7/20/17 CP News

Click HERE for the emailed version of the 7/20/17 CP News.


Volume #23 – Issue #5




The 2017 New York State Legislative Session was scheduled to end on June 21 but the Senate and Assembly came back the following week to extend NYC Mayoral control of schools, pass sales tax extenders for upstate counties, and deal with a few other issues.  The COPA team was very busy advocating for legislation to pass both Houses as well as ensuring that bills opposed by COPA members would not advance.  Here is a brief summary of the bills of most interest to COPA members including bills that passed both Houses and are awaiting action by the Governor as well as bills that did not pass both Houses and will not become law this year.

Barbara Crosier



The Senate failed to vote on the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act because of opposition from both parties.  The latest revisions to the bill do not change the devastating cuts to the Medicaid program that over 10 million people with disabilities rely on to live and work in their communities. Similar to the House version (the AHCA), the BCRA would take coverage away from more than 22 million people and end the Medicaid program as we know it.

There are numerous reports indicating that the Senate may vote to simply repeal the current law without replacing it, which would be even worse.

Your Representative in Congress needs to hear from you NOW!

Call (844) 898-1199 and tell your Representative to vote “NO” on any plan to repeal Obamacare and cut Medicaid.

Barbara Crosier



CP of NYS joined several federal coalition partners on July 5 to meet with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s Regional Director, Stacie Dina, in Glens Falls. The same group met with Congressman John Faso and his District Director, Ryan McAllister, that same day.  Both meetings were attended by representatives from CP of NYS, the Federation of Labor, and the Rev. Emily McNeil from NY Labor- Religion Coalition.  Both meetings lasted almost an hour and there was a productive exchange of information.  Neither office seemed aware that Medicaid cuts being proposed by Congress would have a devastating impact on people with disabilities.

Congressman Faso thought that the House plan, passed in May, lessened the effect on people with disabilities.  The group was able to clarify that services for people with disabilities are “optional” under Medicaid and providing a larger Medicaid increase for the elderly and people with disabilities does not mean that those dollars will automatically go towards those services.  It was explained that a state cut of $4-$7 billion dollars would impact every aspect of the state budget and particularly Medicaid services and providers. The group also discussed the loss of #bFair2DirectCare funding, concerns of the Medicaid cuts going to tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest individuals in the country, as well as the rich American tradition of caring for society’s most vulnerable and marginalized.

Though the group felt the conversations were instructive and worthwhile, it is unlikely to change the positions of either member of Congress. Representative Faso did say that the House Republicans would reject all of the Trump proposals to cut domestic funding and that he thought the next step in the health care debate would be to work with Democrats on a compromise.

We will continue to work on your behalf and will keep you informed of any new developments.  We also ask that every Affiliate reach out to their Republican Representatives and explain the devastating impact of such cuts to Medicaid.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Barbara Crosier at 518-436-0178 or

Barbara Crosier



Preferred Source workers from across New York State and NYSID staff visited members of the US Senate and House of Representatives in Washington, DC to advocate for choice in employment opportunities and service providers during New York Day on Capitol Hill on June 14. Among those on the trip were Rich and Ki Whaley and Jahseim Dobbs, from the Center for Disability Services in Albany. Mr. Whaley is a mail processing clerk at the Center for Disability Services. He said he enjoyed the trip to Washington and appreciated having the opportunity to speak to congressional representatives’ about the importance of paid work and his right to employment choice.

Al Shibley





The NYS Department of Health has made available translated versions of required documents used to collect insurance information from families in the Early Intervention Program (EIP) related to insurance use, rights and protections.

The Child Insurance Information Form, Child Insurance Information Form Instructions and Parent Notice Regarding Insurance have been translated into the six most common non-English languages spoken in the state, as identified through the Governor’s Office.

These languages are: Spanish, Common Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Korean and Russian.

Service Coordinators are required to use the Child Insurance Form to collect insurance information from families of children who have been referred to the EIP, and to provide a copy of the Parent Notice Regarding Insurance to parents to explain the use of public and private insurance in the EIP and the rights and protections afforded to parents.

Child Insurance Information Form B, Child Insurance Information Form Instructions and Parent Notice Regarding Insurance (non-English versions): Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole can be accessed HERE.

Please contact should you have any questions regarding these documents.

Barbara Crosier



Coach Mary C. Hodge provided the following update about the Nassau Thunderbolts performances at Boccia Nationals 2017 held in Chicago.

It was the largest Nationals ever, hosting 95 athletes from around the country. On day one of four, the Nassau Thunderbolts came out on fire, playing 18 games in the Individual Classes and winning 15. Every athlete won at least 2 games that day and did so in a big way with commanding leads such as: 20-0 and 17-1.

Day 2: Rafael De Jesus won the Bronze Medal.

Day 3: The team moved into team and pairs play: Between day 3 and day 4 we had some great games. In the end, Rafael was paired with 2 unknown athletes and they won Bronze.

