Former NYS Assemblymember Harvey Weisenberg’s birthday is December 31. We are sending him good wishes and hope you will do the same.
Former NYS Assemblymember Harvey Weisenberg’s birthday is December 31. We are sending him good wishes and hope you will do the same.
The links below will take you to stories about bFair events in Buffalo and Syracuse this week.
More than 100 people come out in snowy Syracuse to say #bFair2DirecetCare.
The bFair rally8 in buffalo on December 19th drew much attention to our message.
Despite five of nine NY Republicans in the House preparing to vote no on federal tax bill it is expected to pass both houses of Congress this week.
Click HERE to see the emailed version of the 12/15/17 CP News.
Volume #23 – Issue #10
As part of the ongoing effort to support the transition to Care Coordination Organizations/Health Home (CCO/HH) services, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is offering a series of Informational Sessions for Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSCs). The Informational Sessions will be available via WebEx as a 30 minute webinar every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at noon. Each half hour session will also be recorded for later viewing and posted on the OPWDD website.
The topics will be:
Click HERE to register through WebEx for the December 27th sessions and subsequent sessions.
After you enter your information into the WebEx registration, you will receive a confirmation email from WebEx with information regarding how to join the day of the session. If you have any issues, please contact Talent and Development by email at email@example.com or by phone 518-473-1190.
#bFair2DirectCare Phase II has begun with the December 4th rally in Brooklyn & the December 6th rally in the Capitol War Room. Following are announcements/invitations for the December 19th rallies in Long Island at Nassau Community College and the Buffalo Rally at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
There will also be rallies December 19th in Rochester and December 20th in Syracuse – more information and invitations to follow.
Following a very successful December 4th kickoff event in Brooklyn, Phase II of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign staged another well-attended news event at the Capitol in Albany on December 6th. Former state Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, current state lawmakers and others joined people with disabilities, families, direct support professionals (DSPs) and other advocates at the event to urge Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to speed up a plan to pay DSPs a living wage.
Mr. Weisenberg and others representing the #bFair2DirectCare coalition also presented a cake to the Governor’s aide to thank Mr. Cuomo for his support and to wish him a happy 60th birthday. The rally was held in the State Capitol’s “War Room,” where the Governor promised a similar throng last March that he would not sign a state budget that did not include the first phase of living wage funding for DSPs.
The state budget that passed earlier this year includes the first of six installments to raise DSPs closer to a living wage. The first $45 million for developmental disability nonprofit staff funding is scheduled for January 1, 2018.
Given the worsening staffing crisis, DSPs can’t wait six years, as was originally planned. The #bFair2DirectCare coalition is requesting an acceleration of the remaining funding so as to achieve a living wage by 2020.
Legislators in all major parties and in both chambers of the Legislature have lined up in support of the drive to raise these critical workers closer to a living wage.
People from all across the state, including individuals from CP of NYS Metro Services, Jawonio, CP of Long Island and CP Westchester, attended the event in Albany.
Barbara Crosier from CP of NYS, along with her COPA colleagues Winifred Schiff from IAC, and John R. Drexelius from DDAWNY, presented testimony to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities hearing on housing for people with developmental disabilities.
The testimony raised three main issues in residential services for people with developmental disabilities that need to be addressed to begin to fix the housing dilemma: staff shortages; development, modification and transformation funding shortages; and systemic roadblocks.
In addition to the testimony, Assembly Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair Aileen Gunther and Committee member Angelo Santabarbara heard from OPWDD Acting Commissioner Kerry Delany, OMH Associate Commissioner Moira Tashjian and other advocates for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness.
The hearing can be viewed HERE.
CP of NYS and our COPA colleagues sent a letter to Senator Gillibrand on the impact of the Senate and House tax bills that are being negotiated and the impact on New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. The letter thanked Senator Gillibrand for all her advocacy and outlined the federal tax bills’ potentially devastating impact on supports and services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. CP of NYS staff have been working with the Senator’s office to ensure disability concerns are part of the Senator’s response to the federal tax bills.
Our concerns include:
CP of NYS and our colleagues have grave concerns (outlined above in the letter to Senator Gillibrand) about the impact of the new federal tax bill on people with disabilities, their families and their supports and services. Congress is expected to vote on the new tax bill next week and send to the President to sign before Christmas.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you reach out to your Congress member and tell them to VOTE NO on the NEW TAX BILL! This may be the most important vote of the year with the most far-reaching impacts for every individual and every family in the country!
Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand and all of the House Democrats are strongly opposing these harmful tax bills. Five NY House Republicans voted NO on the House tax bill but we have no way of knowing how they will vote on this new version.
It is particularly important to call Republican House members and ask them to vote NO on the tax bill.
A short script you can use is:
“I am a constituent who cares deeply about issues affecting people with disabilities. If you do not already oppose the tax reform bill coming for a vote, please do so because it has provisions that would harm services for people with disabilities. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.”
Tell them to VOTE NO on the NEW TAX BILL.
The following NY House Republicans voted YES on the House Tax bill:
The following NY House Republicans voted NO on the House Tax bill:
Please contact your NY House members TODAY and ask them to PLEASE VOTE NO on the new TAX BILL!
COPA (CP of NYS, DDAWNY, The Alliance of Long Island Agencies, IAC, and NYAEMP) will hold our joint Albany lobby days on Wednesday, 2/28/18 and Thursday, 3/1/2018.
The Legislature is in session on Tuesday, 2/27/18 and Wednesday, 2/28/18. DDAWNY will meet with the Western New York Delegation on Tuesday. Most local legislator appointments and some key staff appointments will occur on Wednesday, 2/28/18 with the remaining key staff appointments on Thursday, 3/1/18. COPA will have a briefing at the Albany Hilton on Tuesday evening, 2/27/18 and a briefing at IAC in NYC on Monday morning, 2/26/18.
COPA sent a Save the Date announcement on 12/5/17 and will be sending hotel and lobby day registration shortly.
Please mark your calendar and join us for the 2018 COPA Albany lobby days!
CP of NYS has partnered with the New York City-based Training Collaborative to offer their nationally accredited supervisory training program to Affiliates across the State. The training series, developed by Peg Gould and the partners in the NYC collaborative, will be offered over 5 months in 2018 (February – June) and is an important component of the field’s broader effort to stabilize a qualified workforce. In the development of the series, particular attention was paid to ensure this supervisory skills training included the necessary development and understanding of the core competencies in direct care staff. This series also can be used for you to train staff who might then be able to provide this training locally at a future date in conjunction with the Training Collaborative and CP of NYS.
Click HERE for registration information.
The Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP) has established the Bureau of Social Determinants of Health within the Division of Program Development and Management (DPDM).
The new bureau will focus on the social determinants of health (SDH) and the important role it plays in the health outcomes of New York’s most vulnerable populations. The Bureau of Social Determinants of Health will focus on special SDH initiatives including but not limited to supportive housing, nutrition, and education. The bureau plans to work closely with Performing Provider Systems (PPS), Value-Based Payment (VBP) contractors, Health Plans, and Providers. It will also continue to enhance the role of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) within the health care sector.
The Bureau will be led by Denard Cummings and report to Elizabeth Misa, Deputy Medicaid Director.
You can send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPWDD has published a draft Transition Plan for public comment which lays out New York State’s plans to better integrate services based on person-centered planning for people with developmental disabilities.
The Transition Plan is a required element to enable people with developmental disabilities to move to New York State’s 1115 Waiver, and for the development of Care Coordination Organization/Health Home Services (CCO/HH).
The draft Transition Plan includes details regarding:
The Transition Plan can be found online HERE.
OPWDD is asking for comments from the public from now until January 5, 2018. Comments may be submitted to HHIDD@health.ny.gov. Please use the phrase “OPWDD Transition Plan Comments” in the e-mail subject line. It is also helpful if comments include the page number and section of the Transition Plan referenced.
OPWDD filed an emergency/proposed regulation to update the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit offset for supervised CRs and supervised IRAs. The text and memo for this emergency regulation can be accessed HERE.
YOUTH POWER! is now accepting applications for the New York Institute for Self-Advocacy (NYISA), YP!’s newest initiative to train young adults (21+) with developmental disabilities to advocate for themselves and their peers. Graduates from the institute will go on to become part of the Emerging Leaders Network, helping others across New York State become fellow self-advocates.
The four-day event takes place March 10-13, 2018, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy. To apply, visit www.YOUTHPOWERNY.org/nyisaapp. The deadline for applications is January 28. If you have any questions or require a Microsoft Word application form, please contact Zack Kilmer, NYISA Coordinator, at email@example.com or 518-708-3808.
For more information on the New York Institute for Self-Advocacy, visit www.YOUTHPOWERNY.org/nyisa.
