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Our kids are your kids -- invest in 853 special ed schools before it's too late!


#OurKidsareYOURkids
Students at 4410 Special Ed and 853 Schools are kids who are placed in these specialized schools because the public school districts don’t have appropriate services to support them.

This year, while school districts got a 7.6% increase in foundation aid funding, our schools were given 4%. Particularly with the history of underfunding 4410 and 853 schools, we have to ask ourselves how can New York State think that our kids deserve less than their public school peers?

 

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Residential Development
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 process without a clear understanding of that process or the extend of their wait. However, while thousands await suitable placements, many residential vacancies go unfilled. 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

Employment/Transition Services:
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.

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.

Unsure of who your representatives are? Find out at www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative.

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