Howie Cohen and Charlie Fleisch lost in pairs pool play to the 2 athletes they would meet for the Gold Medal match. Having just won a game against the country’s reigning Gold medalist in the division for the last 10 years, the Nassau team won the Gold Medal in a decisive 6-0 shutout. What a thrill after chasing this medal for a decade.

Coach Hodge comments, “With these last few days behind me, I can honestly say I am SO PROUD of how our athletes and coaches represented our agency! They communicated well and they stayed focused.”

Coach Hodge offers huge thanks to:

  • Richie Diaz from Rehab Tech at the Agency for the prototype ramp he created that helped Howie and Will win the Gold medal.
  • Sharon O’Brien from the CP Nassau Seating Clinic who ensured each athlete’s wheelchair was ready for the pounding they were going to take going across the country
  • Rachael Diaz , R.N., for ensuring the team had everything needed for first aid.
  • Former coach Kathy Murphy for booking all the plane tickets.
  • Huge thanks to Troy McPherson, our Assistant Head Coach.
  • Ken Siderine for ensuring our throwing division was ready and congrats on that Bronze.
  • Howard Mayo, Jr., Will Lowry, Hector Perdomo, Mike Solomon, and PCAs (Personal Care Aides) Justice Fells, Dwayne Hudson and Jennifer Zacarias.

Off to Cali, Columbia in 4 weeks for Gold Medal winners Charlie & Howie!

Al Shibley



The website is a free tool to help all New York State students and young adults with disabilities who are ready to move from school and other settings to a paying job. According to OPWDD, the website gives users one place to find all the information they need, regardless of where they live in New York State, to create a path towards employment.

There are four sessions of content and each session helps users towards the goal of employment.

After answering the questions in each session, users will get an individualized report that they can print, download, email or save.

Session 1: Getting Connected

Links to people and resources to get started on a path to employment (NYSCB, ACCES-VR, OPWDD and more).

Session 2: Preparing for Work

Information needed when it’s time to start looking for a job (resume, professional references, interview tips, etc.).

 Session 3: The Partners on Your Path

Know-how about key NYS agencies that can help reach the goal of competitive, integrated employment.

Session 4: Working Has Benefits

Thought-starters and financial information for the future, including a benefits calculator.

HERE is a video tutorial that helps explain the website.

Lorie Liptak



Pioneered by the late Dana Reeve, the Quality of Life Grants Program recognizes projects and initiatives that foster community engagement, inclusion and involvement, while promoting health and wellness for individuals living with paralysis and their families. The Reeve Foundation awards grants up to $25,000 to organizations that address the needs of people living with paralysis caused by spinal cord and other injuries, diseases or birth conditions, including (but not limited to) stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The Quality of Life Grants Program funds a wide array of programs that are organized in three key thematic areas: Actively Achieving, Bridging Barriers, or Caring and Coping (ABC’s).

  • Actively Achieving: This category supports programs that provide individuals with disabilities opportunities to participate in activities that engage their bodies and minds. Sports, arts, recreation, education, and employment initiatives are all grouped into this category.
  • Bridging Barriers: This category supports projects that address and offer solutions to barriers for independent living across the disability community. Barriers may be structurally evident, such as lack of ramps or other means of access in buildings with stairs, or lack of curb cuts on sidewalks. Other barriers are far less obvious, such as lack of accessible transportation, inability to operate a computer due to limited hand function, failure to receive dental or gynecological care as a result of inaccessible examination equipment, inability of uninsured or underinsured individuals to secure a properly fitted wheelchair, and discrimination in the workplace.
  • Caring and Coping: Caring and Coping projects provide services that address the complex day-to-day health and personal issues for individuals living with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.

The foundation will begin accepting applications on July 14. Completed applications must be received no later than August 31, 2017.  For information on how to apply, visit HERE.

Lorie Liptak



The goal of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism is to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest. Through its programs and partnerships, the foundation helps people with autism get access to care, lead more active lifestyles, and grow toward adult independence.

To that end, the foundation is accepting grant applications for up to $20,000 from organizations and schools in three focus areas:

  • Access to Services: The foundation provides funding for community organizations and schools that are providing vital resources and actively assisting children with autism spectrum disorder and their families through education and technology, advocacy programs, diagnostic and clinical services, direct family support, safety equipment, emergency care, respite services, and other opportunities that will enhance the quality of life for those affected.
  • Active Lifestyle: The foundation provides support for recreational and sports programs, aquatic programs, social skills training, family events and summer camps for all individuals on the autism spectrum.
  • Adult Community-Based Services: The foundation supports opportunities in the areas of job training, vocational skills programs, employment, housing, transportation, and healthcare delivery for adults on the autism spectrum.

For more information and to apply, please visit  The application deadline is September 29, 2017.

Lorie Liptak



The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood supports innovative, creative projects and programs with potential to significantly enhance the development, health, safety, education, and/or quality of life of children from infancy through five years of age. The foundation provides funding in the areas of early childhood welfare, early childhood education and play, and parenting education.

Letters of Intent must be received no later than September 30, 2017. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

For program guidelines and application procedures, please visit

Lorie Liptak