May 27, 2021
Workforce Summit June 2
New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) is bringing together key stakeholders from government, provider agencies, and other fields to discuss the challenges of our current workforce crisis, and explore efficient and effective solutions. The Summit will be held Wednesday, June 2 from 10 AM to 1 PM, and will feature panelists from The Arc New York. You can register to attend here, or watch live on The Arc New York Facebook page. The public agenda can be found here, with more specifics to follow.

The Arc New York to Participate in Senate Roundtable
The New York State Senate Committee on Disabilities has 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 will be 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, resources, and more.

The roundtable will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 1:00 PM. You can learn more and view it live here.
Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day Resolution and Bills
On Monday, Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti sponsored a resolution, “Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim Monday, May 24, 2021, as New York State Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day.” In it, Assemblyman Abinanti and numerous sponsors acknowledge the “intent of this Legislative Body to recognize persons with disabilities, focusing on the benefits of their social, economic, educational and other contributions to society.” 

In addition to the resolution, the NYS Assembly passed a package of bills in observance of Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day. These include the establishment of the Office of Advocate for People with Disabilities, extension of OPWDD care demonstration programs to 2024, small business tax credit to encourage the employment of people with disabilities, matters of healthcare, housing, and others. The full press release from Speaker Carl Heastie, which includes the entire package of nine bills, can be viewed here.

NYDA 10% HCBS Proposals
In response to the requirement that states develop a spending plan and narrative for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), NYDA released a set of proposals to help focus spending where it is needed most.  

The first proposal would support the workforce by providing a 5% enhancement for HCBS services, effective April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. These additional funds could be used to support increased wages for DSPs and others, provide hazard pay, overtime pay, and to conduct activities to recruit and retain staff.

The second proposal creates an I/DD system transformation fund, which would make $350 million available through grants for providers. These grants would be designed to enhance and strengthen the delivery of supports and services to individuals with I/DD. Grants made available through this fund could be used for, but not limited to:

  • Workforce recruitment and retention demonstration programs and workforce training
  • Assistive technology and other supports
  • Innovative service delivery demonstration programs

New York state has until June 12, 2021 to submit their spending plan and narrative to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), but may opt to request a recently announced 30 day extension.
The Arc US Webinar on ARPA HCBS Funding
The Arc US will hold a webinar Tuesday, June 1 at 1 PM to share what you need to know about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding. The webinar will be moderated Nicole Jorwic from The Arc US, with presentations from Dave Machledt and Jen Lav from the National Health Law Program (NHeLP). With state spending plans for federal funds due soon, now is the time to learn what we need to do to ensure the funding coming into our state to strengthen and expand access to HCBS is spent well. Register for the webinar here.

The Arc US Joined by 300+Organizations in Support of HCBS
In a joint statement to Leaders Schumer and McConnell and Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy, The Arc US joined over 300 organizations to voice support for President Biden’s American Jobs plan, which includes an infusion of $400 billion for HCBS. The letter addressed the need to support the direct care workforce and cement the stability of our HCBS care infrastructure.

The Arc of the United States and Arc of New York are strongly advocating to ensure Congress makes a historic investment in Medicaid HCBS and addresses the direct care workforce crisis in the American Jobs Plan. COVID-19 economic recovery must include investments in our care infrastructure.

In support of these efforts, The Arc US announced the launch of their #MedicaidCantWait campaign toolkit. The toolkit includes sample social media graphics, letters to the editor, and more to support our ongoing advocacy.

Additionally, The Arc US recently updated their #MedicaidCantWait webpage, which includes key shareable resources, a video explaining the need for increased Medicaid HCBS funding, and a call to action to add your voice to an online campaign to encourage your network to tell Congress why HCBS matters to them!

The Arc US Promotes Direct Support Professional (DSP) Toolkit
As part of continued efforts to expand resources for chapters across the nation, The Arc of the United States has developed a DSP Toolkit that focuses on helping chapters find, choose, and retain committed and talented DSPs. The toolkit can be accessed through The Arc Us chapter portal, which is available to all Arc chapters and members.

The HCBS Access Act: A Law 70 Years in the Making
The Arc of the United States is continuing 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. The webinar will take place on June 3, 2021 at 2:00 PM, you can register through The Arc US here.

This webinar will be captioned. The webinar will be recorded and available to view on demand for those who register. Questions? Email

Learn more and register here.
Contact: Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs 
This email was sent to:
  • Board of Governors 
  • Chapter Presidents
  • Chapter Board Members
  • Executive Directors 
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers  
  • HR Directors 
  • PR Directors 
  • Quality & Compliance Staff 
  • Joint Committee on Quality & Compliance
  • Trust Services and State Office Staff