January 23, 2023
January 25 Social Media Day of Action!
This Wednesday, January 25, The Arc New York and our New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) partners are hosting a Social Media Day of Action! We’ll be posting live throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, urging Governor Kathy Hochul to include much-needed investments for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in this year’s budget. We’re calling on YOU and your communities to join us and help us make some noise by sharing, retweeting, and replying to our content and posting stories and messages of your own!

Check out our Social Media Day of Action Toolkit for downloadable images, sample posts, and tips on who to tag in your posts to make the biggest impact, and join our Facebook Event now to let us know you'll be there. See you online Wednesday!
New Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns
In addition to our ongoing Executive Budget campaigns and upcoming Day-of-Action, The Arc New York has launched three new online campaigns, highlighting some of our key Advocacy Priorities for the 2023-24 legislative session. Click on the links below to take action now, and visit our Advocacy Action Center to easily share them all from a single place!

853/4410 Special Education Schools
Early intervention, preschool, and other school-age programs are essential for young children with I/DD and other disabilities. However, these special education schools have historically and inequitably been underfunded. Special Education teachers are underpaid for their contributions, making it difficult to recruit and retain great teachers.

It's very important that we tell Governor Hochul and NYS Legislators to fund 853/4410 schools with an 8.5% COLA, plus 5% wage enhancements for teachers. Additionally, we're asking for changes that allow schools to invest and plan ahead.

Address The Critical Workforce Shortage 
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are essential workers who provide daily care, services and supports to people with intellectual and developmentally disabilities (I/DD) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Caring for people with complex needs is a rewarding yet challenging job, which requires ongoing training, high-level of responsibility, and skill.  

We are calling on Congress, NYS Legislature, and Governor Hochul to:
  • Establish a new Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE) as part of the SFY 2024 New York State budget to help bring direct care workforce compensation closer to what they deserve
  • Include the statuary COLA in the NYS Enacted Budget, which stands at 8.5% for FY24
  • Ensure that OPWDD commits to an acuity-based rate methodology that fully compensates providers on par with state operated programs.
  • Create and fund a permanent joint credential and career ladder program for DSPs, implement a multi-tiered credential program for DSPs tied to increased pay for people completing each tier, and open up career pipelines from high school to the DSP workforce with certification.

Sustain and Expand Funding Supports for People with Disabilities
For decades, New York state has not made adequate investments to sustain the essential programs and services people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) rely on. This systemic underfunding has driven us into a critical staffing crisis and eroded New York's system of supports for its citizens with I/DD.

We are calling on Congress, NYS Legislature, and Governor Hochul to:
  • Increase the FMAP for New York state by 10 percentage points. This is in line with the proposal advanced through the Better Care Better Jobs Act.
  • Include the statuary COLA in the NYS Enacted Budget, which stands at 8.5% for FY24
  • Include an additional and ongoing sustainability investments comparable to the workforce funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), closing the historic funding gap and preventing a fiscal cliff at the end of the funding period.
  • Raise SSI asset limits from $2,000 to $10,000 for individuals and from $3,000 to $20,000 for married couples and indexes them to inflation moving forward.

Even if these topics do not directly impact you or a loved one, we ask that you stand alongside others within the I/DD community and support them by participating in these campaigns and sharing on social media.

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 
This email was sent to:

  • Advocates
  • 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
  • Guardianship Coordinators
  • Joint Committee on Quality & Compliance
  • Trust Services and State Office Staff