Volume #21 – Issue #3
INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY IN ACTION TO SAVE OPWDD SERVICES
Robert, Francis, Maura, Andre and Arios, from Cerebral Palsy of Nassau County, helped kick-off the 2016 Inclusive Democracy in Action Campaign on Tuesday March 1st.
Senator Kemp Hannon, who is Chair of the Senate Health Committee, met with his constituents and took a photo outside his office. Assemblymember Aileen Gunther came out of session to meet with the group and take a picture. Thank you to everyone involved for taking the time to meet and discuss important issues.
Several more groups have visited the Capitol in the ensuing weeks and we will have more on them in the next issue. We are asking everyone to consider scheduling time to bring individuals that you support, staff and family members to Albany to participate in the 2016 Inclusive Democracy in Action (IDA).
Please contact Barbara Crosier at email@example.com, or at 518-436-0178 for more information or to come to Albany and meet with your legislators.
Thousands of advocates for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities, gathered March 10, 11 and 18, at rallies and news conferences stretching across the state from Long Island to the Niagara Frontier, calling on Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to #bFair2DirectCare in the effort to increase New York’s minimum wage.
The individuals with developmental disabilities, Direct Support Professionals, families, staff and volunteers participating in the#bFair2DirectCare campaign are calling on the Governor and state Legislature to include funding in the 2016-17 New York State Budget to pay for the minimum wage increase.
More rallies, news conferences and other events are being planned in the coming weeks. Join in an event in your region. Also, please sign the petition here asking Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to fund the minimum wage increase in the state budget.
MORE CASH FOR HOSPITALS’ TRANSITION, LITTLE FOR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY FIELD, AGAIN
Governor Cuomo awarded an additional $1.2 billion in Capital Infrastructure grants “to assist healthcare providers to build or expand services and their internal systems to advance the goals of the state’s DSRIP program.”
Despite extensive advocacy by community based providers, 90% of these funds have been awarded to area hospitals. Hospitals were also provided an additional $355 million in ‘Essential Health Care Provider Support’ that will be used to pay down some of their debt. These new funds are in addition to the more than $7 billion that is already being allocated to PPS regional care improvement programs, almost all of which are led by many of the same hospitals that will receive this new funding. A very small amount of the new funds will be going to health care centers and community based organizations. UCP of NYC ($4.16 million) seems to be the only Affiliate, and possibly the only developmental disability provider, to receive funding to expand and integrate primary care for individuals with developmental disabilities.
As the state has explicitly set goals for transformation of the OPWDD system and strengthening and supporting community-based care as part of its healthcare reform efforts, we are once again, extremely concerned and disappointed that the Administration has allocated a negligible proportion of funding to supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
DDPC SEEKS MEMBERS FOR CULTURAL COMPETENCY & LANGUAGE ACCESS STAKEHOLDER WORKGROUP
The NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) is seeking members for a newly formed Cultural Competency and Language Access Stakeholder Workgroup. The primary goal is for members to provide meaningful input on DDPC initiatives. For example, as part of their work over the next five years, the DDPC will be seeking input on how best to improve information about disability-related resources and services to English Language Learners in New York State.
DDPC is specifically seeking 10-15 individuals with developmental and other disabilities, or family members, from diverse racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. They are especially seeking people from the Latino, Asian, African-American, and other underserved communities. Members will provide recommendations to the DDPC on how to embed cultural competency and language access into all DDPC work.
Participants of the Workgroup will be asked to attend a 1-day meeting, twice a year, and to potentially engage in conference calls between meetings as needed. The DDPC will provide reimbursement for travel and accommodations at the meetings. Free language translation services will also be provided upon request.
If you would like more information about the Workgroup or if you are aware of individuals and family members who would be interested in participating, please have them contact Jacqueline Hayes; (Jacqueline.Hayes@ddpc.ny.gov), phone: 1-800-395-3372 / 518-486-7505.
WESTERN NEW YORK EMPLOYMENT CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS
Rochester Rehabilitation is hosting a first-of-its-kind employment conference in Western New York focusing on employment outcomes for special populations. The Employment First Conference will take place on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Radisson Rochester Riverside – 120 East Main Street, Rochester. The conference, presented by Wegmans, will offer workshop sessions for both human service providers and other businesses.
For more information, or to register, visit the conference website HERE.
NONPROFITS TO RECEIVE $10 MILLION FOR IT UPGRADES
Governor Andrew Cuomo has awarded $10 million in IT-upgrade funding to 235 nonprofits that serve people with behavioral health issues or developmental disabilities. In New York City, 76 organizations will split $3.3 million. The maximum grant was $50,000. Amid the shift to Medicaid managed care, improving IT systems is a priority for many nonprofits that have never had the funds to support these costly projects. When the providers need to demonstrate outcomes, IT systems are critical to document and report their performance. DSRIP also makes data sharing among various nonprofits and other PPS members more important. Approved in last year’s budget, the funding can be used for technology upgrades or programs “to educate staff on how to better use existing systems,” according to Cuomo’s announcement. Long Island providers will receive $850,800 and organizations in the mid-Hudson region, including Westchester, will get $1.3 million.
CP of NYS Affiliates CP Rochester, Empower, Franziska Racker Centers, Happiness House, HCA, Inspire, Nassau and The Center For Discovery were awarded a total of $357,789
SOCIAL SECURITY’S 2016 RED BOOK IS AVAILABLE
The 2016 edition of the Red Book is available online here.
This is a free guide to employment supports for people who receive Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or both. It explains work incentives, how working can affect benefits, where to find local services, and more.
Educators, rehabilitation specialists, and counselors rely on this publication every year. Whether you, or someone you know, is thinking about working now or in the future, the Red Book can help.
For a free printed copy of the 2016 Red Book, please contact:
Social Security Administration
Office of Supply and Warehouse Management
Requisition and Quality Control Team
6401 Security Boulevard
2508 Robert M. Ball Building
Baltimore, MD 21235-6301
NEW ADDITION TO AFFILIATE SERVICES TEAM
On March 14 Dale Were joined the Affiliate Services staff as Executive Secretary. She comes to us with more than 20 years of experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit business world. She gained valuable experience and business skills as an administrative assistant to the property manager at a major shopping mall. Dale has a variety of work experiences that include valuable skills that will help us to meet the needs of the office as we support Affiliates across the State. Please join us in welcoming Dale to the CP family.