The Board of Directors of AccessCNY and Spaulding Support Services voted recently to merge the two agencies. The combined agency will serve over 3,200 people with disabilities and operate under the name AccessCNY. Beginning January 1, Spaulding will become a subsidiary of AccessCNY. In the intervening months the agencies will begin to share staff, space and administrative tasks. The two agencies are expected to fully merge in the summer of 2018.
The combined agency will employ over 1,700 Central New Yorkers and have a shared budget of over $42 million. The Central New York Community Foundation provided funding for this collaboration through their Strategic Partnership Fund. The merger is being facilitated by the New York Council of Non-Profits.
CP of NYS Affiliate Jawonio proudly recognizes the outstanding professionalism and dedication of Jean Cheron, a Habilitation Instructor in its New City Day Habilitation program.
Kelsie Bongiorno works as a direct support professional at an Upstate Cerebral Palsy children’s residence in Utica.
Focus on DSP’s. See why one professional does what she does so well.
For the Empire State, the tax reform bill the Senate hopes to take up this week will be far worse than the version the House passed two weeks ago.
Click HERE for the emailed version of the 11/27/17 CP News.
Volume #23 – Issue #9
The U. S. House of Representatives passed a Tax Reform Bill before they left for the Thanksgiving break and the full Senate will vote very soon on their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which has already passed out of the Finance Committee, in an attempt to overhaul the federal tax code.
New York’s Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are fighting against Senate tax proposals that would harm people with disabilities, families, Medicaid, etc. All the House Democrats along with five NY House Republicans voted NO on the tax bill.
Most of the House Republicans who voted NO represent districts with a high average state and local tax deduction, which would be scaled back significantly under the House plan. Taxpayers would no longer be able to deduct state and local income and sales taxes, and the property tax deduction would be limited to $10,000.
The following NY House Republicans voted NO:
The following NY House Republicans voted YES:
CP of NYS is an ANCOR member and while neither have a position on tax reform, we have key positions on how tax reform may impact our services. Given these principles and a Senate tax reform vote expected this week, we believe it is important to speak up about the importance of Medicaid to people with I/DD before the Senate votes on this legislation.
Please contact your Congress members TODAY and tell them that you cannot support the legislation in its current form because:
Click HERE and contact your NY House member and let them know what their vote (NO or YES) means to people with disabilities, families, staff and volunteers in New York State.
Faced with a worsening staffing crisis and increased competition from both commercial businesses and the state government, #bFair2DirectCare is urging Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers to speed up implementation of funding that would provide a living wage to nonprofit workers who care for New Yorkers with disabilities.
#bFair2DirectCare is a powerful voice for 130,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, their families and the not-for-profit organizations that support them. The campaign is also a call to action to remind state leaders that the nearly 100,000 DSPs who work for not-for-profit agencies do this work on behalf of the state.
Keep up with what is going on with the campaign and plans for events across the state to support the effort by visiting the new website at http://www.bfair2directcare.com/#home.
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli estimated recently that New York State faces a potential budget deficit in the next 17 months of more than $8 billion. That’s more than double Governor Andrew Cuomo’s current estimate.
DiNapoli estimates that tax collections will lag $1.85 billion behind the latest projections by the Cuomo Administration’s Division of the Budget. DiNapoli’s office says the shortfall is prompted by depressed income tax collections.
The Cuomo Administration’s latest deficit estimate for next year’s budget is $4.08 billion. Cuomo’s Administration proposes to cover $3.24 billion of the deficit with unspecified cuts by restraining the growth of operating spending to 2% or less. As has been the case the past several years, the Governor will likely require OPWDD and most every agency budget except for school aid and DOH Medicaid to submit budgets with 0% increases over the previous year.
I M A G I N E, the 57th CP of NYS Annual Conference attracted nearly 700 people from across the state for educational workshops and meetings at the Saratoga Hilton Hotel in Saratoga Springs, October 30-November 1. The schedule included sessions conducted by an all-star collection of nationally known presenters discussing the latest information important to people with disabilities, their families and people who support them.
Highlights of the Conference included the following:
Mr. Ebeling is the CEO of Not Impossible Labs, an organization that develops creative solutions to address real-world problems and was founded on his belief that nothing is impossible. He offered stories about the success of several projects undertaken by his organization to support that belief. He says his philosophy is simple: recognize a problem, commit to solving it, and then figure out how.
Charles Dieteman was named winner of the Anthony Koenig Volunteer Service Award.
