7/2/18 CP News

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7/2/18 CP NEWS                                              

Volume #24 – Issue #5



Share Goods or Services Produced at your Affiliate with CP Conference Attendees

After a successful launch in 2017, the CP Marketplace will return to our Annual Conference on October 16, 2018 in Saratoga Springs. Affiliates will display products and highlight programs they have developed that help raise funds and/or provide work experience for people with disabilities.  The CP booths will be set up on Tuesday, October 16 in a venue that also offers our conference corporate sponsors an opportunity to display their materials, thereby increasing traffic for both our vendors and our Affiliates.

Interested Affiliates will be offered space at the Saratoga City Center free of charge.  You may bring products to display and sell, or literature and order information; show a video or PowerPoint on your laptop computer; explain or demonstrate products or services; or sell packaged or commercially vended products.

Please call Tim Ferguson or Al Shibley at 518.436.0178 with any questions or to request space at CP Marketplace. Click HERE for the CP Marketplace Response Form.

Tim Ferguson/Al Shibley



The ANCOR Grassroots Work Group is having a  Digital Lobby Day where you can contact your Congressional Representatives through a call, twitter or Facebook on three important areas. ANCOR has lined up everything you need on the ANCOR Amplifier to make sure we can impact the change providers need.

The one-pagers are a great resource on three items to take action on TODAY:

  • Electronic Visit Verification. With HR 6042 passing the House, we must carry our momentum over to the Senate and delay EVV implementation as soon as possible!
  • Money Follows the Person. Funding in the states for this important program is running out – it’s time to reauthorize the program now!
  • The Workforce Crisis. We are facing unprecedented levels of turnover and vacancies and Congress must know! Please make sure they are aware of ANCOR’s asks to assist in this federal workforce crisis.

How do you take action today? It’s easy! Visit the ANCOR Digital Lobby Day page.

Just take a few minutes today to share a message with your Congressional Representatives through a call, Twitter or Facebook! Tag @therealancor so ANCOR can re-tweet and like your post.

Barbara Crosier



New York is the only state in the nation that is holding separate state and federal primary elections this year. While the federal primary was June 26th, the state primary is September 23rd. This split primary dates to 2012, when the federal government won a lawsuit compelling New York to move its federal primary elections to the fourth Tuesday in June from September; when they had been held simultaneously with state primaries. The federal government asked for the change because it contended that a September primary did not leave enough time for military and overseas voters to get absentee ballots for the general election.

While nearly all New York’s Congressional incumbents were able to fend off highly spirited challenges, one of the most powerful House Democrats, Joseph Crowley, was unseated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former organizer for Bernie Sanders.  Rep. Crowley’s primary defeat, and a few close calls for fellow Democrat incumbents in New York City, is seen by some as a major victory for the insurgent left of the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez will go on to face Republican Anthony Pappas in November.

In another prominent race, on Staten Island, Trump-endorsed incumbent Dan Donovan easily defeated his predecessor former Rep. Michael Grimm in a nationally watched New York GOP primary.  Despite not receiving a presidential endorsement, Mr. Grimm had sought to align himself with President Trump’s base of supporters.  Rep. Donovan will go on to face a challenge from political newcomer Max Rose, who won his Democratic primary with 64.7% of the vote.

Elsewhere in New York City, Democratic Reps. Maloney, Clarke and Engel successfully defended their seats while other Democrats ran unopposed.  These incumbents are expected to win re-election in November facing a number of Republicans who ran uncontested in yesterday’s election.

On Long Island, first time candidates Perry Gershon and Liuba Grechen Shirley defeated longtime party veterans for two Democratic Congressional nominations Tuesday night.  Gershon will face Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) in November and Grechen Shirley will face Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).  Reps.  Suozzi and Rice, of the third and fourth district respectively, ran uncontested. Suozzi will face off against Republican Dan DeBono and Rice will face Republican Ameer Beeno, both also ran uncontested in the primary. Representative Meeks, of the fifth district, won with over 80 percent of the vote and has no opponent in November.

