CHOP delivers smiles (and equipment)

Another wonderful story of how our CHOP grants help New Yorkers with disabilities!

From CHOP awardee, Arc Herkimer:

On behalf of Arc Herkimer’s board, staff, and volunteers—and especially on behalf of the people with disabilities we serve—please extend my gratitude to the Awards Committee of the Community Health Outreach Project (CHOP). Thank you, also, for sharing this letter with your funder, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. I look forward to keeping in touch in the coming months and new year.
Your generous support facilitated the purchase of three Maxi Sky Ceiling Lifts, one Maxi Move (with two slings) and two Parker tubs. I am pleased to enclose a photo of Chloie and Kittie, our Direct Support Professional and a person we support, using the Maxi Move at our Cottage Street residence. Their smiling faces say it all!

CP State welcomes Jamie Salm as Executive Vice President

Salm Brings Years Of Legislative Policy And Budget Experience To The Disability Field

CP State is excited to announce that Jamie Salm will join the organization as its Executive Vice President, overseeing CP’s strategic plan, advocacy, and policy efforts.

Salm brings years of experience in state government to the disability field. She recently served as the Assistant Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, in the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance; and has spent time in the Division of Budget, Board of Elections, and as a Legislative Director in the Assembly.


“We’re excited to welcome Jamie to this new role on the CP team,” said Mike Alvaro, President and CEO of CP State. “Jamie’s skillset will be an invaluable asset to New Yorkers with disabilities as we escalate our advocacy, education, and other supports we provide our Affiliates across the state.”

“I can’t wait to support CP State’s mission of advocating for those who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and the agencies who provide direct services for them,” said Salm. “This is a perfect fusion of my skill and my passion to help people.”

Darrell Whitbeck appointed CEO of Ability Partners Agencies

Ability Partners Board of Directors has selected Darrell Whitbeck, current Chief Operating Officer (COO), as the next President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ability Partners Agencies.

Darrell began working for Happiness House in February of 2003 as an Occupational Therapist.  Due to Darrell’s hard work, intelligence and excellent work ethic, he was promoted into various positions throughout his career at Happiness House; serving as the Coordinator of QA and Clinical Department Coordinator, the Director of Adult Center-Based Services and Quality Assurance, Senior Operations Director of Clinical Services/QA.  He was promoted to the Vice President of Clinical Services and QA for CP Rochester and Happiness House in 2015 and has been serving as the Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President (COO) for CP Rochester and Happiness House since 2018.

Throughout Darrell’s career he has worked in and provided oversight to several agency programs and has a high level of knowledge with oversight regulations and compliance.  He has provided excellent leadership and oversight to the agencies’ operations.

While in the COO position, Darrell worked closely with Mary Boatfield, President/CEO and was part of her succession planning.

Darrell will continue to provide the exceptional leadership that Ability Partners Agencies has known.

Darrell will assume the CEO role in March 2023 upon Mary’s retirement and will begin transitioning with her over the next few months.

2021 Conference Sessions

If you missed the exciting and informative sessions at the 2021 CP Annual Conference, you can catch up here!

Please note: Due to the nature of some subjects, we are not able to make every presentation available. 

NYS Medicaid Program Update

An update on the NYS Medicaid program and its plans for the I/DD sector.

Speaker: Brett Friedman, Medicaid Director, Office of Health Insurance Programs, NYS Department of Health

Download the presentation [PDF].

Using Social Media for Effective Advocacy

Tik Tok? Twitter? Facebook? Woof? How should we use the ever-changing landscape of social media to connect with our legislators and their constituents? This session will look at the impact of good digital communication and advocacy on the real world.

Speakers: Barbara Crosier, Bill DeVoe

Download the presentation [PDF].

Google Project Euphonia

This session will present an overview of what Project Euphonia is, the goals with case studies, and the need for gathering enough recordings. Data collection efforts with Euphonia will be discussed including some updates on the details of the data collection. Additionally, the presenter will discuss the trusted tester program and how individuals with ID/DD can get involved. This session is good for both professionals and parents or anyone who wants to know more about how technology can help someone with speech impairments communicate better.