Jane Gefell, from CP Rochester, was the recipient of the Al Felmet Achievement Award.
As we all know, without our staff we would not be able to do all the outstanding work CP does in support of people with disabilities across New York – this group represents the very best of the best. To the 2017 IMAGINE NATION, we simply say congratulations and THANK YOU.
For more on the CP of NYS Annual Conference, visit the conference web page HERE.
The CP of NYS Annual Conference was sponsored in part by the Irwin Siegel Agency, Sutton Land Services, LLC, and BDO.
She would probably not like being called an icon, but if the term fits anyone in our field, it fits Natalie Katz Rogers. On November 14 more than 75 people from Queens and across the state gathered at a banquet facility in Queens to honor and thank her for more than 60 years of service to Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) and Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State and all people with disabilities and their families for a lifetime of hard work, advocacy and leadership that has helped make New York a leader in the field of providing supports and services for people with disabilities and their families.
Speakers, including political figures, members of the Board of Directors of QCP and CP of NYS, past and present executive directors from other agencies and friends, told stories and lauded the accomplishments of a woman who has spent most of her adult life working to create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
Natalie organized a group of concerned parents of children with cerebral palsy in 1952 and opened a children’s center in Queens that was the beginning of QCP. The Queens organization grew quickly and joined CP of NYS. Natalie was elected to the CP of NYS Board of Directors in 1953 and remains a member of the board today.
Many from Affiliates across the state know Natalie for her satirical songs performed each year at the CP of NYS Annual Conference. A highlight of her special evening happened when her chorus came together at the event to serenade Natalie with a song written by ADAPT Community Network Executive Director Ed Matthews.
John Kemp (third from left) and Natalie Rogers (far right) pose with members of the CP of NYS Board of Directors and staff who travelled from all over the state to attend the event. (Photo by Lorraine Heaney)
Susan Constantino and Charlie Houston (former executive director of Queens Centers for Progress) served as co-Emcees of the event. (Photo by Lorraine Heaney)
Natalie with CP of NYS Board members (left to right) Barbara Scherr from Inspire of Orange County, Robert DiFrancesco (Empower in Niagara Falls), Ann LeMark (Able 2 in Elmira) and Steve Lipinski (Franziska Racker Centers in Ithaca) (Photo by Lorraine Heaney)
Natalie with Board and staff from QCP (Photo by Lorraine Heaney)
The New York State ELKS Association recently distributed $25,000 in grants for special projects to about a dozen non-profit agencies, including several CP of NYS Affiliates.
CP of NYS Affiliate Queens Centers for Progress is one of the agencies to receive grant funding in 2017. “We are delighted that we will be able to purchase much needed gym equipment for our students with severe physical disabilities,” said Nancy Glass, QCP’s Director of Children’s Services. “Queens CP is so pleased to have the support of the ELKS for our Home Service Program and this grant is an extra bonus to benefit the students we serve.”
The NYS ELKS Association donates nearly $500,000 each year to support the CP of NYS Home Service Program in all 24 Affiliates across the state. These additional grants allow Affiliates to fund other programs or special projects that might not happen without the additional generous support of the NYSEA.
CP of NYS Affiliate AccessCNY was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation to support services for veterans with mental health issues. The grant will fund AccessCNY’s House to Home program and expand housing supports to retired service men and women.
AccessCNY assists veterans with mental health issues locate affordable and safe housing, providing veterans stability in their lives. At present, the program is only able to provide a roof over the veteran’s head. Funding from the MDRT Foundation will help make the house more comfortable and livable by providing essentials like beds, tables and chairs, kitchen items and other home staples.
Realizing the gains that many people with autism have achieved using the iPad, the Allison Keller Education Technology Program was created in honor of Flutie Foundation Board Member Kevin Lane Keller’s daughter Allison. The goal of the program is to help fill the financial and technological gap for schools and organizations that assist individuals with autism. Since 2012, the Flutie Foundation has granted over $320,000 to 69 schools and organizations for programs specifically serving individuals with autism that have an established technology program in place or have expressed an interest in starting a program using the iPad or other technology tools.
Applications will be considered for any technology tools and/or training that improves learning outcomes or performance. Maximum request is $5,000.00.
Applications open in December. For more information and to apply, visit: http://www.flutiefoundation.org/allison-keller-education-technology-program.
Jawonio offers lifespan services for people with intellectual disabilities, behavioral health challenges and chronic medical conditions. Congratulations on 70 years of service to the community.