In the Hudson Valley/Capital Region, WFP-backed candidate Antonio Delgado won the bid to take on Republican Rep. John Faso in a crowded Democratic primary.

In Central New York, Syracuse University professor Dana Balter claimed victory in the Democratic primary race for New York’s 24th Congressional District seat, holding off a late challenge from former Syracuse mayoral candidate Juanita Perez Williams.  Balter will face off against incumbent Rep. John Katko in November.

In Rochester, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle sailed to victory with almost 46% of the vote in a four-way primary.  He will face Republican Jim Maxwell in a bid to succeed the late Rep. Louise Slaughter.

All other congressional candidates in Upstate New York, including Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi and his Republican opponent Rep. Claudia Tenney, ran uncontested.

Barbara Crosier



The NYS Legislature wrapped up its 2018 session in the early morning hours of June 21st. Rather than focusing on what the Legislature did this session, most of the post mortem has been on what they did not take up.  This includes failure to reach an agreement on extending the authority for New York City to continue to use speed cameras (without action the law will expire July 25th), no agreement on authorizing sports betting in New York, no reforms to teacher evaluations and lack of action on some local tax issues, among others.  While rumors immediately began swirling about a possible return to Albany for a special session, top lawmakers have dismissed the idea.

The New York State Legislature introduced more than four thousand bills during the legislative session and passed more than 600 bills this session. The 2018 session was generally a win-win for CP of NYS Affiliates, people with disabilities, families and staff. There were a number of “good” bills that passed both Houses including:

  • Commuter Benefit Tax Relief
  • Gender Neutral OPWDD Transportation
  • Optional I/DD I.D. Card
  • Small Business Tax Credit
  • Tenants with Disability First Floor Apartment
  • Autism Screening for 3 and Under
  • School Psychologist in 4410 Extender

Even better news was that none of the “bad” bills passed both Houses. Unfortunately, fending off these bad bills takes as much or more energy than is needed to affect positive change. Some of these included:

  • The Transfer of theMedical Indemnity Fund to OPWDD
  • 911 Bills
  • Annual Radon Testing
  • Mandatory Staff and Volunteer Staff Training, etc.

We will continue to work on priorities that did not pass both Houses including:

  • 90 Day Delay Code
  • Interim Plus Rates
  • COPA #bFair2DirectCare
  • NYSID Bill
  • IPSIDD Corporate Practice Bill

CP of NYS and your COPA team will be sending a full 2018 Legislative Session wrap-up with details on these and many of the other bills that we have been working on this session and their status.

Barbara Crosier



Louis Tehan (Left) and Geno DeCondo

After nearly 40 years as President and CEO of Upstate Cerebral Palsy, Louis B. Tehan announced his retirement on May 1st from that position. Geno DeCondo, Chief Operating Officer of Upstate Cerebral Palsy, assumed leadership of the agency as Executive Director on that date.

With its first residence opening in 1986, Upstate Cerebral Palsy has since opened more than 50 additional sites for children and adults across 7counties and expanded services to offer medical, behavioral, and emotional or physical supports centered on the needs of the individual person. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Tehan has tirelessly advocated for increased supports for the people who receive Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s services, including comfortable and home-like residential options, paid work opportunities, family support options to help family members cope with caring for a loved one with a disability, recreation opportunities and other life-enhancing programs and services to ensure that people with disabilities are treated with dignity and able to reach their fullest potential. He also has lobbied for and is committed to supporting staff through increased wages for direct support workers.

“While I’ve learned many things over the past 39 years, I believe the most important lessons have come from the courageous pioneers that started our agency, as well as the committed board members, senior administrative staff who are second to none in our field, and the thousands of staff at all levels providing direct care services that are simply amazing and the backbone of our agency,” said Mr. Tehan.

