Affiliate Update 2011

View Archived Items: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004

All news

Volume 17-- Issue 3

3/18/2011 5:45:00 PM

March 16 CP of NYS E-Newsletter

Click CP NEWS 3-16-11 for March 16 CP of NYS E-Newsletter



¨       March Advocacy Events

¨       CP of NYS Conducts Lobby Day

¨       Governor Appoints New Leaders of State Agencies That Serve New Yorkers With Disabilities

¨       New OPWDD Commissioner Speaks to Stakeholders

¨       Early Intervention Partners Training – Downstate – Summer 2011

¨       Visions of NY Art Contest Call for Entries

¨       CP of NYS, Affiliates Produce Art Display in Manhattan

¨       Satisfaction Survey Results in for Affiliate Services




CP of NYS and its Affiliates have a concerted, comprehensive and detailed advocacy strategy to present the facts about the impact of the proposed cuts in funding for supports and services for people with disabilities included in Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget.


The proposed cuts must be agreed to by the New York State Legislature. Over the course of the next several weeks it is critical that we all take every opportunity to let legislators know that the proposed cuts are much higher than portrayed by the Governor and the media and would result in drastic cuts in services, layoffs for thousands of staff across the state and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in federal Medicaid funds.


This public advocacy campaign began on March 1 when hundreds of people from across the state came to Albany to meet with their legislators to educate them about the negative effect of the proposed cuts on services for people with disabilities statewide and to real people in their home districts.


Our advocacy efforts continued on March 11 with Statewide Family Advocacy Day. We will speak to legislators through the end of March as we coordinate visits to the Capitol by people with disabilities, their families and staff from CP of NYS Affiliates across the state. These ongoing meetings will be used to demonstrate how the reduction or loss of particular services will negatively impact people from legislators’ home districts.


Fact sheets explaining the actual level of cuts in funding and the likely impact on services and jobs have been prepared to help legislators understand why they must not approve the budget as proposed. In addition, CP of NYS has prepared alternatives to the Governor’s proposals that would help the state reach its savings goals without jeopardizing the quality of services, quality of life and health and safety of our most vulnerable citizens.


– Barbara Crosier





Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS) conducted its annual Lobby Day in Albany on Tuesday March 1. Many of the CP of NYS Affiliates from Niagara Falls to Suffolk had meetings with their local legislators to present the facts about the actual level of cuts in Medicaid and Early Intervention funding proposed in the Governor’s budget. 


The proposed budget calls for a cut in Medicaid funding of between four and five percent for agencies like CP of NYS and its Affiliates. More than 90% of the funding for the supports and services people with disabilities receive from non-profit agencies such as CP of NYS and its Affiliates comes from Medicaid. Hospitals in New York State receive less than 30% of their funding from Medicaid. That means that a 5% cut in funds to our agencies is equivalent to a cut of nearly 20% in Medicaid funding for hospitals.


Cuts of this magnitude in Medicaid funding to services for people with disabilities will mean that agencies will have to eliminate services, layoff staff and in some cases close their doors. CP of NYS and its Affiliates provide supports and services to more than 100,000 of New York’s most vulnerable citizens. We provide health care to people with few if any other options, special education, residential, employment and other services critical to the health, well being and independence of people all across the state.


Additionally, some of our Affiliates are among the largest employers in their communities. These proposed cuts will lead to the loss of hundreds of jobs in communities already ravaged by high unemployment and create additional demand for services for the newly unemployed.


Lobby Day was the beginning of a long-term concerted advocacy effort by people with disabilities and the agencies they depend on for support and services. A statewide Family Advocacy Day was conducted by CP of NYS Affiliates on March 10th & 11th. “Keep The Promise” is the theme of an ongoing campaign by people with disabilities who plan to visit the Capitol daily during the legislative session to remind their representatives of the severe impact of the proposed cuts in funding for services and the people and organizations that provide them.

One major message of this campaign will be to ask Governor Cuomo to “Keep The Promise,” made by New York State to people with disabilities when Willowbrook was closed down more than 30 years ago. Governors Hugh Carey, Mario Cuomo and George Pataki have all committed the State to caring for New Yorkers with disabilities.

– Barbara Crosier




Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the nominations of Courtney Burke as Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and Roger Bearden as Chair of the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQCAPD). The Governor also announced that Clarence J. Sundram will serve as Special Advisor on Vulnerable Persons.

Courtney Burke is Director of the Rockefeller Institute's New York State Health Policy Research Center, where she oversees all health policy research projects at the Institute and is the project director for the Institute's recent research on county variations in Medicaid long-term care. Ms. Burke previously worked for six years as the senior research scientist in the health and Medicaid studies program at the Institute. Her research focused primarily on health policy issues related to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), health reform and private insurance coverage. She also has written about non-profit organizations' dependence on Medicaid funding and the effects of the state fiscal crises on non-profits.

Roger Bearden is the Director of the Disability Law Center of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest in New York City, where he supervises project directors and program staff and serves as lead attorney on major law reform cases.

From March to August 2009, Mr. Bearden was Chief Health Counsel to New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane, then serving as Chair of the Senate Health Committee. Previously, Mr. Bearden was a staff attorney with Disability Advocates, Inc., a non-profit law firm in Albany, where he advocated and litigated on behalf of thousands of individuals with mental illness and other disabilities in some of the largest and most complex federal cases in the field. Mr. Bearden graduated from Brown University and Harvard Law School before clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Clarence Sundram is described in the announcement as a national expert on the provision of care to developmentally disabled persons and other vulnerable people. He was the first Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission on Quality of Care, the predecessor to CQCAPD. Mr. Sundram will evaluate and provide recommendations to the Governor concerning State programs related to developmental disabilities, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, children and the elderly.

