For Immediate Release

                                                                              Contact: Katrin Haldeman

Congregate Care Settings Must be Priority Recipients of Personal Protection Equipment

Albany, NY April 9, 2020: Disability Rights New York (DRNY) filed a complaint against Governor Cuomo with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for failing to designate congregate settings as a priority recipient of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  

DRNY has requested that HHS require the Governor to ensure that Emergency Management offices prioritize the distribution of PPE to congregate care settings serving New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities ( ID/DD) . Our clients and the d irect service professionals (DSPs) caring for them are unable to obtain necessary PPE under New York State’s current Emergency Management policies.
Clients are living and DSPs are working in residences in close proximity to one another. DRNY has received complaints that people with ID/DD in these settings have become sick with COVID-19 and some have died due to complications.

“Every day our clients and their care givers are in grave danger because they are unable to obtain critical protective gear. By designating these congregate settings as a priority to receive PPE, our clients at least have a fighting chance.” Timothy A. Clune, DRNY Exec. Director


DRNY is the designated independent non-profit Protection & Advocacy System empowered by Congress to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect and provide legal and non-legal advocacy services to people with disabilities in New York State. The Protection & Advocacy System was created by Congress as a direct result of the horrific conditions that were uncovered in the 1970's at New York’s Willowbrook State School.

DRNY is supported at tax payer expense by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, The Administration for Community Living ; Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration; U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration; and, the Social Security Administration. This press release does not represent the views, positions or policies of, or the endorsements by, any of these federal agencies.
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