October 6, 2023

WE NEED YOUR VOICE! Our Budget Campaign Has Begun!

Our advocacy efforts for the 2024-25 budget are well underway, and we're calling on you to help us leverage the full power of The Arc New York for the fight! Please reference our September 29 update for a full rundown of our current advocacy initiatives and requests.

Here are quick references to advocacy resources and calls to action:

We must continue the fight to ensure that the foundation of supports and services that enable people with I/DD to live a person-centered life is preserved and advanced


NIH Designates People with Disabilities as a Population with Health Disparities

Last week, Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), designated people with disabilities as a population with health disparities for research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The federal Administration for Community Living (ACL) released a statement providing extensive background and details noting, “Designated populations experience significant disparities in their rates of illness, morbidity, mortality and survival, driven by social disadvantage, compared to the health status of the general population. A health disparity designation helps to encourage research specific to the health issues and unmet health needs of these populations.”

On the impact of this designation, Dr. Pérez-Stable stated, "This designation recognizes the importance and need for research advances to improve our understanding of the complexities leading to disparate health outcomes and multilevel interventions…NIMHD and other NIH institutes launched a new research program to better understand the health disparities faced by people with disabilities who are also part of other populations designated as having health disparities.”

With increased focus on research, we hope to better understand causes of healthcare disparities within disability populations and develop solutions to meet those needs.


Screenings and Launch Event for The Path Forward: Remembering Willowbrook

The NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) announced its short documentary, The Path Forward: Remembering Willowbrook, will air on WMHT (Capital District) this Friday, Oct. 6 at 8:00 PM. The documentary will air directly following the statewide 7:30 PM weekly news program New York Now, which will focus on the history of Willowbrook, the making of the documentary, and ways to move forward in the fight for disability rights. You can stream New York Now here.

Other PBS stations across the state will air the film in October and over the next few months. Refer to this flyer to see scheduled viewings on your local PBS station. 

NYS DDPC produced this half-hour documentary in collaboration with NYS Office of General Services (OGS) Media Services to highlight the important legacy of the former Willowbrook State School, the lessons learned, and the change that resulted.

To kick off statewide screenings, The Path Forward: Remembering Willowbrook will be screened at the Marlene Meyerson JCC in Manhattan at 6:00 PM on October 12. The screening will include a panel discussion, which aims to bring the documentary to life, as they link the past and present through their experiences at Willowbrook, and their perspectives as advocates. Read more here.

The Panel will include: Dr. Michael Wilkins, former Willowbrook physician and whistleblower, Bernard Carabello, former Willowbrook resident and advocacy pioneer, and Diane Buglioli, former Willowbrook employee. Tickets are $5, links are below.

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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