ADVOCACY

Support for individuals with disabilities by influencing decisions within political, economic, and social realms.

3FOR5: SO COMMUNITIES THRIVE

To My New York State Legislative Leaders:

 

Human service providers of supports and services, advocates, individuals, and families across New York State urge their lawmakers to support and fund a 3% increase annually for 5 years. The time is now to commit to “3for5” so our communities thrive!

For the past decade, these provider agencies have been asked to do more with less as the state has continued to cut rates and defer annual increases, which has taken billions of dollars out of the service delivery system. At the same time, the State has increased their own state-operated program rates by an average of 3% a year. These non-profit providers, who deliver approximately 85% of the day-to-day services for the more than 140,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are dealing with the increased cost of operations, years of unpredictable and unsustainable rates, and workforce recruitment and retention challenges – all of which are critical to provide a lifetime of quality supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Additionally, on top of an already unsustainable landscape, the OPWDD Commissioner stated publicly that there will be a 2% rate cut effective July 1st of this year. We cannot let this happen!

 

Without New York State’s Legislative Leaders and Governor Cuomo’s commitment to 3for5, these non-profit agencies are at serious risk of closure or program reductions, impacting tens of thousands of employees and individuals receiving services and supports.

 

Thank you for your consideration. I sincerely hope that you will lend your support and strongly advocate for the inclusion of 3for5 in this year’s budget.

 

Sincerely,

 

Supporters of 3for5

A MESSAGE TO CONGRESS

 

Direct support professionals (DSPs) assist people with disabilities to live independently by providing support with daily living needs, such as dressing, food shopping, job coaching, transportation, and more. The work DSPs do is vital to making sure that people with disabilities can lead full lives in their communities. However, DSPs are underpaid, and the value of this professional work is not always recognized. This leads to high turnover and job vacancies – it is a crisis.

Right now, the federal government classifies DSPs under the larger category of “home health care aide.” This makes it impossible to track and understand the workforce trends for DSPs and to see what regions and support needs are being hit hardest by the crisis.

 

This new bill would create a separate classification for DSPs, which will lead to better data collection. Accurate data will give the government the information it needs to:

  • fully understand DSP turnover rates

  • identify where the workforce shortages are

  • understand where training programs are needed

  • recognize the important role that DSPs play in supporting people with disabilities

  • ensure DSPs get paid a living wage

Ask your Member of Congress to support S. 3369/H.R. 6045, the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act, a bipartisan bill. This bill will professionalize what it means to be a DSP and improve data collection around DSP workforce challenges. This is an important step in solving this crisis.

MADISON COUNTY MOTIVATORS

The Madison County Motivators is one of the largest self-advocacy groups in New York State, motivated to educate people with developmental disabilities.

Each month, the Motivators meet to discuss their rights and the future of advocacy. Throughout the year, the group also attend a variety of mini-workshops, including self-directed supports, bullying and abuse prevention, service coordination, budget cuts, and advocacy. 

The Madison County Motivators venture to both of the Regional SANYS Conference held each year in May at the Driver’s Village Carnegie Hall in Syracuse, NY, and the September SANYS State Conference in Albany, NY.

SUE LITERA

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS

315-363-3389 ext. 1616
sue.litera@arcofmc.org

©2020 by The Arc Madison Cortland.