Affiliate Update 2012

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7-5-12 CP News

7/5/2012 2:48:34 PM

An HTML version of the 7-5-12 CP News can be found here.


7/5/12 Affiliate Update

(Volume #18 – Issue #8)




The New York State Senate and Assembly gaveled out of session late in the evening on Thursday, June 21, marking the end of the 2012 legislative year.  Beyond the enactment of  the Governor’s priority, The Protection for People with Special Needs Act as well as  other notable bills, the 2012 session will be remembered as one of the most orderly and functional sessions in recent history lacking the high drama that many have become accustomed to in Albany.  The very collegial relationship between the Governor and State Legislature since Cuomo took office last year is being credited for the change.


In addition, in the final days, the Senate confirmed many gubernatorial appointments including Bronx Democratic Assemblymember Peter Rivera as Labor Commissioner and former Governor David Paterson to the MTA Board.


Legislators have now returned to their home districts to spend the next four months campaigning for the November elections when all 212 state legislators are up for election. 


Following is a summary of legislation which passed both Houses this session of interest to CP of NYS Affiliates.  The majority await action by the Governor.  We will keep you updated as legislation of interest is transmitted to Governor Cuomo for his consideration.  The full text of the following bills can be viewed at:


“Protection of People With Special Needs Act” S.7749, McDonald/A.10721, Rules (Ortiz): This bill, which was strongly supported by CP of NYS,  would create uniform safeguards for people with special needs served in residential facilities and day programs by provider agencies that are operated, licensed or certified by state agencies (OPWDD, OMH, OASAS, OCFS, DOH and SED). The safeguards would be implemented by a newly created Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, which would contain a Special Prosecutor and Inspector General, who would have concurrent authority with District Attorneys to prosecute abuse and neglect of people with special needs that rise to the level of a criminal offense. 



Critical Elements in S.7749/A.10721 include:

  • Standardized Definitions for Abuse and Neglect: Currently, agencies operate with inconsistent and often contradictory definitions that become a hurdle in reporting instances of abuse, as well as litigating against cases of abuse.  S.7749/A.10721 creates standardized definitions of 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.
  • 24/7 Hotline to Report Abuse: The Justice Center will operate an around-the-clock hotline that will immediately classify the allegations and route reports to law enforcement agencies, when appropriate.
  • Statewide Abuse Register: The Justice Center will create a 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: The Justice Center will review and evaluate the criminal history of individuals applying for a job or other position dealing with people with special needs and disabilities.
  • Code of Conduct: All individuals working with people with special needs and disabilities would be required to subscribe and would be held accountable to a code of basic ethical standards.
  • Comprehensive Database: The Justice Center will create a comprehensive statewide abuse database to track and monitor abuse complaints in order to spot trends.
  • Special Prosecutor: The Justice Center will have a special prosecutor who will investigate and prosecute allegations of abuse and serious neglect that rise to the level of criminal offenses as well as a team of investigators and lawyers.
  • Strengthened Anti-Abuse Laws: The proposed legislation 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.

This bill was returned to the Assembly 6/20/12.  It has not been transmitted to the Governor for consideration yet.


A summary of the status of other legislation considered during the most recent legislative session can be found here: Summary of Additional Key Legislation.

-Barbara Crosier





The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Thursday, June 28, 2012.   The ruling is not expected to have a major impact on New York, whose highly complex and sweeping healthcare system already includes many of the consumer protections.


The Supreme Court decision got a mixed reaction in New York, with hospitals and insurers lauding the outcome and businesses warning that the law does nothing to reduce health care costs.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said the ruling means that the state can continue rolling out the health exchange that he set up under executive order to create a state-operated business where the uninsured can seek to buy coverage.


Under the ACA, approximately 1 million uninsured New Yorkers will gain access to health insurance coverage through the establishment of a New York State health care exchange. The state will also receive $4.7 billion in additional federal funding from Medicaid and other subsidies in 2014.


The National Council on Disability applauded the Supreme Court’s decision as a victory for Americans with disabilities. “For millions of Americans with disabilities who rely on home and community based services to live, learn and earn in America, the ruling today by the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act is arguably the most significant decision since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act twenty-two years ago,” said Jonathan Young, NCD Chairman.


The ACCSES legislative team has done a preliminary analysis of the Decision. Please click here to view the initial analysis.


-Barbara Crosier






Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., New York State Assemblymember Micah Kellner and other community leaders joined officials from Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS) at a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the new West Farms Center and Metro Community Health Center in the Bronx on Thursday, June 28.


“We are excited about what this new, state of the art facility will mean to the people who utilize it, as well as to those living in the surrounding community,” said Susan Constantino, President & CEO for CP of NYS.


The new facility offers day opportunities, clinical services for hundreds of people with disabilities living in the community. More than 100 people will be employed at the facility which also provided 45 full-time construction jobs for 16 months.


-Al Shibley

West Farms Ribbon-Cutting




Susan Constantino, President and CEO of CP of NYS (center) Jack Weinstein, Chairman, Board of Directors of CP of NYS (rear, right), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., (third from right) and NYS Assemblymember Micah Kellner (second from right) join with others to cut the ribbon officially opening the new West Farms Center in the Bronx.






UCP of New York City recently took delivery on their new Elks Home Service vehicle. The vehicle purchase was made possible in part by a grant program created by the New York State Elks Association (NYSEA). Elks Lodges across the state raise almost $500,000 each year to help fund the nearly half-century old CP of NYS Home Service Program. Part of the Elks commitment is a $25,000 fund used to assist with the purchase of vehicles for the Home Service programs in Affiliates across the state. The NYSEA Major Projects Corporation has helped raise more than $20 million in the past 48 years to support the Home Service program. The Elks don’t stop there. In addition to this extraordinary relationship at the state level, local lodges across New York provide volunteers and funds to help CP of NYS Affiliates in their local communities continue to provide support for thousands of people with disabilities and their families every day.


-Al Shibley

UCP of NYC Elks Vehicle






The American Academy of Pediatrics/Section on Complementary and Integrative Medicine and Council on Children with Disabilities has issued a policy statement regarding the diagnosis of sensory processing disorder and the efficacy of sensory integration therapies for children with developmental and behavioral disorders.

The statement maintains that there is no universally accepted framework for diagnosis of sensory processing disorder and advises doctors to look for the presence of another developmental condition such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental coordination disorder or anxiety disorder when a child shows signs of sensory issues.


In addition, the statement also said that while there have been reports of positive outcomes using sensory integration therapy, data on its effectiveness is “limited and inconclusive,” and parents and doctors should carefully monitor the progress of children utilizing sensory integration therapy to assess whether its continued use is warranted.


The full text of the statement is available at:



-Judi Gerson



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