“This is a top-tier team that will bring fresh leadership and vision to these critical agencies,” said the Governor.” It is our fundamental responsibility as government to care for the most vulnerable among us. I look forward to working with this team to bring real reform and results to affected New Yorkers and their families."

– Barbara Crosier  




Below is a copy of the statement released recently by new OPWDD Commissioner Courtney Burke.


Dear Colleagues and Friends:


On Wednesday, March 9, I began my first day at the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). I am thrilled to be nominated to serve as Commissioner of OPWDD because of the agency’s mission that is focused on putting people first and helping people with developmental disabilities live richer lives.  


I want to take this opportunity to say hello and to let you know I look forward to working in partnership with all of you. I am excited at the journey ahead and know, together, we will continue to lead the nation in providing appropriate supports and services to people with developmental disabilities and their families. 


I look forward to meeting you over the weeks and months ahead.



Courtney Burke

Acting Commissioner


– Alan Shibley





The NYS Department of Health’s Bureau of Early Intervention and the Family Initiative Coordination Services Project are sponsoring an Early Intervention Partners Training Project in the Downstate Region this summer. This session of the Early Intervention Partners Training Project is for parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities currently receiving early intervention services in Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties, or in the five counties of New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond).


The Early Intervention Partners Training Project helps parents of young children with disabilities become involved in Early Intervention Program leadership activities. The training sessions provide information, resources, and skill-building activities designed to increase parent advocacy and leadership skills. Parents are encouraged to form working partnerships with early intervention professionals and policymakers.


The training program is free of charge, and all meals, training materials, and overnight accommodations are provided at no cost. A limited amount of funding is available to assist parents in need of support for child care and travel expenses. Prior approval by the Family Initiative Coordinator is required for those needing assistance.


Session I is a web-based training, with an interactive webinar, to be viewed at your computer on Saturday, June 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Sessions II and III meet for two, two-day face-to-face sessions and include an optional overnight stay on July 15-16 and August 19-20 at Radisson Hotel in New Rochelle.


Space is limited. If you are interested in attending, you must complete and return an application by April 18, 2011. Applications are available online at: or by contacting Margaret Sampson, Coordinator, Family Initiative Coordination Services Project Enhancement: E-mail:  [email protected] or phone: (877) 924-8418.


– Judi Gerson  




The deadline for submission of artwork for both the 8th Annual CP of NYS Visions of New York Art Contest and the 3rd Annual Children’s Art Exhibit is May 27. We ask that each Affiliate select and submit one piece of original artwork created by someone receiving services from your agency, to be included in the Visions of New York poster. The entry must be an original painting, drawing or sketch, produced by a program participant and submitted by the Affiliate. There is no minimum or maximum age.


We will again also conduct a Children’s Art Exhibit at the CP of NYS Annual Conference. For the Children’s Exhibit we are inviting each Affiliate to select and submit one piece of original artwork created by someone under the age of 13 who participates in one of your agency’s programs to be included in the exhibit at the Annual Conference in Albany. In addition, we ask that you frame your entries to protect them during transit and to make them suitable for display. Please make sure to submit work that we will have permission to display publicly. We would also like to have permission to use any art work submitted in publications or on our website.


– Alan Shibley





Queens Centers for Progress (QCP), United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (UCP/NYC) and Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State-Metro Services have combined to produce a display of art work by people with disabilities representing the three agencies at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. More than two dozen works of art will be on display at the facility on 8th Avenue and 41st Street from April 1st through April 28th.  


This is the second collaborative art display project involving these CP of NYS Affiliates hosted by the Port Authority. The first exhibition, in March 2009, drew numerous inquiries about the organizations and their programs by commuters and other people using the Port Authority Bus Terminal.


The display will be in the main hallway near the 9th Avenue side of the Port Authority Terminal and is available for viewing during all hours of operation. For more information contact Al Shibley in the CP of NYS Affiliate Services Office at [email protected] or (518) 436-0178.


– Alan Shibley  




The annual survey of Affiliates’ satisfaction of the Affiliate Services Office has been completed and the results were for the most part favorable, though there are a few areas where work needs to be done.  In their ranking of the importance of services currently provided, survey respondents indicated that assistance with Affiliate-specific issues (e.g., rate appeals, regulatory matters) was of highest importance (43.4%) to them and providing CP of NYS with a larger voice/presence ranked first – with 79.3% of respondents – when combining the scores for services ranked “very” important (55.8%) or “most” important (32.1%). Other valued aspects of the Affiliate Services Office activities were advocacy (69.3% indicated either very or most important) and the ability for them to receive up-to-date information (73.5%).


Other key findings were that in most categories, Affiliates indicated that they were “very satisfied” with the information provided (85%), the legislative and state agency advocacy provided (67.9%), the communications from Affiliate Services (64.2%), assistance with the Affiliates’ specific issues (67.9%), and overall performance of the Affiliate Services Office (81.1%). In each of the previous categories, many respondents indicated they were “somewhat” satisfied and there was not a single negative (either “somewhat” or “very” dissatisfied) response was received. However, in the area of CP of NYS’ ability to increase public awareness of the Affiliates and issues important to people with disabilities, only 45.3% were “very” satisfied, 34% were “somewhat” satisfied, 13.2% were neutral, and one respondent was “somewhat” dissatisfied and another was “very” dissatisfied. Since this is the only area in which the activities received negative feedback, it will be an area where staff will come up with activities to address the shortcomings and strengthen our efforts.


Overall, the responses were quite good and we would like to thank those who took the time to complete the survey for the many kind remarks that were included in the online survey.


Mike Alvaro

Facebook Twitter DZone It! Digg It! StumbleUpon Technorati NewsVine Reddit Blinklist Add diigo bookmark