President & CEO Susan Constantino and Executive Director Mike Alvaro will close out this year’s virtual conference with messages of appreciation for our Affiliates and their staff.

And, of course, there will be giveaways! 

Prizes will be raffled off throughout the closing session. All you need to do is attend a previous session to have your name automatically entered in the drawing! 

Back to conference overview.


Missed this session? Watch it now!

The telemedicine project awarded to Cerebral Palsy of NYS, and funded by DOH’s Transformation Grant, successfully rolled out in early 2020. 

The COVID-19 crisis posed challenges to its implementation, but ultimately StationMD’s telemedicine program has provided a crucial access point to health care for individuals with IDD with successful results. Moreover, a silver lining to COVID-19 crisis has been a relaxation of telemedicine at a state and federal level, opening up further opportunities to address needs of this population.

This session will explore the advances, opportunities and positive outcomes of telehealth for individuals with I/DD.


Dr. Matthew Kaufman, Station MD

Meghan Calichman, MPA, Station MD

Download the presentation.

Back to conference overview.


Missed this session? Watch it now!

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace has never been more important!

Professionals in the staff-development field will discuss the impact of defining culture at your agency; diversity and inclusion as part of employee training initiatives; and incorporating more stakeholders and programs in advancing these initiatives.


 Elaine Angelo, Performance Consultant, ProKnowledge

Delphia Howse, D. Howze Solutions

Maureen O’Brien, President & CEO, NYSID

Raeshell Harris, Assistant Director of Human Resources, CP of Long Island

Back to conference overview.


Missed this session? Watch it now!

These are trying times, but disability advocates have always had to overcome adversity!

During this time of year, everyone begins to think about their goals for the next year with renewed hope and excitement.  However, as we approach the end of 2020, it’s important to take time to consider those individuals that made significant contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disability within the U.S. over the past 20 years.

This session will look at the National Historic Recognition Project, which is an effort by a dozen national and regional organizations to recognize the key individuals who have contributed to the transformation of the I/DD field.  Our speaker will highlight the improvements made as the field moved toward personalized supports, the role of individuals with I/DD as advocates, and the value of the contributions of direct support professionals!

The past 20 years have seen a significant shift toward individualized and inclusive supports, an increase in employment options, and a greater emphasis on small, community-integrated residential settings.  The advent of managed care, changes in funding, and mergers have strongly influenced organizational approaches to the service they provide.  As individuals in long-term leadership roles are retiring and the next generation of leaders enter these positions, it’s important to remember the contributions of their predecessors.  Our intent is to create a web‐based archive for the 2000‐2020 period.  We feel this effort is critical for the field and should establish a collection that future generations can utilize to build a strong understanding of what happened and who played a significant role.  The history in our field will be told through the lives of people supported, their families, and the professionals who have come before us and those who will follow.


 Susan Constantino, President & CEO, CP State

Back to conference overview.

Executive Order continues limits on visitation

The Governor has released Executive Order 202.48  that, among other things, continues the state’s visitation limits for our homes. The policy restricting visitors unless the recently implemented attestation process is followed will continue beyond July 6.

Also, for child care providers licensed under social services law, this latest executive order rescinds the exemption from the criminal background check process.  This does not affect OPWDD programs which are authorized under mental hygiene law – those exemption rules remain in place.

The Executive Order continues the directive contained in Executive Order 202.41, regarding phase three industries and entities, but modifies it to prohibit indoor food services New York City.

The Executive Order also continues the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order up to and including Executive Order 202.14, as continued and contained in Executive Order 202.27, 202.28, and 202.38, for another thirty days through August 5, 2020, except:

  • The directives contained in Executive Order 202.3, that closed video lottery gaming or casino gaming, gym, fitness center or classes, and movie theaters, and the directives contained in Executive Order 202.5 that closed the indoor common portions of retail shopping malls, and all places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, as amended, are hereby modified to provide that such directives remain in effect only until such time as a future Executive Order opening them is issued.

Further, the provisions of Articles 11-A and 11-B of the State Finance Law, and any regulations authorized thereunder, to the extent necessary to respond to the direct and indirect economic, financial, and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are suspended or modified through August 5, 2020.

The Executive Order discontinues, as of July 7,  the following suspensions, modifications, and directives made by previous Executive Orders, and such statutes, codes, and regulations are in full force and effect:

  • The directive contained in Executive Order 202.28, as extended, that prohibited initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of either an eviction of any residential or commercial tenant, for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any residential or commercial mortgage, for nonpayment of such mortgage, is continued only insofar as it applies to a commercial tenant or commercial mortgagor, as it has been superseded by legislation for a residential tenant, and residential mortgagor, in Chapters 112, 126, and 127 of the Laws of 2020;
  • The suspension which allowed for the Commissioner of Education to reduce instructional days, as such suspensions and directives have been superseded by statute, contained in Chapter 107 of the Laws of 2020;
  • The suspension permitting providers to utilize staff members transport individuals receiving services from the Office of Mental Health or a program or provider under the jurisdiction of the Office of Mental Health during the emergency;
  • The suspensions allowing the director of the Authorities Budget Office to disregard deadlines due to a failure by a State or local authority to meet the requirements proscribed during a state of emergency, are continued only insofar as they allow a State or local authority a sixty day extension from the original statutory due date for such reports;
  • Section 390-b of the Social Services Law and regulations at section 413.4 and 415.15 of Title 18 of the NYCRR, relating to criminal history review and background clearances of child care providers;
  • Subdivision 8 of section 8-408 of the Election Law, relating to absentee voting by residents of nursing homes, residential health care facilities, facilities operated or licensed under the Department of Mental Hygiene, hospitals, or facilities operated by the VA;
  • Subdivision (28) of Section 171 of the Tax Law, to the extent that the Commissioner has extended any filing deadline;
  • The directive related dispensing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, as recent findings and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s revocation of the emergency use authorization has alleviated supply shortages for permitted FDA uses of these medications;
  • Business Corporation law sections 602, 605, and 708, as such suspensions have been superseded by statute, as contained in Chapter 122 of the Laws of 2020;
  • Banking Law Section 39 (2), as such suspension has been superseded by statute, as contained in Chapters 112 and 126 of the Laws of 2020, as well as the directives contained in Executive Order 202.9;\
  • Insurance Law and Banking Law provisions suspended by virtue of Executive Order 202.13, which coincide with the expiration of the Superintendent’s emergency regulations;
  • Sections 3216(d)(1)(c) and 4306 (g) of the Insurance Law, and any associated regulatory authority provided by directive in Executive Order 202.14, as the associated emergency regulations are no longer in effect;
  • The suspension requiring a personal appearance of the defendant, and there is consent, in any jurisdiction where the Court has been authorized to commence in-person appearances by the Chief Administrative Judge; provided further that the suspension or modification of the following provisions of law are continued:
    • The 20-day timeframe for the return date for a desk appearance ticket is extended to 90 days from receiving the appearance ticket;
    • The 45-day time limit to present a matter to the grand jury following a preliminary hearing or waiver continues to be suspended and is tolled for an additional 30 days;
    • Speedy trial time limitations remain suspended until such time as petit criminal juries are reconvened or 30 days, whichever is later;
    • Suspending the Criminal Procedure Law that would prohibit the use of electronic appearances for certain pleas, provided that the court make a full and explicit inquiry into the waiver and voluntariness thereof;
    • Allowing an incarcerated defendant to appear virtually with his or her counsel before the grand jury to waive immunity and testify in his or her own defense, provided the defendant elects to do so;
    • Suspending the Criminal Procedure Law, as modified by Executive Order 202.28, is hereby continued for a period not to exceed 30 days in any jurisdiction where there is not a grand jury empaneled; and when a new grand jury is empaneled to hear criminal cases, the criminal procedure law shall no longer be suspended beginning one week after such grand jury is empaneled;
    • Suspending the protective orders to be utilized at preliminary hearings, is continued for 30 days;
    • Suspending the use of electronic appearances for felony pleas, or electronic appearances for preliminary hearings or sentencing in extended for 30 days.

Telehealth webinar on April 17

On Friday, April 17, there will be a webinar to talk about the tools and methods clinics are using for telehealth.  Many of you may be aware of them but we thought this could be a useful way to connect and learn how all of you are doing during this time frame since we last spoke.  If you have any questions, please email Deb Williams at

There is no need to register ahead of time.  We will record the meeting so if you can’t join, the recording will be available after the close of the webex call.

The two tools to be discussed are

  2. iPad and Zoom platforms for “telehealth” audio/visual feed

Once we get through the presentations we can open the discussion for other issues – so please feel free to send me any specific questions you may want raised and we will work to get as many answers.  We have not heard yet about the clinic funding from OPWDD but advocacy continues.

Please join my meeting on April 17 at 1 p.m. from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3131

Access Code: 311-357-005

Join from a video-conferencing room or system.
Dial in or type: or
Meeting ID: 311 357 005
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Group home residents contracting coronavirus at five times the city rate

The following appeared in Crain’s Health Pulse on April 9, 2020.

The residents of group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York City are getting sick with Covid-19 at about five times the rate of the overall city population, according to data shared with Crain’s from a coalition of agencies that operate the residences.

The New York Integrated Network and AHRC New York City said they had confirmed 117 cases among their 2,800 residents as of April 5. Nearly two-thirds of those individuals needed to be hospitalized, and 17 people had died. The organizations reporting data operate about one-fifth of the city’s residential beds regulated by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

“These are individuals who work together, socialize together. And staff come in every day,” said Arthur Webb, executive director of New York Integrated Network. “It’s a 24/7 model. It’s been a real struggle to do containment, quarantine or isolation in the homes. These were not set up as treatment centers, unlike nursing homes.”