Speakers: Marilyn A. Ladewig, Speech Language Pathologist, Google

Download the presentation [PDF].


Telehealth Grant Update

This session will provide an update on the CP of NYS Telehealth Grant, and current data will be shared along with satisfaction data on the client experience.

Speakers: Meghan Calichman, Dr. Matthew Kaufman, Deb Williams

Download the presentation [PDF].

The Future Of Residential Programs: Managing Our Current Realities As We Plan

This interactive session will explore what various Affiliates are experiencing now and how they are planning for the future with a focus on rightsizing, staffing, vacancy management, integration of day activities, special initiatives, and future models.

Speakers: Tom Gillespie, Kathy Klosner, Susan Mentecki, Dahlian Porter

Download the presentation [PDF].

BDO: Non-Profit Standards

BDO’s 5th Annual Nonprofit Standards: A Benchmarking Survey will be discussed along with key findings and trends.

Speakers: Matthew Becker, Adam Cole, Keith Linzer

Download the presentation [PDF].

Advocacy: Setting The Table For 2022 Legislative Session

This panel will look at public relations strategies surrounding an advocacy campaign, choosing the right tactics, and setting objective goals for determining success.

Speakers: Barbara Crosier, Bill DeVoe, Tommy Meara, Evan Sullivan

Download the presentation [PDF].

Independent Living Through Self-Direction

Advocates Incorporated’s Residential Team will discuss approaches to putting the pieces together for people wishing to self-direct their services to live independently within their own communities. Topics will include getting started with the Self-Direction process and how to leverage a person’s individualized Self Direction budget to support non-certified independent living. We will provide an overview of various pieces of the puzzle including self-hired staffing, Residential Coordination, Paid Neighbor and Live-in-Caregiver components.
Speakers: Amy Dugliss, Executive Director; Beth Henderson, Director of Operations; Reina Campbell, Housing Navigator/Broker Supervisor – Advocates Incorporated
Click here to watch the presentation. 

Download the presentation [PDF].

Diversity and Inclusion: Getting to be Clear

The topic of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) has been an area of focus for several years. However, in many organizations, little progress has been made in terms of truly leveraging the value of D&I to create true inclusive environments. In this session, we will work to BE CLEAR and intentional about D&I efforts which will support a sustainable strategic approach in your organization.

Speaker: Delphia Howze, Owner & CEO, D. Howze Solutions, LLC

Click here to watch the presentation. 

MOVE Program

This session will offer an overview of the MOVE program and how it has been implemented at various sites. It will address the challenges in implementing MOVE and provide strategies to overcome these challenges. Highlights include how the MOVE program has helped increase choice-making opportunities for individuals, encourage independence for individuals in moving about their environment and reduce lifting on the part of family members and support providers.

Speakers: Karrie Diacetis, Program Manager – MOVE International; Symong Choi, DPT, PT Supervisor – CP of Long Island; Melissa D’Accardo, PhD, Curriculum & Training Specialist – CP Unlimited

Click here to watch the presentation. 

Register now! CP State Annual Conference October 24-25

Register now for the 2022 CP State Annual Conference!

The CP State Annual Conference will be held Monday to Wednesday, October 24-26, at the Saratoga Hilton and City Center in Saratoga Springs.

Register now by clicking on the following options:

View the registration brochure below.

A few other conference items we wanted to be sure you were aware of:

We have scheduled down time – We understand it’s hectic rushing from one amazing session to the next, so we’ve dedicated some time to simply relaxing, networking, and catching up with your colleagues from across the state.

You won’t go hungry – We’ll have heavy hors d’oeuvres during Monday night’s awards program. Serving stations as well as passed hors d’oeuvres. Bring your appetite!

Enjoy Saratoga – We’re wrapping up Monday night’s awards program early enough for you to hit the town. Don’t know where to start? Look at this interactive map from our partners at Discover Saratoga.

