August 11, 2023
Call to Action: Standard Occupational Classification for DSPs
Direct Support Professionals are the backbone of home and community-based services, providing essential support to promote independence and community inclusion for people with disabilities. However, DSPs are not designated with their own Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As a result, DSP wage and occupation data is not accurately captured. This diminishes the true impact of the workforce crisis, and hinders opportunities for professional advancement, certifications, and the pursuit of a lifelong career.

We are urging Congress to support the bipartisan bill, "Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act" (S. 1332/ H.R. 2941), which creates a SOC for DSPs The bill recently passed the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee with a unanimous vote. Please join our one-click campaign to quickly send a letter directly to your congressional representative calling for their support of the bill. This legislation is critical as we seek to get DSPs the recognition they deserve.
New Resources for Federal Advocacy
We are in the midst of congressional summer recess, and we hope that many of you have taken the opportunity to engage your congressional representatives while they are home in New York. The Arc New York developed a brief resource sheet, which highlights some suggested activities and resources to accomplish our legislative goals. The Arc of the United States recently held a webinar providing an overview of policy initiatives, and shared a toolkit to support your outreach. You can view the slides from the webinar here and watch the recording here.

Please be sure to use the survey link to report on your legislative interactions, and/or email Philip Aydinian, Director of Governmental affairs, at [email protected]. Taking this step is a huge help in tracking our collective outreach, identifying potential champions for our issues, and evaluating and improving the impact of our advocacy.

Call to Action: Preserve Medicaid Funding
In addition to the Standard Occupational Classification campaign, The Arc New York created a campaign focused on preserving Medicaid funding. This includes advocacy on the Better Care Better Jobs Act (H.R. 547/S. 100) and raising SSI limits, which would boost the federal Medicaid match by 10% and increase the asset limit to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples. Add your voice to the campaign to preserve medicaid funding here.

OPWDD Stakeholder Survey and Final Forums
OPWDD is inviting stakeholders to participate in an online survey as part of their 2023 Strategic Plan outreach. The survey offers an opportunity to voice your thoughts about OPWDD's efforts to achieve the goals and objectives outlined in their 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. Share your input here.

OPWDD also has two remaining forums on the strategic plan update, the first will be held August 14 from 2-4 PM at The ARC Jefferson/St. Lawrence. The second will be held virtually on August 15 from 6-8 PM. Visit the registration page for additional information about the forums, and view the strategic plan landing page here
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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