February 4, 2022
Register for Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum
This year's Joint Legislative & Advocacy Forum will be held virtually on February 15 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The forum is free to attend and participants will be able to enjoy the benefits of our program without driving to the NYS Capitol!

The annual Joint Legislative and Advocacy Forum is a collaboration between The Arc New York and The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, which provides access to information on the 2022-23 Executive Budget proposal, upcoming legislation, advocacy strategies, and opportunities to engage leadership in the Senate and Assembly. Parents and family members, self-advocates, direct support professionals, not-for-profit agencies and other stakeholders will hear from presenters across a wide range of timely topics, reflecting the importance for us to be a strong voice in Albany this year and beyond.

The forum will help to convey the next stage of our advocacy from March to June of 2022. Register now to strengthen your own advocacy and our collective efforts!

Make sure to schedule your virtual appointments with Assemblymembers and Senators following the forum through the end of the month. This is an important time to advocate, prior to the release of one-house budget bills. Find your representative here.

Forum Agenda at a Glance
9:00 AM – 9:10 AM   
Welcome & Opening

9:10 AM – 9:45 AM    
New York Disability Advocates Update

9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
Albany Insiders Budget Panel Discussion

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Briefing on OPWDD’s Executive Budget Proposal for 2022-23, presented by Kevin Valenchis, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, NYS OPWDD

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM     
Why we Advocate for our Workforce – Panel Discussion

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM     
Economic Value of I/DD Providers in Communities – Panel Discussion

3:10 PM – 3:30 PM     
Senator John Mannion, Chair, NYS Senate Disabilities Committee

3:30PM – 4:00PM        
Taking Action on Legislative Priorities

2022 The Arc US Policy & Advocacy Kickoff
Join members of The Arc of the United States Policy, Advocacy, and Communications teams on Tuesday, February 8 at 2:00 PM to learn about our 2022 federal policy priorities, upcoming resources, and ways to get involved. Register now to get the most up-to-date information and have your questions answered about areas of focus this year and how we can make the greatest impact both in Washington, DC and around the country. 

Access Note: This webinar will be captioned and interpreted in American Sign Language. The recording will be available to view on demand for those who register. Email events@thearc.org with any questions.

2022 NADSP Advocacy Symposium – Amplifying DSP Voices
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is holding its first-ever national advocacy event March 9-10, 2022, to bring the direct support professional (DSP) perspective to the forefront of Congress and the Administration.

Challenges from the pandemic and recent legislation have provided new insights and opportunities for DSPs. NADSP recognizes the critical importance of lifting the voices of DSPs to federal policy-makers, to ensure public policy is informed by the people who are on the front lines of supporting people with disabilities to live, work and thrive in the community.

NADSP will provide DSPs from all across the country with comprehensive advocacy virtual training, culminating with virtual meetings with Congressional leaders and staff on March 10, to educate and advocate on NADSP’s public policy priorities for 2022. The goal of the symposium is to bolster the ranks and knowledge of DSP advocates, so recruitment and registration should be primarily focused on DSPs. Visit the event page for registration and more information.
Submit Your Arc US Summer Conference Session Proposals
The Arc US Summer Leadership Institute brings together chapter leaders and other professionals from across the country to identify and develop programs to address the challenges faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and the staff and organizations that support them.

Is your Chapter is doing something innovative and effective that is helping improve disability rights, services, support systems, or nonprofit efficiency? If so, The Arc of the United States invites you to submit a session for consideration at this year's Summer Leadership Institute.

Here are just a few of the areas they are looking to explore:
  • Community integration
  • Education, employment, housing, future planning, and other areas across the lifespan
  • Self-determination and empowerment of self-advocates
  • Access to justice
  • Access, equity, and inclusion
  • Advocacy
  • Addressing the direct support professional crisis
  • And more!

The deadline is February 25. Learn more and submit your proposal here.

Registration Open for 2022 Disability Policy Seminar
Registration for the 2022 Disability Policy Seminar is now open. This year's seminar will be will be a hybrid event from March 28-30. You will have the opportunity to join advocates in person in Washington, DC or virtually!

The Disability Policy Seminar offers the opportunity for passionate advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals in the field to come together and learn about key issues that affect them most. After attending, you will have the tools to bring strong advocacy to virtual meetings and other follow-up actions as we work to raise awareness among members of Congress about issues important to the disability community.

Register by March 13 to take advantage of early bird rates!
988 Mental Health Emergency Number Webinar Recording & Resources
The Arc US held a webinar on Monday, January 31 to discuss 988, the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. For many people with disabilities, particularly people of color and people in the LGBTQ+ community, law enforcement response to a mental health emergency has ended in tragedy or poor outcomes, including death and incarceration. 988 holds the promise of an equitable healthcare response to a healthcare issue with better outcomes as people receive the services and supports they need to remain in their communities. This promise will only be fulfilled if adequate resources are available to support call volume and the continuum of crisis care services. This webinar provided the latest information on 988 implementation, including concerns and advocacy.
In case you missed the webinar, you can click here to register and watch the recording. Additional resources are also available, including the presentation slide deck, CMS Guidance on Enhanced Reimbursement for Mobile Crisis Units and The Arc’s General Information Sheet on 988 and Advocacy Considerations
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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