Health Care Workforce Bonus excludes some frontline workers

On Wednesday, Governor Hochul announced the official launch of the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus program. Enacted in the Fiscal Year 2023 New York State Budget, the program includes $1.3 billion for recruitment and retention bonuses for health care and mental hygiene workers. Bonuses will be awarded to eligible workers who make less than $125,000 annually and remain in their positions for at least six months. The maximum bonus for each employee is $3,000.
However, in guidance released this week, the Department of Health (DOH) extended the bonus eligibility to patient-facing food service workers, janitorial/maintenance workers and medical secretaries/administrative support who are employed by hospitals and nursing homes, but not to those same workers in other settings, which includes many of those in our Affiliates.
New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) released a statement applauding the administration for including additional frontline employees, but expressing dismay that they would not apply to employees performing the same work in different settings.

Coverage of the statement was published in the Niagra Gazette and Crain’s Health Pulse
Additionally, NYDA and CP State President and CEO Mike Alvaro sent a letter to DOH Commissioner Mary Bassett asking DOH to, “swiftly address this inequity and extend the same employee title eligibility to our employees with equivalent titles, serving individuals with I/DD.”

NYDA calls for Direct Support Wage Enhancement in ’23 budget

CP State and its partners in New York Disability Advocates are calling attention to the pay disparity between state-operated and non-profit provider agencies. We’re also encouraging Gov. Kathy Hochul to to establish a new Direct Support Wage Enhancement for direct care staff in her 2023 executive budget.

Make your voice heard by sharing the thread below:

CP State offers recommendations to address the gaps in quality physical- and mental-healthcare

New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) often experience stigma, discrimination, and receive inferior quality service when seeking healthcare.

Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP State), in consultation with its 24 Affiliates throughout the state, has developed recommendations to prioritize health equity for people with I/DD. CP State’s white paper “Prioritizing Health Equity for People with I/DD in NYS: The Smart Thing and The Right Thing To Do,” highlights policy priorities and recommendations as service providers, legislators, and policymakers move forward in ensuring the fundamental right to health care for all New Yorkers.

Among the recommendations are:

  • Loan forgiveness for clinicians training in complex care and those receiving specialty I/DD training.
  • Training first responders, emergency technicians, social services/child protective personnel, and families
  • In disability competencies to ensure quality disability support and care.
  • Expanding telehealth for triage, primary care, behavioral health, and specialty services.

“We drew on the immense amount of experience among our Affiliates and other providers to capture the challenges of disability health issues, as well as the potential solutions we hope will complement and enhance the work that is underway at the state level as the Department of Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities strive for health equity in the Medicaid program,” said Mike Alvaro, President and CEO of CP State. “We offer these ideas for our policy leaders, elected officials and others interested in health policy and disability issues to consider as they chart a path forward in New York.”

COVID exacerbates Mental Health Issues in I/DD population

 In addition to the disparity in healthcare, there is a growing unease from disability service providers concerning issues related to mental health services for people with co-existing mental conditions.

In “At The Crossroads: People with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and Coexisting Mental Conditions,” CP State lays out a pathway to better diagnose mental health disorders in the disability population, provide crisis mental health care, and increase suicide prevention and awareness.

Among the recommendations are:

  • Creating a better understanding between the mental health and disability provider fields, including creating consistent language for co-occurring conditions.
  • Make mental health, wellness, and wellbeing a priority in every disability provider’s child and adult program/service. This includes assessment, treatment, documentation and follow-up in schools, clinics, day habilitation, supported apartments, and respite.
  • Establishing a system of family and agency support in cases where a person threatens suicide, attempts suicide and/or completes suicide.
  • State-funded training for mental health supports.

“The bottom line is simple,” said Alvaro. “We must take the mental and physical health of New Yorkers with disabilities as seriously as we do anyone else’s. Until we do that, we are failing to adequately care for this vulnerable population.”








Funding Assistance Program for Equipment, Supplies, and other Supports

The Community Health Outreach Project is a grant program funded by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and administered by the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS) to provide financial assistance for the purchase of equipment, services, supplies, and other supports needed by individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other significant disabilities when all other funding opportunities have been exhausted.