The coalition is hoping to receive state support to purchase more protective equipment for its workers, pay staff for overtime and get more clinical support in the homes.

The agencies also reported 92 staff members had been diagnosed with Covid-19, and three had died as of April 5.

The homes provide residential care to individuals with a wide range of conditions, including autism and cerebral palsy. To comply with state guidelines, the facilities have canceled day programming and work opportunities.

Webb attributed the higher hospitalization rate among clients to the degree to which residents have underlying conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

The homes have used an existing telemedicine relationship with StationMD to keep clients out of emergency departments.

Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, part of the coalition, received a $13 million grant to expand telemedicine at the residences last year.

“The telemedicine has been just a fantastic added value, and fortunately we were ahead of the curve in using it,” Webb said. —J.L.

CP of NYS Day & Employment Committee Updates

TO: CP of NYS Day & Employment Committee

 Below are updates for OPWDD & ACCES-VR


The HCBS Appendix K waiver has been approved and it is very complex and will need detailed review/presentations.  

  • SEMP  is NOT INCLUDED for retainer days.  We are extremely disappointed.  The provider associations and CCOs are discussing creative/alternative ways to provide these services
  • There is a webinar tomorrow, April 9 at 2:00PM for  day hab, pre-voc and com hab providers.   If you haven’t already registered for the webinar use this link.
    1. There may be another webinar on Monday focusing on day services.  


CP of NYS joined a call with IAC, DDAWNY and the NY Alliance to discuss ACCES-VR to preserve services. Thanks to Toni Sullivan for representing CP of NYS.

The goal is to work with ACCES-VR to look at the big picture including:

·       We must take swift action and think outside of the box to preserve VR services for people who currently depend on them and for those students who will be graduating and need support in the future

·       The milestone billing concept will be inadequate to support the infrastructure and we suggest quarterly payments instead, with different deliverables

·       Deliverables will be designed to support people as they need it now and to prepare them for future job success when the pandemic and subsequent economic devastation is over

·       Guiding principles that would keep things moving forward, although quite differently, include

o   Paperless everything

o   Nearly every service to be delivered remotely (we thank ACCES-VR for being forward thinking in looking at remote service delivery and think we can do even more)

o   Implementation of electronic signatures ASAP

o   Allowing vendors to provide entry services so cases can continue to be opened

 If you have time, Jim Scutt has asked to gather some deliverables, i.e. what are you currently going in ACCES Extended and Intensive that is either currently considered a deliverable or for which you are not getting   directly reimbursed?  Please send these to Toni Sullivan by Friday.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Stay healthy!


Barbara Crosier

Vice President, Government Relations

Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS

3 Cedar Street Extension, Suite 2

Cohoes, NY 12047

Phone:  (518) 436-0178, Ext. 104

Cell:  (518) 424-3198

Fax:  (518) 436-8619


Please note that our emails have changed. 

Please update your contact for me.  Thank you!

OPWDD Provider Update


On today’s OPWDD call, they covered the following:


  1. Willow covered the visitation document that was issued yesterday via a Commissioner’s message that reminded people that visitation restrictions remain in place, and that providers had an obligation to facilitate meaningful communication between parents and residents.
  2. Data update –  As of 5/20 – 2,611 confirmed positive cases; 2,148 lived in certified residential programs, 392 resulted in deaths; of those county breakdown over 90% downstate; similar trends 90% in certified residence; 50 or older 83%; similar sex and comorbidity breakouts to last week.  The State then took credit for their steps they’ve taken to bring down the rate of infection.
  3. Fiscal Update – Kevin Valencis reported the 1/1 and 4/1 rates have been calculated and the package is on its way through DOH and will be processed by DOB once they receive the rates from DOH and they realize it is a priority; status of retainer day units – they have received DOH calculations and provided feedback to DOH and they hope to see them out in the next few business days; they are checking on a SNAP benefits decision in the state to count unemployment income for eligibility – one Affiliate had heard from their local food stamps office that the SNAP benefit would be discontinued for a resident who receives the $600 benefit because they no longer meet income requirements for SNAP (this is a state by state decision on whether those funds would be counted for eligibility).  Can providers question/challenge the units? OPWDD said they don’t have an appeals mechanism, but they used claims data and think it’s going to prove to be correct; if there seem to be substantial issues, they may look at it. Also mentioned ISS is also using $600 unemployment payment being used in rent subsidy calculations. For changes in service levels for day retainer program, it may be handled during the reconciliation process – not promised, but they’ll look at increases in service level to see if increased units above the 6 month average can be used.   Where is self-direction budget approval? Providers have been waiting for some time – where is the guidance we’ve been promised for weeks? Will there be a retainer program for self-direction?  Any update on ICF billing? OPWDD indicated the 1115 has been submitted and is under review by CMS.
  4. Any update on guidance for reopening, particularly for those not able to comprehend the social distancing and other rules?  Jill P. explained her staff are working on a document to assist on that front.