For Immediate Release
Contact: Katrin Haldeman | 518-275-1720 | Katrin.haldeman@drny.org
DRNY Challenges the Unlawful Practice of Limiting Eligibility for Services to People with Developmental Disabilities   

April 8, 2019: Albany, NY:  DRNY filed a lawsuit in Monroe County State Supreme Court against two New York State agencies for unlawfully using agency guidelines to deny an eight (8) year old disability related services.

Deborah Rice, on behalf of her grandson who has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, is challenging the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) “Advisory Guidelines.”

These guidelines limit who may be eligible for OPWDD services beyond what is prescribed in State law. The Office for Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA) relied heavily on these guidelines when denying Ms. Rice’s grandson eligibility for services.

Ms. Rice asserts by creating more restrictive rules than those contemplated by the legislature, OPWDD has exceeded its authority. OPWDD also created these guidelines without following the State’s public rule making process.  

Since these guidelines have been used since 2001, many others have been denied eligibility for the same services.


###
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 taxpayer expense by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; 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.
Disability Rights New York | www.drny.org