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NYAIL News 2022, Issue 4
Advocacy Updates, Promoting Your ILC Webinar, and Public Forums
Advocacy Updates
Advocates gathered in the New York State Capitol building with Fair Pay bill sponsors Senator May and Assemblyman Gottfried.
NYAIL's Director of Advocacy Meghan Parker has put together an overview of this year's state budget. The budget was passed later than usual and after the deadline, but the legislative session is still scheduled to end in June. Sign-up to receive NYAIL's Action Alerts on our website for the latest advocacy updates.
2022 Budget Overview
Independent Living

Funding for the statewide network of ILCs has been increased by $1.6 million to $16 million. Though this is still short of the $18 million recommended by the NYS Board of Regents, it is the biggest one-time increase the ILCs have received in a long time.
Health / Medicaid

Home care worker wage increase: Fair Pay for Home Care was not included in the budget. However, the budget did include a more modest wage increase for home care workers. Here are the final details of what was included:
  • As of 10/22, home care workers will receive $2 over the minimum wage.
  • As of 10/23, home care workers will receive an additional $1 over minimum wage.
There are concerns this wage increase will push some workers over the benefits cliff, making them ineligible for programs like Medicaid without providing a significant enough wage increase to lift them out of poverty.
Overtime: For Consumer Directed Personal Assistance under managed care, providers will be able to bill for over time. This does not appear to include fee for service. However, the ability to bill for over time is huge.
Medicaid eligibility for aged, blind, and disabled: The income limit was increased to 138% of Federal Poverty Line (FPL). This brings the income eligibility up from 87% FPL to the levels applied to all other Medicaid applicants. The asset limit was not removed as advocates pushed for, but it will be increased by about 50% in January, 2023.
Medicaid Global Cap: The final budget keeps Governor Hochul’s original proposal to keep the cap with a new formula. Pending Federal approval, Medicaid Global Cap shall not exceed the annual growth rate projections within the National Health Expenditure Accounts produced by the office of the actuary in the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services for the preceding five years. While this is expected to be an improvement of the current formula, it is still an arbitrary cap that has kept Medicaid rates low and services underfunded.
Kendra’s Law: Kendra’s Law was extended for 5 years. Under the law, there are a few circumstances under which a person can be ordered to undergo court-ordered treatment. The one newly added and which is of most concern is for individuals who have an expired court order within the last 6 months and who is experiencing a significant increase of symptoms. If the director of community services who previously oversaw the court-ordered treatment determines such symptoms limit one or more major life activities, they can be referred for assisted outpatient treatment. The director of community services must coordinate an evaluation by a physician. If the physician determines it is necessary, they must have assessed the person within 10 days of the hearing and must testify in person or remotely to the need for such an order. It must be determined to be clinically necessary and the least restrictive option. To learn more about the history and background of Kendra's Law, watch our March webinar with Harvey Rosenthal, Chief Executive Officer of NYAPRS.
Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program: Repeals the CDPA request for offers (RFO) and instead directs the Department of Health to enter into contracts with RFO applicants that meet the minimum requirements of the RFO and were serving 200 consumers in NYC or 50 consumers in upstate regions at any time between 1/1/20-3/31/20. This means all ILC FIs will be able to continue providing FI services.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Funding has been increased by $2.5 million. NYAIL and others have been pushing for a significant amount of increased funding for this program for years since it is so under-funded. While this is not the amount we were seeking, this additional funding will allow providers to increase the number of staff serving people living in LTC facilities.

Access To Home: Level funded at $1 million. This is deeply disappointing given that both houses proposed increasing the funding for the program and it has been underfunded for so long.
Government Operations

