July 14, 2023
August Congressional Recess Webinar
Each year during August Congressional Recess, members of Congress leave Washington, D.C., and go back home to their states and districts. This is one of the best times for your Chapter to engage with elected officials about important disability issues. The Arc US is offering a webinar on Monday, July 17 at 3:00 PM to support your advocacy efforts. You will learn about the latest on Capitol Hill and get free resources you can use to advocate and get your network involved this August. 

You will hear from The Arc’s Claire Manning, Senior Director, Advocacy & Mobilization; David Goldfarb, Director of Long-Term Supports and Services Policy; and Darcy Milburn, Director of Social Security and Healthcare Policy. After the webinar, you will be equipped to schedule your district appointments with your congressional representatives!

Register for the webinar here. Questions? Email Jenny Alexander at [email protected].

Advocacy Agenda for the Summer and Fall
Throughout the summer and fall we will be engaging our lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels to create new relationships and deepen ones that already exist. Beyond virtual meetings, we encourage Chapters and advocates to seek in-person interactions to convey the important work of providers of supports and services for people with I/DD.

In the “off-session” (June – December), developing relationships with the elected officials that represent you and your Chapter is a critical part of our collective advocacy efforts. We have seen far too often that the link to our representatives may not be as strong as we need to advance our advocacy efforts; this strategy aims to strengthen these connections.

We have created a brief resource sheet, which highlights some suggested activities to accomplish these goals, along with links to additional resources. Throughout the coming weeks and months we will supply additional information and ideas. Please be sure to use the survey link in the resource sheet to report on your interactions and/or email your update to Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental Affairs [email protected]

Erik Geizer on Capitol Pressroom "Justice for All"
The Arc New York CEO Erik Geizer is featured on the Capitol Pressroom special series "Justice for All," which explores the history of New York's treatment of people with special needs.

On the first episode, "A Cycle of Abuse and Neglect" host David Lombardo discusses decades of history, including New York's response to the abuses at the Willowbrook school, the reflection and reform that led to the Sundrum Report, “The Measure of a Society: Protection of Vulnerable Persons in Residential Facilities Against Abuse & Neglect,” and the transformation of care that followed.

The second episode, "A New Sheriff in Town," explores the creation of the Justice Center for People With Special Needs, and their role over the past ten years.

You can follow the full series here.
Summit on Co-existing Mental Health Conditions
The Arc New York will join Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP State), Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS), and New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc. (NYAPRS), at the Second Annual Policy Summit on Improving the Lives of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Co-Existing Mental Health Conditions later this month.

The four advocacy groups will facilitate a discussion based on the 2022 policy paper At The Crossroads: People with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and Co-existing Mental Health Conditionswhich summarizes the results of a series of listening sessions with statewide affiliates organized by CP State. These dialogues capture first-person accounts of the reality of co-existing mental health conditions. The policy paper addresses these realities and raises the call for a collaborative plan to drive positive change. 

Participants will review the recommendations and continue the conversation around key issues from the inaugural 2022 summit.
We will publish a summary of the conversation at a future date.
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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