Social inclusion grant opportunities in Central NY

The Kelberman Center Announces Social Inclusion Mini-Grant Funding Opportunities

What is the Social Inclusion Initiative?
A program model which supports community based social opportunities for people with intellectual, developmental (ID/DD) and other disabilities living in rural and urban communities with high rates of poverty and disparate access to social opportunities and other community resources. The initiative will offer two mini-grant opportunities per year for organizations interested in offering inclusive programs/events. The initiative will also offer PEERS and LifeCourse workshops facilitated by The Kelberman Center at no additional cost to interested participants in Otsego County. The mini-grants are made possible by the funding support of the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

Social Inclusion Initiative Mini-Grant Model:
The first year of the Social Inclusion Initiative will be fulfilled in Otsego County. The mini-grants will be awarded seasonally twice per year. The Summer Program will offer up to $30,000 and the School-Year Program will offer up to $75,000 in funding to a multitude of organizations looking to offer inclusive social programming. The Kelberman Center reserves the right to award numerous applicants partial mini-grant awards up to the previously mentioned amounts.

Due Dates:
The Letter of Intent for the mini-grant opportunities for the Summer Program are due by 3:00 pm on January 15, 2020 and the Letter of Intent for the School-Year Program are due by 3:00 pm on May 13, 2020.

Eligible Applicants:
•    Organizations that are interested in reducing social isolation and developing social opportunities for people with ID/DD.
•    Programs that support development of social skills, soft skills, and pre-vocational skills.
•    Programs interested in exploring innovative transportation solutions to support community participation for people with ID/DD.
•    Organizations that are interested in offering accessible social programming.
•    Organizations that are interested in adapting social opportunities currently offered by the organization to become more socially inclusive.

Contact Brandi Bolton

Phone: 315-797-6241 ext. 296

Instructions for completing the Letter for Intent: Social Inclusion Mini-Grant Letter of Intent

CP State welcomes Judith A. McCowan as President and CEO of UCP Long Island

The Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Long Island recently appointed Judith A. McCowan as President and Chief Executive Officer.

“After the untimely passing of our former President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen H. Friedman, we are fortunate to have someone of Judith McCowan’s talent and experience step up to lead UCP of Long Island,” said Thomas Pfundstein, Chair of the UCP Board of Directors.

McCowan was the former CEO of UCP of Central Pennsylvania and comes to UCP of Long Island as a proven leader, recently being named the “2019 Game Changer” by the Central Penn Business Journal in the category of “Most Admired CEO – Nonprofit.”

Before becoming the CEO of UCP Central Pennsylvania, McCowan was the CEO of Core Business Consultants, a consulting firm that works with struggling human services programs seeking transformational change.

A Maryland native, she comes to UCP of Long Island with 30-plus years of non-profit leadership experience and know-how in the fields of early childhood, education and disability services.

“We’re honored to welcome Judith A. McCowan to the CP State family,” said CP State CEO and President Susan A. Constantino.

“I’m looking forward to supporting Judith and UCP Long Island in their mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities,” said CP State Executive Director Mike Alvaro.

McCowan has a master’s in business administration from Philadelphia’s Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts in education from International Seminary in Branford, Fla., as well as master’s-level certifications in advanced contract management.

McCowan, having grown up with a sibling with disabilities, knew at a very young age that she wanted to be an advocate for people with disabilities and work to enrich their lives and a live a life without discrimination.

“I look forward to working with the community and businesses of Long Island to help increase the visibility and promote the mission of this outstanding and vital organization. Being able to impact someone’s life in such an encouraging way is a gift and I feel very grateful to be in a position, which I am able to do that for individuals,” said McCowan.

CP of NYS joins statewide coalition to fight for New Yorkers with I/DD

Seven of New York’s largest non-profit associations representing providers of service supporting New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have joined forces as New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) to launch a statewide campaign to advocate for quality care and support for New Yorkers with I/DD. The coalition represents more than 300 voluntary organizations instrumental in delivering vital services and supports to 140,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). NYDA is joining forces with advocates from across the behavioral health and human services sector to educate elected officials, stakeholders and residents about the dire need for increased funding to stabilize non-profit provider organizations.

Across the state, hundreds of organizations provide lifelong, comprehensive, individualized services to support people with developmental disabilities in all areas of their lives. In addition to delivering physical and behavioral health services, they assist with transportation, housing, medication administration, cooking, feeding, and developing personal care, community living, employment, and money management skills.

New York State relies on the voluntary sector to provide these vital services to citizens with I/DD, but after years of chronic underfunding, this system of care is in jeopardy.

