May 20, 2022
The Arc Erie County Champions Employment for People with I/DD
The Arc Erie County and New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) held a press conference this week to congratulate NYSID's Employee of the Year awardees for their dedicated service. Coverage of the event ran on Spectrum News.

According to a study by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, nonprofit service providers contributed more than $14 billion to New York state’s economy. The study also shows that 67% of people with disabilities are unemployed.

The Rockefeller Institute in December issued a report, “The Role of Disability Service Providers in the New York State Economy.” The report examined the economic impacts of both the Preferred Source program (PSP) – a model for ensuring people with disabilities have employment opportunities – and the larger non-profit service delivery system for New Yorkers with disabilities supported through the State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). 

The statewide numbers show:
  • 427 New York nonprofit disability service providers reported $14.3 billion in economic output.
  • The providers supported nearly 200,000 full-time jobs and contributed $2.2 billion in federal and state tax revenue.
  • NYSID alone generated $407.3 million in economic impact.

As a strong proponent of the Preferred Source Program and other initiatives in support of employment for people with I/DD, The Arc New York issued a memo of support for S.7578 and A.8549, which corrects antiquated terminology, outdated language, and practices. The legislation also codifies certain practices relevant to the program for ease of use and transparency and ensures the viability of this program for the employment of people with disabilities.
Urgent Call to Action: Special Education School Funding
In our April 29 Advocacy Update, we shared The Arc New York's advocacy efforts in support of funding for special education. Now, we are taking this message directly to Governor Hochul through your grassroots action! We're calling on you to join the fight and send a message to the Governor through our one-click advocacy campaign.

Last year, Governor Hochul vetoed legislation which would have provided special education schools (4410, 853 & Special Act schools) funding parity with the yearly public-school increase. In her veto message, she promised a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 11% for the 2022-23 school year, which was reiterated in the Executive Budget proposal. 

However, due to the current tuition funding structure, the final budget language, and disagreements between the State Education Department (SED) and Division of Budget (DOB), most schools will not be able receive this promised 11% increase. We cannot allow administrative gridlock to block this much needed funding.

Take action and urge the governor and the DOB to find a solution that keeps the promise to our special education schools for an 11% ($240 million) increase effective July 1, 2022. New York’s most vulnerable children deserve it!
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.

The Arc New York Comments on DOH 1115 Waiver Amendment
The Arc New York submitted comments this week in response to the New York state Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) 1115 Research and Demonstration Waiver. The Arc New York stated that we “…are encouraged by the stated goals of the waiver amendment to build a more resilient, flexible, and equitable delivery system of health and social care. The inclusion of the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) sector as an integral participant within the Health Equity Regional Organizations (HEROs) and Social Determinants of Health Networks (SDHNs) indicates a significant step forward in recognizing the specialized needs and barriers to access for people with I/DD.”

Although the I/DD community would not be directly governed by the proposed waiver, it was important to note the significance of our inclusion. Many of our initiatives are intertwined with the stated goals of the waiver such as:

  1. Building a more resilient, flexible, and integrated delivery system that reduces health disparities, promotes health equity, and supports the delivery of social care;
  2. Developing and strengthening supportive housing services and alternatives for the homeless and long-term institutional populations;
  3. Redesigning and strengthening system capabilities to improve quality, advance health equity, and address workforce shortages; and
  4. Creating statewide digital health and telehealth infrastructure.

The Arc New York is enthusiastic about innovative collaborations. The aspirations of the waiver amendment indicate an important shift toward creative and collaborative solutions. We are looking forward to being part of the process.

Congressional and NYS Senate Maps Ordered
The court-appointed special master tasked with drawing New York's new congressional and state Senate maps released a preliminary draft of the new congressional boundaries on Monday, which the state will have for the next decade. We previously noted this evolution in our September 24 update

While there are questions about future candidates in particular areas, this map will aid with comparisons of current and future district lines. 

Primaries for U.S. House and state Senate races were pushed back to Aug. 23 to account for the changes. The primary election for the statewide offices and state Assembly races will take place June 28.

It should be noted that this information will evolve and we will update accordingly.
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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