that do not have a public restroom to allow people with IBD, IBS, other chronic conditions, and pregnant women access to employee restrooms. As you all know, this is very important for IBD-ers. The last thing you need is to be out somewhere that has no public restroom and be denied access and have an accident.