COVID-19 Update
June 2, 2021
NADSP 12-Month Survey on Delivering Supports During the Pandemic
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the University of Minnesota announced they are conducting a 12-month follow-up on providing support during the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey is intended to capture information on the DSP experience. Their initial report was released in July 2020, followed by a six-month follow-up report.
This survey differs from the previous ones, most notably in that it touches on vaccination status and vaccine hesitancy. We encourage all Chapters to circulate the survey widely and promote DSP participation.

The survey can be completed here.

The Arc New York to Participate in Senate Roundtable Tomorrow
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 Tomorrow, Thursday, June 3 at 1:00 PM. You can learn more and view the roundtable live here.

Executive Order 202.108
Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.108, extending the provisions of Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order to 202, including those that provide the extensions of flexibility on criminal background checks (CBC) and abbreviated trainings. The flexibility is now extended through June 16, 2021. 
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) worked with the New York State Department of State regarding updated interim training and recertification guidance. As a reminder: 
  • Several grace periods have been included to allow providers to return to compliance with recertification training requirements.
  • PPD testing must recommence; however, there is a grace period to get employees who received a screening in lieu of a test back into compliance.
  • The abbreviated medication administration curriculum will no longer be available, effective April 30. Employees who were trained using the abbreviated curriculum do not have to take a full medication administration course. Instead, these employees can receive the recertification training. Originally, OPWDD had directed that these employees would have to take a full medication administration course within 120 days of conclusion of the public health emergency, so this is a significant improvement.

EEOC Updated Technical Guidance 
On May 28, the U.S. Equal Employment opportunity commission (EEOC) posted updated and expanded technical assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing questions arising under the federal equal employment opportunity laws. This expanded technical assistance provides additional information regarding how the Americans and Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply when offering incentives to employees to provide documentation or confirmation of vaccination. Key updates from the guidance are summarized below:

  • Employers may require all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as reasonable accommodations are made for those who are not vaccinated due to disability or sincerely held religious beliefs.  
  • Employers may offer incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or confirmation of their vaccination status, so long as this information is kept confidential pursuant to the ADA
  • Employers may offer incentive programs for vaccinations, so long as those programs are not coercive or discriminatory
  • Employers may provide employees and their family members with information and resources to educate them about COVID-19 vaccines and raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination. 
The full guidance document, including previously issued FAQ's, is available here.

This and all related updates will be cataloged on The Arc New York COVID-19 Resource Page for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
CONTACT: Josh Christiana, Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations
This email was sent to:
  • President Jack Kowalczyk 
  • Board of Governors 
  • Chapter Presidents
  • Executive Directors 
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers  
  • HR Directors 
  • PR Directors 
  • Quality & Compliance Staff 
  • Residential Directors
  • Joint Committee on Quality & Compliance 
  • Guardianship Coordinators 
  • State Office Staff