“For years, New York has neglected to give its voluntary non-profit provider organizations a cost of living increase, marginalizing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and creating barriers to adequate care,” said Yvette Watts, Executive Director of New York Association of Emerging and Multicultural Providers. “Correcting this funding inequity is critical to ensuring New Yorkers with I/DD are given the opportunity to participate in their communities and receive reasonable access to care and essential supports.”

Over 90% of funding for provider organizations comes from Medicaid. Each year, New York State determines the levels of funding those organizations receive to deliver critical services. Yet in the last decade, despite rising costs, voluntary providers have received only one cost of living increase of 0.2% and have missed out on nearly $8 billion in funding, including $2.6 billion in cuts.

NYDA is asking for an annual 3% increase in funding for the next 5 years to correct the shortage, stabilize the system, and ensure New Yorkers with I/DD have access to quality care and the opportunity to live integrated and productive lives.  

“New York has a reputation for offering exceptional, comprehensive individualized services and programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Susan Constantino, President and CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State. “However, non-profit providers need predictable resources to invest in their workforce, technology and infrastructure. This investment is necessary for New York to sustain its reputation for quality and fulfill its responsibility to provide care and support for people with I/DD.”

“We must provide adequate funding to provide all New Yorkers equal access to care and supports, so people with I/DD aren’t just surviving but living full and meaningful lives,” said Rhonda Frederick, President of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York.

The funding shortfall for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is one that affects all New Yorkers. Provider organizations are sizeable employers, serving as economic engines that spur increased business activity in the communities they serve. Provider organizations are often one of the largest employers in their region. Underfunding not only harms New Yorkers in need of these critical services, it can harm local economies by forcing facility closures and job losses.

About New York Disability Advocates

New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) is a statewide coalition of seven non-profit provider agencies encompassing more than 300 non-profit organizations providing vital services and support to more than 140,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

NYDA Spokespeople:

Yvette Watts has been the Executive Director of New York Association of Emerging and Multicultural Providers for 10 years. NYAEMP is a consortium of 40 agencies supporting 12,000 people.

Susan Constantino has been President and CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State since 2004. She is responsible for the programs and services operated by CP of NYS in New York City as well as the State Association in Cohoes, which offers technical assistance and support to 24 Affiliates throughout the state.

Rhonda Frederick is President and CEO of People Inc. and of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY), an organization that fosters collaboration among agencies who support people with developmental disabilities and gives them a single voice in Albany.


In NYC on Dec. 19? Support theater for persons with I/DD

The DreamStreet Theatre Company is a terrific non-profit that creates performance opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.

On December 19, they’ll be kicking off the holidays with a celebration of 21 years developing this unique community (including many members of its original cast): a one-night performance of “DreamStreet Through the Ages.”

Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:15. Kids, as always, are welcome and tend to have a great time. Details at

CP of NYS supports DSRIP extension

Waiver would invest $8 billion in healthcare delivery system

The Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State recently submitted comments to the state Department of Health in support of a proposal to extend New York’s Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) waiver years and seek an additional $8 billion in federal funding for continued support of health care transformation in the state.

In addition to supporting the waiver, CP recommends changes to the DSRIP process that would consider the concerns of I/DD providers.

“People with developmental and other significant disabilities and the agencies that support them were not prioritized in the first round of DSRIP,” wrote CP of NYS. “Various PPS initiatives included system supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but the amount of Medicaid funding for this high-need, high cost population has not been proportionately reflected in DSRIP activities across the state. Incentives, preferably requirements, must be strong enough to ensure value driven entities (VDE) include I/DD providers.”

CP’s comments also outline that much of the savings New York claims at the federal level is directly related to cuts the state has made to the I/DD system of providers. This has reduced the Medicaid dollars New York State has had to spend on I/DD services and has saved the federal government an estimated $4 billion over the past 10 years.

CP believes that DSRIP must address the inequities confronting the high needs group of people with disabilities.

“If we are to move to a more integrated, community of supports for people with disabilities, the regulatory and financial infrastructure needs to support and align with those goals.”

Click here to read the full comments.


Thank you for making the 2019 CP Conference a success!

Everyone who attends our annual conference has one thing in common: They make the lives of people with disabilities better!

This year, we welcomed more than 600 people from every corner of the state to the CP of NYS Annual Conference. They attended nearly 50 workshops, educational sessions, and meetings on issues important to people with disabilities, their families and the people and organizations that provide supports and services.

We recognized and thanked individuals and organizations for their contributions to the field of developmental disabilities at our annual awards luncheon, annual awards dinner and the staff recognition banquet.