Mr. DeCondo began his career with Upstate Cerebral Palsy in 2008 as the Executive Vice President and was named Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer in 2016.  In addition to handling an extensive budget across multiple affiliate agencies, he was Executive Director of Mohawk Valley Handicapped Services, Inc., an affiliate that served as a holding corporation for many Upstate Cerebral Palsy facilities. During his tenure, Mr. DeCondo also served as a shared Executive Director of affiliate agency, the E. John Gavras Center, in Auburn, NY.

Due to the vast expansion that has taken place over the past four decades, the Upstate Caring Partners Parent Corporation was formed 7 years ago.  The corporation, under the leadership of Mr. Tehan, provides guidance to and oversight of Upstate Cerebral Palsy and 11 affiliate agencies in New York State, further expanding the range of services and supports to better and more efficiently serve the needs of people of all abilities. Mr. Tehan will remain as the President and CEO of this parent corporation, continuing his legacy of advocating for and supporting thousands of children, adults and their families.

Al Shibley



The New York State Justice Center has partnered with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) to develop an interactive curriculum designed to assist organizations provide staff training on the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs.  The objective of the curriculum is to ensure that staff who support people served under the jurisdiction of the New York State Justice Center understand the Code of Conduct and how it serves as a framework of professional conduct.

The material in this curriculum teaches staff how to practice ethical, dynamic and respectful support.  Participants in the Train the Trainer session will be taught how to use this curriculum to teach the Code of Conduct to both new and seasoned staff through skill practice, group discussions and other activities.

The training is designed for agency trainers, human resource professionals, administrators and anyone that will be able to bring this curriculum to life in their respective organizations. The first session will be held on July 19th in Albany at the NY Alliance of Inclusion and Innovation, 240 Washington Avenue Extension, Suite 501.  The session runs from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (lunch on your own).

To register email:

For questions or additional information please contact:

Davin Robinson

Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

161 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, New York 12054

518-549-0223 |

Al Shibley




The COPA Town Hall Meeting, held on June 25th in New York City to highlight the crisis facing our 4410 and 853 schools and the impact on the children and families who depend on these critical services, was a huge success. More than 400 teachers, teacher assistants, administrators, school staff, parents, students, and advocates traveled into the city after a long day of work to fill the CUNY auditorium.

The PROGRAM included:

  • A poignant video tribute to our teachers, teacher assistants, and school staff.
  • Chris Treiber from IAC presented the recent COPA survey data regarding staff in our schools. Click HERE for the PowerPoint.
  • A number of powerful speakers that included a parent from an 853 school and two teachers who expressed, through their personal stories, the impact that the lack of adequate funding has had on them, their families, and their educational programs.
  • Seth Stein, an attorney from the Alliance of Long Island Agencies and COPA member, outlined a potential legal strategy to address the lack of adequate funding for our education programs.
  • New York State Assemblymember David Weprin attended the event along with representatives from Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, Assembly Member Joe Lentol and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal offices.
  • NY1 sent a camera crew and Chalkbeat’s reporter Alex Zimmerman also attended the event.

It is our hope that this Our Kids Are Your Kids Town Hall will be the first of a number of events across the state in support of our 4410 and 853 schools.

Here is a YouTube link to the Town Hall:

If you have parents and staff who would like to be added to the #OurkidsareYOURkids mailing list, please have them go HERE.

Barbara Crosier




OPWDD has recently released to provider agencies the Office’s 2018 Integrated Supportive Housing Request For Applications. The application should be completed by Affiliates that are interested in pursuing OPWDD funding – capital dollars, rent subsidies and/or service funding – associated with new integrated supportive housing projects.

The application is required for any supportive housing project that includes a request for preferential tenancy units (“set-aside units”) for persons with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) and requires the submission of a housing funding application to NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) including, but not limited to, the annual HCR Unified Funding RFP and the HFA “Open Window” RFP. Any provider seeking preferential tenancy units for individuals with I/DD for a project being considered under the HCR 2017 Open Window RFP, or funding through other funding sources, must submit this application to OPWDD no later than 4:00 pm on Monday, July 30th in order to be considered for the required capital funding support in this round. The ISH Request For Applications process will enable OPWDD, providers, and housing developers to comprehensively plan for development of new supportive housing projects and, for approved applications, to obtain timely commitments from OPWDD that are a required component of HCR’s funding application process.