This Project seeks to assist people with disabilities of all ages living within New York State by addressing the shortcomings in current supports and systems. Funds through this Project will provide access to supports for individuals in an effort to increase their health status and promote community participation. By removing barriers and offering assistance unavailable to them through other sources, CP of NYS can do its part to improve social and environmental living conditions while promoting quality of life. CP of NYS will focus on health measures and outcomes as well as the social determinants of health to identify priorities for funding and enable people to remain independent and active within their homes and communities.

Funding Opportunities for Agencies
The Community Health Outreach Project provides funding for the purchase of equipment, services, supplies, and other supports needed by persons with disabilities when other funding options, such as Medicaid, Medicare, government programs, private insurance, and other foundations/grants, have been explored and deemed unavailable. Agencies can be funded in two ways:

1) An agency can apply for funding of equipment, services, and programs to benefit the individuals you serve within your agency (i.e., IRA locations, day program, physical therapy department). The agency must provide information on all individuals who will benefit from the requested item; justification as to why the item is critically needed; written documentation as to why Medicaid and/or Medicare will not cover the cost of the item; and a vendor cost sheet/invoice showing the negotiated price for the item. If your application is approved, CP of NYS will pay the vendor directly.

2) An agency can be reimbursed for expenses incurred, less the amount covered by Medicaid, Medicare, government programs, private insurance, or other funding mechanisms, when it has already purchased equipment, services, supplies, and other supports. The agency must provide information on all individuals who benefitted from the requested item; justification as to why the item was critically needed; written
documentation as to why Medicaid and/or Medicare did not cover the cost of the item; and a paid invoice for the item. If your application is approved, CP of NYS will pay your agency directly.

Funding Eligibility
1) The individuals who will benefit from your request must reside within New York State.
2) The expenditure was incurred or will be incurred for the individuals during the Project’s funding period, which
is January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.

Funding Limitations
This Project has a limited amount of funding to award during the year. Therefore, all applications will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. All completed applications will be considered by the Awards Committee provided funding is still available at the time of receipt of application. There is no guarantee of funding or approval of your request.
Agencies may submit more than one application. However, the Awards Committee will closely monitor the number of applications submitted by each agency and will limit awards in order to avoid a disproportionate share of the funds to any one agency. Additionally, only one application for equipment/services for each certified IRA or specific department within your agency will be accepted. Therefore, please prioritize your requests accordingly.

Supporting Documentation
You must complete the “Community Health Outreach Project Application Form for Agency Use Only” and provide appropriate, written documentation to accompany the application form, which validates your request:

  • A paid invoice or quotation-of-costs showing the final negotiated price from the vendor.
  • A written affidavit indicating that your agency sought funding for this request from all other sources, such as self-pay, Medicaid, Medicare, Government Programs, other foundations, other grant programs, etc., before applying to the Community Health Outreach Project.
  • A written affidavit stating the reason why Medicaid, Medicare, Government Programs, other foundations, other grant programs, etc. would not cover the expense.
  • Justification as to why this request is critically needed by your organization.

Required Signature
All applications must be signed by an authorized representative of the requesting Agency, affirming that the information furnished in the application form and supporting documentation is true and accurate. Unsigned forms will be ineligible for reimbursement.

Cindy Morris is the Project Director working at the CP of NYS offices.  Please contact her to learn more about the project or to obtain application forms.  She can be reached at (518) 436-0178 or via email at  Additionally, complete details can be found at  There you’ll find an Application Form for Funding Assistance that can be completed by individuals/caregivers, and a separate form that Agencies can submit for reimbursement of expenses.

Submission Process
You can submit the completed application form as follows:
If an application form is sent electronically, send email with attachments to

Fax to (518) 436-8619, Attn: Cindy Morris

If application is sent via mail:
Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS, Inc.
3 Cedar Street Extension, Suite 2
Cohoes, NY 12047 If application is sent via fax:
Attn: Cindy J. Morris, Project Director