June 24, 2022
Advocacy and Resource Center Hosts OPWDD Forum
The first in-person regional forum for The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) 2023-2027 Draft Strategic Plan was held Wednesday, hosted by The Advocacy and Resource Center, the Clinton County Chapter of The Arc New York.

Prior to the forum, OPWDD Commissioner Neifeld joined Advocacy and Resource Center Executive Director Robin Pierce, The Arc New York CEO Erik Geizer, and state office and OPWDD staff to visit with residents, tour current facilities and see new development underway. You can view a photo gallery from the Commissioner's visit here.

Commissioner Kerri Neifeld delivered opening remarks at the forum, and OPWDD staff presented a short overview of the draft strategic plan. A public comment period followed, during which self-advocates, family members and providers voiced their perspective on the needs and future of services and supports in the state.

The next forum will be held in Binghamton on June 28 from 3-5:00 PM. Registration is not required, but is encouraged. More information can be found in the event flyer and registration can be completed here.
Ask Your Senators to Support the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act!
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides critical support for millions of people with disabilities and their families to be able to afford necessities like food and rent. But SSI has many unfair and outdated rules that make it hard for people to save money and get out of poverty.

For example, people who get SSI can only have $2,000 in assets or $3,000 if they are married— this includes money in bank accounts, property, and savings. These asset limits have not been updated since 1989, forcing many people with disabilities into poverty.

We need changes to SSI now that would significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities who receive SSI!

The SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act raises the asset limit to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples. The legislation also adjusts that number for inflation every year. This will allow SSI beneficiaries to better address needed emergencies when they arise.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support people with disabilities and their families by co-sponsoring the bipartisan SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act. With the Arc US one-click campaign, you can quickly and easily add your voice now!
Want to do More?
Visit The Arc New York Advocacy Center for more ways to take action, including campaigns to support federal funding, employment opportunities, and our dedicated workforce. You can also find tools and resources to help you be a stronger advocate for New Yorkers with disabilities.

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 
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