Share your perspectives and let lawmakers know the strong community that stand up for the issues impacting people all abilities, especially:
Issue: BCCS, along with thousands of other developmental disabilities providers and advocates across the nation, will vigilantly defend the Medicaid program from any actions in Washington that reduce federal Medicaid funding. Medicaid comprises approximately 90 percent of the funding to the Arc New York and other developmental disabilities providers in our state. Cuts to Medicaid funding would prove devastating to the families we serve and services we provide. Medicaid is still at risk. Key members of Congress continue to target Medicaid as a solution to contain the nation’s growing federal deficit. Proposed actions include cuts to the nation’s Medicaid program, and attempts to eliminate it as an entitlement program by converting it to a block grant or per capita cap system of reimbursement to states.
Position: BCCS, along with thousands of other developmental disabilities providers and advocates across the nation, will vigilantly defend the Medicaid program from any actions in Washington that reduce federal Medicaid funding.
Issue: Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide daily care, services and supports to people with developmental disabilities -24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Caring for people with complex needs is a rewarding yet challenging job, which requires ongoing training and a high-level of responsibility and skill. These are not minimum wage jobs.
Position: We will continue to advocate with our #bFair2DirectCare coalition to secure living wages for DSPs.
Issue: Thousands of New York state citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities are waiting for placement in a community residential setting. Many are in immediate need. The state has not provided an adequate way for families to plan for the future when providing care at home becomes difficult or impossible. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families face an onerous placement process without a clear understanding of that process or the extent of their wait. However, while thousands await suitable placements, many residential vacancies go unfilled.
Position: We continue to advocate for increased residential development, and an improved placement process, especially for people living at home with aging caregivers. We propose the following actions be taken to ensure there is sufficient residential development to meet the growing need:
- Transparently assess the number of people who have requested or need residential services and keep a wait list with a publicly available summary;
- Streamline the eligibility process so that people on the wait list can have their eligibility rapidly assessed and established;
- Make administrative enhancements necessary to more efficiently match people seeking placement with existing vacancies;
- Match and place individuals in already existing residential settings which can meet their individualized needs; and
- Provide capital and operating funds to establish as many new residential opportunities as necessary to meet the needs of New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly for those individuals with behavioral and psychological needs
Issue: Even though many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities want to work and have the skills to do so, there are limited employment opportunities available to them. As a result, the majority of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are either unemployed or underemployed. The Arc New York recently initiated the Customized Job Programs legislation (S.3932-A/A.205-A), sponsored by Senator Young and Assemblyman Santabarbara. This bill would establish a pilot program that subdivides state jobs into simpler component parts to provide opportunities for minimum-wage, integrated employment for people who could effectively perform some, but not all aspects of a job.
Position: BCCS supports increased employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and will work to: 1.) enhance employer tax credits for hiring people with disabilities; 2.) secure additional funding for job coaches and other supports; 3.) create new state job opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; 4.) pay a subminimum wage when appropriate; 5.) pass the Customized Job Programs legislation; and 6.) continue to transform sheltered workshops into integrated businesses where appropriate.
Excerpted and edited from The Arc New York.