School for the Deaf educator to testify at State Capitol next week on Accessibility

Article Published on December 1, 2023

Equality in accessibility and working conditions for disabled workers is a closely-held value at SEIU Local 1000, and we’re making a case for improving our rights next week at the State Capitol.

 Assembly member Liz Ortega is hosting a hearing of the Select Committee on Opportunities and Barriers for People with Disabilities in the Workplace on December 5 at 1:00 p.m. in Sacramento.

Silas Wagner, who works at the School for the Deaf in Riverside, will be presenting to legislators at a committee hearing next Tuesday. Silas is a Local 1000 member at DLC 703 and serves as a bargaining liaison for Unit 20.

Silas will illustrate some recent challenges faced at Riverside that speak to the broader challenges our workers face. Recently, the school faced a safety lockdown that was affected by security staff who are not required, or expected, to use American Sign Language. In a related issue, the responding CHP were also unable to communicate directly with staff and students, as they too, are not ASL-ready.

In just one more example: The School for the Deaf in Fremont’s front gate has a call box to facilitate entry. The cry for a video call box—a necessity—has gone unanswered. And so, Silas Wagner’s testimony will continue Local 1000’s effort to enhance the State’s budget to better and more reasonably serve disabled members.

We hope you’ll join us.

The public is welcome to attend in-person or can watch the hearing via livestream on the California State Assembly website. Public comment will also be open to in-person testimony or commenters may call in on the Assembly teleconference line. More information will be posted to the Committee’s website as the hearing date approaches. Public hearings are often recorded and archived, so if you miss the live event, be sure to check back.