Open Meetings Law: Provides a framework for allowing remote participation, but does not require it. A quorum must be present in person at the physical meeting location and they must: 1) adopt a local law or resolution authorizing the use of videoconferencing, 2) have established written procedures governing member and public attendance, 3) ensure that members of the public body can be heard, seen and identified, while the meeting is being conducted 4) record via meeting minutes which members participate remotely 5) inform public via meeting notice re option for videoconferencing 6) record the meetings and post on the website within 5 business days 7) allow for real time public participation. Also includes language that open meetings of any public body that are broadcast or use videoconferencing must be fully accessible.
Elections: College campuses with 300 students registered to vote at that address will be directed to work with the local Board of Elections to establish a polling site on campus. NYAIL supported this proposal which was included in the final budget.
NYAIL 2022 Webinar Series
3 Free Ways to Advertise & Promote your Center
Join us on April 28th from 3 to 4 p.m. for our webinar on "3 Free Ways to Advertise & Promote your Center". Free advance registration is required for each of our webinars in the 2022 series.
This month's webinar will be presented by Michelle West of Aprosae. She has served in marketing leadership roles in the Independent Living movement since January 2015. When she presented at the 2019 National Council on Independent Living's conference on the topic of Marketing, person after person told her they didn’t have the marketing skills to get the word out about their services, let alone that their CIL even exists! Michelle will be available to answer your questions following the presentation.
Thank you to our NYAIL 2022 Webinar Series sponsor Waymo!
Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going. We believe that fully autonomous technology holds the promise to improve road safety and offer new mobility options to millions of people. This is why we're designing the Waymo Driver, our autonomous technology, to give people a new kind of freedom – to go where they want, when they want, while making the frustrations and concerns with driving a thing of the past.
NYS Outdoor Recreation Public Forums Announced
A woman in a wheelchair travels down a wooded path with a person walking alongside her.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in collaboration with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), are hosting a two-part webinar series on integrating inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability in providing access to State lands.

These public forums are part of the State’s ongoing efforts to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and increase opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to recreate together in the outdoors.
NYAIL is proud to be a partner in advancing outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. We encourage people to share these upcoming events and participate in the discussion following the presentations.

New York Association on Independent Living
Association on Aging in New York
SUNY Cortland’s Inclusive Recreation Resource Center
Natural Areas Conservancy
Parks & Trails New York

American Sign Language interpretation and closed captioning will be available at each session. For questions about additional assistance to accommodate participation, submit a request with your registration by April 27. For more information, email accessibility@dec.ny.gov or call 518-402-9295.  
Mobility Devices on Public Lands: Is it a Wheelchair or Other Power-Driven Mobility Device?

Tuesday, May 10; Noon to 1:30 pm   
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that any mobility device that meets the definition of a wheelchair must be allowed everywhere that the public can go. This session will include an overview of the required factors for public entities to consider in evaluating which mobility devices meet the definition of a wheelchair and which are considered Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices.
Presenter: Janet Zeller.

Discussion facilitator: Jason Thurston, Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee; Outreach Coordinator at John Dillon Park in the Adirondacks.
Sustainable Trails and Accessibility: How to keep our wild lands wild while being more inclusive

Tuesday, May 17; Noon to 1:30 pm  
This session will provide an overview of accessible and sustainable trail design and how to integrate sustainability and accessibility in keeping with the federal standards for accessible trails. Integration of these factors results in trails that reduce environmental impacts and open the outdoors to hikers of all abilities while maintaining the character of the trail and reducing trail maintenance. 
Presenter: Janet Zeller.

Discussion facilitator: Lisa Tarricone, Member, Accessibility Advisory Committee; Executive Director, Taconic Resources for Independence, Poughkeepsie.
NYSILC Hall of Fame
NYSILC's Annual Disability Rights Hall of Fame is on May 12th.

Tickets are still on-sale for the in-person banquet in Albany and the virtual ceremony.
NYAIL is proud to sponsor this year's Hall of Fame event.
The New York Association on Independent Living administers several statewide and regional programs in collaboration with its member ILCs, all of which are focused on helping people with disabilities live independently in the community.

Learn more about NYAIL programs by visiting: ilny.us/programs 
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Contact Us
Newsletter ideas can be sent to athompson@ilny.org for consideration.
Lindsay Miller
Executive Director 
Meghan Parker
Director of Advocacy  
Aurie Mercer
Office Manager
Email: info@ilny.org
New York Association on Independent Living
155 Washington Ave., Suite 208
Albany, NY 12210
Phone 518.465.4650 Fax 518.465.4625