3/12/18 CP News

Click HERE for a web version of the 3/12/18 CP News.


Volume #24 – Issue #2


Staff, people with disabilities, and members of boards of directors from CP of NYS Affiliates across the state joined representatives from other nonprofit providers at the Coalition of Provider Associations (COPA) Lobby Days February 28 and March 1 in Albany.  In all, more than 200 people were in Albany to meet with their legislative representatives and members of the Governor’s staff to educate them on issues important to people with disabilities, their families and organizations that support them.  The materials that were given to everyone we saw during the COPA Albany Lobby Days can be found HERE.

NYS Senators and members of the Assembly from both major parties stopped by a COPA breakfast briefing to address the group and voice their support for COPA’s efforts to secure additional funding in the 2018-2019 NYS Budget to address the critical shortage of direct support professionals, teachers and other low-wage agency staff who have gone years without meaningful raises in wages.

Legislators and staff expressed strong support for the #bFair2DirectCare campaign to speed up the plan to secure a living wage for DSPs and the Our Kids Are Your Kids effort to raise the wages of teachers and other staff in our school programs across the state.  All who attended wore #bFair2DirectCare and Our Kids are Your Kids Inve$t in 4410 & 853 SPECIAL ED schools before it’s too late! buttons.

The Senate and Assembly are expected to release their one-House budgets by 3/14/18.  We will continue the advocacy through the final budget which is due at the end of the month and are asking everyone to CALL your Senator and Assembly member and request that they STAND UP FOR #bFair2DirectCare & OUR KIDS ARE YOUR KIDS.  These initiatives will raise salaries by adding $18.25M for Direct Support Professionals AND $14.7M for teachers in 4410 & 853 schools in the upcoming budget.  To find your local legislators, go to the New York Families for Disability Rights (NYFDR) website.

Barbara Crosier



CP of NYS staff will continue to meet with key legislators, staff and Affiliates.  Also included will be Inclusive Democracy in Action visits to the Capital in Albany by Affiliate staff and volunteers to continue to impress on our elected officials the critical need to raise wages in order to slow the exodus of experienced and dedicated staff from our field because they cannot earn enough to support their own families.

Nine staff, family members and individuals supported by Racker were the first to kick-off the 2018 Inclusive Democracy in Action on March 6th.  The Racker participants were from four different Assembly districts and four different Senate districts and they met with all but one Assemblymember.  The Racker participants left Albany excited about their experience at the Capitol and meeting their legislators.  They all felt it was a wonderful opportunity to join Inclusive Democracy in Action and advocate for their staff and themselves.




If your Affiliate would like to have staff and volunteers attend Inclusive Democracy in Action and meet with your legislators, please contact Barbara Crosier at 518-436-0178 or

Barbara Crosier



The second annual Human Resources Professionals Conference for the Disability Provider Community, sponsored by the Coalition of Provider Associations (COPA), is coming soon.  This year’s conference will be held on April 24-25 at the Embassy Suites in Saratoga Springs, NY.

This year’s conference is structured so as to recognize the important role human resource professionals play regarding how the disability field will manage many of the difficult challenges that exist today.  Changes to the minimum wage, changes to exempt status, changes to leave policies, and others all impact the HR professional. The disability provider community has been hit especially hard by these challenges due to rate rationalization and the loss of surpluses in other programs.  We also recognize that agencies providing services to people with disabilities serve the most vulnerable individuals in NYS complicating issues with recruitment and retention, our inability to provide competitive wages, and the impact the Justice Center has had on our staff.  The goal of this conference is to bring together human resources and administrative professionals from across the State to share best practices and engage with others for targeted learning and discussion on key issues unique to our field.  We believe attendance and participation in this event will help agencies that serve people with disabilities to be better prepared to face the current and future human resource issues.

We will soon have additional information about speakers and additional details on the sessions. Please be sure to mark your calendars.  We know you won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to attend a focused HR conference for the disability community and to meet with your colleagues from across the State.

Please note that the deadline for reservations at the Embassy Suites is March 24, 2018, so be sure to make your reservation by clicking HERE.

Deb Williams



The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has released the Final Draft Waiver Transition Plan which lays out the State’s path to a more flexible service system. The Transition Plan is a requirement as New York State’s 1115 Waiver, and for the development of Care Coordination Organizations which will provide Health Home Care Management services.

A comprehensive summary of the 1115 Transition Plan Response to Public Comment document that includes the State’s response is available HERE.  This document will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for review and final approval.

The Transition Plan includes activities planned for the move to managed care over a five-year period. The full implementation of managed care will depend on the experiences of people served during the earlier phases of this transition period. The Transition Plan will be updated as warranted.