In addition to the many staff members at our affiliates who were honored, we also recognized the following individuals for their outstanding contributions to those in our care:

Paul Tudisco (ADAPT Community Network)
Al Felmet Achievement Award

Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky (CP of NYS Board of Directors)
Anthony J. Koenig Volunteer Service Award

Stephanie Knaust (Center for Disability Services)
John R. Horvath Award of Distinction

Jeanne Herbert (Inspire of Orange County)
Daniel Wieder Leadership Award

Muntezir “Monty” Bhanji / Stop & Shop (Queens CP)
Employer of the Year Award

Stephen Healy (AccessCNY)
Natalie Rogers Employee of the Year Award

Pieces of Heart Art Program (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
Program Innovation Award

Ernestine Gayle (Empower)
Robert Schonhorn Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Norman Biegaj (Olean Lodge #491)
Elks Award

Otis Armstrong Day Habilitation Program (The Center for Discovery)
2019 IMAGINE NY Art Contest Winner

Click here to see more photos from the conference on our Facebook page.

Looking for a session handout? Click here.

Deadline for National Historic Recognition Project is Dec. 15

This is a a call for nominations to recognize and archive the significant contributions of people who are engaged in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities over the period of 2000‐
This project is a follow up to a National Recognition Project that recognized 36 of the most significant contributors in the field in the 20th Century. Our intent is to create a web‐based archive highlighting the contributions of honorees 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. This project is all volunteer-driven and does not require a fee or contribution to apply or to be honored.

Recognition of honorees will include: (a) a certificate as a 2020 Honoree of the National Historic Preservation Project, (b) a lapel pin designating their honoree status, (c) inclusion in a press release, and (d) inclusion in a web‐based booklet describing the contributions of the honorees. Rather than holding a single award event, we are hopeful that these honorees will be recognized at the local, state, regional, or national settings they are most closely aligned with in their work.

The application for nominations can be found here. The nomination deadline is December 15, 2019. No late submissions will be accepted.

Submit by mail: Ed Matthews, CEO, ADAPT Community Network, 80 Maiden Lane, New York, New York 10038
Submit via email:

For more information, contact: Peg Gould, ADAPT Community Network, Chair at or text 917-226-4433

Charles Dieteman Collects Yet Another Honor

Elks/CP of NYS Home Service Ambassador named “WNY’s Great Kid” of the week by Buffalo TV station.





The articles linked to this page are provided as a public service by CP of NYS, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CP of NYS, its Board of Directors and staff, or of the CP of NYS Affiliates

CP Taught Her To Push Herself.

I think it’s really important to have long-term follow up of children with cerebral palsy.






The articles linked to this page are provided as a public service by CP of NYS, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CP of NYS, its Board of Directors and staff, or of the CP of NYS Affiliates

Healthcare professionals invited to Clinical Care Conference on Nov. 15

Healthcare professionals who provide services to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities or are interested in doing so, should join CP of NYS and Medical Directors’ Council for the 2nd Annual Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Clinical Care for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) on November 15 in Saratoga Springs.

This conference is perfect for physicians, dentists, clinicians, therapists, nurses, and administrators who would like to increase their clinical expertise in treating people with I/DD.

Dr. Stephen Sulkes

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Stephen Sulkes, who has provided primary care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential and community settings, and developmental-behavioral pediatric specialty care at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. Dr. Sulkes will speak about gathering the data healthcare professionals need to provide the best possible care for people with disabilities. Read more about Dr. Sulkes and our other speakers here.

Topics of other sessions include Primary Care and Behavioral Health Integration, Disuse-Osteoporosis Diagnosis and Treatment, Aging, Dementia, Down Syndrome, and more. Click here for the full schedule.

This informative conference will be held on November 15, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 86 Congress Street, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Cost is $100 for Nurses, Medical & Dental Residents, Students; $150 for Physicians, Dentists, Clinicians, and others.

Click here to register. 

The registration deadline is November 8 and seating is limited, so register soon!

Book a room at the Embassy Suites Hotel by October 25 to enjoy a special discounted rate.  (Don’t forget a tax-exempt form if applicable.)

Directions to the Clinical Care Conference:

From the South: Take the NYS Thruway (I-87 North) to Exit 24. Take the Adirondack Northway (I-87 North) to Exit 13N. Turn left off exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.

From the North: Take Adirondack Northway (I-87 South) to Exit 13N. Take right at exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.

From the East: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike West to NY Thruway. Take Exit B-1 (I-90 Bypass) to I-787 North for approximately 6 miles to Route 7 West for approximately 2 miles to Adirondack Northway (I-87). Take Exit 13N, turn left off exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.

From the West: Take NYS Thruway (I-90 East) to Exit 24. Take Adirondack Northway (I-87 North) to Exit 13N. Turn left off exit. In approximately 4 ½ miles, turn left onto Congress Street. Embassy Suites will be on the left.