June 11, 2021
Supporting the Direct Care Workforce Campaign
As part of The Arc New York advocacy strategy and efforts to support our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and secure workforce investment, we are have launched a new online DSP campaign and are engaging in a continued conversation with our NYS congressional representatives surrounding The American Job’s Plan (AJP) proposed by President Biden. The AJP includes a major investment of over $2 trillion, with $400 billion allocated to expand access to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and support the direct care workforce. Although recent news reports have signaled a pared down package, we will continue to fight for this national investment in our care infrastructure. 

To further aid in supporting the DSP workforce, we are asking legislators to support the HCBS Access Act (HAA) proposed by Senators Hassan, Casey and Brown, and Congresswoman Dingell. This legislation would expand HCBS, eliminate waiting lists, and pave the way for much deserved DSP compensation, recognition, and career paths. Additional pieces of legislation we are calling on legislators to sponsor are S.1437 - Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act, and H.R.2999 - Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity Act.

The Arc US previously launched their #medicaidcantwait campaign focused on how the AJP investment would transform HCBS as a whole. If you have not yet participated in the national campaign, please do so in conjunction with The Arc NY DSP campaign, which ties this federal investment specifically to the NYS workforce crisis.
Senate Roundtable Video
Last week, the New York State Senate Committee on Disabilities invited The Arc New York to participate in a virtual public legislative roundtable to evaluate the state’s response to COVID-19 for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This was an opportunity for family advocates, self-advocates, and voluntary providers to provide feedback on topics such as the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), data, transparency, program flexibility, resources, and more. The full recording can be viewed here. Comments by Erik Geizer, CEO of The Arc New York, and Marco Damiani, CEO of AHRC NYC, on data, reporting and transparency begin at the 56 minute mark. The panel on personal protective equipment, featuring comments by Cyndi Borozny, The Arc New York CFO, begin at the 1:37 mark.

The Arc US HAA Webinar
Last week, The Arc of the United States continued its webinar series with a discussion about barriers in the current HCBS system, proposed changes found within the HCBS Access Act (HAA) presented by Congress, and what we can do to make sure these changes become a reality. In case you missed it, the PowerPoint slides, transcript, and recording can be found here.
Upcoming CMS Summit: Supporting Adults I/DD and Their Aging Caregivers  
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites you to attend Supporting Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and Their Aging Caregivers – a two-day virtual summit to share promising practices and collaborate on solutions for addressing challenges faced by state Medicaid agencies and their partners in supporting adults with I/DD and their aging parents and caregivers. 

As the population of aging adults with I/DD continues to grow, and people with I/DD live longer, many adults outlive their family caregivers. In addition, as caregivers age, they may be less able to provide care for their family members with I/DD and may have their own support needs. Many stakeholders can help support adults with I/DD and their aging caregivers, but state Medicaid agencies are uniquely positioned to lead changes. This webinar is open to the public. The full schedule and registration information can be found below.

Session 1: Monday, June 28th, 11:30AM-1:30PM
Session 1 will focus on the importance of cross-agency collaboration in providing effective supports for adults with I/DD and their aging parents and caregivers. 

Session 2: Monday, June 28th, 2:30PM-4:00 PM  
Session 2 will continue the conversation on the importance of cross-agency collaboration in providing effective supports for adults with I/DD and their aging parents and caregivers. 

Session 3: Tuesday, June 29th, 11:30AM -1:30PM
Session 3 will focus on creating a person- and family-centered system that supports adults with I/DD and their aging parents and caregivers. 

Please note: if you would like to attend all of the sessions, you will need to register for each session individually using the links above. Please contact HCBS-learning@lewin.com with any questions.

NCE Summer Leadership Institute
The NCE Summer Leadership Institute, hosted by The Arc and the National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE), unites executives, leaders, and professionals from across the disability sector in pursuit of a shared mission. The Summer Leadership Institute’s goal is for everyone to work better and smarter towards a shared purpose: ensuring people with intellectual and development disabilities (I/DD) achieve their full civil and human rights and are fully included in their communities.

Attendees engage in constructive dialogue and discussion, gain valuable knowledge of current issues facing the disability community, and receive educational materials to help further develop and hone their professional skills.

This year’s event focuses heavily on the most pressing issues in the disability community, including the COVID-19 vaccinations process, American Rescue Plan Act, HCBS Rule, DSP workforce crisis, and more. Presenters from The Arc New York will offer their experience and lessons learned during the past year.

You can view the full event schedule here and register here by Friday, July 2.

Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
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