Advocacy Letter to ACL
Further extending the reach of our workforce advocacy, The Arc New York CEO, Erik Geizer, sent a letter to Alison Barkoff, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Administration for Community Living (ACL). The ACL advocates across the federal government for older adults, people with disabilities, families and caregivers.
The letter details the need for both immediate and long-term solutions to address the ongoing workforce crisis. We have requested a dialogue to explore models that have been effective for DSP recruitment and retention, as well as national or regional studies that look at the efficacy of innovative models with housing and immigrant workforce, regulatory reform, and other solutions.
The Arc New York Submits 5-year Plan Comments to OPWDD
Yesterday, The Arc New York submitted comments to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) on the forthcoming 5-year strategic plan. New York State is required under Mental Hygiene Law 5.07 to develop a comprehensive 5-year plan that defines and adequately resources supports and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). OPWDD’s last plan under this requirement was adopted in 2012 and expired in 2016. As part of our FY22 advocacy platform, The Arc New York championed the critical need for a new 5.07 plan after years without this important roadmap.
The Arc New York believes the State of New York’s 5.07 Plan for OPWDD should be guided by the following values and principles:
- Funding must be available to support current and future needs
- Services and supports should be planful, including needs-based forecasting using robust data-driven information, including but not limited to demographics of individuals supported and providers, waiting lists, system expenditures and costs, and quality and outcome-based measures
- Individuals with I/DD must be supported in the least restrictive setting of their choosing
- OPWDD must be fully transparent, proactive and inclusive in partnerships with self-advocates, individuals, families and providers
- The dignity of risk must be acknowledged and rebalanced, particularly for individuals living in non-certified settings
- The role of state-operated services must be clearly defined, particularly in light of funding model differences and the escalating workforce crisis
These guiding principles, and the submitted comments were informed by feedback from stakeholders across The Arc New York.
We expect a draft 5.07 plan to be released in September for public comment and then finalized later in the fall. We are engaged in ongoing discussion with OPWDD throughout the process, and will keep you updated on any developments.