October 22, 2021
NYS Advocates Launch Grassroots RISE UP Campaign
Advocates across New York have launched the RISE UP campaign, which encourages all advocates to tell their personal stories, particularly as it relates to supports provided by Direct Support Professionals (DSP) and the workforce crisis. The goal is to make clear to Governor Hochul, that due to the lack of investment for years, we are now at a crossroads and need New York state to finally invest in our supports services. The campaign has already garnered media attention, with a story from WBFO NPR.

Your stories drive change. So, please fill out the form here with your information and personalize the letter with a YOUR story and details before you send the email. A great place to start writing your story is after the first paragraph of the letter. This campaign will culminate in a meeting with Governor Hochul, so we want to get at least 10,000 advocates to join!

As we all RISE UP, we are sending a message to the governor to do the same. Please share this opportunity with friends and family members too!
NYDA Releases 2021-22 Legislative Agenda
New York Disability Advocates (NYDA), with collaboration from The Arc New York and other stakeholders, released its 2021-22 Legislative Agenda. This will form the basis for our collective FY22-23 NYS budget advocacy and includes investment in the state’s care economy, as well as rate reform. Below is a high-level overview from the legislative agenda. Additional details on these topics can found in the full document.

  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) – Projected to be 5.4% for FY 2023
  • Workforce funding: continued funding of the 20% wage enhancement received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
  • Recruitment and retention of staff through tax incentives, career ladders and credentialing programs, and regulatory reform
  • Concerns with new rate methodology

As our legislative priorities continue to be expanded and developed, we will be sure to keep you aware, prepared, and resourced to support our advocacy efforts.
Register for The Arc NY Advocacy and Policy Webinar
The Arc New York will be conducting a webinar to present our 2022 advocacy plan and vision on Thursday, November 18, from 3-4 PM. In this session we will give a brief retrospective on our advocacy over the past four months, lay out the strategy and timeline for engaging legislators moving forward, introduce our FY 22-23 budget advocacy priorities, provide tactics and lessons for successful meetings, and communicate our vision for engaging and mobilizing our members and allies. This coming year and beyond, we have an historic opportunity to influence the transformation of I/DD supports and services, so we must be at the forefront.
The session is open to all advocates, board members, staff, and allies. Register here!

A Conversation with Judith Heumann: The Recorded Session
This week during The Arc New York Annual Meeting, we heard from Judith “Judy” Heumann, one the most influential disability rights activists in US history. Judy is an internationally recognized leader in the Disability Rights Independent Living Movement. Her work with a wide range of activist organizations, including the Berkeley Center for Independent Living and the American Association of People with Disabilities, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and governments since the 1970s, has contributed greatly to the development of human rights legislation and policy benefiting people with disabilities. She has advocated for disability rights at home and abroad, serving in the Clinton and Obama administrations and as the World Bank’s first adviser on disability and development.

Judy is featured in the Netflix documentary, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, nominated for an Oscar in the documentary category and has recently co-authored, “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.”

If you missed it live, you can watch the recording of this powerful session here.

Hochul Announces Nominations, Appointments, and Recommendations
This week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new round of appointments, nominations and recommendations to her administration. See the governors full press release for additional information and short biographies of these individuals.

  • Jeanette M. Moy will be nominated as Commissioner of the Office of General Services (OGS)
  • Maria Imperial will be nominated as Commissioner of the Division of Human Rights (DHR)
  • Jackie Bray will be nominated as Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES
  • Lucy Lang has been appointed Inspector General of the State of New York
  • Governor Hochul recommends the Commissioners of the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) appoint Gaurav Vasisht as Executive Director
$11.1 Million Announced for NYS Career Centers
Governor Kathy Hochul announced a commitment of $11.1 million in federal workforce development funding over the next three years to expand the successful network of Disability Resource Coordinators to all 33 local workforce development areas and to better serve individuals with disabilities in New York State Career Centers. This funding will create the New York Systems Change and Inclusive Opportunities Network (NY SCION).

Previously, about half of the 33 local workforce development areas had direct access to a Disability Resource Coordinator. NY SCION will fund the placement of a Disability Resource Coordinator in every Local Workforce Development Area and several positions in New York City. Their role will be to improve and support employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities and to establish and expand partnerships leveraging resources across multiple service systems. They will train both state and partner staff in best practices to ensure consistent levels of service across the workforce system and in every career center.

Additional information on the announcement and details about the program can be found in the full press release.

Public Hearing on Employment Opportunities and Access for People with Disabilities
On Wednesday, the NYS Assembly held a public hearing to examine the availability of employment opportunities for people with disabilities, with a specific focus on the availability of services to assist individuals in accessing employment. The Arc New York submitted written testimony in advance of the hearing, and several Chapters of The Arc New York offered their unique perspectives through written and oral testimony. The hearing recording is archived on the NYS Assembly website and includes an indexed list of links to particular panels and speakers.
This and all advocacy updates are archived on The Arc New York website for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
This email was sent to:
  • Board of Governors 
  • Chapter Presidents
  • Chapter Board Members
  • Executive Directors 
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers  
  • HR Directors 
  • PR Directors 
  • Quality & Compliance Staff 
  • Residential Directors
  • Joint Committee on Quality & Compliance
  • Trust Services and State Office Staff