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June 3, 2024

SIGNED! Bills to Improve Basic Access for Coloradans Living with a Disability

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed two bills to improve basic access for Coloradans living with a disability. HB24-1360 will create the Colorado Disability Opportunity Office (CDOO). HB24-1161 will make new electric vehicle charging stations and car sharing programs more accessible. 

“Despite Federal ADA being law for 34 years, housing, employment, access to participation in government and the outdoors remain inaccessible,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton, sponsor of HB24-1360 and HB24-1161. “These important new laws will remove barriers to car travel, streamline employment opportunities and improve basic access for Coloradans living with disabilities. Universal design hurts no one and helps everyone. As I round out my time at the legislature, I am proud of our efforts to shine a light on the everyday barriers faced by people with living disabilities and lay the groundwork for a more accessible, equitable Colorado.”

“People living with disabilities experience disproportionately higher rates of poverty and unemployment, which is why Colorado needs to step up and provide the resources to eradicate these barriers,”  said Rep. Chad Clifford, D-Centennial, sponsor of HB24-1360. “By creating the Office of Opportunities of Coloradans with Disabilities, Coloradans will have better access to the good-paying jobs and education they deserve, so they have a fair shot at creating a strong future that’s all their own. I’m proud to carry this legislation forward with Representative Ortiz because it prioritizes representation, advocacy and commitment to the success of all.”

HB24-1360, signed into law today, will create a new office within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment The goal of this office is to implement a statewide strategy to facilitate economic stability for people with disabilities and promote successful economic, social, and community integration.

Another bill signed into law today, HB24-1161, will require new electric vehicle charging stations to incorporate federal accessible design recommendations for at least five percent of charging spaces or one space, starting January 1, 2026. HB24-1161 will strengthen the prohibition on blocking access to ADA parking spots, curb ramps, and access aisles including using such a parking spot to pile snow.

Additionally, the new law will allow owners of a vehicle in a car sharing program to indicate if their vehicle has been modified to be accessible to people with disabilities and what modifications have been made.

Rep. Ortiz has been a long-time champion for disability rights at the Colorado State Capitol. He has led the charge in passing multiple bills to ensure Coloradans with a disability have the opportunity for legal recourse if they are discriminated against, expanding the youth prosthetic coverage law, creating the Rights of Coloradans with Disabilities task force, and trailblazing two right-to-repair laws for wheelchair users.

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