The application now requires that any project which is applying for, or has a conditional award letter from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) RFP which proposes to support people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, must also submit a copy of the ESSHI application for the project as part of the OPWDD application.

If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact Tricia Downes or Alexander Brooks at 518-473-1973 or via email or

  • For the RFA, click HERE.
  • For the agreement sample, click HERE.
  • For the 2018 ISH cover page worksheet, click HERE.

Barbara Crosier



The NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities recognizes that several existing regulations, policies, administrative memoranda (ADM) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) contain language that needs to be updated to current agency terminology as the Office transitions to a new model of care management, through the use of Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs). A recent ADM was issued and identifies the language and service documentation requirements necessary in the near term to support the continuation of habilitative and other services during this transition. The four-page Administrative Directive  contains information on service documentation requirements and Life Plan specification of duration, effective date, and frequency for HCBS Waiver Services.

Barbara Crosier



Disability Rights NY (DRNY) put together a short, simple video explaining the change to care coordination that will happen on July 1st. This helpful 4-minute video explains the change. DRNY plans to release more videos throughout the transition to managed care. Please share the link to the video with your networks.  

Barbara Crosier 



OPWDD is adding Part 629 and Section 629.1 concerning the process by which individuals will be determined eligible or provisionally eligible for OPWDD-authorized services. The proposed regulation establishes a regulatory framework for individuals applying for OPWDD-authorized services as provided under the agency’s statutory authority. The emergency/proposed amendments will not result in increased costs and compliance activities for providers. These regulations are effective through the emergency/proposed rulemaking process on June 7th, 2018.

The emergency/proposed regulation text is posted on the OPWDD website at under “Regulations & Guidance.”  The deadline for public comment on this emergency/proposed regulation is the close of business on Monday, August 27th, 2018. Written comments should be addressed to: Office of Counsel, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, 44 Holland Avenue Albany, New York 12229, Tel. (518) 474-7700, Fax (518) 474-7382, e-mail: For questions regarding specific application of these regulations, please contact the Office of Counsel, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Affairs by email at

Barbara Crosier




Resorts World Casino New York City is hosting an exhibit of more than thirty paintings and drawings created by people with developmental disabilities through July 31st. The artwork is on display for the public in the Red Wall Art Gallery, at the Times Square and Fifth Avenue levels of the casino. The artists are all people with disabilities from CP of NYS Affiliate Queens Centers for Progress (QCP).

“Resorts World Casino New York City is committed to showcasing the talents of aspiring artists in our community. We look forward to continuing this important relationship,” said Michelle Stoddart, Director of PR and Community Development at Resorts World Casino New York City.

The show is an opportunity for QCP’s participants to showcaQse their talents. Ed Weiss, QCP’s Director of Adult Services, said “People who create art love to show their work to their friends.  Having an opportunity to showcase your talent for the community brings the experience to another level. Helping people connect with their community is a goal for all of QCP’s programs.  I am so proud of the staff at QCP and Resorts World Casino NYC for making this event possible.”

Thanks to a special grant from the local NYS Elk’s Club (Lodge 878 Queensborough-Brooklyn), all of the pieces in the exhibit have been framed and are ready to welcome Resorts Worlds’ guests.

The art exhibit has the potential to be viewed by more than 10,000 visitors a day. Resorts World created the gallery in 2012 to showcase work by aspiring and local artists.

Al Shibley



David Rosenhoch (left) and Tom Sy, President and CEO of Aspire WNY, accepted the Partnership Award at the 2018 Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY (DDAWNY) Developmental Disabilities Day in Niagara Falls on May 24th. Aspire received the award for their contributions in promoting efforts to achieve access to meaningful work, independent living, transportation, community understanding and true inclusion of people with developmental disabilities.

Al Shibley