Affiliate Update 2012

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5-8-12 CP News

5/8/2012 11:04:00 AM

5-8-12 CP News

An html version of the 5-8-12 CP NEWS can be found here.




Our thanks to everyone who traveled from across the state to participate in Governor Cuomo’s announcement of the proposal to create a new Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special NeedsAt Monday’s news conference, both Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said they were supportive of the plan’s outline and Senator Skelos said that his Chamber would vote on the legislation this session.


This legislation was developed, in part, from recommendations outlined in The Measure of a Society: Protection of Vulnerable Persons in Residential Facilities Against Abuse and Neglect, by Clarence Sundram, the Governor's Special Advisor on Vulnerable Persons.


The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs is a new agency, expected to be staffed with an executive director, special prosecutor, inspector general and approximately 400 staff. The Center would have oversight of The Department of Health, the Office of Mental Health, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Children and Family Services, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the State Education Department.  The proposal repeals the Commission on Quality of Care (CQC) and would put all the CQC protection and advocacy responsibilities with a non-profit entity.



The proposal also includes:

  • A.24/7 Hotline to Report Abuse.
  • A Comprehensive Database to track and monitor abuse complaints in order to spot trends.
  • A Statewide Abuse Register of workers who have committed serious acts of abuse who will be prohibited from ever being hired again in any position where they would work with people with disabilities or special needs.
  • Consolidation of Background Checks of individuals applying for a job or other position dealing with people with special needs and disabilities.
  • A Code of Conduct for all those working with people with disabilities.
  • A Special Prosecutor and a Team of Investigators and Attorneys who will investigate and prosecute allegations of abuse and serious neglect that rise to the level of criminal offenses.
  • A List of Standardized Definitions for Abuse and Neglect regarding children and adults in covered facilities and programs to enable the Justice Center to more easily process and address instances of abuse.
  • Strengthened Anti-Abuse Laws that will increase criminal penalties for endangering the welfare of people with disabilities and special needs, and strengthen a prosecutor's ability to prove that any of these individuals in a facility operated, licensed or certified by the State was a victim of sexual abuse.
  • Added Transparency requiring voluntary agencies to follow transparency guidelines based on FOIL for information requests regarding abuse or neglect of the people they serve.

-Barbara Crosier


CP of NYS is collaborating with the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC) on a training session for managed care contracting.  Harold Iselin, of the  law firm Greenburg Traurig, will review the standards for managed care contracting, including: payments, structures and representations, credentialing and indemnification, quality clauses, and the difference between management contracts and provider contracts, etc.  This program will be presented at two separate sites, the first being in New York City on Thursday, May 10th and the second in Albany on Friday, May 18th—both sessions will run from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.


For more information, call (518) 436-0178.


-Kara Sheldon




In an effort to cut down and prevent cases of abuse, and help resolve complaints and allegations, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Commissioner, Courtney Burke, is pushing for a statewide installation of video surveillance within agencies and programs that provide services to those with developmental disabilities.  On Monday, April 30th the state began equipping some state operated vehicles, used to transport people with disabilities, with security cameras and global positioning systems.  Officials hope that this project proves effective and can expand beyond the Albany area into a statewide effort.  This is seen as the first step of many that will lead to the installation of cameras in common areas and entranceways of all group homes in the state.  However, the installation of cameras in homes is expected to face strong opposition from many who site privacy concerns as an obstacle to the proposal.


-Kara Sheldon



On Monday, April 23rd, Senator Roy J. McDonald organized a roundtable to discuss how to define abuse and neglect of vulnerable persons, as well as how to prevent such abuses and improve safety conditions.  However, rather than issues of substance, most of the press coverage and debate surrounded the attendees.  There was particular press around Jeffrey Monsour, a state worker “whistle-blower” who has been open in his criticism of the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).


McDonald’s office said that the Senator was asked to disinvite Monsour.  These urgings were quickly withdrawn, however, once the press caught wind of it, and Senator McDonald’s office re-extended the invitation.  OPWDD Spokesman Travis Proulx called the panel a “public relations effort to feed sensationalized press coverage,” annoying  some disability advocates, as well as the Senator himself.  McDonald responded by encouraging more press coverage as it gives him more leverage “to have a package of bills reviewed and accepted, or revised and accepted.”


Following is a link to the roundtable.  The video is still not available on the Senate website but it is available on YouTube at


-Kara Sheldon




Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State recently signed onto a letter concerning the new Department of Health (DOH) demonstration proposal for dually eligible beneficiaries – people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  The letter was drafted by Medicare Rights Center, Center for Disability Rights, Center for Independence of the Disabled NY, Community Service Society of NY, Empire Justice Center, Legal Aid Society, New York Association on Independent Living, and SelfHelp Community Services.  The letter of support indicates that the DOH proposal contains some very promising elements for delivering health care to dually eligible New Yorkers.  However there should be further clarifications and modifications before submitting their proposal.  The following link is to the letter concerned


-Kara Sheldon





The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) announced earlier this month that it has been selected to receive a three-year grant from the March of Dimes Foundation for research on the effects of excessive dietary folic acid intake during pregnancy on brain development in newborns.


The grant will be used to conduct studies in laboratory mice to determine whether excessive folic acid intake by mothers during pregnancy has any effect on the behavior of their babies.  The study will evaluate whether too much folic acid causes any undesirable changes in the developing brain, and whether these changes are responsible for abnormal behaviors.


Read the OPWDD news release here


-Al Shibley





Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky, a member of the CP of NYS Board of Directors , traveled to Washington D.C  with Michael Kutcher, brother of Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher, to push for more funds to study prevention and the effects of cerebral palsy.



Station KGAN, CBS in Cedar Rapids, Iowa did a print and video story on their visit to Washington lawmakers.



The following two links will take you to the story.



-Barbara Crosier





Governor Cuomo has reportedly appointed Fran Barrett to the newly created position of InterAgency Coordinator for Not-for-Profit Services.  The position was apparently created to help coordinate efforts to reform the State's procurement and contracting systems and address challenges not-for-profits face in their business relationships with State agencies.  The not-for-profit community in New York has been seeking creation of a position such as this for some time. 

Barrett was formerly Executive Director of Community Resource Exchange, a technical assistance group which she founded in 1979 to assist not-for-profit organizations address a wide range of management and governance challenges.  Most recently, she served as the director of capacity building at The Atlantic Philanthropies.  In 2009, Barrett was the recipient of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management's 2009 Founders Lifetime Achievement Award given to individuals for contributions to not-for-profit capacity building over periods of 25 years or longer.

Not-for-profit leaders are looking forward to learning more about the new position, including its responsibilities and focus.


-Al Shibley

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