Al Shibley



OPWDD’s Acting Commissioner Kerry Delaney has announced the six new Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) that have been identified to begin providing Care Management services on July 1, 2018:

Care coordination deliberately organizes natural supports, direct care staff, service providers, and healthcare providers into a team where everyone understands what is important to the individual, what they value, and what needs they have now.  This team based, person centered approach ensures that everyone’s knowledge of the individual and family is used to create strategies and solutions that support the highest health, independence and meaning in a person’s life.  As priorities change, care coordination will ensure supports and services keep up with those changes, while still taking all history and prior experiences into consideration.

To learn more, visit the CCO websites or click HERE.  You will find helpful videos under the Care Coordination MSC webinars tab.

Lorie Liptak



On February 19th the CP of NYS Affiliate Services staff joined the campaign to help end the R word!

Special Olympics and Best Buddies, Spread the Word to End the Word campaign is intended to raise peoples’ awareness of the derogatory use of the R- word. The campaign is also about shifting attitudes of segregation and hate into attitudes of acceptance and respect.

If you are interested in joining this campaign please send an email to so you can get your R- Word toolkit and start making a difference today!

Al Shibley



Jose J. Virella has been named CEO of Metro Community Health Centers (MCHC), which operates healthcare facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. The five centers provide primary and specialty medical services, including dentistry, behavioral healthcare and rehabilitation with a focus on people with disabilities. Mr. Virella began his duties on March 1st.

Mr. Virella’s appointment was announced by Susan Constantino, President & CEO of CP of NYS. “I’m very excited to announce the appointment of Jose Virella as CEO of MCHC,” said Ms. Constantino. “His leadership and knowledge will be critical to the long-term success of our mission to provide high quality, well-coordinated care.”

Mr. Virella has spent more than 20 years in senior leadership positions with healthcare, insurance and financial organizations, including Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Empire Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Most recently he served as Vice President of Administration for Neurosciences at Continuum Health Partners, Chief Financial Officer at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and Chief Financial Officer at William F. Ryan Community Health Network, all in New York City.

Al Shibley



The National Alliance for Accessible Golf (NAAG) is accepting grant applications from organizations that provide golf programs for individuals with disabilities. NAAG is particularly interested in applications that demonstrate a focus on inclusion of people with disabilities in programs that involve those without disabilities, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the inclusion of people with disabilities into the fabric of their communities. USGA Alliance grants rarely exceed $20,000.

Please visit the NAAG website HERE for complete program guidelines, an FAQ, and application instructions.

Lorie Liptak



The training series “Preparing For Transitions” is now available for Affiliates to use to provide information on key periods of transition to program participants, families, advocates, and support staff. This series was developed as a deliverable of the CP of NYS BIP Grant and was created with the guidance of the Advocates for Human Potential and input from our Affiliates.

This Series includes “Preparing For Adulthood”, “Preparing For Housing”, and “Preparing For Employment”. These courses are intended to be delivered in a lecture/presentation format. For each course you will find the following materials:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Facilitators guide
  • A checklist for the participants
  • A list of the links listed in the presentation
  • Videos

The materials were purposely kept simple to allow you to customize them with your own logos, to modify the content with information relevant to your agency and/or region, and to tailor the information to your audience. You are encouraged to make these materials your own. To access and download the materials, please click HERE The videos can be found HERE.

The transition series also includes “DSP Strategies for Supporting Transitions” and “DSP Strategies for Supporting Individuals”.  Each 40 minute course is presented in the context of the DSP code of Conduct.  The courses are only available in a format that can be accessed using an LMS or on Litmos in the course library.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Lorie Liptak, CP of NYS, at 518-436-0178.

Lorie Liptak



Discounted Tickets On Sale at

Use the code RFFCPNYS and receive a

20% discount on all GA screenings at the JCC.


The line-up has been announced for the 10th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York. The 2018 festival runs March 8-14 at the JCC and more than 30 other venues across all five boroughs of New York City, as well as on Long Island and in Westchester and Rockland counties.

ReelAbilities Film Festival promotes awareness of the stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The New York festival takes place at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street.  The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival winner Keep the Change opens the festival. Other highlights include Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw, a profile that includes her WNBA stardom and her struggle with mental illness; and the 2018 Oscar nominated short documentary film Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405.


ReelAbilities Film Festival also promotes awareness and fosters dialogue on the topic of disability through international film selections, panel discussions, special performances, exhibitions and celebrity guest appearances.

This year the festival aimed to offer audio desciption for every feature film for its visually impaired and blind audience members. Several sponsors stepped forward to make accessibility aids possible.

Barbara Crosier



October 15-17, 2018

Saratoga Hilton Hotel

Saratoga Springs, NY